Opportunities exist to plan and prepare for the implications of climate change in Rhode Island. Adaptation and hazard mitigation planning can help communities adjust to the changes experienced today and in the future. This module provides guidance on how to incorporate climate change implications, such as flooding and sea level rise, into local planning and decision-making. Both larger-scale and smaller, site-based adaptation methods are outlined in the module.


By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Describe the process of incorporating adaptation into local planning; and
  • Identify adaptation strategies to address flooding and other climate change-related impacts in coastal communities.


Video Time: 10 minutes, 29 seconds   Audio: required

Speaker Notes| Resources

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Speaker Bios:

Pam RubinoffPam Rubinoff is a coastal resilience specialist at the Coastal Resources Center and Rhode Island Sea Grant, at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography.  Over the past two decades at URI, Rubinoff has combined her skills in engineering and coastal policy to advance an interdisciplinary coastal resilience portfolio in Rhode Island and developing nations throughout the world. In collaboration with a diverse group of partners, Rubinoff facilitates the use of climate science for effective policy, planning, and action by coastal communities, state governments, and private sector stakeholders. Current projects include municipal training, green infrastructure in coastal environments, and supporting Rhode Island preparedness efforts through physical modeling and social science research.


Chelsea SiefertChelsea Siefert is the director of planning for the town of South Kingstown, where she sets policy for development review, crafts zoning ordinance amendments, and guides municipal decision making.  Prior to being employed by South Kingstown, Siefert was a principal planner with the Rhode Island Division of Planning, where she was responsible for the development of the Comprehensive Planning Guidance Handbook series, and provided a variety of technical assistance to Rhode Island’s municipalities. Siefert received her Bachelor of Arts in politics from Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, and her Master of Community Planning from the University of Rhode Island. She is currently the treasurer of the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Planning Association.