February 22, 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.


Case Studies for Adaptation: US EPA Resilience and Adaptation in New England (RAINE) Database

T he RAINE database now includes information about 170 New England communities, including 25 new communities.

The Resilience and Adaptation in New England (RAINE) database is a collection of vulnerability, resilience and adaptation reports, plans and webpages at the state, regional and community level.




You are invited to this event that will bring together municipal and state agency staff, UConn faculty, and CIRCA  Advisory Committee  members. The following agenda has current poster topics that 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.

Please RSVP by March 1, 2017 to

12:30 - 2:30 CIRCA Project Poster Session
12:30 - 1:00 Registration and poster setup
1:00 - 1:10 Welcome
Jeff Seemann - Vice President for Research, UConn
Rob Klee - Commissioner, CT DEEP
1:10 - 1:20 CIRCA overview
Jim O'Donnell - Executive Director, CIRCA
1:20 - 2:20 Project poster viewing and networking
2:20 - 2:30 Announcement of new CIRCA funding availability


Building Healthy Places: Enhancing Health in the Built Environment

When: March 6, 2017, 12:00-1:30 PM
Where: Landmark Square Conference Center
4 Landmark Square
StamfordCT  06901

Our built environment can have a profound effect upon our health and productivity. Community planners, developers, property owners, building managers, investors and others involved in real estate decision-making are seeking ways to craft buildings and projects in ways that enhance and promote health. There are a number of building standards that incorporate healthy practices while making their buildings more sustainable.

The Urban Land Institute has identified 21 evidence based strategies to promote health at the building or project scale organized around physical activity, healthy food and drinking water, and healthy environment and social well being.

Employers have also taken on workplace wellness programs to improve the health of their employees, drive employee engagement, increase productivity and reduce costs. Retail grocery stores are hiring registered dietitians to help their customers make healthy choices, while nonprofits continue to provide services to assist their clients to improve their lives.

Are the stars now aligned to forge new partnerships on population health? Join us for a lively discussion on:
* The strategies that ULI is recommending that can improve health outcomes;
* Possible partnerships between employers, building owners and community providers to take population health to the next level.




The 22nd Gallivan Conference - Municipal Climate Policy: Local Solutions for a Global Problem

Friday, March 3, 2017
8:30 am to  4:00 pm

UConn School of Law, Reading Room,  William F. Starr Hall, 
45 Elizabeth St.,  Hartford CT   06105-2290

Presented by: Sara Bronin, Thomas F. Gallivan Chair in Real Property Law,
and the Center for Energy & Environmental Law

The density of human beings and infrastructure that make cities vibrant also leaves them especially vulnerable to the threats presented by climate change. As extreme weather events become increasingly frequent and intense, and greenhouse gas emissions continue to erode air quality, cities across the United States are responding by taking steps to build community resilience while simultaneously addressing the root causes of climate change. "Climate Action Plans" are the guiding frameworks utilized by localities to achieve these ends.
"Municipal Climate Policy: Local Solutions for a Global Problem" is an innovative combined conference and workshop, bringing academic scholarship and community planning together in one venue. The conference will begin by featuring scholars and practitioners who have a global perspective on local responses to climate change. The afternoon session will be a workshop, where attendees can collaborate with panelists in an attempt to review the climate action planning efforts of the city of Hartford, which are being undertaken in collaboration with UConn Law students. A climate action plan that addresses the sources of climate change while planning for adaptation will have long-term positive effects on the health and well-being of all who live and work in Hartford. Ultimately, it is the local sustainability actions taken by cities that will coalesce to achieve substantial results on a global scale.
Co-Sponsored by the Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association and the City of Hartford Climate Stewardship Council
*Eligible for 3 hours of CT CLE Credit and 5 AICP CM Credits



CIRCA's Director of Community Engagement, Rebecca French will participate on panel:
"Financing For Resilience: Innovation At The Intersection Of Risk And Capital", Saturday, February 25th at 10:30.

Event time: 
Friday, February 24, 2017 - 12:00pm to Saturday, February 25, 2017 - 7:00pm

Kroon Hall, 195 Prospect Street,  New HavenCT

Event description: 
The Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies presents the 7th annual New Directions in Environmental Law Conference.
A great program is planned, including panels on climate geopolitics, the Arctic, and creative solutions in water resource policy. Check out the full conference agenda when you  register! Session descriptions and event details will be available soon.
Visit  ndel.yale.edu for more information. Register early to get access to pre-conference workshops!


CIRCA Matching Funds Program

The CIRCA Executive Steering Committee is excited to announce funding under the Matching Funds Program - up to $100,000 is available. CIRCA will consider requests from Connecticut municipalities, institutions, universities, foundations, and other non-governmental organizations for matching funds for projects that address the mission of the Institute. To be funded, a successful Matching Funds Request Form must have a commitment of primary funding within 6 months of the CIRCA award announcement, or have received a waiver from the CIRCA Executive Steering Committee. CIRCA Matching Funds will provide up to 25% of the primary funder's contribution other than municipal or State of Connecticut funds to enhance the likely success of project proposals that advance CIRCA research and implementation priorities. Proposals are required to leverage independent funding awarded through a competitive process. CIRCA matching funds are intended for grant proposals in preparation.
Project proposals should develop knowledge and/or experience that is transferable to multiple locations in Connecticut and have well-defined and measurable goals. Preference will be given to those that involve collaboration with CIRCA to address at least one of the following priority areas:
  • Improve scientific understanding of the changing climate system and its local and regional impacts on coastal and inland floodplain communities;
  • Develop and deploy natural science, engineering, legal, financial, and policy best practices for climate resilience;
  • Undertake or oversee pilot projects designed to improve resilience and sustainability of the natural and built environment along Connecticut's coast and inland waterways;
  • Create a climate-literate public that understands its vulnerabilities to a changing climate and which uses that knowledge to make scientifically informed, environmentally sound decisions;
  • Foster resilient actions and sustainable communities - particularly along the Connecticut coastline and inland waterways - that can adapt to the impacts and hazards of climate change; and
  • Reduce the loss of life and property, natural system and ecological damage, and social disruption from high-impact events.

Those requesting Matching Funds should consult the CIRCA office via email at   CIRCA_matchingfunds@uconn.edu  with any questions.

Please see our growing  Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page .

The current review will be held on   March 6
, 2017.



NOAA is dedicated to investing in the tools and resources communities and businesses need to address the impacts of extreme weather and climate-related hazards, as well as to restore coastal habitat to enhance the resilience of coastal ecosystems and the communities that rely on them. NOAA has developed the Coastal Resilience Grants Program to strengthen our economy and provide sustainable and lasting benefits.
This competition represents the integration of two existing grant programs: the Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency Grants Program administered by NOAA Fisheries, and the Regional Coastal Resilience Grants Program administered by NOAA's National Ocean Service. The competition will fund projects that build resilience, including activities that protect life and property, safeguard people and infrastructure, strengthen the economy, or conserve and restore coastal and marine resources.
The NOAA Coastal Resilience Grants Program will support two categories of activities: strengthening coastal communities and habitat restoration. Applicants can now submit proposals for both categories through the same funding opportunity.
  1. Strengthening Coastal Communities: activities that improve capacity of multiple coastal jurisdictions (states, counties, municipalities, territories, and tribes) to prepare and plan for, absorb impacts of, recover from, and/or adapt to extreme weather events and climate-related hazards.
  2. Habitat Restoration: activities that restore habitat to strengthen the resilience of coastal ecosystems and decrease the vulnerability of coastal communities to extreme weather events and climate-related hazards.
Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, regional organizations, private entities, and local, state, and tribal governments. Typical award amounts will range from $250,000 to $1 million for projects lasting up to three years. Cost-sharing through cash or in-kind contributions is expected. Projects must be located in one or more of the 35 U.S. coastal states or territories.
Additional Information

NOAA 2017 Coastal Resilience Grant Information Session
Join representatives from the National Ocean Service and National Marine Fisheries Service for a short presentation, followed by a question and answer period. No preregistration is required.
When: January 30, 2017 3-4 p.m. Eastern
Telephone Toll-free (domestic): 888-677-1838
Passcode: 6704453
Conference number: PW2601255


Local & State News Clips

February 14, 2017- DEEP Announces Update of its Green Plan, The Day

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection on Tuesday announced it has updated the 2016-20 Comprehensive Open Space Acquisition Strategy (Green Plan), which guides the state's effort to meet its goal of conserving 21 percent, or 673,210 acres, of Connecticut's land base as open space by year 2023.

The Green Plan is a statewide planning document developed by DEEP in partnership with municipalities and numerous conservation organizations to guide land acquisitions toward achieving the state's open space goal. Ten percent of the open space goal is to be held by the state, while the remaining 11 percent is to be held by conservation partners: municipalities, nonprofit land conservation organizations and water companies.

As of Dec. 31, 2015, about 501,330 acres were held as open space in Connecticut, or 74.5 percent of the total state open space goal.

"The goal of our Green Plan is to increase the amount of protected land and also to make certain we protect lands of the highest conservation value in the state," DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee said in a news release. "Connecticut's great diversity in landscapes is fundamental to our high-quality of life, and the Green Plan provides a framework everyone can work from to protect Connecticut's special places for the natural resources we so value, today and for future generations."

The newly revised Green Plan contains an action strategy with acquisition priorities and targeted acreages to protect specific lands identified as capable of providing certain benefits, such as buffers to climate change, critical wildlife habitats and recreational trails, DEEP said.



February 10, 2017- Breaking News. No Pun Intended


When ice melts, it makes water, which flows everywhere and makes a mess. In scientific parlance, this is called "global sea-level rise." And you can visualize what that looks like via NOAA's Climate Explorer , which allows you to see impacts in your hometown or in any county in the contiguous US.

Planning a new distribution center? You can compare location vulnerabilities right here.

Curious, I plugged in my hometown in suburban Connecticut and navigated to the "Days with Maximum Above 95°F." I can't remember much blistering heat as a kid, and the graph confirms my memory: there's virtually zero incidence of such high temps until about twenty years ago - with likelihood burgeoning through the end of the century, when we'll be sizzling off the charts. In metropolitan New York City, as elsewhere, these beastly hot days will clearly, steadily increase, with broad health implications for people with asthma, for example, or pregnant women, or people who must work outside in the sweltering heat. To say nothing of onerous loads on cooling capacity. Or the drought that might accompany these conditions.


National News Clips

February 17, 2017- In Massachusetts, Coastal Residents Consider How To Adapt To Climate Change

Living by the ocean might sound nice, but in the era of climate change, it's a risky proposition.
As sea levels rise, coastal residents are faced with tough choices: try to fortify their homes, move to higher ground or just pull up roots and leave.

Homeowners in Nahant, Mass., are grappling with these wrenching questions. The community lies on a rocky crescent moon of land in the Atlantic Ocean just north of Boston.

For its entire history, it has been at the mercy of the ocean.



February 16, 2017- Robert Thorson: Oroville Dam One of Many Aging Structures

One of President Donald Trump's primary initiatives is to put workers back to work on public infrastructure. Though transportation is usually the highest priority, I suggest we pay more attention to the tens of thousands of aging dams spread across the country.

As I write, the communities below California's Oroville Dam - the nation's highest at 770 feet - remain on high alert. Recently, there's been so much rain and melting snow that officials had to open the dam's emergency spillway for the first time in its 50-year history. Then that spillway began to fail by erosion. Officials, worried that the spillway could collapse at any moment, issued an emergency evacuation order affecting nearly 200,000 people. The concern was that a 30-foot wall of turbulent muddy water would roar down the upper part of the Feather River, destroying everything in its path, and that, farther down, the torrent would breach levees to flood residents of three counties.



February 15, 2017- As Sea Levels Rise, Vital Salt Marshes Are Disappearing

The Ridgway's rail is a rare bird that relies on the salt marshes south of Los Angeles to survive. And that's why its future is in doubt - the salt marsh is disappearing under rising seas.

Scientists working with the federal government said the rail's plight at Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge is indicative of what's happening to salt marshes around the country.

Their assessment of eight of the country's coastal salt marshes found that half will be gone in 350 years if they don't regain some lost ground. The other four also are backsliding, and coastal communities and wildlife will suffer as the marshes continue to deteriorate.

"That's something that's happening right in front of our eyes - an endangered bird that doesn't have anywhere to nest anymore," said Neil Ganju , the lead author of the study.

Salt marshes are ecosystems along the coast flooded frequently by seawater. They provide vital habitat for animals, such as birds, crustaceans and shellfish, and are important for their role in protecting coastal areas where people live from flooding and erosion.




February 15, 2017- Oak Bluffs Selectmen Weigh Big-Ticket Infrastructure Expenditures

Costly fixes to bulging bluffs, eroding beaches, and waning wastewater capacity were presented to Oak Bluffs selectmen at their regular meeting on Tuesday night.
Selectmen were told that repairs to stabilize East Chop Bluff, to renourish eroding town beaches, and to expand a maxed-out wastewater treatment plant - all by 2020 - will cost the town roughly $53 million.

A $12 million plan to restore East Chop Bluff, and $14 million plans to renourish town beaches from North Bluff south to the Inkwell, were presented to selectmen by engineer Carlos Pena, from Marion-based CLE Engineering.

Mr. Pena, who also supervised the North Bluff seawall project, showed selectmen pictures taken that day of East Chop Bluff. "There has been an acceleration of deterioration since Jan. 17," he said, referring to the date of the first nor'easter of 2017, which had since been followed by two more storms. "You can see the pavement jutting through the bank; we never saw that before. The bottom of the bank continues to deteriorate. The root mass has been holding it together. If it was just sand, it wouldn't be there anymore."

The East Chop Bluff project is currently in the permitting and funding phase. Mr. Pena said plans are to shore up East Chop Bluff, which includes design work, permitting, and construction on 2,500 feet of coastal bank, and also to include a removable set of stairs for improved beach access, and possibly a walkway that stretches the length of East Chop.



February 9, 2017- Coastal Cities Could Flood Three Times a Week By 2045

The lawns of homes purchased this year in vast swaths of coastal America could regularly be underwater before the mortgage has even been paid off, with new research showing high tide flooding could become nearly incessant in places within 30 years.

Such floods could occur several times a week on average by 2045 along the mid-Atlantic coastline, where seas have been rising faster than nearly anywhere else, and where lands are sagging under the weight of geological changes.

Washington and Annapolis, Md. could see more than 120 high tide floods every year by 2045, or one flood every three days, according to the study, published last week in the journal PLOS ONE. That's up from once-a-month flooding in mid-Atlantic regions now, which blocks roads and damages homes.

"The flooding would generally cluster around the new and full moons," said Erika Spanger-Siegfried, a Union of Concerned Scientists analysts who helped produce the new study. "Many tide cycles in a row would bring flooding, this would peter out, and would then be followed by a string of tides without flooding."



February 7, 2017- Who's Still Fighting Climate Change? The U.S. Military

Ten times a year, the Naval Station Norfolk floods. The entry road swamps. Connecting roads become impassable. Crossing from one side of the base to the other becomes impossible. Dockside, floodwaters overtop the concrete piers, shorting power hookups to the mighty ships that are docked in the world's largest naval base.

All it takes to cause such disarray these days is a full moon, which triggers exceptionally high tides.

Norfolk station is headquarters of the Atlantic fleet, and flooding already disrupts military readiness there and at other bases clustered around the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, officials say. Flooding will only worsen as the seas rise and the planet warms. Sea level at Norfolk has risen 14.5 inches in the century since World War I, when the naval station was built. By 2100, Norfolk station will flood 280 times a year, according to one estimate by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

This visibly changing geography made Norfolk the natural poster child for the climate challenges confronting the Defense Department-and seems as good a setting as any to consider the fate of climate science and the military in the new political era in Washington that will set the bar for how climate science is pursued by the government.

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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