Climate Change Impact Areas: Planning for a changing climate
Changes in Maryland's climate system will likely have far-reaching impacts, most notably those associated with rising sea level, increasing temperatures, and changes in precipitation patterns. Acknowledging the increasing likelihood and magnitude of these impacts and their associated risks is necessary to protect both natural and man-made environments for years to come. In order to protect local citizens from public health and safety risks and to protect public and private investments, communities should begin to plan for the impacts of climate change that our state is experiencing now and will continue to experience in the future. Communities are encouraged to designate Climate Change Impact Areas at the local level and to develop strategies to avoid or reduce impacts. Strategies can be incorporated into existing elements (i.e., land-use, transportation, water resources) of a local comprehensive plan or a community could develop a stand-alone climate change adaptation element. Policies can also be developed that address one or more specific climate-related impacts.