“Coming out of the storm really changed our perspective on the importance of resilient infrastructure,” said Julie Moore, the state secretary of natural resources. “The goal is to avoid future conflicts [between people and the river].”

Work is being done in the agriculture sector,  to prepare farmers for “a full range of conditions” Moore says. This has research to help farmers improve soil health and its ability to hold water, and also an initiative to study the potential impacts of soil carbon sequestration. Local groups are also working to fortify the state’s maple sugaring industry against climate change by encouraging producers to protect forest diversity.

Like many other states and localities, Vermont has developed a climate action plan, which includes efforts to reduce carbon emissions and change energy sources away from fossil fuels. The plan also includes these adaptive measures like wetland restoration and informing residents about tick-borne illness to ready residents for climactic changes that are already here.

“There will always be a bigger flood, there will always be a more intense storm, so none of these solutions are perfect,” Moore says. “But we’re trying to take advantage of opportunities to limit future damage.”

Correction (Sept. 14): A previous version incorrectly stated that seven of the 10 safest counties were located in Vermont and listed them incorrectly. Six of the 10 are Vermont, with the remaining counties in Maine and New York. 

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