Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today in Groton helped inaugurate the Institute for Community Resiliency and Climate Adaptation at UConn’s Avery Point campus. The research center will focus on help state communities and businesses to get ready for rising sea levels and worsening weather as a result of global climate change.
“Over the past couple of years, our state has witnessed severe weather events that have threatened lives, destroyed property, damaged our infrastructure, and inflicted billions of dollars in harm to our state’s economy,” Malloy said in statement. “We must find ways to reduce the risks posed by the extreme weather that climate change is bringing to Connecticut and beyond. This Institute will be a world-class, cutting edge center that harnesses the research and outreach capabilities of UConn with the practical regulatory expertise of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. It will take sound scientific research and turn it into concrete local actions needed to better adapt to the changing climate and improve the future resilience and sustainability of Connecticut’s coastline and inland watersheds.”
The Institute for Community Resiliency and Climate Adaptation was the result of legislation last year and work was accelerated after a court action that required $2.5 million
This from Malloy’s office:
“The Institute – which will be a multi-disciplinary center bringing together experts in the natural sciences, engineering, economics, political science, finance and law – will focus on a variety of areas, including:
- Improving scientific understanding of the changing climate and its local and regional impacts;
- Encouraging strategies that will reduce the loss of life, property, natural resources, and limit social disruption from future high impact weather events as well as from sea level rise, flooding, erosion and other hazards – while respecting environmental resources, the ecology, and aquatic and wildlife.
- Hardening of the electric grid and shoreline infrastructure such as roads, bridges, train tracks, and wastewater treatment plants;
- Designing innovative financial options for property owners seeking to make their homes and businesses more resilient;
- Workshops and on-line decision support tools for regional and local officials;
- Increasing public understanding of climate issues so that residents and community leaders can make scientifically informed and environmentally sound decisions about climate adaptation.
“Work at the Institute will ultimately ensure that Connecticut has the tools needed to make our coastline and coastal communities more resilient,” said UConn President Susan Herbst. “The Institute will build upon UConn’s rich history of excellence in Marine Science research, Long Island Sound preservation and coastal observation and protection.”
“Under Governor Malloy, Connecticut has taken the lead in efforts to reduce carbon emissions that are creating climate change with an energy strategy focused on efficiency and renewables and participation in a regional initiative aimed at reducing emissions from power plants,” said DEEP Commissioner Daniel C. Esty. “At that same time, however, we must also focus on strategies to adapt to more frequent and severe storms – as well as the gradual changes we are going to see as a result of carbon emissions already in the atmosphere. The new Institute at Avery Point will help us do just that.”