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Testimony in support of LD 1970, with amendment

February 24, 2022

Re: Friends of Casco Bay testimony in support of LD 1970, An Act To Implement Agency Recommendations Relating to Sea Level Rise and Climate Resilience Provided Pursuant to Resolve 2021, Chapter 67 with Blume amendment

Dear Senator Brenner, Representative Tucker and Distinguished Members of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee,

Friends of Casco Bay submits the following testimony in support of LD 1970, An Act To Implement Agency Recommendations Relating to Sea Level Rise and Climate Resilience Provided Pursuant to Resolve 2021, Chapter 67. We further support the amendment introduced by Representative Blume that clarifies that a “local climate action plan,” should: (1) include an evaluation of options for building resilience to natural hazards; and (2) be based on a vulnerability assessment that analyzes risks to protected natural resources, as that term is defined under the Natural Resource Protection Act.

For over 30 years, Friends of Casco Bay has worked to improve and protect the environmental health of Casco Bay. We monitor water quality and use data to inform how we act to keep the Bay healthy. Our data show that climate change poses the greatest threat to maintaining healthy marine and coastal ecosystems.

Because of our expertise, we serve on the Coastal and Marine Working Group of the Maine Climate Council, and strongly supported the Sea Level Rise (SLR) Resolve passed last session. The SLR Resolve tasked state agencies with identifying where to incorporate uniform SLR projections and make other changes to our coastal land use laws and regulations to foster climate resilience. LD 1970 implements the agency recommendations. The bill will be strengthened by incorporating the modifications proposed by the amendment.

First, the amendment expands the elements of a municipal climate action plan to include an evaluation of options to build resilience to natural hazards. Building resilience is at the heart of climate action planning. This sensible edit clarifies that intent.

Second, the amendment clarifies that municipal growth management program elements should include building resilience to natural hazards and the potential effects of risks on protected natural resources. We support planning that considers impacts both to valuable infrastructure and valuable natural resources.

Friends of Casco Bay respectfully requests that the Committee vote that LD 1970 as amended Ought to Pass.

Respectfully submitted,

Ivy L. Frignoca, Casco Baykeeper

Friends of Casco Bay