April 11, 2017
 
The Resilience Roundup highlights  CIRCA's presence in the news; provides links to recent local, state, and national news articles related to resilience and adaptation; and announces resources, events, and funding opportunities. Learn more about CIRCA at circa.uconn.edu.
 

announcements  
Resources
Resources

naturebasedsolutions

Nature Based Solutions Website, Naturally Resilient Communities

A new website aimed at helping communities adapt to rising seas, tidal flooding and other climate-change-related risks starts with this simple question: What kind of hazards does your city face?

From there, it's a multiple choice of water-related problems, such as coastal erosion and riverine and stormwater flooding.

The website was created for Naturally Resilient Communities by the design firm Sasaki and sponsored by the Kresge Foundation. It's a collaboration of organizations interested in addressing nature-based solutions to the sort of flooding problems expected to only increase in the coming years: the Nature Conservancy, the American Planning Association, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Association of State Floodplain Managers and the National Association of Counties.

"There was this shared interest and this shared vision that there was a role for nature in creating more resilient communities going forward," Nate Woiwode of the Nature Conservancy said in an interview. "We were seeing that in the planning sphere; we were seeing that in the executive sphere, in the engineering sphere. It may not be entirely mainstream yet, but it's definitely there."

The website itself features 30 nature-based solutions. Among them are plans to restore rivers to their natural floodplains and coral reef restoration programs. They also include ideas for implementing green roof and permeable pavement solutions in communities.

The need for such solutions is growing, the coalition notes. Five major hurricanes since 2005 led to $230 billion in damage and more than 2,200 deaths. Nearly all Americans live in counties that have had federally declared weather-related disasters since 2010, Linda Langston, director of strategic relations with the National Association of Counties, said in a statement.
"What we know from a scientific standpoint is that healthy natural systems can reduce flood risk," Woiwode said. "Whether it is mangroves, whether it is rivers that have enough room to move and a natural floodplain to inhabit, or if it's coastal wetlands."

Such systems can also work with man-made infrastructure like dams, levees, sea walls and stormwater systems. But the ideas on the website go beyond flood reduction or resilience building, Woiwode said. People who live in close proximity to natural spaces are healthier, and the nature-based solutions they've showcased can help communities foster more robust public health practices.

"It isn't just purely nature for nature's sake," he said. "Public health studies show us this. Communities that have a neighborhood park tend to have higher property values. These are investments that make sense, not just from a flood reduction standpoint, but from a broad community resilience standpoint."

Erika Bolstad, E&E News reporter
Published: Thursday, April 6, 2017


 



Events
Events
 
Sierraclubmeeting

Thursday, April 13, 2017- Sierra Club Meeting

When: 
Thursday April 13th at 7:30 pm. 

Where:
Westmoor Park, Flagg Rd., West Hartford. 

Living Shorelines Practices and Projects in Connecticut 

Dr. Rebecca French, Director of Community Engagement, Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation. Dr. French will provide examples of living shorelines in Connecticut and regionally, discussing ongoing CIRCA research projects. Living shorelines are nature-based erosion control techniques, not a new concept, but new to Connecticut and the Northeast. As much of the State's shoreline is armored with hardened structures, there is a growing interest in preserving the natural elements of the shore while also providing protection from erosion. Living shorelines can be an excellent alternative to hard structures at the coast. Importantly, hard structures (e.g. bulkheads, revetments, seawalls, etc.) are often damaging to a coastline. They can increase erosion at the shore, inhibit natural coastal processes, and destroy natural habitat for fish, animals, and plants. Where hard structures 'fail,' living shorelines succeed. Living shorelines mimic natural settings and have many positive co-benefits to erosion control, including but not limited to: habitat creation, water quality enhancement, and maintaining natural coastal processes. In this role, her relationships with community leaders in at risk communities, state policy makers and relevant state, local and regional organizations translates research products of CIRCA into usable information for these stakeholders while soliciting their input into CIRCA's work. Doors open at 7:00 pm for refreshments and letter signing. 

Donation: $4 to defray hall rental fee. 
Questions: Renee at  mchawigirl@yahoo.com



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EBC

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 - EBC Connecticut Program: Extreme Weather and Climate Change Updates - Resiliency, Adaptation and Mitigation

April 19, 2017
7:30am to 12:00pm
Eversource Energy 107 Selden St, Berlin, CT
 
 
Nearly four years after Superstorm Sandy caused an estimated $70 billion in damages and brought coastal communities throughout the northeast to a complete standstill, it appears that everything is back to normal in some places...or is it? The Hartford Courant reported on 11 August 2016 that real estate prices are at pre-Sandy levels along the Connecticut shoreline and communities continue to build in areas vulnerable to coastal flooding.  In 2040, if a similar storm occurred, the impacts would be more severe and costly. What these observations are not taking into consideration is what effects sea-level-rise (SLR) will have on these communities in the future. The water levels in many areas are, unequivocally rising, which will exacerbate the future coastal flooding impacts; however, many communities, regional and state entities, and insurance providers are implementing flood mitigation and resiliency actions designed to reduce the impacts from future coastal flooding looking out 25 to 100 years.
 
In response to these significant impacts on public and private properties, critical facilities and infrastructure as well as natural resources many local and state governmental agencies, public universities, insurance agencies, and private entities in Connecticut have taken important steps in making coastal communities more disaster resilient.
This EBC Connecticut Chapter morning program will feature a series of presentations that provide insight into the recent efforts by communities, state and insurance agencies, and universities to make communities more resilient to future impacts from sea level rise and flood hazards. The program will provide an overview of recently completed climate adaptation plans and resiliency projects as well as insurance programs that make residents and communities more resilient.
 
The program will touch on the following topics and will include a panel discussion centered on the lessons learned from the recent climate adaptation and resiliency efforts in Connecticut:
  • Risk Insurance
  • Adaptation Planning at the property owner, municipal and State level
  • Living Shorelines and Natural and Nature Based Features
  • Regional Resiliency Efforts
 
General Continuing Education Certificates are awarded by the EBC for this program (3.5 training contact hours). Please select this option during registration if you wish to receive a certificate.
 
Program Co- Chairs
Speakers
  • Julie Eaton, E.I.T., Lead Resiliency Engineer, Weston & Sampson
  • Rebecca French, Ph.D., Director of Community Engagement, Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA)
  • Louis A Gritzo, Ph.D., Vice President, Research, FM Global
  • Stuart Keller, Operations Engineering Manager, FM Global
  • Hande McCaw, P.E., Senior Coastal Engineer, GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc.

Back to Announcements

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uconnlaw

Friday, April 21, 2017 -  Climate, Carbon & Cars
From Mass. v. EPA to Our Electric Future

When:
Friday, April 21, 2017
8:30 am to  3:30 pm

Where:
Reading Room,  William F. Starr Hall,  45 Elizabeth St.,  Hartford CT   06105-2290

Please join the Center for Energy & Environmental Law and the Connecticut Public Interest Law Journal for an exciting conference devoted to the present and future of automobiles and their impact on climate change and the environment.

The day begins with a presentation and panel devoted to the landmark case on CO2, Massachusetts v. EPA, featuring Associate Justice James Milkey of the Massachusetts Appellate Court, who argued the case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

We transition to the present day with a panel of international scholars placing the recent Volkswagen "Dieselgate" in a broader context of worldwide automobile emissions for cars and beyond.

Dr. Michael Mann, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State, delivers the lunchtime keynote address. Dr. Mann is an author and a key climate science contributor to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The final panel looks to the future with representatives from Tesla Motors, technologists, and academics who specialize in the social impact of disruptive technologies, such as self-driving cars.

The day ends with an ice cream reception and an informal "Tesla auto show," weather permitting.

Free for UConn Students, Faculty, and Staff; $15 for Non-UConn Colleges/Universities; $40 Standard Registration (CLE Eligible); $100 Registration for Attorneys in Private Practice (CLE Eligible)





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coastalerosion

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - Connecticut Coastal Erosion Control Workshop

Connecticut Coastal Erosion Control Workshop
April 25, 2017
8am to 3pm
Water's Edge Resort
1525 Boston Post Road
Westbrook, CT
 
Register by April 21
 
Speakers
Progressive Bioengineering: The Latest Developments in Non-Structural Alternatives for Shoreline Stabilization - Seth Wilkinson, Wilkinson Ecological; Orleans, MA
 
Connecticut's New Stormwater Regulations: Getting More Rain Into the Ground
Amanda Ryan, University of Connecticut; Storrs, CT
 
How Will We Adapt to Sea Level Rise?-Peter M. Hanrahan, CPESC, E.J. Prescott, Inc.; Gardiner, ME
 
Living Shoreline Designs & Stratford Point Reef Ball Case Study - Juliana Barrett, Ph.D., Connecticut Sea Grant; Groton, CT - Jennifer H. Mattei, Ph.D., Sacred Heart University; Fairfield, CT
 
It's Your Future: The Value of Apprenticeship Programs - Jennifer Pagach, Connecticut College; New London, CT - Peter M. Hanrahan, CPESC, E.J. Prescott, Inc.; Gardiner, ME
 
Managing Connecticut's Tidal Marshes and Shoreline Infrastructure: A New Look at Old Threats and Opportunities in a Rising Sea - David Kozak, Connecticut DEEP; Hartford, CT
 
Coastal Erosion Control Hazard Area Mapping, Long Island, New York
Sarah L. Hamm, CFM, Dewberry; New Haven, CT
 
Closing Remarks/Questions & Answers 


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CLEARwebinar

CLEAR Webinar: Climate Adaptation Legal Questions and Answers

FREE

Date: May 2
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 PM EST

This webinar will provide answers to a number of the questions raised at Legal Issues in the Age of Climate Adaptation, a conference held by UConn CLEAR and and Connecticut Sea Grant's Climate Adaptation Academy in late 2015. The questions, which came from the audience members during the course of a panel discussion with prominent land use attorneys, were reviewed by the Marine Affairs Institute & RI Sea Grant Legal Program at Roger Williams University School of Law. The Legal Program then developed four fact sheets covering the following topics: Property and Permitting Boundaries at the Shoreline, Governmental Tort Liability for Disclosure of Flood Hazard Information, Takings and Coastal Management, and Flood and Erosion Control Structures. The CLEAR/Connecticut Sea Grant climate team will be joined by two attorneys to go over the answers and discuss the issues raised in these fact sheets, including a review of recent court decisions impacting these topics.



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CIRCAeventmayfourth

 
12:30-2:30 pm

Where:
University of Connecticut, Storrs
Rome Commons Ballroom

You are invited to this event that will bring together municipal and state agency staff, UConn faculty, and CIRCA's  Advisory Committee.  Posters will highlight the important research, products, and partnerships currently addressing resilience of vulnerable communities along Connecticut's coast and inland waterways to the growing impacts of climate change.  Rob Klee, Commissioner of CT DEEP and Jeff Seemann, UConn's Vice President for Research, will also be attending. 

This is the new date for the meeting that was postponed, due to snow, on March 10.

Please RSVP by May 1 to



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GItrain

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 - CIRCA & NOAA present Green Infrastructure for 
Coastal Resilience Training

Registration on the  CIRCA website  will open on April 10.

Check-in at 8:30 AM
Program runs 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM

Where: Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA)
University of Connecticut Avery Point Campus
Marine Science Building
Groton, Connecticut

Join a training on Introducing Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience hosted by CIRCA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office for Coastal Management.
Training staff from NOAA and CIRCA will introduce participants to fundamental green infrastructure concepts and practices that can play a critical role in making coastal communities more resilient to natural hazards. The agenda will also feature green infrastructure projects from CIRCA grantees in Stratford and MetroCOG as well as presentations from New Haven, Eastern CT Conservation District, and the University of Connecticut Center for Land Use Education and Research. Through group discussions and activities, participants will learn what they can do to support green infrastructure implementation in their coastal communities.


    

FundingAnouncment
Funding


LandGrantAudobon

Audubon CT Wetland In Lieu Fee Program

IF!  
  • Your organization is a Land Trust, Municipality, or other Non-profit Organization; and
  • Your organization is looking for a source of funding to acquire lands protective of wetlands in perpetuity; or funds to restore, enhance, or create wetlands that will provide multiple functions and values.  
THEN!
You may qualify for a grant under the Audubon CT Wetland In Lieu Fee Program .  

HOW?

There are two phases to applying for funding under this program:

First Phase (Letter of Intent):   THREE EASY STEPS! Prepare a simple Letter of Intent to tell the salient facts about your project and include a map of the parcel.
  • STEP 1:Read the Request for Letters of Intent (LOI), available HERE
  • STEP 2:Fill out the LOI Form, available HERE
  • STEP 3: Submit the LOI and map electronically as a PDF to  Anthony Zemba, Certified Ecologist / Soil Scientist, Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. (FHI) via email at: Azemba@fhiplan.com. LOI Deadline is April 17!
Second Phase (Full Proposal):  The Army Corps and Audubon CT will review the LOIs submitted by all Applicants. Projects determined to meet the goals of the CT ILF Program in general, and in particular, the specific goals of the Service Area in which the project occurs, will be invited to submit a full proposal, which are due by June 7th.  

ANY QUESTIONS?   Please contact Anthony Zemba at (860) 321-9018 or  Azemba@fhiplan.com



CIRCAintheNews

CIRCA in the News

milfordshoreline

April 2, 2017- Volunteers Help Shore Up Shoreline in Milford

Volunteers lined up Sunday at Walnut Beach to plant beach grass aimed at helping to restore a sand dune near the Albert Munroe Fishing Pier.

According to Steven Johnson, Milford's open space and natural resource agent, the volunteers were gathered to help plant 2,800 Cape American Beach Grass plants,Ammophila breviligulata.  
"This is the first phase of a living shorelines dune restoration grant funded by the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) and the University of Connecticut," Johnson said.

The beach grass will help restore the natural habitat and the coastal resiliency. Johnson said invasive species are also being removed as part of the 18-month project.
"We're just so grateful we got the grant, the volunteers and a beautiful day to get out here and do the work," Johnson said on Sunday.


Back to News Clips
 

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circactmag

March 28, 2017- Connecticut's Rising Seas: Are Towns And Cities Ready?, Connecticut Magazine

Connecticut's coastline is changing. The Nature Conservancy estimates the state will lose 24,000 acres of land to sea-level rise by 2080, and in terms of insured assets, Connecticut will be more impacted than every other state except Florida.

The waters of Long Island Sound are rising. Projections range from about a foot to more than six feet by the end of the century. At the same time, the state's landmass has been gradually lowering since the retreat of the ice sheet in the last Ice Age. The result is an advancing sealine that outpaces the national average and will likely cause increased flooding in the short term, and ultimately could reshape shoreline communities and the state's economy.

"Just as waters of the oceans of the world are at higher levels, we're seeing on the Sound rising waters and warming waters and changing fish species. There are more warmer-water fish and less colder-water fish," says Dennis Schain, spokesman for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. "Like many climate issues, changes along our coastline are going to be gradual. It's not something where you're going to wake up and see necessarily a profound difference from one day to the next, but gradually increasing water levels will change the coastline, will change flooding patterns, and storm-surge patterns, making them more severe. We are working to minimize disruption on our shoreline by trying to protect valuable resources and properties with sound, environmentally sustainable strategies."

The Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) was formed in 2014 to better help the state study and adjust to the rising sea level and other environmental issues at the local level.

According to DEEP, Connecticut's shoreline is rising by 2.58 millimeters a year, but many expect that rate to increase, though the rate at which it will increase is unclear. "We understand that sea-level rise is happening, we understand that more will happen in the future, it's just a question of how much and how fast," says Rebecca A. French, director of community engagement at CIRCA, which is based out of the University of Connecticut's Avery Point campus.
 
CIRCA stresses that the issues caused by rising sea levels are not decades away, French says. In fact, they are already occurring. "A larger area was impacted by the storm surge from Sandy because of the sea-level rise that we've already experienced, but Sandy could have been much worse because we didn't get much rain," French says. "If we experience the same conditions of Sandy in the year 2050, it would be even worse; a larger area would be impacted by flooding."
 
Shoreline communities have learned this the hard way as severe weather events like Superstorm Sandy have served as a powerful, expensive and, in some cases, terrifying reminder of how vulnerable some coastal communities are to flooding. While towns on Connecticut's coast have some form of resiliency plan in place, or are in the process of creating one, many strategies for preparing for sea-level rise are hampered by a lack of staff resources and funding.
 
Denise Savageau, the director of Greenwich's Conservation Commission, says the result of rising sea levels is already visible in Greenwich, as the town has begun to see regular flooding in places where, in the past, flooding was rare. Greenwich, like other coastal communities in Connecticut, faces a unique set of obstacles when it comes to rising sea levels, says Savageau. "There's not one solution for every town. It depends on the land pattern and development pattern in every town," she says.
 
CIRCA researchers are working to determine how these local variables and local topography will impact sea-level rise in Connecticut. Ultimately the organization hopes to arm municipalities with very specific data as they prepare for changing sea levels. "Our goal is to provide communities with information at the scale that they're making decisions," French says. "When you're a municipal leader, you want to know things like how high does Route 146 in Branford and Guilford need to be. There are some parts of Route 146 that flood every day at high tide right now. With sea-level rise, it could be flooded all the time. So, maybe it's too expensive to elevate it to the point where it will never be flooded, but we can handle it flooding once a month, or a couple of times a year. So, how high should we elevate it? And that's very specific information."
 
In addition, French says it's important that residents who don't live on the coast realize the state as a whole will be impacted. "The upland communities don't have much of an appreciation for how an economic devastation from a hurricane, that might have a greater impact on the coastal areas, [also] impacts the whole state," she says. "As taxpayers we do pay when there's damage at the shoreline."
 
Schain says that as municipalities and the state ramp up efforts to combat rising seas, projections about the future sea level will be key. "You don't want to build new roads, new treatment plants, new parks without understanding the dynamics and what the shoreline of the future might look like," he says. He adds that Connecticut is also trying to "reduce carbon emissions to slow the pace of climate change [while] hoping that there's some national policy and international efforts in support of that. While we want to do our fair share and more in Connecticut, we can't stop climate change on our own. It needs a larger effort."


 
News

Local & State News Clips


  grassroots

April 6, 2017- Saving The Planet Starts At Grassroots

We've come such a long way as a society, eradicating so many diseases, making leaps and bounds in technology, demanding equal rights for all citizens.

So why has something that effects every person, plant, and animal-the health of our planet-become such a politicized, monetized issue?

Baby Boomers invented Earth Day. The first celebrations were held around the world in 1970, inspiring 20 million Americans to get onboard to protect and save the environment. Many groundbreaking environmental laws followed, including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act. By 1990 Earth Day had gone global, activating 200 million people in 141 countries to address these critical issues.

And today, perhaps more than ever, with threats of cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) looming large, the significance of Earth Day (April 22) and what it represents is more profound than ever.

This year's theme is Environmental and Climate Literacy, because only by educating both children and adults about the threats of climate change and empowering people with knowledge to take action to protect the environment can we clean up our act and resuscitate our planet.


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eastshorepark

April 4, 2017- New Haven's East Shore Park To Be Transformed Into A Living Shoreline

NEW HAVEN >>  East Shore Park will become the longest stretch of living shoreline in the state of Connecticut, if everything goes as planned, according to Elsa Loehmann,  associate director of river restoration at Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound.

The local nonprofit and the city have teamed up to start designing plans for a living shoreline in East Shore Park, stretching about a half-mile, Loehmann said. Living shorelines use biological materials to  stabilize the shore and help limit erosion during major storm events, Loehmann said.

"The bottom line for the project is coastal resiliency," Loehmann said. "We want to show a living shoreline is a viable approach to sustainability."

"The goal is to protect the park here and reconnect people with the shoreline," she added.





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windsormel

March 31, 2017- Flashback Friday: Windsor Locks History With Mel Montemerlo

WINDSOR LOCKS, CT - Parts of Windsor Locks near the river and the canal are in a "100 year flood zone." These flood zones are derived from the National Flood Insurance Program's flood insurance data maps. If we look at the last 100 years, we see that there have been more significant floods in that area than these maps predict. The three most significant floods in that area of Windsor Locks were in 1936, 1938 and 1955.

The March 1936 flood was devastating to communities along the banks of the Connecticut River. Spring came early and caused the frozen Connecticut River to break up in to huge chunks of ice which dammed the river. When the massive dam burst, the river flooded towns and farms. Windsor Locks was hit hard.



Continue...


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EPAMcCarthy

March 31, 2017- Former EPA Chief McCarthy and Trump Critic Speaking At Wesleyan on Climate Change

President Trump's attempt to "turn back the clock" on environmental protection and clean energy won't succeed in the long run, former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said Friday, adding the U.S. may simply "lose a little time" combating climate change.

McCarthy, who was once head of Connecticut's environmental agency, urged those attending a Wesleyan University conference to join her in marching on Earth Day next month to repudiate the Trump administrations efforts to undercut on environmental science.

"We all have to get out of our comfort zone... So take off your lab coats," McCarthy told the Wesleyan climate scientists in the audience, "turn off your Bunsen burners and round up your nerdy friends."

McCarthy said she isn't worried about the long-term prospects for moving ahead on clean energy and reducing carbon emissions to counter the effects of global warming and climate change. "The clean energy train has indeed left the station," she said, arguing that climate change itself "will dictate the future" no matter what Trump does in the short run.





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rainfallnewextremes


David Vallee had his "religious experience" seven years ago to the day on Friday, standing on the steps of the church where he'd been confirmed as a boy to photograph 6 feet of water flooding the streets and stores in downtown West Warwick, R.I.

As the hydrologist in charge for the Northeast River Forecast Center in Taunton, Mass., seeing the 2010 floods in his hometown made him realize as never before that there's a "new normal" when it comes to precipitation patterns and the ability of roads, bridges, spillways, storm drains and other infrastructure to deal with it.

"These extremes are very hard to manage," said Vallee, whose agency, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service, provides flood forecasting services to federal, state and local agencies in the Northeast. "Throughout most of New England, our infrastructure was built out in the 1950s and 1960s. From a stormwater management standpoint, we're not designed for these extremes."

Vallee gave the keynote talk at a symposium presented by the University of Connecticut's Climate Adaptation Academy and the Rockfall Foundation, a Middletown-based nonprofit that promotes environmental education, resource conservation and sustainable development in the lower Connecticut River Valley and region. Titled, "Water: Too Much or Not Enough? From Rain Bombs to Drought," it brought together about 60 land-use professionals to discuss the challenges of intense zigzags between floods and droughts brought on by climate change and urbanization for planners, public water systems, public health, agriculture and other areas





NatlNews

National News Clips

miamisfight

April 4, 2017- Miami's Fight Against Rising Seas

The first time my father's basement flooded, it was shortly after he moved in. The building was an ocean-front high-rise in a small city north of Miami called Sunny Isles Beach. The marble lobby had a waterfall that never stopped running; crisp-shirted valets parked your car for you. For the residents who lived in the more lavish flats, these cars were often BMWs and Mercedes. But no matter their value, the cars all wound up in the same place: the basement.

When I called, I'd ask my dad how the building was doing. "The basement flooded again a couple weeks ago," he'd sometimes say. Or: "It's getting worse." It's not only his building: he's also driven through a foot of water on a main road a couple of towns over and is used to tiptoeing around pools in the local supermarket's car park.

Ask nearly anyone in the Miami area about flooding and they'll have an anecdote to share. Many will also tell you that it's happening more and more frequently. The data backs them up.

It's easy to think that the only communities suffering from sea level rise are far-flung and remote. And while places like the Solomon Islands and Kiribati are indeed facing particularly dramatic challenges, they aren't the only ones being forced to grapple with the issue. Sea levels are rising around the world, and in the US, south Florida is ground zero - as much for the adaptation strategies it is attempting as for the risk that it bears.


Continue...
 
Back to News Clips

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  hurricanesandy

April 4, 2017- Preparing For The Future Using Lessons From Hurricane Sandy

Ground floor is not quite the word for it. At a new gallery, classroom and office building under construction in the West Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, the main floor is more than four feet above the ground. This is no mere design conceit. Elevated floors are an imperative in flood-prone areas like the site of the new building on West 26th Street, only 400 yards from the Hudson River.

West Chelsea was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. So was Lower Manhattan, where Savanna, the real estate investment concern behind the 26th Street building, owned two office towers that were knocked out by flooding. ... Communities across the country are confronting the mounting evidence of climate change and developing means of fortifying buildings and infrastructure against rising sea levels and ever-more-intense storms, even as the Trump administration reverses policies premised on climate change.

"We're not spending money on that anymore," Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, told reporters in Washington recently. "We consider that to be a waste of your money."

People who live, work or build in floodplains like West Chelsea and elsewhere say they cannot be so dismissive. They are spending money. "We are choosing to meet this challenge head-on, investing to make our neighborhoods more resilient and doing our part to reduce the pollution that drives climate change," Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York said in a statement after President Trump signed an executive order to nullify President Barack Obama's climate change efforts.




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trumpexecorder

April 1, 2017- Trump's Executive Order Hurts Local Climate Action Too

As President Trump moved this week to halt federal efforts to slow climate change, his executive order on energy and climate also directed agencies to retreat from efforts to help cities and counties adapt to the effects of warming temperatures. ... The order followed a budget proposal by the White House to eliminate federal spending on a wide range of programs that partner with local governments, scientists, and industry to help Americans cope with everything from rising temperatures to rising seas. ...

"Adaptation plans that were developed under the Obama administration probably will not be updated - or carried out, for that matter," said Jessica Grannis, an adaptation specialist with the Georgetown Climate Center who has analyzed Trump's order.

Trump's climate order also withdrew a 2016 requirement by Obama that federal departments consider climate change when analyzing the environmental impacts of projects, as required under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970. Grannis predicts a rise in lawsuits filed against federal agencies over the completeness of their environmental reviews if they don't universally consider climate change. "This NEPA guidance was intended to forestall that litigation," she said.
 
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trumpclimateorder

March 31, 2017- Trump's Climate Order Threatens U.S. Disaster Prevention: Experts

U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order to sweep away Obama-era climate change regulations jeopardizes efforts across the country to build resilience to intensifying natural disasters, experts have warned. The executive order, signed on Tuesday, could make it harder to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the lower limit governments have pledged to strive for in a U.N. accord, they said.

"These reversals are coming at a moment when the impacts of climate change are intensifying," said Heather Coleman, climate change policy manager at Oxfam America. "The president is playing politics with people's lives," she told journalists in a telephone briefing.

Trump's order has drawn swift condemnation from a coalition of states and local governments, as well as green groups who say it threatens public health and have vowed to fight it in court. ... Experts said that while Trump's executive order undermined efforts to prepare for extreme events, and threatened funding and regulatory reforms, state and local governments would continue their work to protect communities.

"The problem is that the job of these state and local leaders just got a lot harder as a result of this executive order," said Jessica Grannis, adaptation program manager at the Georgetown Climate Center. "What this executive order does is to defy common sense and sound science - it will make it harder for cities and states to protect the lives, health and well-being of their residents," she said. Jobs would be put at risk as many small businesses often fail in the aftermath of extreme events, and investments would no longer take durability into account, she added.





The Resilience Roundup highlights CIRCA's  presence in the news, provides links to recent local/state/national news articles related to resilience and adaptation, and announces upcoming events and seminars.
 
The Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation's  (CIRCA) mission is to increase the resilience and sustainability of vulnerable communities along Connecticut's coast and inland waterways to the growing impacts of climate change and extreme weather on the natural, built, and human environment. The institute is located at the University of Connecticut's Avery Point campus and includes faculty from across the university. CIRCA is a partnership between UConn and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP). 


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