GPCOG is committed to helping communities prepare for the effects of climate change. We provide our municipalities with services and resources to help reduce emissions and build resilience. Our priorities include:
1) Building partnerships with public and private transportation stakeholders to advance the use of alternative fuels through Maine Clean Communities.
2) Supporting longer-term climate action planning and implementation of actions through our Municipal Climate Action Planning Program.
3) Convening regional discussions to share knowledge and experiences.
Maine Clean Communities
The Maine Clean Communities (MC2) Coalition is a locally based government/industry partnership, coordinated by the U.S. Department of Energy and administered by the Greater Portland Council of Governments (GPCOG). Our mission is to expand the use of alternative fuels, advance affordable domestically-produced transportation fuels, and promote energy-efficient vehicle technologies. MC2 is comprised of fleet managers, business owners, state and local officials, clean fuel providers, and the public interested in promoting the use of clean fuels, clean fuel vehicles and reducing petroleum consumption.
Learn more about Maine Clean Communities here.
Municipal Climate Action Planning
GPCOG is launching a municipal climate action planning program to support development of local plans that align with state and regional climate goals. GPCOG will provide technical assistance, support community engagement, source and analyze data on emissions and vulnerability, and guide towns in detailing climate action strategies. Additionally, we will convene expertise, facilitate collaboration, and ease coordination regionally and with the state. Collaboration and coordination at a regional level will lighten the load of long-term planning for climate change. Participating in the regional program for climate action planning will provide the following benefits:
Contact us for more information about participating in our Municipal Climate Action Planning Program.
Review GPCOG's climate action planning process here.
Learn more about climate hazards impacting Maine here.
Climate Ready Casco Bay
Eleven Casco Bay coastal communities will be working together to prepare for the environmental, social and economic impacts of flooding caused by the climate crisis. The two-year project aims to engage people whose livelihoods are affected by coastal flooding and help community volunteers, municipal staff, elected officials and community leaders plan for nature-based solutions to flooding.
Natural solutions harness the power of nature to act as an effective defense system against flooding. Examples in Maine are salt-marsh restoration, rain gardens, parks and open spaces, beach dune restoration and shoreline protection using natural materials. Natural solutions can be more sustainable and less expensive than hard infrastructure, such as sea walls. Participants will learn about data collection and analysis, research, and best practices so they can develop projects that are ready to be designed.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has awarded GPCOG $250,000, and GPCOG has raised an additional $250,000 in matching funds from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI), foundation grants and in-kind donations from municipalities.
The municipalities involved in the project include Brunswick, Freeport, Yarmouth, Cumberland, Falmouth, Portland, South Portland, Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough, Chebeague Island and Long Island.
GPCOG was awarded a grant by the Governor’s Office of Policy and Innovation and the Future, and the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to build capacity to address climate impacts. Bridgton and Windham are participating in the pilot project to develop improved local climate resilience planning. In total, eight Maine communities have been selected to participate in this pilot program which will inform the structure of a municipal technical assistance program for climate action that GOPIF is creating. GPCOG will facilitate a series of workshops providing training on climate hazards and impacts inland towns may face, approaches for assessing vulnerability to these hazards, and actions that can improve resilience. The towns will have an opportunity to identify priority next steps that will receive additional funding from the state.
Intertidal Data Portal
GPCOG is partnering with the Casco Bay Shellfish Working Group and Casco Bay Estuary Partnership to develop a community intertidal data portal. The interactive online data portal will include map viewers with environmental, social, and physical data on Casco Bay’s intertidal zone to better understand changes in the intertidal ecosystems. This will help inform municipal coastal planning and climate adaptation, with a focus on the intertidal ecosystem and shellfish conservation. Spatial Alternatives is the GIS consultant for the project.
Outreach and Engagement
Regional Sustainability Series
Meeting the Region's Climate Challenge: Issue 3 - Climate Hazards Come to Maine
Meeting the Region's Climate Challenge: Issue 2 - Deep Dive into Municipal Climate Action Planning
Meeting the Region's Climate Challenge: Issue 1 - State and Regional Climate Action Plans
Sign up for our Regional Sustainability Series here.
GPCOG facilitates a monthly meeting with municipal staff, elected or volunteers working on sustainability efforts in the region. We discuss topics where a regional approach fits, such as building codes and waste management, and also identify projects that municipalities may need support on.