Because Rhode Island’s statewide adaptation plan, Resilient Rhody, was only released in July 2018, these pages capture ongoing activities that state agencies have been taking in support of local climate action, before adoption of the plan. This research will be updated in the future with the progress the state is making in implementing the adaptation actions and goals set forth in Resilient Rhody.
In 2017, the state legislature passed a bill requiring all members of local planning boards and commissions to be trained on the impacts of flooding and sea level rise to the state. This fulfilled a recommendation from the House Commission’s 2016 Economic Risk Report to “increase statewide awareness and resources for resiliency.”
In 2016, along with a technical paper on the socioeconomics of sea level rise, Rhode Island’s Department of Administration’s planning division prepared factsheets for the state’s coastal communities. These are intended to identify populations most at risk across multiple sea-level rise scenarios to allow municipalities to consider demographic and socioeconomic factors in developing plans.
Also in 2016, Rhode Island’s Statewide Planning Program published a technical paper Vulnerability of Municipal Transportation Assets to Sea Level Rise and Storm Surge. The report includes a vulnerability assessment as well as information tailored to each municipality vulnerable to sea level rise and storm surge.
In 2011, the Rhode Island Climate Change Commission held their inaugural meeting with the aim of “mainstreaming” climate change and adaptation policies in local and state laws and policies to help local decision-makers and private citizens prepare for the impacts of climate change. In 2012, the commission published a progress report Adapting to Climate Change in the Ocean State: A Starting Point including an assessment of adaptation actions ranging from planning, to evacuation studies, to work on “climate ready estuaries” and other ecologically restorative efforts to “ease future climate change impacts” like flooding.
(Research last updated: August 16, 2018).