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Community Resilience Partnership

The New England Environmental Finance Center (NEEFC) is a service provider for Maine’s Community Resilience Partnership, a state-wide program helping towns and tribes reduce their carbon emissions, transition to clean energy, and become more resilient to the impacts of climate change, such as extreme weather, rising sea levels, and flooding. The Community Resilience Partnership is administered by the Maine Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future.

As a service provider, the NEEFC works with municipal representatives to better understand the local impacts of climate change and what they can do to prepare and adapt. We guide communities through the enrollment process, including adopting a municipal resolution, completing self assessments, and holding a community workshop to prioritize climate mitigation and adaptation projects for implementation. Once enrolled, the NEEFC works with communities to secure project funding by helping them apply for Community Action Grants, as well as providing direction on other federal and state funding opportunities.

The Community Resilience Partnership encourages regional collaboration and projects that advance shared priorities across town lines. The NEEFC partners with groups of 2-5 communities with geographic proximity or other shared characteristics to work through the enrollment process together.

If your community would like support enrolling in the Community Resilience Partnership, please Contact Us.

2022 Community Resilience Partnership Service Provider Grant – Southern Midcoast Communities

NEEFC, in collaboration with Casco Bay Estuary Partnership and Kennebec Estuary Land Trust, is assisting five southern midcoast towns – Arrowsic, Georgetown, Phippsburg, Westport Island, and Woolwich – to enroll and unlock action grant funding. Community and regional workshops are anticipated for summer 2022 and will determine climate mitigation and adaptation priorities.

As part of the enrollment process, town representatives identified an interest in learning more about the impacts of climate change on groundwater supply and quality in order to better identify and prioritize actions. In response to this need, the service provider team organized a webinar – Climate Change Impacts on Water Supply & Quality in Coastal Maine – where leading experts in the region discussed threats to water supply and quality in coastal and island communities, as well as how other communities are assessing and adapting.

Photo Credit: Dennis Dunbar
Photo Credit: Dennis Dunbar

2021 Community Resilience Pilot Project – Coastal Cohort

NEEFC, in collaboration with the Casco Bay Estuary Partnership (CBEP), piloted this program with the coastal towns of Harpswell, Phippsburg, and West Bath. As small, peninsular communities reliant on natural resource economies and home to aging populations, town administrators sought to better understand climate impacts like sea level rise, storm surge, flooding, and erosion and relevant adaptation strategies and funding sources.

Over six months, NEEFC and CBEP held a three-part workshop series to identify community assets (physical, ecological, social), understand local climate-related hazards, vulnerabilities, and risks affecting those assets, and brainstorm and prioritize actions that build resilience. Workshops included opportunities to hear directly from community members representing conservation commissions, land trusts, and the shellfishing industry, as well as guest speakers on technical, scientific, planning, and funding-related topics and approaches.

Participating in this facilitated process formed new relationships and established a foundation for regional collaboration, which led the three towns to craft a joint proposal for funding to advance shared priorities. The coastal cohort successfully secured funds from the Maine Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future for engineering services to assess three town landings/wharves and their vulnerability to current and projected sea level rise, storm surge, and King tide events to inform a maintenance and upgrade plan for improved resilience.

Coastal Flooding Inundates Wallace Shore Road in Harpswell, Maine Photo Credit: Harpswell Conservation Commission

Participating in this facilitated process formed new relationships and established a foundation for regional collaboration, which led the three towns to craft a joint proposal for funding to advance shared priorities. The coastal cohort successfully secured funds from the Maine Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future for engineering services to assess three town landings/wharves and their vulnerability to current and projected sea level rise, storm surge, and King tide events to inform a maintenance and upgrade plan for improved resilience.