Climate change is having significant effects on the natural and built environment, as well as social and economic systems. Some effects will be adverse to the landscape, water resources, infrastructure, public health and safety, and natural communities. Other climate change effects may be beneficial, such as extended seasons for certain agricultural crops or for tourism. Proactive and adaptive planning can help reduce the negative impacts, facilitate community improvement, and avoid costs for development and infrastructure that may not be useable in the future.  

Community plans that address existing  hazards and climate stressors, such as increased frequency and extent of extreme rainfall, sea level rise, or changes in water levels, should be coordinated with capital development programs and other planning initiatives (such as a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan). This coordination can reduce impacts, maximize efficiency, and spread out adaptation costs over the course of time. Resilience plans can be supported by participation in federal and State programs that provide basic standards to manage flooding and erosion hazards, such as the National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System. 

The Department of State (DOS) provides grant funding to communities within the State’s coastal boundary or on a designated inland waterway to facilitate climate resilience planning and implementation. Funding is available on a cost-shared basis for planning and implementation projects through the New York State Environmental Protection Fund grant program under the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program category administered by DOS.   

The Department uses its technical expertise to inform decision-making at the federal, State and local levels. Through federal consistency, DOS has a significant role in federal permits, and State policies are used to inform federal project development. The Department works in tandem with other State agencies to develop guidance on resiliency best practices, such as the use of natural and nature-based features. In addition to funding, DOS provides technical assistance to communities throughout the State, focusing on understanding risks and identifying strategies for improving community resilience in the face of a changing climate.  

Community Plan Example

Albany Climate Action Plan 

The City of Albany created a Climate Action Plan which sets goals for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and outlines strategies for achieving these goals. The plan was partially funded through an LWRP Environmental Protection Fund Grant.

Resilience Planning

Local Waterfront Revitalization 

New York’s primary program for working in partnership with waterfront communities.   

Local Hazard Mitigation Planning in New York State 

NYS Homeland Security & Emergency Services hazard mitigation planning overview & resources.  

Preparing for Climate Change: A Guidebook 

Guide for local, regional & state governments to prepare for climate change. (ICLEI) 

Resilience Implementation and Strategic Enhancements (RISE) Local Assessment Tool 

Assessment tool to help communities identify gaps & opportunities in plans & policies. 

New York Rising Community Reconstruction Plans 

Recovery & resiliency plans by communities damaged by Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene & Tropical Storm Lee.