New London Landmarks to host flood mitigation forum

New London Landmarks next week is hosting a free presentation called “Rising Seas: Flood Mitigation for Downtown New London.”

The discussion takes place starting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, at Mitchell College's Red Barn.

Peter Miniutti, director of the University of Connecticut’s Community Research and Design Collaborative, and James O’Donnell, executive director of the Connecticut Institute for Climate Resilience and Adaptation, will discuss how rising sea levels will threaten Connecticut’s coastal cities in coming decades and present options for making downtown New London more resilient.

“This presentation is the result of a year-long collaboration between CRDC, CIRCA and the City of New London,” said Laura Natusch, executive director of New London Landmarks. “We’re fortunate that CRDC chose to focus on New London for this project. One way or another, rising sea levels are going to change our downtown. We can either wait for that change to happen, with potentially devastating consequences, or we can enact plans which will not only help prevent flood damage but can also make downtown more attractive to pedestrians and developers even before sea levels appreciably rise.”

According to Miniutti, “New London has a long history of devastating storm damage, with the hurricane of 1938 being the worst. Yet, because the city is built upon a hill, the majority of the storm damage only effects the eastern fringe of the city. Within the fringe lays Bank Street, the iconic mixed-use downtown of the city. Given these characteristics, we believe we can design and implement an innovative, cost-effective solution to protect New London’s fringe from storm damage.”

"Miniutti and CIRCA have been great partners on this important initiative,” New London Mayor Michael Passero said. “This effort is helping our city design and fund the infrastructure we will need in the years ahead to preserve the historic business district along our waterfront. We appreciate their hard work and continued commitment to bringing this project to fruition. We thank UConn for their assistance in helping New London plan for the future.”

The event is sponsored by Chelsea Groton Bank and Fiddleheads Natural Foods Cooperative.

Parking is available at the Red Barn at 629-A Montauk Ave. No pre-registration is required. For more information, email director@newlondonlandmarks.org or call (860) 442-0003.

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