Climate Ready Casco Bay is collaborating across eleven communities to prepare for the impacts of climate change. These communities have diverse coastline features and a range of vulnerable infrastructure, ecosystems and populations.
All these communities are at different stages of climate action planning. See below for a snapshot of each community's progress on resilience planning.
Coming soon . . .
Stay tuned for community data profiles! The project team is currently developing data profiles that use maps to provide a detailed analysis of climate hazard impacts in each community.
South Portland has a joint climate action plan, One Climate Future, with the City of Portland that was adopted in 2021 and is currently being implemented. The City also has a greenhouse gas inventory and vulnerability assessment that informed One Climate Future. The City has a sustainability office with three full-time staff members. South Portland is currently in the process of updating their comprehensive plan which will consider potential risks to the City’s coastlines. These risks will be visualized by a Dynamic Flood Inundation Model the City received grant funding for.
Portland has a joint climate action plan, One Climate Future, with the City of South Portland that was adopted in 2021 and is currently being implemented. The City also has a greenhouse gas inventory and vulnerability assessment that informed One Climate Future. The City has a sustainability office with three full-time staff members. Portland received funding to develop and integrate resilience overlay zones, which will guide Portland to grow and develop in ways that effectively adapt to sea level rise and storm surge, higher volumes of stormwater, more intense storms, higher temperatures, and uncertainty.
Brunswick has a climate action plan—created in 2009—as well as a sustainability and recycling committee. A greenhouse gas inventory, vulnerability assessment, and Climate Action Plan is being created in 2023. There is also an adaptation plan specifically for Maquiot Bay, an ecologically diverse estuarine complex located in northern Casco Bay, which is adjacent to Brunswick and Freeport. The Town is in the process of completing a comprehensive plan which will align closely with and reinforce the developing Climate Action Plan.
Yarmouth has a Committee for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability (CEES) that was established in 2018 to facilitate and carry out programs and inform residents regarding renewable energy and sustainability options. The committee makes recommendations to the Yarmouth Town Council for energy conservation and renewable energy projects. Yarmouth also has a shared Sustainability Coordinator with Freeport. The Town passed a Climate Emergency Declaration in 2022, establishing a goal of reducing municipal emissions to zero by 2030 and achieve net-zero for town-wide emissions by 2050. The Town will be developing a Climate Action Plan in 2023 to detail their approach to achieving this target.
Freeport has a sustainability advisory board and a shared Sustainability Coordinator with Yarmouth. The board advises the Freeport Town Council on the sustainability and resiliency of present and future operations, highlights potential opportunities, and promotes new and existing sustainability efforts. The Town will be developing a Climate Action Plan in 2023. The Town recently completed a Downtown Visioning process which lays a foundation for targeted growth that will reduce emissions and improve resilience.
Cumberland is currently in phase II of its climate action planning process. While the first phase of the plan was focused on larger municipal goals, the second aims to develop action plans to reduce Cumberland’s residential footprint. The town has a Lands and Conservation Commission that formed a Sustainability Subcommittee ("SSC") in 2022 to continue and expand upon the work of the Climate Action Plan Subcommittee. This committee oversees these planning efforts. Cumberland recently received a grant to reduce emissions in the town through the purchase of an electric mower, providing heat pumps in the library, and improving native vegetation education and awareness.
Falmouth is currently developing a Climate Action Plan. The Town has a climate action planning committee to guide these efforts. A site-specific vulnerability assessment for the Town Landing is being developed to identify future impacts from sea level rise. The Town will also be updating their Comprehensive Plan and will ensure alignment with the Climate Action Plan. Falmouth recently received grants to implement their strategic watershed plan to promote water quality, and to provide clean energy to Hurricane Valley Farm/Cultivating Community.
Cape Elizabeth has a vulnerability assessment that they use as a reference for culvert replacement projects. The Town also has a sea level rise assessment that informed their 2019 Comprehensive Plan. Sustainability and climate action has been present in Town Council Goals since 2020, but the Town has not yet developed a climate action plan.
Scarborough has a sustainability committee and sustainability coordinator. The town currently does not have a climate action plan; however, they held a virtual community meeting this past February to gather public input on the town’s Climate Change and Resiliency Priorities. The Town recently updated their Comprehensive Plan, which includes a focus on resiliency. Scarborough also participated in SMPDC’s Climate Ready Coast – Southern Maine project, identifying key areas in the Town that are at high risk of flooding.
Chebeague Island has a sea level rise vulnerability assessment. The island will be working in 2023 to create a greenhouse gas inventory and full vulnerability assessment.
Long Island has a comprehensive plan that includes a large focus on climate and sustainability elements. The island currently does not have a climate action plan, vulnerability assessment, or greenhouse gas inventory.