Downtown Mystic’s Resilience Workshop is on Tuesday

Oct. 29 – GROTON – As the city seeks answers on how to better protect downtown Mystic from the effects of rising sea levels and climate change, people can share their own experiences and learn more about a resilience and sustainability plan being developed.

“Mystic has always had a lot of flooding due to its position on the coast, and it’s recognized that flooding is getting worse and there are other climate change issues, like heat, which we also want better. understand,” said Megan Granato, sustainability and resiliency manager for the City of Groton.

The first of three scheduled public workshops will be held Tuesday from 5 to 6:30 p.m., at Union Baptist Church’s Fellowship Hall, located at 119 High St. in Mystic.

“This will be our first public meeting, and we will speak with attendees about their experiences with flooding and other climate change impacts in downtown Mystic,” Granato said. “These comments will help inform the project team of vulnerable locations and infrastructure that the plan will need to address. During the meeting, we will also provide an overview of the project and its next steps.”

The city hopes to complete the project in the fall of 2023, Granato said.

The city received a $90,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Long Island Sound Futures Fund for the project, with the city pledging $60,000 in matching funds, including about $55,000 in staff time and $5,000 in cash, Jon Reiner, director of planning and development services for the city, said in January.

The grant application identified downtown Mystic, where officials have been asked to plan for a projected sea level rise of 20 inches by 2050, as one of the city’s most vulnerable areas, because it is low and densely populated and has many “historic houses”. , businesses and infrastructure,” which were mostly built before the Federal Emergency Management Agency flood zones and National Flood Insurance Program regulations.

Granato said public engagement is key to the success of the plan, and people can participate through public workshops and the city’s community engagement platform,

GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc., the project consultant, will travel to the field to conduct assessments, including buildings, utility lines, and other critical infrastructure, which will be compiled into a vulnerability assessment.

“Once this vulnerability assessment is complete, we will look at opportunities to improve community resilience in our study area,” Granato said.

As the city’s sustainability and resilience manager, Granato will not only oversee the plan, but help the city prepare for and respond to the impacts of climate change. She said she will also look for ways for the city to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Starting next year, the city will develop a climate action plan.

“Megan brings a wealth of experience to this position,” said Groton Town manager John Burt. “She has started and is already active in seeking funding opportunities and providing valuable insight as we develop future plans. We are very lucky to have her, and I am confident she will a very positive difference in our efforts to combat climate change and sea level rise.”

Granato started the new town post in August. She has a background in natural resource management and recently worked for the State of Maryland on Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts, including climate adaptation.

“I am originally from Connecticut and am excited to return to my home state to work on these important issues of resilience and sustainability,” she said.

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