Climate Migration: How is it Reshaping our Communities?


Climate change has had significant impacts on how humans migrate. While some impacts are better known, like managed retreat associated with sea level rise and flooding, other impacts are just being discovered and studied, like the long-term effects of climate migration on receiving communities. Antioch University students and faculty have been working with different regions on exploring the impacts of climate migration on communities. For more information on any of the projects below, contact Christa Daniels Ph.D, AICP, Senior Associate, CCPCR.

Upper Valley Subregional World Cafe Report

We are excited to release the results from the Upper Valley Subregional World Cafe! This event was part of a larger initiative, the Northeast Safe and Thriving for All (NEST) Project, funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Adaptation Partnerships program (formerly NOAA CPO/RISA).  The goal of the NEST project is to create an upper northeast region that is resilient, revitalized, and decarbonized. To meet this goal, the impacts of in-migration and out-migration must be considered in relation to direct and indirect climate impacts. These migration changes can present significant challenges to communities in the upper Northeast region. The Upper Valley World cafe brought together a diverse set of stakeholders in the region to discuss who is moving in, who is moving out, challenges faced, and solutions to address these challenges. Thank you to everyone that contributed to this report, we hope to continue working on this urgent issue in the coming year. 

Climate Migration in Vermont: Receiving Areas, Key Demographics, and Potential Impacts on Natural and Social Resources 

As part of the Collaborative Service Initiative through Antioch University New England, Raleigh Tacy, Shameika Hanson, and Jessica Poulin conducted research into climate migration and its potential impacts for the state of Vermont. Antioch partnered with the state of Vermont and Conservation Law Foundation to conduct the research and generate a report. The four main goals of the report are: to identify migrant demographics and reasons for migration, to identify potential receiving areas within the state, to identify impacted resources, and share existing research and research-based recommendations to help in preparing for climate migrants. This was done through a review of general literature on climate migration that then shaped guiding questions and recommended further research into the impacts of climate migration on Vermont. The foundation of the report is the initial literature review conducted by Emma Okell. 

Listen to the webinar on the report

Rural Migration in the Climate Change and Post-Coronavirus Era

In the fall of 2020, Antioch University partnered with the CT River Joint Commissions to engage in a research project to understand and prepare for climate migration. As part of a Collaborative Service Initiative at Antioch University New England, Jo Corvus and Meagan Sylvia were the graduate students leading the project. 

Current studies, news articles and migration watchers are proclaiming a climate change and post pandemic migration to areas in the Northeast that are perceived to be healthier and economically safer than high density urban and fire and flood threatened areas. Regions such as the Connecticut River Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont are already seeing the early stages of this movement. Did what we see in the first ten months of the global pandemic, economic crisis, and ongoing racial justice movement mesh with what has previously been forecast for climate change-driven migration? What are the anticipated impacts of this migration? Their report addresses these questions. Check out the report here:

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