Adapt to the Impacts

Adapt to the Impacts


More extreme weather, sea-level rise, flooding, drought, and wildfire will alter the way we live on this island. Planning wisely about areas where we can adapt and where we need to retreat, what we want our economy to be focused on, and how we can get the supplies we need are all part of this new picture. Here are some of the things we need to consider and how you can get involved in helping shape our future.

The challenges of climate change could result in opportunities for our island as we learn to live with sea level rise, more extreme weather, greater flooding, greater times of drought and interruptions to our economy.

Discussions that center on increased self-sufficiency and the systems that supply our island with food, materials and other resources, potential growth limits, a more sustainable economy and social fabric, a resilient energy infrastructure, better transportation, medical care and natural resources protection are all part of adapting to the impacts of climate change on our island.

Sea level rise and flooding will impact:
Access to the ferries and hospital
Fresh water supply because of saltwater intrusion into wells
Coastal road access
Inland road access in some cases
Coastal properties
Local food production and gardening
Historical and cultural preservation
Ecosystems including salt marshes

Extreme heat and drought will impact:
Local food production and gardening
Increase the danger of wildfire
Increase human health issues
Increase vector-borne disease — ticks, mosquitoes

Extreme weather events will impact:
Our power supply- of both electricity and fossil fuels
Our access to potable water
Our economy and its reliance on tourists and summer residents

Warming Waters will impact:
Finfish and our fishermen’s livelihoods
Shellfish and our scalloping and oyster businesses

Supporting the island and your town’s thoughtful discussions about how to respond to these challenges is important for our future. Thinking about where we should retreat away from the shoreline and no longer build; how to prepare for greater storms, flooding and wildfire; and how to have a resilient power and food supply are all issues that need to be addressed.

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