“East Haven lost 40 homes in that storm,” Albis says. “That was an experience that showed me we really have no great level of preparedness for those types of storms and many of the impacts of climate change.
“When I talk to people about why I got interested in environmental issues, I usually say it was not because it was something I sought after. It came to me through the experiences of going through Hurricane Irene, going through Superstorm Sandy, learning about why these were happening and what we can do to mitigate their effects,” he says.
In the aftermath of Irene, Albis was appointed to lead a special bi-partisan task force on shoreline preservation. That task force, which met over the course of a year, heard from a range of experts such as climate scientists, policy advocates, engineers, attorneys, and local citizens. Their work culminated in nearly 50 recommendations that led to the formation of the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation
(CIRCA), a multidisciplinary research center tasked with assisting municipalities in adapting to sea level rise, storm surge, and extreme weather.