September 2021 Program Newsletter
As summer draws to a close and we usher in the cooler, crisp days of autumn, the transition of seasons in Maine traditionally signals a slowing down of pace. No such slowdown is to be found in the realm of climate change planning efforts!

This edition of our newsletter is packed with updates on a flurry of regional and state climate, sustainability, and resilience activity. Our Regional Program released guidance on sustainable road design and municipal EV readiness, is organizing a municipal climate action workshop, and is planning a training event for the regional coastal resilience planning project. At the state level, substantial funding for climate resilience has been announced and Governor Mills declared September 20-24 Clean Energy Week in Maine.

Read on to learn more!
New tools for municipalities
SMPDC has developed two new tools for municipalities to advance sustainability.
Sustainable Road Design Standards Ordinance
SMPDC and its partners at MaineDOT have drafted a Model Road Design Standards ordinance for Maine municipalities. The ordinance incorporates Low Impact Development and sustainable design standards to improve stormwater management and to promote other sustainability priorities.

The model standards may be adapted and adopted as part of a Zoning Ordinance, Subdivision Ordinance, or as a standalone ordinance. The accompanying guide provides an overview of the ordinance sections.

The Model Road Design Standards ordinance and guide are available on the SMPDC Sustainable Transportation webpage. For more information, please contact Eric Sanderson, SMPDC’s Transportation and Land Use Planner at [email protected].
Municipal EV Readiness Toolkit
To help Maine municipalities support the expansion of electric vehicles, SMPDC partnered with the Greater Portland Council of Governments to create the Municipal EV Readiness Toolkit.

Transportation is responsible for 54% of Maine's greenhouse gas emissions. To drastically reduce these emissions, the state has set a goal of putting 41,000 light-duty Electric vehicles on the road by 2025 and 219,000 EVs by 2030.

Our toolkit provides technical guidance on encouraging EV adoption, transitioning the municipal fleet to EVs, and the development of EV infrastructure. View the toolkit at the new Maine Clean Communities website, including our EV Zoning and Ordinance Guide, Model EV Infrastructure ordinance, and EV Permitting and Inspection guide.
Climate Action Deep-Dive
Tuesday, October 12th from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Is your municipality taking action on climate change? This virtual event will be open to municipal staff, board members, and committee members. Whether your municipality is just getting started, is actively engaged in climate action planning, or is implementing an established plan, this workshop is for you!
Regional Coastal Resilience Planning Project -
Kickoff Meeting and Upcoming Workshop
'Climate Ready Coast - Southern Maine' Project Underway with Upcoming Workshop for Municipalities
Wednesday, October 27th from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Maine's first regional coastal resilience plan for Southern Maine is underway! This two-year regional project led by SMPDC includes the state’s 10 southernmost communities, from Kittery to Scarborough. A kickoff meeting of project advisors was held on September 10th, during which regional partners shared valuable input that is helping to shape project tasks and objectives.

A project Working Group, comprised of municipal staff and committee members, land trusts, regional conservation groups, and state and federal resource managers, is in the process of being formed. The Working Group will serve as the guiding entity for the project, overseeing identification of priorities and projects to enhance the region's resilience. A series of 4 workshops will be held with the Working Group over the 2-year project, with the first workshop scheduled for October 27th, from 10 am to 12 pm.

Working Group members and other regional stakeholders are invited to participate in the first workshop to learn about the project, as well as resources from Maine and NOAA’s Digital Coast program that can support coastal resilience planning. Working Group members will have the opportunity to share input on the project tasks, including the upcoming regional vulnerability assessment and stakeholder engagement efforts. For more information, please contact Abbie Sherwin at [email protected].
Food Waste Solutions for Maine
Beyond the Bin: Maine's Big Six Solutions for Reducing Food Waste
To learn more about Susanne, the Mitchell Center, and all the impactful work they have done in the past and will continue to do for Maine, click here or contact Susanne Lee at [email protected]
SMPDC partnered with food waste expert, Susanne Lee, to connect Southern Maine communities with the resources they need to tackle the challenges of food waste. An overwhelming amount of food is being sent to landfills, placing a burden on municipalities and the climate.

Our webinar, Beyond the Bin, focused on the big six solutions that make the greatest impact in reducing the burdens of food waste in our communities.

Through innovative solutions, education, outreach, and building partnerships with local food organizations, SMPDC wants to help your community begin the conversation about food waste.

Many towns have already begun exploring food waste solutions such as residential and commercial composting programs and found incredible success. If you're interested in what your community can do about food waste, please contact Jonathan Gagne at [email protected].

MCC Community Resilience Working Group Update
The Community Resilience, Public Health, and Emergency Management Working Group held its quarterly meeting on September 16th to discuss progress on implementation of strategies outlined in the 4-year State Climate Action Plan. Highlights of the meeting discussion include:

  • A new ME CDC grant project focused on extreme temperature response, communication, and resilience

  • Over $5 million in state-wide funding currently available for hazard mitigation projects, with additional competitive federal funds available.

  • Development of a clean transportation roadmap for the state

  • $28 million in ARPA funds for adaptation and resilient local infrastructure and municipal and public EV charging

  • $4.75 million from the biennial budget for local and regional climate change planning grants
Town Updates
Sustainability in September
Kittery partners with a local composting company “Mr. Fox Composting” to launch a new, free food waste recycling program. "Kittery residents can now bring food scraps, compostable plastics, and other kitchen waste to the compost collection bin at the Kittery Resource Recovery Facility."

The Kittery Town Council has just approved $65,000 be allocated to the production of a Climate Action Plan. The Climate Action Plan will help Kittery determine and plan for the impacts of climate change on the built environment, natural resources, and members of the community.

Kennebunk and Kennebunkport will be working with an interagency team of state, regional, and federal partners, led by the US Army Corps of Engineers to complete a flood mitigation assessment of buildings and infrastructure in the Dock Square and Lower Village areas.

York is continuing work on its Comprehensive Plan Update and Climate Action Plan. Join the discussion at the upcoming Virtual CAP Event October 7.

Wells unveils a new EV charging station at the public library and hosts an interactive EV car show. The adoption of an EV-friendly community will help meet the needs of the summertime tourism population as many have already begun the transition over to EV vehicles.
Funding Opportunities

  • FEMA Flood Mitigation Assistance to reduce risk of repetitive flood damage to buildings and structures insured under the National Flood Insurance Program - Letter of Intent due to MEMA Sept. 29th / Application due to MEMA Dec. 1st.

  • EJ4Climate: Environmental Justice and Climate Resilience program for projects and cooperative agreements that foster climate resilience by improving the capacity of communities to prepare for, withstand, respond to, and recover from hazardous events or disturbances related to climate change. Proposals are due by November 14, 2021.
Trainings and Resources
The Maine Climate Change Adaptation Providers Network (CCAP) just launched its new website, containing a compilation of resources, case studies, best practices, and other helpful info to assist Maine communities build climate resilience.

Curious how flood insurance premiums in your community will change with FEMA's new rating system? Check out this interactive mapping tool developed by the Association of State Floodplain Managers, in partnership with the Pew Charitable Trusts, to explore the number of policies in your community and how rates are expected to increase, decrease, or remain the same under the new rating system.
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