Letter Prologue The Climate Challenge Earth Day's 50th Anniversary
“Environmental Quality in Connecticut”
The Annual Report of the Council on Environmental Quality for 2019
published April 17, 2020
Welcome to Environmental Quality in Connecticut. This edition documents the condition of Connecticut's environment through 2019. If viewing it on-line, which is how it is designed to be read, use the navigation buttons on the left to move from section to section within the report.
A "summary chart" is provided for most of the environmental indicators. On the top line of the summary is the indicator’s status for the most recent year. The second line shows its status for the current year compared to the trend of the prior decade. The third line shows whether the indicator is on track to meet its goal, if applicable. (See the example at right.)
The majority of Connecticut's key environmental indicators are strongly affected -- almost always negatively -- by a changing climate. The symbol at left identifies the indicators that are so affected. For the online edition, running your cursor over the symbol will reveal a brief statement of the indicator's connection to climate. Clicking on the symbol (seen at left) will open a page with more details. For the printed version, please refer to “Climate Notes” at the end of the Annual Report.
The "Introduction" pages present some of the important conclusions and new features of this edition. There are eight sections of environmental indicators, from "Air" through "Personal Impact", that display a comprehensive set of environmental data. In most cases the data goes back to the earliest records at the Council to illustrate the change since the early days of the environmental movement.
Generally, Connecticut’s environment is better than it was ten years ago and significantly better than the environmental conditions from when the Council was created. However, long term impacts of climate change can have significant impacts on several of the environmental indicators that are assessed by the Council. As identified in the Fourth National Climate Assessment, “climate change affects the natural, built, and social systems we rely on individually and through their connections to one another”. Indeed, many of the indicators identified in this report are individually affected by climate change, but most are affected through their connections to one or more other indicators. For example, increases in precipitation leads to more surface runoff, which affects the water quality of rivers and streams, which affects the area and duration of hypoxia in the Sound, which impacts the distribution and abundance of marine species, which impacts food supply and economic growth.
There may be updates to the 2019 Annual Report. Sign up for e-alerts to receive a notice when updates are published. The Council welcomes your comments and questions.