Legal Issues in the Age of Climate Adaptation: Four New Legal Fact Sheets

Fact SheetsA number of questions were raised at Legal Issues in the Age of Climate Adaptation, a conference held by UConn CLEAR’s and Connecticut Sea Grant’s Climate Adaptation Academy in late 2015. The Marine Affairs Institute & RI Sea Grant Legal Program at Roger Williams University School of Law reviewed the questions, which came from the audience during the course of the conference. The Legal Program then developed four fact sheets addressing the following topics:

New Website Launched to Help Coastal Property Owners and Beach Associations

beach erosion
Dune loss at Harkness Beach. Photo: Micheal P. Grzywinski, CT DEEP

GROTON, CT—Connecticut Sea Grant announces a new website intended to assist coastal Connecticut beach property owners and beach associations with hazards such as impacts from storms and associated erosion and flooding. The new site helps users evaluate threats and prepare to protect property from further damage.  A variety of actions, depending on the scale of damage and cost, are provided, including options such as dune restoration, repairing seawalls, moving landward or elevating structures. Visit the website at

“We hope this website will be a valuable resource for both coastal property owners and managers in helping to protect infrastructure as well as the natural environment” said Dr. Juliana Barrett, one of the site’s creators. Barrett is an associate coastal habitat educator with Connecticut Sea Grant and UConn Extension. The site was based on Maine Sea Grant’s Coastal Hazards site; we have added our own special touches in adapting to Connecticut.

New Guide for Coastal Conservation and Climate Change

Climate change is altering coastal environments and how conservation is approached. To address this challenge, NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management has produced a new Guide for Considering Climate Change in Coastal Conservation, along with a companion How to Consider Climate Change in Coastal Conservation self-guided online resource.

These products are now live on NOAA’s Digital Coast under “Training” and will soon be found on the Green Infrastructure topics page. Together, these products help practitioners evaluate how their conservation efforts can endure amid changing conditions, placing communities and natural environments in the best position to adapt.

The Guide does this by describing a stepwise approach to considering climate change in coastal conservation planning, with links to relevant tools, information and other resources. The steps should be familiar to those already practicing strategic conservation planning, but unlike other guides, these new products specifically focus on climate and habitat considerations of the coastal environment.

The How-To offers brief instruction on each step from the Guide and provides quick access to the most applicable tools when working through each step. This interactive online resource allows users to dive into whichever stage of the process is most relevant to them. It will be updated periodically with new resources.

Try the new Climate Resilience Toolkits

Climate change is here now, and we need to prepare for more extreme weather events and build more resilient communities and ecosystems. Check out these easy-to-use tools, including interactive maps and visualizations, that will help prepare your community for the impacts of climate change. See how you can help your community or business get ready.
Sea Grant Resilience Toolkit
Climate Resilience Toolkit