Downtown Mystic Resiliency & Sustainability Plan Final Report

Town of Groton 2/2/2024

Downtown Mystic is one of the quintessential historical and cultural resources of New England. Although its location along the banks of the Mystic River has helped the area prosper, it also makes Mystic vulnerable to climate change impacts. In response to Mystic’s climate change vulnerability, the Town of Groton hired GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. to begin the Downtown Mystic Resiliency and Sustainability Plan development process in 2022. The study area is shown to the left outlined in red. The goal set for the Plan was to protect natural and manmade resources; sustain the local economy; and provide possible risk mitigation strategies for property owners, the Town, and regional stakeholders. This goal was accomplished by first conducting a vulnerability analysis focused on three main climate change impacts: coastal flooding (rising sea levels and increasing storm surge), flooding caused by increasing rainfall volumes and intensity, and extreme heat. Once the vulnerability analysis was completed adaptation strategies designed to reduce the area’s risk to these hazards, using 2050 projections as a guiding benchmark, were developed. These strategies focused on measures including maintaining the study area’s cultural and historical resources and economy, maintaining water quality in the Mystic River, maintaining emergency response accessibility, and protecting infrastructure. Public outreach was conducted throughout the entire plan development process and included a variety of public meetings, conversations with local property owners, a survey, and a meeting to address needs of local business owners. Stakeholders were also invited to provide written feedback to the draft recommendations before they were finalized.

The final report is available in the “Important Documents” section of this page. Links for the meeting recordings are also provided. If you have questions about the plan, please reach out to Megan Granato via the contact information provided in the “Who’s Listening” section below.