Coastal Institute Climate Response Demonstration Sites

Climate change impacts coastal areas differently depending on the level of coastal development. Consequently, climate adaptation strategies should reflect the unique characteristics of the local communities. To better understand the interaction between coastal communities and adaptation strategies, the CI hosts three Climate Response Demonstration Sites—natural areas, urban ports, and mixed-use sites.

CI demonstration sites explore effective approaches and best practices currently being implemented in RI and throughout the northeast coastal region. Findings will provide state and municipal governments, planners and policymakers, small businesses, homeowners, landowners, and others with historic and anticipated data on climate change impacts and suggested adaptation strategies. These sites also demonstrate the benefits of large-scale collaboration for each site, in anticipation of increased sea level, severity of storms, storm surge, and flooding.  This requires input from town, city, and state governments; individual landowners; community groups; conservation organizations; and academic researchers from multiple disciplines in order to succeed.

The monitoring, planning, and outreach activities taking place at the CI demonstration sites are guided by several cross-cutting themes including employing science as the cornerstone of coastal policy, building consensus, ensuring public access to the coast, and communicating climate risks.