Rhode Island’s infrastructure is essential to the safety of residents and the stability of the economy. The state’s transportation, communications, water, energy, and sewage infrastructure impact everyday life. More severe flooding due to an increase in heavy rain events, sea level rise and storm surge, and the erosion of coastal and riverine areas threaten communities’ infrastructure. Furthermore, much of this infrastructure was not designed to withstand increasing pressures related to climate change. Communities must have plans that help them to bounce back quickly from disruptions, such as power outages and road closures due to strong winds and flooding. This module outlines the impacts of climate change on infrastructure and what actions communities are taking to increase the resilience of their infrastructure investments.
By the end of this module, you will be able to:
- Describe the impacts of climate change on infrastructure;
- Identify various vulnerability assessments performed for different sectors in Rhode Island; and
- Recognize how your community can use State assessments to inform local plans and actions.
Video Time: 11 minutes, 23 seconds Audio: required
Bill Patenaude is a principal engineer with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Office of Water Resources. He has overseen wastewater treatment inspection, operator training, and operator certification programs since 1988. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Rhode Island and a Master of Arts in theology from Providence College. In 2007, Patenaude developed the Wastewater Management Boot Camp program that is now in use in states across New England.
Michael DeLuca has been the community development director for the town of Narragansett since 2005. Prior to his work with Narragansett, he was the principal planner for the city of Cranston. He received his bachelor of science in resource development as well as his master of city planning in environmental planning from the University of Rhode Island. He has served as the professional development officer and the president of the Rhode Island American Planning Association. In the past, he served as both a member and a chair of the Narragansett Planning Board. Currently he is the vice chair of the Rhode Island State Technical Committee and the vice chair of the Rhode Island Scenic Roadways Board. DeLuca has also been involved in the Southern New England American Planning Association Conference and has been on the conference committee several years.