The unofficial start of summer provides a sunny and warm reminder of how much we value our coastal location and all it has to offer. It also serves as a reminder of how much is at risk from our ever-changing environment and coastal conditions.
Past decisions about where to locate development, along with accelerating coastal and climate threats, mean that communities will be increasingly pressed to take action. The Cape Cod Commission and its federal, state and local partners are working to provide detailed information to support towns in making important decisions on how best to respond.
The Commission is pleased to announce the launch of the Cape Cod Coastal Planner (www.capecodcoast.org). This decision-support tool developed by the Commission is the result of several years of work through the Resilient Cape Cod Project, funded through a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Regional Coastal Resilience Grant.
The Coastal Planner is a communication and decision-support tool that incorporates data on climate change hazards, available adaptation strategies, and implications for local infrastructure and ecosystems.
The Commission is also helping communities plan for such changes through the state’s Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program. The Commonwealth announced the MVP program in 2017 as part of its efforts to address climate change across Massachusetts. The Commission is assisting five communities with their MVP planning process. Once certified, MVP communities qualify for grants and other opportunities to put the plan into action.
As a region defined by its coastline, climate change is an ongoing threat to Cape Cod. Erosion, sea level rise, and increased storm intensity are all impacts with significant implications for our region. There is work to do to ensure good decisions are made for existing resources and infrastructure, and even more to build resilience for the future of our region.