According to a recent report, climate change is already affecting coastal New Hampshire. Temperatures, overall precipitation (especially in winter) and the frequency of extreme precipitation events are all rising. River discharge is increasing. Sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Maine are rising, as is sea level (Wake, 2011). Many of these conditions are hardly news to community leaders in New Hampshire’s coastal watershed as they have been regularly dealing with effects such as flooding and coastal erosion.
How Sea Grant Can Help
N.H. Sea Grant connects community leaders to the science-based information, tools and resources they need to reduce vulnerabilities and increase the resilience of their environmental, social, and economic systems as they are impacted by climate change. Linking communities with academic researchers, organizing workshops, and facilitating community processes are but a few of the ways in which NH Sea Grant works with communities.
Staff also strives to ensure that community leaders have access to partners with additional expertise to help apply information, technical tools, and resources. As such, NH Sea Grant is part of the NH Coastal Adaptation Workgroup (CAW), a coalition of nearly 20 organizations, agencies and municipalities working with NH’s coastal communities to improve their climate readiness.
Delivering information: Water, Weather, Climate, and Community Workshop Series
NH Sea Grant works with the NH Coastal Adaptation Workgroup to host 2-3 workshops every year around climate change topics requested by Seacoast community members. The NH Stormsmart Coasts website holds information about upcoming workshops on the Crows Nest Blog, and houses past workshop presentations at the Past Workshops page.
Providing Guidance: Adaptation Action Planning with Newfields
NH Sea Grant staff worked with the town of Newfields from spring through fall of 2012. By providing local climate change research from the University of New Hampshire and facilitating monthly meetings with community members, Newfields was able to develop an action plan around two local priorities: stormwater management and emergency preparedness. Among other successes, the town has since updated their stormwater management regulations and produced a community calendar with information about storm preparedness.