Towards a Resilient Rhode Island:

Responding to climate change with leadership, innovation, and economic development

Local Stories

Climate change is complicated, technical and sometimes very abstract. But the impacts of storms and flooding are very real to people who live on the coast or in the flood plain when big storms hits. In this section, we have collected stories of real people whose lives have been affected by large storms over the past couple of years. Some are Rhode Islanders. Some live far away in New Jersey. But each story is real and told from the heart.

This section also includes the supporting stories to help people understand the programs and policies in place to help Rhode Island with climate adaptation and resilience.

The new inlet created by Sandy at Mantoloking Bridge.

The new inlet created by Sandy at Mantoloking Bridge.

Seaside Boardwalk in Seaside Heights, NJ.

The remains of the Seaside Boardwalk in Seaside Heights, NJ.

U.S. Air Force photographs by Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen

Sandy Impact

Jim and Maryanna Nameth, Bricktown, NJ

Jim and Maryanna Nameth live in what they like to call a small “river cottage” right on the Metedeconck River in Bricktown, NJ. The Metedeconck River feeds water directly into Barnegat Bay. Their house faces south/east, directly toward the Mantoloking Bridge. This bridge became infamous during Sandy because this was where the storm formed a new inlet from the ocean into the bay. Here is their story… Read More

Hurricane Sandy Story

Joanne Megill, Manahawkin, NJ

A summer home is a home where many families hope to experience the most pleasurable and carefree moments of their lives. That’s how Joanne Megill felt about owning a summer home before hurricane Sandy. Her husband, Ray, and their 3 children, along with all of their family and friends have had the best of times at their little 1,300 square foot home. It was situated on the beautiful lagoons of Manahawkin, NJ. According to Joanne, on Fridays, after a long day at work, her family would start their migration down to the Jersey shore. It was their favorite place to be, “You can imagine what it was like for us to see the condition of our home after hurricane Sandy passed. We were one of the first families allowed back in to see the devastation.” Read More

Climate Change Effects and Hurricane Sandy Story

by James Bruckshaw

Human beings are unique creatures. We possess the basic ability to adapt to any situation that comes our way, yet at the same time, we inherently fear any change that the situation might do to our world. We grow comfortable in the routines that drive our lives like the morning cup of coffee at precisely 7 a.m., the same parking space we pull into every day at work, or the predictable change of seasons. We even sit in the same general location every time we go to a movie theater. These routines give us comfort and a sense of security. When these routines are interrupted, life still goes on, but we eventually have face the change and settle into new routines. Change is not something we always welcome, especially when that change has an impact on our very core values and things we cherish the most. Read More

The Supporting Story: Energy Efficiency in RI

by Alison Kirsch

Electricity usage accounted for 20% of Rhode Island’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2010. One way to lower these emissions is to shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, which have a lower carbon footprint. Yet, the easiest way to reduce the state’s energy carbon footprint is simply to use less energy – meaning fewer greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere. Read More