DEEP: Adaptation Toolkit

Adaptation Toolkit
The Connecticut Adaptation Resource Toolkit (CART) was developed by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA (ICLEI USA) with funding from the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (US EPA) Climate Ready Estuaries through the Long Island Sound Study, a national estuary program.

CART was developed to help local government staff, committee members and active participants in Connecticut have instant access to climate change adaptation resources thereby enabling them to easily and meaningfully benefit their communities. Too often individuals or communities want to minimize future risks and costs, but they do not know where to start or how to continue. CART is a one stop shopping website for ideas and methods on local climate change adaptation planning and action.

The need for CART was identified through a prior EPA-funded CT DEEP and ICLEI collaborative project that involved working with Groton, CT, on a model adaptation planning process. The project focused on identifying the needs and policy types for each level of government as well as on helping the town conduct a preliminary vulnerability assessment. The administration in Groton, CT, has formally included adaptation criteria in the review and funding of capital improvements and has recently commenced development of a GIS /Microsoft Access database as the basis for its infrastructure vulnerability assessment efforts.
Nearly every municipal department has a role to play in climate change adaptation planning. In CART, resources have been separated by professional discipline. For each professional area there are resources that help you:
  • Understand your profession's role in the adaptation planning process;
  • Learn how climate change impacts your area of focus; and
  • Discover actions that can improve your community's resilience to climate change.
Select the category below that most closely describes your profession, committee, or interest from the list below. If your area of focus is not listed, see the Adaptation Planning section of CART, which describes the overall climate adaptation planning process, and may be relevant for elected officials, city managers, planners, land use planners, climate and energy committee members, and other professions managing the full climate change adaptation planning process.
Select a link below to explore CART: 
Agriculture - Contains adaptation resources for local shellfish or agriculture commissioners and food policy staff.
Built Environment and Infrastructure - Contains adaptation resources for those who manage the built environment such as land use managers, building officials, home and commercial property managers, and those who manage local infrastructure, such as engineers, public works directors, transportation system managers, energy supply managers, and communication network operators.
Education - Contains adaptation resources for those teaching coursework at the elementary, middle, high school, and higher education levels.
Natural Resources and Ecological Habitats - Contains adaptation resources for those working in natural resource and habitat management, such as environment departments staff, coastal zone managers, park managers, conservation commissioner members, and land trust members.
Public Health and Safety - Contains adaptation resources for public health and safety professionals. This could include, but is not limited to, public health officials, hospital administrators, and emergency response personnel.
Adaptation Planning - Contains the basic steps of adaptation planning. This could include, but not limited to, planners, elected officials, volunteer energy and climate committee members, and others interested in learning more about the general adaptation planning process.
Useful Adaptation Links
The below listed sites, like CART, contain links and information to a number of climate change adaptation resources; however CART differs from these sites in two meaningful ways. First, CART is geared specifically toward local governments providing the most relevant resources for that scale. Secondly, CART contains a process based section that a local government could follow to establish and achieve their climate change adaptation goals.
  • Climate Ready Estuaries has a variety of information and tools most relevant to the natural resource and ecologic habitat disciplines.
  • Climate Ready Utilities has a large selection of resources and tools to help those in the drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater fields to adapt to climate change.
  • StormSmart Coasts has tools and resources for coastal communities to address current and future storm and flooding threats. 
CART Steering Committee
The CART Steering Committee provided critical development guidance and consisted of the following members:
  • Christine Eppstein-Tang - Sustainability Coordinator for the City of New Haven
  • Katherine Freygang - Chair of the Cornwall Energy Task Force
  • Bruce Hyde - Land Use Educator UCONN Center for Land Use Education & Research
  • Kipen Kolesinskas - State Soil Scientist for USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Dennis McBridge - Health Director for the City of Milford
  • Erin McKenna - Land Use Planner for the City of Stamford
  • Mike Murphy - Director of the Town of Groton's Office of Planning and Development Services
  • Ron Rozsa - Emeritus Environmental Scientist for CT DEEP
  • Denise Savageau - Co-Chair of CT's Climate Adaptation Working Group on Infrastructure, Member of Greenwich Conservation Commission
  • Norman Willard - Senior Climate Advisor for US EPA New England
Content Last Updated November 2013