Todd Selig, Town Administrator and Emergency Manager for Durham, NH is the recipient of this year’s Coastal Adaptation Workgroup Community Champion Award! This annual award recognizes local leaders of climate adaptation in the seacoast region of NH.

 While Durham prides itself with being a progressive community and one that is unafraid of being first, Todd finds value in identifying and evaluating other climate-resilience projects in surrounding communities, or in other parts of the country, and how they can be adapted in Durham. He makes it a point to stay up to date with ever changing climate science by reading scientific reports and assessments, following national news coverage and reporting, and attending CAW sponsored workshops and conferences. Todd is always on the look-out for new information and how it can be used to advise the public and local decision-makers to influence change.

 Todd has volunteered his time to present Durham’s climate change initiatives at workshops and conferences and has written several opinion pieces that have been shared in local and national daily newspapers. He summarizes ongoing climate related projects to Durham’s Leadership Team, Town Council, and other various boards and commissions he interacts with. Todd understands the importance of providing education to the public and promotes the use of the Town’s weekly Friday Updates, Twitter, and Facebook presence to keep residents informed on both regional and local resilience efforts.

 Todd has been actively involved in several resilience projects, including: oversight on the development of the energy and natural resource chapters of the master plan, installation of climate art signs, completion of a sea-level rise vulnerability assessment, update to the town’s hazard mitigation plan, adoption of more stringent floodplain regulations and the state’s first use of advisory zones for sea-level rise, and the construction of a living shoreline at Wagon Hill. He has also advocated for two upcoming projects that include a groundwater modeling study and the creation of a standalone climate adaptation master plan chapter.

 Many of the climate-related efforts Todd has supported go well beyond his professional scope of work as town administrator and emergency management director, including his participation in the climate in the classroom series, climate remembrance project, and yearly King Tide photo contest.

 Todd’s role as town administrator and emergency management director allow him to work directly with other local government staff on a variety of regional issues including transportation, housing, water resource protection, and climate adaptation planning. Many of the efforts Durham has undertaken can be used as a model for other communities to replicate.


The purpose of the CAW Climate Champion award is to recognize local leaders who put climate-related research and outreach to work, often in conjunction with CAW members. Click to view past winners.