Building resilience to climate change

Cities and towns around the world are working to understand and mitigate the effects of climate change on their infrastructure and natural resources. We conducted a risk assessment for Maine’s Casco Bay region and communicated findings of scientific monitoring.


Casco Bay Estuary Partnership


Casco Bay Estuary Partnership recognizes that there are many ways in which climate change could affect the long-term success of their work on habitat restoration, water quality, and other important issues. They engaged us to assess the most significant and likely impacts of climate change on their programs, so that they can adapt to be as effective as possible.

In addition, CBEP reports every 5 years on a set of scientific indicators of change in the Casco Bay ecosystem. For the most recent 3 reports, they have retained us for design and visual communication of the findings.


Beginning with a draft list of 79 potential climate change-related risks, we conducted an expert elicitation process to ensure that climate change-related risks to implementation of the Casco Bay Plan were fully and accurately considered, and to determine which risks should be considered as Risks of Primary Concern to be addressed in CBEP’s implementation efforts. Using a custom web-based system, we solicited input from approximately 100 individuals from academic institutions, government agencies, non-government organizations and the private sector with relevant expertise in economics, hydrology, tidal wetland ecology, fisheries, wastewater treatment, and other fields.

We compiled and analyzed the quantitative and qualitative data from the expert elicitation, and identified 25 Risks of Primary Concern that could affect CBEP’s ability to meet its programmatic goals. Collaborating with CBEP staff, we produced the Casco Bay Climate Change Vulnerability Report, which provides a roadmap for mitigating or adapting to climate change.


CBEP uses the findings of the climate change vulnerability assessment to help guide strategic planning and implementation. For example, the assessment showed that many components of CBEP’s work can be directed toward reducing the impacts of ocean acidification on marine life and fisheries in the bay.

Pretty much everything we do today is based in part on considering how climate change will affect coastal ecosystems and coastal (human) communities.

Curtis Bohlen, Director

Casco Bay Estuary Partnership


Full Report (pdf, 7MB)

Summary Report (pdf, 5MB)

Fact Sheet (pdf, 1MB)

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