In the 21st century, the whole planet, and especially coastal communities such as Martha's Vineyard, will be impacted by climate change, with accelerated sea-level rise, heavier rain storms and stormwater runoff, short-term drought and wildfire risk, and a myriad of habitat changes. The MVC recognizes that responding to these changes will require bold action in the coming years. As a starting point for a more focused repsonse to climate change, the MVC adopted a Climate Crisis Resolution in December 2019, agreeing to further consider climate impacts in its decision-making process, and to draft both mitigation and adaptation master plans for the Island.
Climate Action Task Force
The MVC Climate Action Task Force (CATF), made up of Commissioners and staff, along with Island leaders and professionals, is working to develop an Island-wide Climate Resilience Plan with strategies for adapting to climate change impacts in the coming years. The Task Force is also working to develop a master plan for energy, with a goal of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions on the Island by 2040.
The Task Force meets on the first and third Fridays at 9:30 a.m. on Zoom.
Adaptation Context Booklets (2020)
CATF Energy Working Papers (2020)
Buildings and HVAC
CATF Meeting Minutes
November 15, 2019 Minutes
December 6, 2019 Minutes
January 3, 2020 Minutes
January 17, 2020 Minutes
February 2, 2020 Minutes
March 6, 2020 Minutes
April 17, 2020 Minutes
May 15, 2020 Minutes
June 19, 2020 Minutes
July 3, 2020 Minutes
July 17, 2020 Minutes
August 3, 2020 Minutes
August 7, 2020 Minutes
September 4, 2020 Minutes
September 18, 2020 Minutes (Eversource responses to CATF questions available here.)
October 2, 2020 Minutes
October 16, 2020 Minutes
November 6, 2020 Minutes
MVC Climate Resilience Committee listening sessions
Conservation commission agents and commissioners (Feb. 20, 2020)
Harbormasters (March 4, 2020)
Planning board administrators and members I (April 30, 2020)
Building inspectors (May 27, 2020)
Planning board administrators and members II (June 24, 2020)
Realtors (preliminary) (September 2, 2020)
CRC meeting with All-Island Planning Board (September 2, 2020)
Town climate committees (September 9, 2020)
Emergency managers (September 15, 2020)
Town Administrators (September 16, 2020)
National Flood Insurance Program Coordinator, Joy Duperault (November 17, 2020)
Key Planning Documents
The 2015 update remains the offcial approved HMP plan for the 7 Dukes County towns. The draft update for 2020 has been submitted to MEMA for review and appears here. For comments or questions, please consult Adam Turner (firstname.lastname@example.org). Here is the May 4, 2020 draft update.
For each town's HMP maps, click below:
How to Read Flood and Storm Maps
Flood and Storm maps may be confusing. There are storm surge maps of inundation from the dangerous surge of rising hurricane waters. There are flood maps for a nor'easter type of storm. FEMA produces the flood maps to determine rates for its federally-subsidized flood insurance policies. Towns (except Chilmark) use the maps in floodplain regulations to keep the subsidies available.
Here is a handy 2-sided guide to reading each type of map.
- Visualizing Sea-Level Rise (video): In order to illustrate the impacts of sea level rise, the MVC prepared a series of maps showing what the impact might be on the Island, and visual simulations showing what this could look like in a number of critical locations. These illustrations use an estimate of 1.5 feet by 2050 and 5.0 feet by 2100, representing a plausible sea-level rise scenario, corresponding roughly to Rahmstorf’s moderate-emissions scenario that assumes no significant decrease in the global production of greenhouse gases, along with at least 4.4” per century added to account for land subsidence.
- VCS Climate Change Resources: The Vineyard Conservation Society’s website includes links to a number of reports about climate change and Martha's Vineyard including: Emissions Scenarios and Global Climate Change, Sea Level Rise, and Human Health Impacts.
For more in-depth info and primer on Climate Change, see these other pages on our website.
looks at projections for sea-level rise on Martha's Vineyard, what the impacts could be on critical infrastructure, roads, and wetlands, and what we can do about this.
Rainfall and Stormwater:
looks at the impacts of projected increases in rainfall and the challenges this presents for stormwater management.
looks at some of the potential impacts of climate change on local habitats such as saltmarshes.