Virtual: Climate Change & Resiliency in Fairfield

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Age Group:

Teens , Adults
Registration for this event is no longer open.

Program Description


Fairfield Public Library has been awarded a Resilient Communities grant from American Library Association. As part of the grant, we invite you to view the NOVA film, Decoding the Weather Machine. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are viewing the film remotely, and then coming together as a community to discuss virtually.

Watch Decoding the Weather Machine (NOVA) prior to the virtual program:

Using the film as a springboard, our panelists will drill down to a micro level and discuss our community, Fairfield, CT. We will explore how climate change is affecting Fairfield, what we can do now and in the near future to address the changes. The panel will focus on Fairfield, our beaches, flooding, and what might be the best way forward.


  • Deep dive into Connecticut version of climate events
  • The past: Fairfield flooding
  • What is our plan? options, cost
  • Q&A


Emmeline Harrigan is a certified Planner and Floodplain Manager and currently serves as the Assistant Planning Director in Fairfield, CT.  She has a Masters in Urban Planning degree from UCLA and is the current chair of the CT Association of Flood Managers.  She previously served as Milford’s Assistant City Planner and assisted in disaster recovery and residency planning after both Storm Irene and Sandy.

Becky Bunnell is a Fairfield resident for over 11 years. Current Chair of the town’s Flood and Erosion Control Board who’s role is to work with town staff to plan, construct, reconstruct, and manage the town’s flood and erosion control system which includes dikes, berms, dams, piping, jetties, sea walls, embankments, tide-gates, revetments, water storage areas, ditches, drains and any other structures or facilities that prevent damage from flood or erosion caused by seawater or fresh water. Also a member of the Sustainable Fairfield Task Force and chair of the Subcommittee on Food and Waste and a member of the Fairfield Beach Residents Association.

Dick Dmochowski is the current Secretary of Fairfield’s Flood & Erosion Control Board (FECB). He is a graduate of the US Merchant Marine Academy and a Registered Professional Engineer. His career concentrated on construction, operations and maintenance of large industrial facilities. Now retired, his family has lived in Fairfield since 1972; currently residing in the Beach Area. His home was flooded during Storm Sandy and, along with 67 other residents and with financial assistance from the HMGP Grant Program, he subsequently restored and elevated it to FEMA standards. Post Sandy, he learned of the FECB and was appointed to it by the Board of Selectmen in 2013.

Laura (Ruocco) Pulie, P.E. is the Assistant Town Engineering Manager with the Town Of Fairfield where she has served over 35 years with the town. She graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. Laura is a strong advocate of Green Infrastructure and promotes and encourages the use of GI technology on all redevelopment projects in the Town Of Fairfield. She is also concerned with the effects of Climate Change and the impacts it has on Fairfield. Laura has worked closely with the Flood and Erosion Control Board promoting many of the Board’s recommended municipal projects all geared toward mitigating the effects of flooding and erosion.  

Please register to receive the URL and code to watch the film on your own. You will also receive the link to this online discussion the morning of the program.

Photo by Davide Pietralunga on Unsplash