With creation of commission, Stonington begins planning for climate change

Stonington - The Board of Selectmen has agreed to form a commission that will create a long-term plan to address climate change and its potential effects on the town.

The board agreed to form the commission Wednesday after receiving a letter requesting it to do so from the Avalonia Land Conservancy.

The town will now seek members to serve on the commission.

The land conservancy said it feels strongly that the town should become engaged with long-term planning to deal with climate change by assessing the impact on the town and then developing a long-range plan as other shoreline towns, such as Groton and Old Saybrook, are doing.

"While there is no entirely accurate forecast of how soon the town will be impacted by sea level rise, one thing is certain - Stonington will be impacted," the land conservancy states in its letter. "Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and Nature Conservancy forecast maps show that much of the coastal area will be impacted. Two fire departments, two water pollution treatment plants, much of the area west of Route 27 including Mystic Seaport will be the first to be impacted. Many roads will be impassable and residents will be isolated for long periods of time. Strengthening building codes to prevent damage from wind should also be addressed."

The land conservancy said there are many resources and grants to help the town in the planning effort.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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