Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
January 24, 2018
A biweekly newsletter of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative
We'd like to congratulate Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative members SACOG, City of Sacramento, Valley Vision, and Community Resource Project, as well as the Historic Monterey Trails District, for winning a Transformative Climate Communities Planning Grant for the Franklin community! The $170,000 grant from the Strategic Growth Council will help South Sacramento's Franklin community - one of California's most disadvantaged communities, ranked in the top 25th percentile of CalEnviroScreen 3.0 - to develop implementation strategies for infrastructure, zero-emissions transportation and mobility, climate adaptation, economic development, and infill housing development projects and strategies. Together, these plans will support economic growth, social equity, and greenhouse gas emissions reductions, while also protecting against displacement. This is an exciting opportunity for an under-served community in Sacramento to build social and economic resilience, as well as the second grant that CRC members have won in two months!
News
Federal disaster mitigation funding saves $6 for every dollar spent
Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg
Federal programs to protect Americans against extreme weather and other natural disasters save even more money than previously thought, according to a report funded by the same agencies that have proposed cutting many of those programs. Every $1 the federal government spends on risk mitigation projects (such as elevating homes at risk of flooding or improving stormwater management systems) reduces future costs by an average of $6. That's higher than the 4-to-1 savings last estimated in 2005; the increase reflects the growing effects of climate change as well as better data and measurement. 2017 was the US's most expensive year for natural disasters at $306 billion, easily exceeding the previous high of $206 billion in 2005. In 2017, the US was hit by 16 weather events costing more than $1 billion each. Western wildfires reached $18 billion in damages, total the price tag of the previous worst wildfire year, 1991. The data demonstrates that federal spending on mitigation is "an even more powerful investment" than people knew. ( Link)
Warming will put millions more at flood risk in next 20 years
Unless countries urgently boost their flood defenses, millions more people will be at risk from river flooding in the next 20 years as global warming increases the likelihood of severe rainfall. More than half the US must at least double their protection level within the next two decades if they want to avoid a dramatic increase in river flood risks, according to the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. In the US and parts of Canada, the affected population could rise from 100,000 people to a million, a tenfold increase. In Asia, the numbers at risk will more than double to 156 million. The actual number of people at risk is likely to be even higher than the predictions, which do not account for population growth or more people moving to flood-risk areas. The report focuses on the amount of action that must be taken simply to keep flood risks at their current levels. ( Reuters)
How this small Houston community survived Hurricane Harvey
A project in the Clear Lake neighborhood of southeast Houston, called Exploration Green, is being heralded as a solution: living with water rather than constantly fighting off floods. Started last year, the project is using a $28 million bond approved by voters to transform a former golf course into a sprawling 178-acre greenway that when completed will include bikeways, bird habitats, wetlands, and a series of detention ponds with the capacity of holding 500 million gallons of rainwater. Though only the first phase, out of five total, was about 80% finished when Harvey hit, it was enough to protect about 150 homes. ( USA Today)
327 Superfund sites are vulnerable to flooding and sea level rise
Photo: AP Photo/Matt Rourke
There are over 2 million people living within a mile of 327 Superfund sites in areas prone to flooding or vulnerable to sea-level rise. This year's historic hurricane season exposed a little-known threat: Highly polluted sites can be inundated by floodwaters, potentially spreading toxic contamination into homes and drinking water supplies. Across the nation, more than 800,000 homes are located near flood-prone toxic sites. The vulnerable sites are scattered across the nation, but Florida, New Jersey and California have the most, and the most people living near them. They are in largely low-income, heavily minority neighborhoods. ( AP)
Snowpack near record lows spells trouble for Western water supplies
Photo: Steve Jurvetson/CC-BY-2.0
An exceptionally warm winter and an early winter snow drought across big swaths of the West have left the snowpack at record-low levels in parts of the Central and Southern Rockies, raising concerns about water shortages and economic damage. Climate scientists predict that snow seasons like this one will become more common in the next few decades, with snowpack at the middle elevations of mountain ranges projected to decline by 40 percent and 50 percent with global temperature increases of 2C and 3C, respectively. In the northern Sierra Nevada, the snowline has already shifted uphill by 1,200 ft between 2008 and 2017. The value of the global snowpack is in the trillions of dollars, based not only on its water content, but also for its overall cooling effect on the climate. Economic losses from reductions in snow-covered area could run as high as $575 billion annually. ( Link)
New wastewater recycling plant will save San Francisco millions of gallons of water
Photo: Santiago Mejia/The Chronicle
San Francisco is building a new wastewater recycling plant that will pump 1.6 million gallons of recycled water each day to Golden Gate Park and two golf courses, saving drinking water. "Recycling is really where the next big batch of water resilience and security is going to come from in urban parts of California," said Felicia Marcus, chair of the State Water Resources Control Board, adding that the state has disbursed over $1 billion in low-cost loans and grants to take water recycling projects from planning to implementation. The recycled wastewater will exceed the state's health regulations and will pose no danger to pets or wildlife. ( SF Chronicle)
Dollars and sense: State Controller Betty Yee on climate change and tax reform
As the state's fiscal watchdog, California State Controller Betty Yee has a finger on the pulse of the world's sixth largest economy. But her influence reaches far beyond just paying the State's bills. Here she discusses her work on climate change, which she says is now a bottom-line calculation for businesses that should be addressed now, rather than later, when the costs may be overwhelming. Through her board positions at Ceres, CalPERS, and CalSTRS, she works to influence how businesses can improve their business practices, particularly with respect to energy and water use, all the way throughout their supply chain. ( Link)
Tools and Resources
Lenders' Guide for Considering Climate Risk in Infrastructure Investments
Photo: 427
Climate change poses multifaceted risks for infrastructure investors, including decreasing revenue due to operational capacity limits, increasing maintenance costs, decreasing asset value, and increasing liability and debt. Four Twenty Seven, Acclimatise, and Climate Finance Advisers published this Lenders' Guide to introduce to banking institutions and infrastructure investors the ways that physical climate risks can affect infrastructure investment. The guide includes ten illustrative "snapshots" describing climate change considerations in example sub-industries such as commercial real estate, power plants, and hospitals. ( 427)
Heat Island Community Actions Database
EPA maintains a Community Actions Database for heat island activities, searchable by state, initiative, or strategy. In addition, archived information on the five cities that participated in EPA's Urban Heat Island Pilot Project (UHIPP) is accessible from the UHIPP page. ( Link)
Upcoming Opportunities
Stay up-to-date on Sacramento County's environmental justice work!
The County of Sacramento is developing a new Environmental Justice Element for its General Plan, as required by SB 1000, and welcomes your participation, particularly to address climate change and climate adaptation for vulnerable communities. If you'd like to keep up-to-date with the County's environmental justice work, please be sure to update your email subscription and add environmental justice as a topic, and visit the County's website for information on upcoming workshops and initiatives. If you have any questions or concern, please contact EJ Project Manager, Tim Kohaya, at 916.874.5982 or kohayat@saccounty.net .
Partners for Places: Request for Proposals
Partners for Places is a matching grant program that creates opportunities for cities and counties to improve communities by building partnerships between local government sustainability offices and place-based foundations. The grant program provides partnership investments between $25,000 and $75,000 for one year projects, or $50,000 and $150,000 for two year projects, with a 1:1 match required by one or more local foundations. Deadline: January 29, 2018. ( Link )
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program: October 2017 Wildfires
The California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) has a new funding opportunity available through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) as a result of a presidentially declared disaster for the October 2017 Wildfires (DR-4344). HMGP can fund eligible project and planning activities for eligible subapplicants in accordance with FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Assistance Guidance. Cal OES invites you to submit a Notice of Interest for eligible Hazard Mitigation Project and Planning activities. Deadline: January 30, 2018. ( Link)
Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program 2018 Request for Proposals
The Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration grant program seeks to develop community capacity to sustain local natural resources for future generations by providing modest financial assistance to diverse local partnerships focused on improving water quality, watersheds and the species and habitats they support. The Five Star and Urban Waters program will award approximately $2 million in grants nationwide. Deadline: January 31, 2018. ( Link)
Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Grants
The Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement Programprovides funding to support community-based organizations to collaborate and partner with local stakeholder groups (e.g., local businesses and industry, local government, medical providers) as they develop and implement solutions that address environmental and/or public health issues for under-served communities. EPA anticipates awarding 10 awards of up to $120,000 each. Deadline:Friday, February 16, 2018 by 11:59 pm, Eastern Time. ( Link )
Cal FIRE announces new round of funding for three grant programs
Up to $200 million is now available through CAL FIRE's Forest Health grants (including conservation easements through the California Forest Legacy Program) and Fire Prevention grants. Concept Proposals will be due on February 21, 2018 by 3pm. Up to $20 million in grant funds is available through CAL FIRE's Urban and Community Forestry program. Concept Proposals will be due on February 26, 2018 by 3pm. Additionally, CAL FIRE will continue to partner with the California Conservation Corps (CCC) by making $5 million available to the CCC's for Forest Health and Fire Prevention activities. ( Link)
Caltrans now accepting applications for Round 2 of Adaptation Planning Grants
Caltrans is making available $40.8 million for transportation planning projects statewide, including $29.5 million in Sustainable Communities Grants, $4.3 million in Strategic Partnership Grants, and $7 million for adaptation planning grants to reduce climate impacts on the transportation system. Visit the Caltrans site to find the 2018-19 Grant Application Guides, application forms, required templates, and presentations and events. Deadline: February 23, 2018, at 5pm. ( Link)
California EPA: Environmental Justice Small Grants Program
At least $750,000 will be available during this funding cycle to eligible nonprofit community groups and federally recognized tribal governments to address environmental justice issues in areas disproportionately affected by environmental pollution and hazards across California. The maximum grant amount is $50,000, and the grant term is 12 months. Deadline: February 28, 2018, at 5pm. ( Link )
California ReLeaf: 2018 Social Equity Grant Program
California ReLeaf is offering up to $800,000 in funding for tree planting projects throughout the state as part of its 2018 Social Equity Tree Planting Grant Program. Community grant workshops will be held in various locations across the state this January. Application materials and more information can be found on their website. Deadline: Wednesday, February 28, 2018. ( Link)
EPA: $3 million available for 2018 Environmental Education Local Grant Program
EPA will award three to four grants of $50,000 to $100,000 each for locally focused environmental education projects in each of the 10 EPA regions. This grant program supports projects that promote environmental awareness and stewardship and provide people with the skills to take responsible actions to protect the environment. The 2018 program includes support for projects that reflect the intersection of environmental issues with agricultural best practices, conservation, food waste management, and natural disaster preparedness. Deadline: March 15. ( EPA)
Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Mini Grant Program
SACOG will award mini-grants of up to $3,000 per project in support of small events and non-infrastructure programs or projects that encourage biking, walking, riding transit, carpooling, vanpooling and teleworking, as options for reducing car trips and vehicles miles traveled. Projects that focus on testing a new strategy or tactic for changing travel behavior will be prioritized. Applications considered on a rolling basis until $30,000 has been awarded for each of two application phases. The first phase will run from January 16 through June 30, 2018. The second phase will open July 15 through December 31, 2018. ( Link)
California Climate Investments: Reaching Out to Communities
The California Air Resources Board is partnering with the Foundation for California Community Colleges to help connect individuals, households, and community organizations with funding available through California Climate Investments (CCI). Outreach efforts include an online resource center, bilingual outreach materials, an informational hotline, and community-interest survey, and digital and direct outreach in disadvantaged and low-income communities statewide. To help us understand your needs and preferences to serve your community better, please take   this survey and share with your networks today.
Upcoming Events
Webinar: Resilient Infrastructure for a Secure Future
Thursday, January 25, 12-1.30pm
There is bipartisan interest across the US in repairing and modernizing infrastructure. Infrastructure projects can create jobs and present an opportunity to make the US more resilient to climate impacts. The costly natural disasters of 2017 highlight the necessity for building resilient infrastructure to extend project service lives and avoid future damages in a changing and uncertain climate. In this webinar, experts will discuss the opportunity for resilient infrastructure and the criteria to guide resilient infrastructure legislation and future projects. ( Register)
CARB 2018-2021 Triennial Strategic Research Plan Workshop
Friday, January 26, 10am
Sierra Hearing Room, Cal EPA Building, 1001 I Street, Sacramento
The California Air Resources Board's (CARB) Research program sponsors fundamental air pollution and climate studies, supports the development of new and innovative pollution reduction strategies, and evaluates ongoing programs and regulatory efforts. CARB staff are currently developing a Triennial Strategic Research Plan for 2018-2021 to provide a longer-term vision than their typical annual research plan. Rather than identifying individual projects, the Triennial Plan will identify broad research initiatives that will be the focus of funding for the next three years. These draft research initiatives will be presented at this public workshop to guide the development of the draft Plan, which will be presented at the Board meeting on April 26, 2018.
Strategic Growth Council meeting
Monday, January 29, 1-4pm
Byron Sher Auditorium, Cal EPA Building, 1001 I Street, Sacramento
The Strategic Growth Council (SGC) will announce decisions on the final 2017-2018 Research Investment Plan for its new Climate Change Research Program, as well as Transformative Climate Communities Program awards for fiscal year 2016-2017. All SGC meetings are open to the public and include opportunities for public comment. Meetings are also webcast and recordings of past meetings can be found on SGC's website. ( Link)
Webinar: Creating Energy Efficiency Programs that Better Serve Hispanic Households
Tuesday, January 30, 10-11.30am
Hispanics represent 39% of the California population yet have been underserved by energy efficiency programs. This webinar presents the results of two pioneering Energy Commission-funded studies that explore social, cultural and behavioral factors that affect Hispanic household energy use and home improvement decisions-with the goal of helping energy efficiency programs better serve this important audience. The webinar will present ten recommendations for how to improve energy efficiency programs for Hispanic households, including effective use of language and imagery, partnerships with community-based organizations, facilitating do-it-yourself work and approaches for overcoming financial constraints. ( Register)
Webinar:  Intelligent Streetlights: The Right Foundation for Smart Cities
Tuesday, January 30, 10-11am
Cities and utilities worldwide are investing in technologies and strategies that promise to enhance operational efficiencies and improve quality of service for residents and businesses. Intelligent streetlights are one frequent focus because they can reduce energy waste, drive operational efficiency, and improve public safety in the short term while creating a foundation for additional applications in the long term. However, cities and utilities face a range of challenges, including project planning, coordinating workflows, IT integration, technology selection and more. This webcast will feature leading smart city/utility practitioners to help discuss key topics in developing and implementing intelligent streetlight solutions. ( Link)
Webinar: Sound Science and Sound Journalism in an Era of Fake News
Wednesday, January 31, 10.15-11.15am
Join Island Press, in partnership with the Security and Sustainability Forum, for an upcoming webinar featuring veteran journalist Carey Gillam and Dr. Dana Barr, environmental health professor at Emory University. The panelists will look at the hurdles facing pesticide research as a case study for how journalists and scientists conduct their work in an era of fake news and corporate influence. The panelists' investigations into the negative impact of glyphosate and other pesticides will illustrate the importance of scientific and journalistic rigor. ( Link)
There is still time to register for New Partners for Smart Growth Conference
February 1-3, 2018, San Francisco, CA
There is still time to register for the 17th annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in San Francisco. Eight thematic tracks include "One Water" for Resilient Communities, Adapting to a Changing Climate, and Building Capacity in Small Towns and Rural Communities, while the themes of smart growth and equity are woven throughout the program. ( NPSG)
California Climate Action Team Public Health Workgroup Meeting: Healthy Soils
Wednesday, February 7, 1-3.30pm
Sierra Hearing Room, Cal EPA, 1001 I Street, Sacramento
Join the Climate Action Team's Public Health workgroup to learn about how soil health and soil carbon are important components in advancing community health and addressing climate change. Also available via webcast. ( Link)
Sacramento Tree Foundation: The Significance of School Grounds
Thursday, February 8, 11.30am-1pm
Sacramento Tree Foundation, 191 Lathrop Way, Sacramento
As part of the California Urban Forest Council's "Learn at Lunch" series, Dr. Bill Sullivan will present a discussion of how the built environment impacts human health and wellbeing, and how we can create settings that promote health and wellness for individuals, families, and our community. Bring your lunch and enjoy an intimate talk as we explore how we can create spaces that inspire, invigorate, and improve our lives. ( Link)
Webinar: The Writing's on the Wall: Cool Wall Research and Measures
Thursday, February 22, 10-11.30am
Have you heard about cool walls? Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) is working to understand how cool wall technologies can mitigate heat islands and provide a range of other benefits at the same time. This webinar will present key results from LBNL's recent research on the energy and environmental co-benefits of cool walls and highlight Hawaii's experience adopting cool walls into their state codes. ( Register)
Save the date for the 3rd California Adaptation Forum
August 28-29, 2018, Sacramento, CA
Join the Local Government Commission and the State of California at the 3rd California Adaptation Forum taking place August 28-29 (with pre-forum workshops on August 27), 2018, in Downtown Sacramento. The Forum gathers a multidisciplinary audience of 600+ climate leaders to foster knowledge exchange, innovation, and mutual support to transition from adaptation awareness to planning and action through a series of engaging plenaries, sessions, workshops, networking activities, and more. ( CAF)
About the Capital Region Climate  Readiness  Collaborative
The Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative is a membership based collaborative network designed to promote greater climate change resilience planning coordination in the six-county Sacramento Region. The purpose of this collaborative network is to create a forum where leaders from government, academia, environmental and community groups, the business community, and labor can come together to exchange information, identify vulnerabilities and data gaps, leverage resources, and advance comprehensive solutions in an effort to create stronger, sustainable, and economically viable communities in the Capital Region.

The CRC is a program of the Local Government Commission.