In the 21st century, the whole planet, and especially coastal communities such as Martha's Vineyard, will be impacted by climate change, with accelerated sea level rise, heavier rain storms and stormwater runoff, short-term drought and wildfire risk, and a myriad of habitat changes.
Climate Action Task Force
The MVC Climate Action Task Force (CATF), made up of Commissioners and staff, along with Island leaders and professionals, is working to develop an Island-wide Climate Action Plan with strategies for both reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change impacts in the coming years. The Task Force has also drafted a nonbinding article for the Annual Town Meetings this spring, with a goal of demonstrating public support for eliminating greenhouse gas emissions on the Island by 2040 and fostering biosphere carbon capture through various means.
The Task Force meets on the first and third Fridays at 9:30 a.m. at the MVC Building.
CATF Meeting Minutes:
November 15, 2019 Minutes
December 6, 2019 Minutes
January 3, 2020 Minutes
January 17, 2020 Minutes
Key Planning Documents
For each town's HMP maps, click below:
- MVP: The towns of Chilmark, West Tisbury, and Gosnold have completed their Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Summary of Findings reports. These reports summarize the outcome from the Community Resilience Building Workshops that occured in the late Spring of 2018.
How to Read Flood and Storm Maps
Flood and Storm maps may be confusing. There are storm surge maps of inundation from the dangerous surge of rising hurricane waters. There are flood maps for a nor'easter type of storm. FEMA produces the flood maps to determine rates for its federally-subsidized flood insurance policies. Towns (except Chilmark) use the maps in floodplain regulations to keep the subsidies available.
Here is a handy 2-sided guide to reading each type of map.
- Visualizing Sea-Level Rise (video): In order to illustrate the impacts of sea level rise, the MVC prepared a series of maps showing what the impact might be on the Island, and visual simulations showing what this could look like in a number of critical locations. These illustrations use an estimate of 1.5 feet by 2050 and 5.0 feet by 2100, representing a plausible sea-level rise scenario, corresponding roughly to Rahmstorf’s moderate-emissions scenario that assumes no significant decrease in the global production of greenhouse gases, along with at least 4.4” per century added to account for land subsidence.
- VCS Climate Change Resources: The Vineyard Conservation Society’s website includes links to a number of reports about climate change and Martha's Vineyard including: Emissions Scenarios and Global Climate Change, Sea Level Rise, and Human Health Impacts.
For more in-depth info and primer on Climate Change, see these other pages on our website.
looks at projections for sea-level rise on Martha's Vineyard, what the impacts could be on critical infrastructure, roads, and wetlands, and what we can do about this.
Rainfall and Stormwater:
looks at the impacts of projected increases in rainfall and the challenges this presents for stormwater management.
looks at some of the potential impacts of climate change on local habitats such as saltmarshes.