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Sustainability & Resilience

Sustainability is the ability to meet the needs of people and their communities (both the built and natural environment) over the long term. Resilience is the capacity to adjust to change and withstand challenges over time. Taken together, they are about managing and protecting natural resources, ecosystems, climate and atmosphere so that current and future generations will maintain the high quality of life in the Midcoast. 

MCOG helps communities accelerate their individual and collective sustainability and resilience goals, in support of Maine’s Climate Action Plan. Here’s how:


Programs & Projects

For more information on Sustainability and Community Resilience, contact Meg Rasmussen

Climate Action Planning

Climate action planning brings numerous benefits to communities, enabling them to address the challenges of climate change while improving their economic, environmental, and social well-being. Strong community support is important, so the best plans are developed through a process involving a broad range of participants such as elected officials, businesses, non-profit organizations, and community groups. Ultimately, the climate action plan provides a roadmap for implementing effective actions and monitoring progress in achieving a community’s goals climate adaptation and mitigation goals.

What’s Involved?

Climate action planning involves the following series of steps*:

  • Prepare for the planning process and gather data.

  • Conduct a vulnerability assessment, calculate greenhouse gas emissions, and set priorities.

  • Engage the public and identify actions and develop the plan.

  • Implement the plan and track progress.

MCOG assists communities in developing climate action plans and securing funding in support of Maine Won’t Wait, Maine’s Climate Action Plan.


*Developed by the Greater Portland Council of Governments

Vulnerability Assessments

Vulnerability assessments help communities identify and understand their vulnerabilities and risks associated with climate change. They enable municipalities to evaluate their capacity to withstand and recover from climate-related challenges and enhance their long-term sustainability. Assessments also help integrate climate considerations into land use decisions and inform comprehensive plans and zoning regulations.

Community Resilience Partnership

The Community Resilience Partnership provides direction and grants in support of municipal, Tribal Government and regional climate projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make communities more resilient to the impacts of climate change. Once enrolled, communities can apply for between $5,000 and $50,000 (collaborative proposals up to $125,000) to help pay for a wide range of activities prioritized by their residents.

As a Community Resilience Partnership Service Provider, MCOG can help enroll your community in the program and then assist with applying for grant funding for your priorities.


  • Grants can be used for short-term cost-saving measures as well as for longer-term planning.

  • Proactive planning is less costly than reacting in a crisis.

  • Many Maine communities lack the resources to take climate action on their own. The Partnership promotes collaboration and capacity building to support small and large communities alike.

  • There is no cost to your community to enroll.

Find out more on the Community Resilience Partnership here.

Rising Tides - Safe Roads, Working Waterfronts, Protected History

MCOG is assisting the Town of St. George in undertaking a unique engineering study to address flooding roads and impacts to their historic places caused by rising seas. Focusing on ten sites, this project will help residents understand the challenges and visualize solutions. At the same time, MCOG is helping to gather information on the important economic and community value of St. George’s local fishing and aquaculture activities and how sea level rise and increasingly severe storms impact the working waterfronts. Planning now will save time and money later!

St. George Working Waterfronts

Community Resilience Training – Building Community Capacity for Climate Planning

MCOG is partnering with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, the Island Institute, R1CC to bring an engaging climate planning experience to towns in the Midcoast. The training consists of a series of information sessions, small group workshops and regional resource workshops to engage community members in thinking about the impacts of sea level rise, and the range of resilience strategies available to address them.


For more information, go to the Gulf of Maine Research Institute’s website here.

Collective Purchasing


Give us a call or an email so we can discuss with you how we can provide these services.

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