Introduction - Understanding
“Environmental Quality in Connecticut”
The Annual Report of the Council on Environmental Quality for 2020
published April 21, 2021
Welcome to Environmental Quality in Connecticut. This edition documents the condition of Connecticut's environment through 2020. This Annual Report is designed to be read online to allow use of the navigation buttons to move from section to section within it or to find the topics that interest you the most in the Index. Online, the values on the charts will appear under your cursor.
The majority of Connecticut's key environmental indicators are strongly affected -- almost always negatively -- by a changing climate. The symbol at right (example) will identify indicators that are so affected or those that affect the climate. For the online edition, running your cursor over the symbol will reveal a brief statement of the indicator's connection to climate that is also linked to more information. For the printed version, please refer to “Climate Notes” at the end of this Annual Report.
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 effects 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. The Council has noted, where appropriate, the impact of certain indicators in addressing the challenge of climate change.
Summary Key for Indicators: Each page in the report has an environmental theme. Where an indicator shows change over time, there will usually be a summary key to allow for a quick evaluation of the status of that indicator. The top line is the indicator’s status for the most recent year; the second line shows the current year’s status compared to the 10-year trend; and the third line shows whether the indicator is on track to meet its goal.
There may be updates to the 2020 Annual Report. Sign up for e-alerts to receive a notice when updates are published. The Council welcomes your comments and questions.