• Resources for Small Communities

Adaptation Strategies for Rural and Small Communities

This tab includes strategies, best practices, and legal and policy analysis relevant to adaptation efforts in rural and small communities.

Resources are automatically presented by rating, but can be sorted by date or title. Apply additional filters to narrow the list by resource type, impact, jurisdictional focus, state, or region.

 

 

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National Drought Resilience Partnership

November 15, 2013

In November 2013 the Obama Administration announced a new partnership between seven Federal agencies to help communities better prepare for drought, through both drought assistance and preparedness planning. The interagency National Drought Resilience Partnership (NDRP) was established as part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.

Related Organizations: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Preparing for Climate Change in Groton, Connecticut: A Model Process for Communities in the Northeast

April 2011

Through the Long Island Sound Study, ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability USA and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) partnered with Groton, Connecticut to conduct an analysis of how and if federal, state, and local stakeholders could collaborate to enhance resilience towards climate change at the local level. The Long Island Sound Study (LISS) is a National Estuary Program and is eligible for EPA grants under the climate change initiative Climate Ready Estuaries.

Related Organizations: Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP), ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability

Authors or Affiliated Users: Missy Stults, Jennifer Pagach

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Preserving Our Place — A Community Field Guide to Engagement, Resilience, and Resettlement: Community Regeneration in the Face of Environmental and Developmental Pressures

2019

In 2019, the Isle de Jean Charles Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Tribe (IDJC) collaborated with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to release a field guide, Preserving Our Place  A Community Field Guide to Engagement, Resilience, and Resettlement: Community Regeneration in the Face of Environmental and Developmental Pressures. IDJC is in the process of relocating from the Louisiana coast to a new community further inland due to significant land loss and flooding impacts. The field guide was developed to serve dual purposes: first, to document the community engagement process that IDJC has developed throughout its resettlement planning process; and second, to provide procedural guidance and lessons learned for communities that are also contemplating large-scale relocation. The field guide can be used by other tribal or frontline coastal communities that are considering potential larger-scale managed retreat or relocation strategies to adapt to climate change impacts like sea-level rise and other stressors and pressures, like environmental justice and encroaching development. 

Related Organizations: National Academy of Sciences, Isle de Jean Charles Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Tribe

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Recovering Stronger: A Federal Policy Blueprint - US Water Alliance

January 2021

The U. S. Water Alliance’s report “Recovering Stronger: A Federal Policy Blueprint” was released in early 2021 and addresses the acute needs of the nation’s municipal water infrastructure resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as long-term underfunding of water resources infrastructure and inequities in access to clean water. The report makes recommendations for how the federal government could make funding for municipal water resources more stable; make water supplies safer; improve access to safe drinking water and wastewater treatment in low-income communities, communities of color, and rural communities; modernize the water sector; improve resilience to climate change; and take a whole-of-government approach to managing the nation’s water resources.

Related Organizations: U.S. Water Alliance

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Average Rating

Regional Collaboratives for Climate Change - A State of the Art

April 2019

Developed by the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) in 2019, this report summarizes the findings of a survey of 15 Regional Climate Collaboratives (RCCs) that are supporting climate change action at the regional scale in the United States. RCCs are networks that coordinate adaptation (and sometimes mitigation) work across jurisdictional boundaries in municipal regions of the U. S. and often include local and state government representatives as well as nonprofit, academic, and private partners.

Related Organizations: Institute for Sustainable Communities

Authors or Affiliated Users: Steve Adams, Karina French

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Resettlement as a Resilience Strategy

October 27, 2015

This document provides background information and guidance to Louisiana’s state and local governments on the retreat and resettlement process, and outlines the strategy for the ongoing resettlement of the Isle de Jean Charles Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Native American community. As sea level rise and land loss threaten Louisiana’s low-lying regions, coastal communities must consider the costs and benefits of retreat and resettlement. The report provides a history of resettlement in the United States and makes the case that the resettlement of Isle de Jean Charles is just the beginning of more resettlement projects in the region.

Related Organizations: Lowlander Center

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Rising to the Challenge Together

December 2017

This report presents an assessment of the state of the climate adaptation field and offers recommendations for enhancing adaptation practice to meet the climate challenges facing states and communities. The report explores what a "strong mature adaptation field" would look like and what would be needed to build it.

Related Organizations: The Kresge Foundation

Authors or Affiliated Users: Susanne C. Moser, Joyce E. Coffee, LEED AP

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Sea Level Rise: Technical Guidance for Dorchester County, Maryland

October 2008

This report describes Dorchester County's vulnerability to sea-level rise and specific policy response options. The report follows the outline established in the state's sea-level rise response strategy, including: Vulnerability and Impact Assessment; Long-Range and Comprehensive Planning; Codes, Regulations and Development Standards; and Public Education and Outreach.

Related Organizations: Maryland Department of Natural Resources: Chesapeake and Coastal Program

Author or Affiliated User: Wanda Diane Cole

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Sierra Climate Change Toolkit - 3rd Edition

2014

The Sierra Climate Change toolkit addresses climate change across the Sierra Nevada region of California, with localized strategies for emissions reductions and adaptation. The report describes climate change impacts in the Sierra, as well as recent regulations, policy directions, and incentives to reduce emissions and adapt. Adaptation strategies are outlined for water and watershed management, wildlife and habitats, forestry, wildfire, and City and County land-use planning. This 3rd edition from the Sierra Nevada Alliance expands its focus from previous versions with more strategic detail, case studies and further support for the development of an adaptation framework that works within existing planning processes throughout the Sierra.

Related Organizations: Sierra Nevada Alliance

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Smart Growth Fixes for Climate Adaptation and Resilience: Changing Land Use and Building Codes and Policies to Prepare for Climate Change

January 2017

This report focuses on ways that local governments can prepare for climate change impacts through land use and building policies. The report focuses on smart growth strategies that offer multiple benefits beyond climate preparedness including cost-savings, energy efficiency, increasing transportation options, and building economic opportunities. The strategies presented in the report are categorized as modest adjustments, major modifications, and wholesale changes, in order to help local governments determine which options are most appropriate for their own community.

Related Organizations: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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