Strong, Mayewski, Isenhour speak with Press Herald for article on climate refugees
Several University of Maine professors were quoted in the Portland Press Herald article, “Climate refugees could see safety in Maine.” Low-lying coastal communities in the United States face the prospect of “managed retreat” — the deliberate demolition of vulnerable properties following buyouts or abandonment following devastating storms, according to the article. “It’s hard to predict where people will go,” notes Aaron Strong, a professor of coastal and marine policy at UMaine. Human behavior “is one of the hardest things to model in terms of climate change impacts.” Paul Mayewski, director of UMaine’s Climate Change Institute, said he predicts Maine’s population “will increase dramatically in the next 20 years.” Climate adaptation planning happens largely now at the municipal level, the Press Herald reported. There, it is “still really focused on the physical end — culverts, waterfront redesign and flood management,” said Cynthia Isenhour, a professor of anthropology at UMaine.