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Climate Ready Casco Bay

Preparing Maine’s Casco Bay Communities for the Impacts of Climate Change  

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Climate Ready Casco Bay is a two-year project to develop nature-based coastal resilience solutions across eleven Casco Bay communities.  We're collaborating with stakeholders, including municipal staff and community leaders, to create local plans for high risk sites that dovetail into a regional resilience plan, all of which will prioritize green and nature-based resilience solutions and strategies. As a result, these eleven communities will have the knowledge, materials and capacity to remain resilient in the face of climate change. 


Project Goals

Climate Ready Casco Bay engages community members who live, work and play in Casco Bay: whose livelihoods are intertwined with the prosperity of our coastline and will therefore be greatly affected by coastal flooding. This two-year project leverages current resources, weave together existing data and climate assessment efforts, identify and fill gaps, seek public input, and develop strategies for protecting the region’s coastline. By curating a comprehensive, regional approach to coastal resilience in preparation for climate risk, this project — facilitated by GPCOG and GMRI in collaboration with community volunteers, municipal staff, elected officials and community leaders — will result in the following key outcomes:  

  • Increased municipal knowledge, capacity and plans to protect coastal habitats and infrastructure from climate impacts. 

  • Identification of high priority coastal resilience projects 

  • A regional resilience plan identifying community and ecosystem resilience needs, and actions and best practices to mitigate flood risks.

  • An online portal supplementing the resilience plan and making information accessible to the region.


Project Timeline

Fall 2022 - Fall 2024

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  • What communities are a part of this project?
    Climate Ready Casco Bay includes eleven of Casco Bay’s coastal communities: Brunswick, Freeport, Yarmouth, Cumberland, Falmouth, Portland, South Portland, Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough, Chebeague Island and Long Island.
  • Who is on the project team?
    The Greater Portland Council of Governments and Gulf of Maine Research Institute are co-leads on this project. In addition, an advisory committee is overseeing this project. Our advisory committee is comprised of Casco Bay Estuary Partnership, Friends of Casco Bay, The Nature Conservancy, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission (SMPDC), Cumberland County Emergency Management Act, Maine Sea Grant, Island Institute, National Association of Wetland Managers, Maine Geological Survey, and Cumberland Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Who is funding this project?
    The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) awarded the Greater Portland Council of Governments (GPCOG) $250,000 to support nature-based climate action planning across eleven Casco Bay communities. This funding was a fraction of NFWF’s $39.5 million in grants to fund 49 coastal resilience projects across 28 states. In addition to grant funding from NFWF, GPCOG raised an additional $250,000 in matching funds from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI), foundation grants, and in-kind donations from municipalities.
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