The City is beginning to develop a resiliency plan to respond to the anticipated long range changes that will be shaped by climate change, sea level rise (SLR), and increased storm frequencies and intensities. To assist with this work, the City applied for and was awarded a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Long Island Sound Futures Fund (LISFF) to cover the majority of the costs to develop the plan. Along with in-kind and monetary matches, the grant will provide substantial aid in forming the initial stages of the Community Resiliency Plan. The Plan will be a working document that will evolve over time and guide decision making for City leadership, staff and residents. For more information about the LISFF Grant, refer to this fact sheet.
Planning for resiliency began in January 2019, when The Nature Conservancy led a roundtable with City staff, regional leaders and City businesses. This Community Resiliency Building Workshop’s final report can be downloaded from the Resources tab.
The City has now established a working group to further study issues related to resiliency and start developing a strategy to address our vulnerabilities. The Coastal Vulnerability Working Group (CVWG), an ad-hoc committee established by the City Council, will provide recommendations to the City Council and help guide the formation of the Community Resiliency Plan.
The development of the Plan will commence later this Winter 2020 and following the selection of a consultant team.
About this Page
This website will be the City’s portal to communicate information about resiliency, our planning work and provide tools and resources pertinent to coastal resiliency awareness. Tabs above beginning with the word ‘Tool’ will provide access to interactive maps prepared by leading governmental agencies or organizations focused on resiliency, sea level rise or climate change. The Resources tab provides access to other pertinent documentation you may find of interest and which much of the City’s planning will use as building blocks to create a specific plan for the City.
What is Resiliency?
Resiliency is a community’s ability to recover or adapt from a significant event caused by the forces of nature or human action. Hazard mitigation is the “sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to life and property” from such an event. (Source: Maryland EMA). As a coastal community with industry leaders essential to our national defense, the City possesses vulnerabilities that we must understand and be prepared to address.
Several studies and reports have been prepared by various governmental agencies and organizations, many relevant to the City of Groton, but most not specific to the needs of the community. Here are some of the pertinent documents that will help shape the City’s Community Resiliency Plan.
- The Nature Conservancy: City of Groton January 2019 Workshop Summary: This summary outlines key findings of a facilitated workshop conducted by the Nature Conservancy to identify, on a preliminary basis, vulnerabilities and concerns related to coastal issues.
- Sea Level Rise in CT by James O’Connell: This report was prepared by CIRCA, using prior research and guidance prepared by NOAA, providing guidance to coastal planning community associated with anticipated sea level rise in Long Island Sound.
- SECT Multi-Jurisdiction Hazard Mitigation Plan Update: December 2017: This Plan is the Region’s plan to identify and prepare for responses to possible hazards. An update is required every five years.
- City of Groton Hazard Mitigation Plan: December 2017: This plan is specific to hazards associated specifically to the City of Groton and was prepared with the SECT Multi-Jurisdiction HMP. This plan and the Region’s plan should be utilized together as the City’s HMP.
Additional Relevant Plans:
City Sea Level Rise (SLR)
20″ by 2050
Long Island and Southeastern CT should plan for a 20” sea level rise by 2050. This conclusion was reached by James O’Donnell of UConn’s Department of Marine Sciences and CT Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaption. A precursor to Mr. O’Donnell’s conclusion was a technical report issued by NOAA entitled “Global Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the United States National Climate Assessment”. This document identified 4 sea level rise scenarios ranging from an 8” rise to a 6.6’ rise by 2100. This document was not specific to one area but gave guidance for planners and researchers to determine how sea level may impact local communities.
Utilizing this guidance, which has also been adopted by the US Army Corp of Engineers in their long range planning, Mr. O’Donnell concluded that by 2100, Connecticut may experience a rise in sea level from nearly 2’ to 6.8’. Planning for such a distant time frame is very challenging so the guidance provided is to plan for the year 2050, which is coincident with a typical mortgage of 30 years. The extrapolated data suggest a 20” rise by 2050. “However, alerting the public with property in the altitude zone impacted if a 1.0M (3.3’) increase in mean sea level was to occur is also prudent” the text also states. It should also be noted that Mr. O’Donnell suggests that the science behind these conclusions could change as more data is collected and analyzed. Thus, he suggest a 10-year reassessment of planning threshold.
To explore an interactive mapping tool on how sea level rise, and other scenarios, may impact the City of Groton and other coastal regions click here.
City Flood Exposure
Flood exposure is the vulnerability to flooding caused by storm events such as extreme high tides, storm surge and hurricanes. To explore an interactive mapping tool on how a category 3 hurricane may impact the City, click here and select the Flood Exposure tab. This link will provide access to other tools and maps to help you understand vulnerabilities in the City of Groton.