Learn about Resilience and Adaptation in New England (RAINE)
- Find out about the database
- How RAINE can be used
- Commonly asked questions about the database
Find out about the database
New England communities are taking action to adapt to the impacts of climate change in new and creative ways. This database catalogs what is happening so we can learn from these experiences, share lessons being learned, discover how to better assist municipalities, and promote collaboration. RAINE provides information about actions at the state, regional or local level. It not only includes links to web pages, reports and plans but also examples of presentations that communities use to engage their citizens, what tools they used to identify their vulnerabilities and who funded their projects.
The results from RAINE include:
- Quick maps
- Graphs of top ten topics, impacts, partners, tools and funding that are found in the database
- Lists of states, municipalities, organizations or waters that meet your search criteria, these can be downloaded into an excel spreadsheet
- Links to the products or plans
- Reports for each state, municipality, organization or water body of interest and detailed reports with information about a specific document or product
- Spotlights that highlight unique adaptation and resilience efforts
How RAINE can be used
Communities can use the RAINE database to share what they have done and learn from others. They can find examples of products and plans and read about what neighboring communities are doing to be resilient and adapt for climate change.
Planning agencies can identify where work has been conducted and where gaps may exist. The database can be used to target vulnerable areas that have yet to plan for climate change.
The database can be used to support collaboration. Communities can see how plans and products have been funded and who has partnered on different resilience and adaptation projects.
Commonly asked questions about the database
- How do you define 'community'?
The word 'community' is used to describe any group of people working on or planning for climate change adaptation. This can include municipalities, cities, towns, states, specific New England waters, regional planning commissions, and other groups.
- How do I use the search function?
- The search function allows you to filter results based on a defined set of keywords.
- Searches can be conducted by filtering by state, population size, or type of community.
- These can be further narrowed down by choosing Topics, Impacts, Programs, Partners, Funding, Programs or Plan or Spotlights.
- You do not need to choose a particular state, community, or population size to run a search.
- You can look for unique examples of climate change adaptation by choosing 'Yes' under Spotlight Community, and can further narrow these results by choosing a topic or impact of particular interest.
- To start a new search you can use the “clear all button” next to the green search bar.
- What happens if my search yields no results?
- You may have forgotten to clear the parameters from a previous search. Click the 'Clear All' button to clear all previously selected fields, and try your search again.
- You may have chosen too many parameters, and no communities fit that specific search. Try broadening your search by selecting fewer parameters.
- You may be looking for a specific type of plan and end up without finding any communities meeting your criteria, clear the search and try looking for a similar concept by search in 'topic.' For example, if you want to find a flood damage prevention ordinance you may not find it looking for that type of document, but you might find it using the topic bylaws/ordinances/codes.
- How do I search to find out if information about my community is included in the database?
Using the search feature, select your state and then town or organization or waterbody, run the search and it will produce a map and list of communities currently in the database. If that doesn’t yield results we might not have anything about your community, please contact us if you know of a plan or product we should include in the database.
- What is the source of the data for RAINE?
Products and plans for the RAINE database were originally identified through web searching and personal knowledge. These are tagged to identify relevant topics, impacts, programs, partners and funding. We will continue to add data to the database from our web searches and personal knowledge. In addition, we'll add data that New England communities send us via our Contact Us page.
- How did we identify communities entered into the database?
Communities were identified through web searching and personal knowledge. Information about their published plan(s) or product(s) on the web that include climate change resilience and adaptation was added to the database. Also, if a community is a participant in an adaptation or resilience program, but has not published any documents or webpages, it is still included in the database. For example, a town that has participated in the FEMA Community Rating System program, but does not have written plans for climate change adaptation, is included in the database.
- What is a "spotlight"?
Spotlights highlight unique, and/or innovative practices being implemented in New England to help communities be more resilient and adapt to climate change.
The spotlight reports include:
- a short description of the project
- cost information if available
- benefits and lessons learned
Spotlights include examples of specific practices as well as the use of incentives, collaborations, ordinances or bylaws, and planning and communication efforts.
- Can I print and/or save the reports generated?
- Community reports can be printed from the web page in the same way you can print from any web page – from the File → Print option in the upper left hand corner of your browser. You may save the report by selecting the entire report and pasting it into a Word document and saving that version. You may also be able to 'print' to a PDF writer to create a PDF of the report.
- All lists generated in the tool are exportable to Excel. You can do this by clicking the icon at the bottom of the list:
- How are we updating the information?
As new information is identified it is uploaded to the database. We will update the site on a quarterly basis.
- AdaptationAdaptationTaking actions to avoid, benefit from, or deal with current and future climate change. Adaptation can take place in advance (by planning before an impact occurs) or in response to changes that are already occurring
- Funding SourcesFunding SourcesIf a RAINE plan or product was funded outside of the municipality, the funding sources are captured in the database. When amounts are known these are included as well.
- ImpactsImpactsThe direct environmental effects of climate change that might be addressed in a RAINE plan or product
- Air TemperatureAir TemperatureAir temperature in RAINE refers to changes over time not extreme temperature events
- DroughtDroughtSevere decreases in precipitation or a period of unusually dry weather lasting long enough to cause serious shortages of water for ecosystems and human use (such as drinking water and agriculture) in the affected area
- EcosystemsEcosystemsWhere any portion of a natural community of plants, animals, and other living organisms and the physical environment in which they live and interact may be altered by climate change and it is in a plan or product it will be noted in the RAINE database.
- ErosionErosionWhen soils are depleted/reduced by wind or water
- Extreme HeatExtreme HeatEpisodic temperature increase (not average temperatures)
- FloodingFloodingWhen a usually dry area is covered or submerged by water
- Indoor Air QualityIndoor Air QualityRefers to how indoor air quality will be impacted by climate change.
- Ocean AcidificationOcean AcidificationIncreased concentrations of carbon dioxide in sea water causing an increase in acidity of ocean waters (i.e., a reduction in ocean pH). Decrease in pH in coastal waters can be caused by dissolved inorganic carbon, dissolved and particulate organic carbon, and nutrients from riverine and estuarine sources.
- Outdoor Air QualityOutdoor Air QualityRefers to how outdoor air quality will be impacted by climate change.
- PrecipitationPrecipitationAverage and extreme rates of rain, hail, mist, sleet, snow, or any other moisture
- Salt Water IntrusionSalt Water IntrusionAdvancement of salt water causing displacement of fresh or ground water (due to salt water’s greater density) when encroaching on freshwater boundaries
- Sea Level RiseSea Level RiseThe increase in ocean water levels at a specific location, taking into account both global sea level rise and local factors, such as local land subsidence and uplift.
- Seasonal ShiftSeasonal ShiftIncludes changes in the timing of natural events, such as flower blooms and animal migration, which is influenced by changes in climate
- Storm SurgeStorm SurgeAbnormal rise of water generated by a storm
- VectorsVectorsChanges in number, type or occurrences of organisms that transmit disease or parasite from one organism or plant to another
- Water TemperatureWater TemperatureChanges in average water temperature
- Products and Plans
- Adaptation PlanAdaptation PlanPlans that identify actions to avoid, benefit from, or deal with current and future climate change. Adaptation can take place in advance (by planning before an impact occurs) or in response to changes that are already occurring.
- Capital Improvement PlanCapital Improvement PlanThese plans identify and prioritize capital project needs and equipment; including purchases, schedules and options for financing.
- Case StudyCase StudyProvides an in-depth examination of a situation, project, report or plan.
- Climate Action PlanClimate Action PlanConsists of an assessment of greenhouse gas emissions through an inventory and provides a set of strategies intended to guide efforts for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it focuses on mitigation.
- Coastal Plan or Coastal Element in Other PlanCoastal Plan or Coastal Element in Other PlanPlans that address natural and man-made conditions that threaten the health of coastal ecosystems or communities and opportunities to address them. This includes restoring shorelines (coastal or inland) and/or protecting shorelines from the impacts of climate change.
- Continuity of Operations PlanContinuity of Operations PlanEnsures that essential functions continue to be performed during a wide range of emergencies, including acts of nature, accidents and technological or attack-related emergencies.
- Disaster Recovery PlanDisaster Recovery PlanMinimizes the disruption of mission-critical operations and ensures organizational stability and orderly recovery in the event of a disaster within a given community.
- Economic Development Plan or StrategyEconomic Development Plan or StrategyA plan of action or policy designed to address a communities business, finance or budgeting to set future direction.
- Emergency Response PlanEmergency Response PlanIdentifies the plan of action for the efficient deployment and coordination of services, agencies and personnel to provide the earliest possible response to an emergency.
- Evacuation PlanEvacuation PlanIdentifies the protocol for the movement of people away from a threat or occurrence of a hazard.
- FEMA Hazard Mitigation PlanFEMA Hazard Mitigation PlanA plan that identifies policies and actions that can be implemented to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and their property from a variety of hazards.
- Floodplain Management PlanFloodplain Management PlanOutlines the operation of a community program of corrective and preventative measures for reducing flood damage. These measures include zoning, subdivision, or building requirements and codes and special-purpose floodplain ordinances.
- Harbor Management PlanHarbor Management PlanProvides a comprehensive evaluation of municipal harbor management activities; a detailed assessment of current and/or proposed municipal harbor management programs, ordinances or regulations and delegate authority for harbor management.
- Historic PreservationHistoric PreservationA process that organizes preservation activities include, identification, evaluation, registration and treatment of historic properties.
- Land Use PlanningLand Use PlanningThe process of evaluating and categorizing different activities occurring in a particular area, the human behavior patterns they create, and their effects on the environment.
- Measurement and EvaluationMeasurement and EvaluationReports that provide an evaluation of actions, activities, or implementation of programs or plans.
- Municipal Master or Comprehensive PlanMunicipal Master or Comprehensive PlanA plan that determines community goals and aspirations for community development. A comprehensive or master plan usually covers a wide range of issues, including transportation, utilities, land use, recreation, and housing.
- Open Space PlanOpen Space PlanA plan that identifies needs and actions to develop and/or protect areas for recreation, green spaces, such as parks and playing fields, as well as areas for habitat protection and land conservation.
- PresentationsPresentationsThis includes PowerPoint slides, recorded webinars, or other types of presentations that discuss issues related to adaptation and resilience.
- Resiliency PlanResiliency PlanAddresses a community's capability to anticipate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from significant multi-hazard threats with minimum damage to social well-being, the economy, and the environment.
- Stormwater Management PlanStormwater Management PlanA plan that describes how runoff from precipitation events and related water quality issues will be managed for regulatory or non-regulatory purposes.
- Transportation PlanTransportation PlanA plan that provides strategies for the operation, provision, and management of facilities and services for any modes of transport.
- Vulnerability AssessmentVulnerability AssessmentCharacterize the degree to which a system is susceptible to, or unable to cope with adverse effects of climate change, including climate variability and extremes. Vulnerability is a function of the character, magnitude, and rate of climate variation to which a system is exposed; its sensitivity; and its adaptive capacity.
- Watershed Management PlanWatershed Management PlanA strategy and/or work plan for achieving water resource goals that provides assessment and management information for a geographically defined watershed. It includes analysis, actions and resources related to its implementation and development.
- WebpageWebpageThis includes webpages with links on adaptation and resilience resources.
- Zoning OrdinanceZoning OrdinanceRegulations and laws that define how property in specific geographic zones can be used for residential or commercial purposes, and may also regulate lot size, placement, bulk (or density) and the height of structures.
- ResilienceResilienceA capability to anticipate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from significant multi-hazard threats with minimum damage to social well-being, the economy, and the environment.
- TopicsTopicsTopics in the RAINE database are areas of focus found in plans or products that describe how the impacts of climate change will affect the community. These topics are divided into six subcategories; economic, ecosystems, government/academic planning, infrastructure, response and social.
- EconomicEconomicTopics in the RAINE database which address the financial aspects of a community's climate change adaptation or resilience practices; cost/benefit analysis, economic resilience, and ecosystem services.
- Cost/Benefit AnalysisCost/Benefit AnalysisProvides a comparison of the expected costs of implementing or not implementing various aspects of a plan versus the benefits of implementation.
- Economic ResilienceEconomic ResilienceThe potential to withstand disturbances to economic systems, including critical infrastructure (communications, drinking water, wastewater and energy), resources, businesses and services.
- Ecosystem ServicesEcosystem ServicesThe economic value of maintaining or creating natural processes or systems which provide and regulate clean air, water and soil.
- EcosystemsEcosystemsTopics in RAINE which address how climate change will impact the community's ecosystems and/or how the community plans to mitigate, become more resilient to, or adapt to these effects; agriculture/forestry, coastal protection, natural resources, riverine and soils.
- Agriculture/ForestryAgriculture/ForestryHow community or regional agricultural and/or forestry industries will be impacted or proposed strategies or plans to mitigate impacts to agriculture and/or forestry included in RAINE database.
- Coastal ProtectionCoastal ProtectionAddresses coastal ecosystem vulnerabilities to climate change, such as sea level rise affecting marsh migration, and/or how communities plan to mitigate, become more resilient to, or adapt to these vulnerabilities.
- Natural ResourcesNatural ResourcesIncludes groundwater, surface water and forests but does not include the financial consequences of losing a particular natural resource.
- RiverineRiverineIssues related to rivers such as fluvial geomorphology, erosion and riparian buffer protection.
- SoilsSoilsImpacts on the loose top layer of the Earth's surface, consisting of rock and mineral particles mixed with decayed organic matter (humus), and capable of retaining water, providing nutrients for plants, and supporting a wide range of biotic communities.
- Government/Academic Planning in RAINEGovernment/Academic Planning in RAINETopics in RAINE that are primarily concerned with measures taken or to be taken by government or academic entities; bylaws/ordinances/codes, downscale climate modeling, flood zone mapping, greenhouse gas mitigation, and land use regulation are examples.
- Bylaws/Ordinances/CodesBylaws/Ordinances/CodesLocal legislative action to promote town or regional resilience is noted in the RAINE database.
- Downscale Climate ModelingDownscale Climate ModelingUses large scale (global or regional) climate data to predict local impacts.
- Flood Zone MappingFlood Zone MappingVisualization of flooding impacts of all causes (i.e. precipitation, sea level rise), either past, present, or projected.
- Greenhouse Gas MitigationGreenhouse Gas MitigationActions a community has considered or taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Land Use RegulationsLand Use RegulationsIncludes requirements, permits, codes/regulations to uses of land, includes matters related to zoning and land acquisition.
- InfrastructureInfrastructureTopics in RAINE relating to basic physical and organizational structures and facilities needed by communities to function properly; built infrastructure, communication infrastructure, energy, stormwater/green infrastructure, drinking and wastewater infrastructure.
- Built InfrastructureBuilt InfrastructureNon-residential private and public buildings; roads and highways are captured under transportation infrastructure in the RAINE database.
- Coastal InfrastructureCoastal InfrastructureHard (seawalls, revetments) and/or soft (beach nourishment, dune restoration) engineering of or within an environment with the intent of reducing damage to a natural or human community.
- Communication InfrastructureCommunication InfrastructureThe technology and network, including the physical structures, for information transmission.
- Drinking Water InfrastructureDrinking Water InfrastructureIncludes collection and distribution systems, treatment plants and other systems that collect, treat and deliver potable water.
- Energy InfrastructureEnergy InfrastructureIncludes the natural gas and electrical power network, including generation (power) plants, electrical grid (transmission), substations and local distribution.
- Green InfrastructureGreen InfrastructureEncompasses many practices to protect, restore or mimic natural processes to reduce impact to communities from flooding or excessive heat and to improve air, soil, and water quality.
- Small Septic SystemsSmall Septic SystemsAn onsite sewage system consisting of a septic tank that collects all the sewage.
- Stormwater ManagementStormwater ManagementStormwater runoff is generated when precipitation from rain and snowmelt events flows over land or impervious surfaces and does not percolate into the ground. Communities can manage stormwater using structural and non-structural best-management practices, including green infrastructure (see separate definition).
- TransportationTransportationThe physical network and services needed for transportation, can include roads, highways, rail and air transportation.
- Wastewater InfrastructureWastewater InfrastructureThis includes the plant or network for the collection, treatment and disposal of sewage.
- ResponseResponseThis include topics in RAINE relating to how a community plans to respond to climate change impacts; dams, debris management, emergency/disaster preparedness, and mitigation.
- DamsDamsIssues regarding safety of dams and levees are entered into the RAINE database.
- Debris ManagementDebris ManagementPlans addressing disposal of materials, including vegetative, construction and demolition, hazardous or infectious, soil, mud, sand, garbage, and/or chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear-contaminated debris are noted in the RAINE database.
- Emergency/Disaster Preparedness/MitigationEmergency/Disaster Preparedness/MitigationSystems or plans to be used in case of an emergency or disaster.
- SocialSocialTopics in RAINE categorized as social represent aspects of a community that are framed in terms of how they impact society; these topics are primarily concerned with how climate change will affect the people in a given community; cultural/historical resources, environmental justice, food security, housing, outreach/communication/education, public health, and vulnerable populations.
- Cultural/Historical ResourcesCultural/Historical ResourcesCultural resources include buildings, objects, features, locations that a community values; historical resources can include documents, buildings, etc.
- Environmental JusticeEnvironmental JusticeThe fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.
- Food SecurityFood SecurityThe reliable access to sufficient affordable, nutritious food. Climate issues can include changes to food systems, such as impacts to agricultural systems and transportation.
- HousingHousingResidential housing, can also include consideration of emergency housing such as sheltering and refugee accommodations as items to note in the RAINE database.
- Outreach/Communication/EducationOutreach/Communication/EducationHow climate change related issues are communicated to the public in an effort to create a widespread understanding.
- Public HealthPublic HealthOrganized measures to prevent disease, promote health and prolong life.
- Vulnerable PopulationVulnerable PopulationGroups of people particularly impacted, may include children, people with disabilities, people who are chronically ill, the elderly, environmental justice populations or people living in an area prone to impacts such as flooding.
- EconomicEconomicTopics in the RAINE database which address the financial aspects of a community's climate change adaptation or resilience practices; cost/benefit analysis, economic resilience, and ecosystem services.