The Challenge – and Our Opportunity
Rhode Island is experiencing climate change. Big storms like the floods of March 2010 and Superstorm Sandy and record setting summer heat waves impact our people and our communities. We can react to these changes, or we can proactively plan for the challenges ahead. The Resilient Rhode Island Act of 2014 sets Rhode Island on a new path by helping the state prepare for the changes ahead and create the foundation for a 21st century economy. We are building a resilient, thoughtful path that ensures our economy, our culture, and quality of life of Rhode Islanders is protected and even expanded for generations to come.
Resilient Rhode Island is a statewide effort led by Representative Art Handy, D-Cranston. Resilient RI benefits from his longstanding support for environmental issues. Representative Handy has introduced state legislation on climate change mitigation and other environmental topics since 2008 and has helped pass bills setting energy efficiency standards for appliances, regulating electronic waste, and keeping mercury poisoning away from drinking water.
The Resilient RI effort is also supported by Brown University. After students urged Brown to divest from coal in 2012 and 2013, Brown’s president Christina Paxson offered to support and fund other ways to address climate change, in keeping with the University’s tradition of sustainability.
The Resilient RI team comes from diverse backgrounds and includes students, professors, legislators and policy experts. But more importantly, this team includes you. The Resilient RI effort has been anchored in the concerns of Rhode Island residents and communities from its very beginning, with listening sessions and calls for input from community leaders. We welcome your voice in putting Rhode Island at the forefront of resiliency to climate change.
A number of business leaders, non-profits, and government officials have endorsed the Resilient Rhode Island Act including Mayor Taveras and Treasurer Raimondo have endorsed the Resilient Rhode Island Act. See the list here.
Brown University. Brown University is providing consulting services to draft legislation addressing climate adaptation, resilience and mitigation and to develop a campaign to foster public discussion and build support for adaptation strategies. Student interns are supporting this effort.
The following organizations have provided invaluable input to this project:
- RI Homeless Advocacy Project
- Rhode Island Interfaith Power and Light
- RI Nursery and Landscape Association
- RI Sea Grant
- Save the Bay
- Sierra Club – Rhode Island Chapter
- The Nature Conservancy
- University of Rhode Island Coastal Institute
- University of Rhode Island Coastal Resources Center