Area Towns Selected for Climate Program

The Ellsworth American
Posted 2022-12-01

GOULDSBORO — The Island Institute will be working with Gouldsboro, Swan’s Island and Cranberry Isles to oversee implementation of the state’s Community Resilience Partnership (CRP). The CRP, a program of the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future, is designed for communities who are considering energy transitions and wish to become more resilient to extreme weather, flooding and rising sea levels.

“These three communities have unique challenges, and we’re excited to assist them as they move through the community process of developing and enacting energy transitions and climate resilient strategies,” said Abby Roche, Island Institute community development officer.

Through grants and direct support to municipal governments, the CRP assists communities in becoming more resilient to extreme weather, flooding and rising sea levels— and making smart choices about future energy production. In addition to grants, enrolled communities have access to a regional coordinator through the Sunrise County Economic Council. This coordinator helps develop future project ideas and then aids in researching and applying for grants, especially federal grants.

“The town of Cranberry Isles is at an important juncture in our climate resilience journey with a solar energy project in the planning stages, and an interest in developing other related projects. We are grateful for this collaboration with the Island Institute to provide capacity to our community to make progress on these important priorities,” said Jim Fortune, administrative assistant to the Cranberry Isles Select Board.

Over the next 12 months, the Island Institute will collaborate with the select boards, municipal employees and citizen committees within the three communities to:

• Support the creation or sustainability of a citizen committee or municipal employee position to coordinate activities to reduce energy use and costs, transition to clean energy and make the community more resilient to climate change.

• Complete two self assessments to assess existing progress and identify potential next steps related to community climate resilience.

• Gather key stakeholders in selected communities to facilitate community workshops to review the self-assessment results and prioritize projects for implementation.

• Enroll the community in the statewide Community Resilience Partnership program, so that the community has access to regional climate resilience support and funding opportunities.

• Apply for a $50,000 Community Action grant through the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future.