community adaptation working group Photo: Avery Dorland


The mission of the Community Climate Adaptation (CCA) workgroup is to support communities in the process of adapting to climate change.  The process communities will follow entails identifying vulnerabilities and level of risk and the specific adaptation actions and strategies to address risk and using community operations and decision-making protocols to incorporate and implement community specific adaptation actions and strategies.The mission includes the workgroup identifying the ways and the means as an ongoing effort, to increase community resiliency throughout Wisconsin.  The workgroup will strive to understand and work with federal, state and local planning, budgeting and implementation or operational processes to determine how adaptation can fit in.  The barriers that exist for communities in different regions of Wisconsin will also be identified. The workgroup will work closely with other WICCI workgroups to gather relevant community information.  The workgroup will ensure delivery of community adaptation information through collaborative efforts with the WICCI Outreach Workgroup.

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Goals and Objectives

The goals for the workgroup are:

      1. Find out what community decision makers know and are doing related to climate change and climate change adaptation.
      2. Identify gaps in a representative sample of community plans where climate impacts and adaptation have not been considered and could be incorporated.
      3. Ensure that local government officials have the most recent information about climate science including historic and anticipated local changes.
      a) Communities understand: Potential climate impacts for Wisconsin and their region,ii. Community specific vulnerabilities and risk,iii. How to address risk through operational or long term adaptation strategies, iv. The benefits of using green infrastructure and other proven practices in the watershed and in developed areas to prevent, reduce, and better manage changes and impacts to natural resources.
      4. Communities determine how to incorporate adaptation into their daily operational and long-term decision-making processes and budgeting such that near- and long-term impacts and risks are addressed.

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    The Workgroup will develop a workplan that identifies tasks, a schedule, and assignments to meet the goals of the Charter and will include the following as primary focus areas:

        1. Design and conduct a survey of community decision makers to measure community knowledge and willingness to engage in the work of climate adaptation. A survey may be given to a pilot group or at a state-wide level.
        2. Engage willing and interested community officials in an effort to complete a gap analysis on a representative group of community plan(s) and related planning and decision-making processes.  Determine if communities include climate based decisions in their plans, decision-making processes, zoning, ordinances, and easements. Identify where opportunities exist.
      1. Identify technical (state and University, consultants, etc) and financial resources (grants, capital budgeting, etc.), and other resource needs, to support communities in adaptation planning, design, and implementation.

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      • Sally Kefer – DNR – Science Services- co-chair

      • Roxanne Gray –Military Affairs – Emergency Management

      • Gary Heinrichs – DNR - Flood Mgt.

      • Jim La Gro – UW – URPL and on Science Council

      • Lynn Markham – UWSP – Center for Land Use Education

      • Peter McMullen – DNR, SER - member Milwaukee Working Group

      • Pat Robinson – UWGB – Extension

      • Kasandra Walbrun – DOT – Policy, Budget and Finance

      • Laura Wyatt – DNR - Forestry

      • Community Officials (Planner, Economic Development Coordinator) TBD

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      You may e-mail Jim LaGro for any questions or comments related to how climate change will affect Wisconsin's communities