Newcastle Community Climate Workshop held June 1

Sat, 06/15/2024 - 12:45pm

    On Saturday, June 1, Newcastle residents gathered at Lincoln Academy to discuss the local impacts of climate change.

    Following a presentation about Maine’s changing climate from the Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission (LCRPC) and Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust, participants split up into small groups to share their insights and concerns, suggest possible solutions, and identify steps they would like to see the town take to prepare for changing conditions.

    Attendees discussed how climate change may affect Newcastle across social, economic, and ecological dimensions. For example, they explored how a decline in native species and rise in invasive species could harm biodiversity, increase the amount of ticks and Browntail moths, and lead to human health impacts including higher incidences of Lyme Disease. Many participants expressed concerns over changes to the Damariscotta River, potential impacts to the region’s marine resource economy, and how coastal topographies may change in response to sea level rise.

    Although Newcastle residents had a range of climate concerns, they also identified opportunities for the town to take action. Suggestions included assessing Newcastle’s infrastructure–including its facilities, roads, culverts, bridges, and drainage—for vulnerabilities; engaging more of the community in conversations and planning around climate change; and ensuring that all residents have access to information and resources to adapt, all while prioritizing equity.

    The Town of Newcastle is currently in the process of enrolling in Maine’s Community Resilience Partnership, a program that aligns with the state’s climate action plan, "Maine Won’t Wait." Once Newcastle completes the enrollment process—which includes evaluating the town’s climate-related challenges, hosting a public workshop to identify priority actions, and passing a municipal resolution—the town will become eligible for up to $50,000 in exclusive grant funding approximately three times every two years towards projects related to preparing for and adapting to climate change. Newcastle aims to complete the enrollment materials and submit its first grant application by the end of the calendar year.

    Newcastle is collecting feedback from residents through their Community Climate Survey until June 18. Further details are available on the town website. 

    To learn more, please email