This page provides an overview of the steps New Hampshire is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

In December 2007, Governor John Lynch established a Climate Change Policy Task Force and directed the Task Force to develop a Climate Action Plan for the state (Executive Order 2007-3). The Task Force was composed of 29 members including regulators, scientists, business leaders, utility representatives, and environmental groups, and was chaired by the Commissioner of New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services. It included a work group focused on adaptation. The Task Force released the New Hampshire Climate Action Plan on March 25, 2009. The Climate Action Plan included recommendations for reducing New Hampshire’s greenhouse gas emissions from a number of sectors. The Climate Action Plan also includes a chapter on Adapting to a Changing Climate (Chapter 3).

State agencies have been actively engaged in climate change adaptation planning. The Department of Environmental Services (DES) incorporated climate change into its 2010-2015 Strategic Plan, which initiated an in-house effort to incorporate climate change considerations into all of its programs and activities. In addition, DES staff developed an Adaptation Tool-kit for New Hampshire Communities.The Fish & Game Department updated its Wildlife Action Plan to include impacts from climate change in 2013 (Ecosystems and Wildlife: Climate Change Adaptation Plan). The Department of Health and Human Services first partnered DES to develop Preparing for Climate Change: A Strategic Plan to Address the Health Impacts of Climate Change.

In 2013, the New Hampshire legislature created the Coastal Risk and Hazards Commission and charged it with recommending “legislation, rules, and other actions to prepare for projected sea-level rise and other coastal and coastal watershed hazards…” The Commission members include members of the state House of Representatives and Senate, state agencies, academic institutions, regional planning commissions, one representative from every coastal community, and representatives from the insurance, building, and emergency planning sectors. Each year until 2016, the Commission is required to submit its findings and any recommendations for legislation.

The Commission has established a Science and Technical Advisory Panel and a Steering Committee to expedite their work. The first phase of the Commission’s work is to assess the state’s vulnerabilities, identify what adaptation work is occurring throughout the state, and identify barriers to incorporating climate change science and information into planning and practice. In 2016, the Commission will provide adaptation recommendations to the Legislature and present possible legislative reforms to promote adaptation at the state and local levels.

New Hampshire is in the process of implementing the goals set forth in the 2009 plan.

(Research last updated June 30, 2014; Click here for a description of our methodology.)

The Georgetown Climate Center’s State Adaptation Progress Tracker, which tracks the progress of states in implementing their adaptation plans, is supported by the MacArthur Foundation. 

View State Adaptation Plan Status
View All Completed State Goals

Sector Adaptation Goals in Progress or Completed

Get a quick view of the progress New Hampshire is making to prepare for climate change in different areas below. The first number includes goals in progress or completed in New Hampshire's state adaptation plan.  The second number reflects the total number of goals in each area. For a more detailed look at progress click here or click on one of the sector buttons below. 

Completed Goals from the Biodiversity Plan

Completed Goals from the Emergency Preparedness Plan

Completed Goals from the Forestry Plan

Completed Goals from the Infrastructure Plan

Completed Goals from the Public Health Plan

Completed Goals from the Water Plan



State Law and Policy

Resource Name Resource Type Date
New Hampshire Coastal Resilience Incentive Zone Program for Municipalities Law and Governance September 3, 2017
New Hampshire Senate Bill 163: Establishing a commission to recommend legislation to prepare for projected sea level rise and other coastal and coastal watershed hazards Law and Governance July 2, 2013
New Hampshire Executive Order 2007-3 Law and Governance December 6, 2007

State Agency Plans

Resource Name Sector(s) Covered Date
New Hampshire Coastal Risk and Hazards Commission Final Report: Preparing New Hampshire for Projected Storm Surge, Sea-Level Rise and Extreme Precipitation Biodiversity and ecosystems, Coastal, Land management and conservation, Land use and built environment November 2016
New Hampshire Ecosystems and Wildlife Climate Change Adaptation Plan Biodiversity and ecosystems, Coastal, Fish and fisheries, Wildlife October 2013
Preparing for Climate Change: A Strategic Plan to Address the Health Impacts of Climate Change in New Hampshire Public health July 2010
New Hampshire Wildlife Action Plan Biodiversity and ecosystems, Fish and fisheries, Wildlife 2006

Local and Regional Plans

Resource Name Date
Town of Newmarket, New Hampshire Master Plan July 2015
Durham, New Hampshire HMP Climate Adaptation Chapter: Developing Strategies to Protect Areas at Risk from Flooding due to Climate Change and Sea Level Rise June 25, 2013
Portsmouth, New Hampshire Coastal Resilience Initiative: Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan April 2, 2013
City of Keene, New Hampshire - Adapting to Climate Change: Planning a Climate Resilient Community November 2007

More Featured Resources

Resource Name Resource Category Date
New Hampshire Setting SAIL (Science, Assessment, Implementation, and Legislation) Project Funding
Climate Change and Human Health in New Hampshire: An Impact Assessment Assessments May 2015
Adaptation Toolkit for New Hampshire Communities Adaptation Websites 2013
Seabrook, New Hampshire - Adaptation Strategies to Protect Areas of Increased Risk From Coastal Flooding Due to Climate Change Planning July 25, 2009
New Hampshire Climate Action Plan: A Plan for New Hampshire's Energy, Environmental and Economic Development Future Planning March 2009

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