Dover, New Hampshire is located within the coastal Piscataqua River watershed. The population of the town is about 30,000, making Dover the largest community in the New Hampshire seacoast region. Given its coastal situation and proximity to the Cochecho and Bellamy Rivers, Dover is at risk from climate change-related risks associated with sea level rise, increased flooding, and impacts from intensified storms.
As in many New Hampshire municipalities, climate change adaptation is not currently a topic of municipal concern in Dover. Some town leaders and municipal board members are aware of the pressing need to begin adaptation efforts, but they are cautious about approaching this issue due to the generally conservative views about climate change in New Hampshire. Municipal leaders feel that there is a need for broader public concern about climate change risk before they can prioritize adaptation planning and related efforts. It is hoped that this project can introduce residents to the importance of climate change adaptation and stimulate greater interest in incorporating climate change risk into everyday planning and decision- making in Dover.