This page provides an overview of the actions New Hampshire is taking to support adaptation efforts at the local level.
New Hampshire is primarily engaging with local governments on climate adaptation through educational, technical, and expert services. The New Hampshire Coastal Adaptation Workgroup (NHCAW) (established in 2009), is a collaborative of 24 organizations working to promote the resiliency of coastal watershed communities. Acting on the Coastal Risk and Hazards Commission’s recommendations in its 2016 report, the New Hampshire Coastal Program (NHCP), as a member of NHCAW, obtained funding to support the New Hampshire Setting SAIL (Science, Assessment, Implementation, and Legislation Recommendations) project to help state agencies and municipalities through outreach and technical assistance, including a coordinated effort to identify vulnerable assets and policy options that can improve preparedness.
NHCAW partners conducted two vulnerability assessments for coastal communities: (1) Tides to Storms (in 2015); and (2) the Climate Risk in the Seacoast (C-RiSe) Project (in 2017). For both, NHCAW developed vulnerability assessment reports and maps detailing potential impacts of coastal flooding to transportation systems, critical facilities and infrastructure, and natural resources for the 17 tidally-influenced municipalities along New Hampshire’s Atlantic Coast and Great Bay Estuary. The state also developed the New Hampshire Coastal Viewer, an online mapping tool with spatial data sets on hazards, sea-level rise, coastal ecosystems, land uses, and more, designed to help coastal managers and local governments assess risks and identify opportunities to enhance coastal resilience. The results of both vulnerability assessments are included in the Coastal Viewer.
The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services also developed an Adaptation Toolkit for New Hampshire Communities for local governments and the public. The toolkit includes resources related to climate change and adaptation “messaging” to begin the community conversation, case studies, vulnerability assessment guidance, planning and implementation strategies, and funding resources.
The state has also received federal funding for local grant programs to support community resilience. For example, the 2016 Design Solutions for Coastal Resilience grant program awarded money for local communications and design and construction projects that could improve a community’s ability to prepare for and respond to hazard events. When federal funding is available, these grants are open to communities and regional planning commissions and NHCAW can assist with community resilience efforts.
(Research last updated: August 27, 2018).