Situated on the southern coast of Maine, Wells is home to a little less than 10,000 people. However, as a popular beach vacation spot, the population of the community triples during the summer and the fall. Wells is also home to an ecologically diverse estuary. In addition to facing climate change impacts associated with sea level rise, intensified storms, and heightened flooding, Wells will also have to confront potentially negative impacts on the fragile estuary and tourist economy.
The Town of Wells is preparing for a Comprehensive Plan update in 2015. Municipal officials would like to include climate adaptation and coastal hazard preparation as part of the plan rewrite. They anticipate that participation in this project will provide vital community engagement that has thus far been difficult for the town to achieve, as well as climate change information that may be helpful in the development of the Comprehensive Plan. The Town of Wells is home to Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, the Wells NERR and Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Wells Water District. This combination of nationally significant coastal lands and vital infrastructure for a number of southern Maine towns adds to the importance of this project to local communities beyond the borders of Wells.