CIRCA awarded a Matching Funds grant to the Stratford Point Living Breakwaters project led by Jennifer Mattei at Sacred Heart University.
Check out the CIRCA blog on the project:
Led by researchers at Sacred Heart University, this project expands an existing living shoreline project at Stratford Point, Fairfield County, Connecticut. On-going coastal restoration efforts and research at the site consist of an artificial reef, smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) marsh, high marsh, coastal dune and upland woody/grassland mosaics. In total, the project will provide an additional 750 feet of coastal erosion control, 4.5 acres of intertidal habitat, 1.5 acres of coastal dune habitat and 25 acres of woodland/meadow mix. Subsequent monitoring will provide additional understanding regarding the potential effectiveness of living shorelines as a means to increase coastal resilience and will inform future designs/guidelines for Connecticut and coastal communities in New England.
2017 Long Island Sound Futures Fund
NFWF is pleased to announce the 2017
Request for Proposals
for the Long Island Sound Futures Fund (LISFF). The RFP will close on
The RFP priorities include the following: 1) Clean Water and Healthy Watersheds; 2) Thriving Habitats and Abundant Wildlife; and 3) Educating to Engage Sustainable and Resilient Communities. The RFP is similar to previous years, but has been updated to include Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York for water quality nitrogen removal projects within the Long Island Sound watershed.
There is one webinar open for registration (webinar information is below). We encourage potential applicants to fully review the RFP and other supporting materials found on the website.
Applicant Webinar 2: 5/31 from 1:30pm to 3:00pm ET (Register here)
If you have any questions, please contact:
Coordinator, Long Island Sound and Delaware River
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
1133 Fifteenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
2017 Responsible Growth and Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Grant Program
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The Office of Policy and Management (OPM) is pleased to announce a Request for Applications (RFA) for the 2017 Responsible Growth and Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Grant Program. Municipalities and Regional Councils of Governments (COGs) are invited to apply for grants ranging between $10,000 and $2,000,000, for a wide range of planning and construction projects to advance State, regional, and local goals for responsible growth and transit-oriented development. Joint applications and partnerships are encouraged, and may also include non-profit and private entities, where appropriate. Priority may be given to applicants which have received implementation grants under CTNext's Innovation Places program.
Interested applicants must meet the project eligibility requirements and submit a completed Application Form as detailed in the RFA. Applications will be evaluated by OPM, in consultation with other agencies, based on the degree to which they satisfy the Program Objectives identified in Section C of the RFA. Proposals will be selected on a rolling basis, and selected applicants will be expected to collaborate with OPM, and other State agencies, to develop contract agreements and a scope of work structured around the applicant's initial proposal.
Applications for the 2017 program are due Friday June 23, 2017.
All correspondence relating to this program shall be directed to the Official State Contact, Matthew Pafford, at either Matthew.Pafford@ct.gov or Office of Policy and Management, 450 Capitol Avenue MS# 54ORG, Hartford, CT 06106-1379, in accordance with the requirements of the RFA.
The 2017 Responsible Growth and Transit-Oriented Development RFA is available at the following links:
The Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA)- Call for Research Proposals
The Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) is pleased to announce a new call for Research Proposals. Up to $200,000 is available for research proposals that address resilience of Connecticut's communities through a two-phase proposal process. While projects involving multiple investigators are encouraged,
the principal investigator must be a member of the University of Connecticut faculty
PRIORITY RESEARCH TOPICS:
Proposals should address research on at least one of the following CIRCA priority topics:
Socioeconomic impacts of climate change on Connecticut coastal municipalities;
Innovative approaches to resilient engineering and adaptation in Connecticut (e.g. green infrastructure for stormwater management);
Innovative financing approaches for adaptation in Connecticut; and
Effectiveness of "living shoreline" approaches to coastal erosion control in Connecticut.
Short pre-proposals will be solicited and reviewed by the CIRCA Executive Steering Committee and those that are most consistent with the CIRCA mission and these four research priorities will be encouraged to submit a full proposal. The CIRCA share of project costs should not be less than $40,000 or exceed $80,000. All proposals should include a plan to disseminate the results through community engagement.
June 6 - grant announcement
June 26 - informational webinar
July 26 - preliminary proposals due
August 16 - response to preliminary proposals
October 1 - full proposals due
November 1 - award announcement
For questions, please contact:
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June 21, 2017- Meriden Green Field Tour and Project Review - Sponsored by CAFM
As part of an ambitious flood mitigation project, the City of Meriden unearthed a once-hidden stretch of Harbor Brook, the waterway that passes through its downtown. Combining flood mitigation and economic revitalization, a key aspect of the project was the creation of the Meriden Green, a new urban park that doubles as a flood storage facility.
Please join the Connecticut Association of Floodplain Managers (CAFM) at 10:00am on Wednesday, June 21 for a morning tour of Meriden Green and related flood mitigation project components followed by a box lunch picnic. The rain date will be Friday, June 23.
Local & State News Clips
June 5, 2017- Joining Other States, Connecticut To Uphold Paris Climate Agreement
In the wake of President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement, Governor Dannel Malloy announced last week that Connecticut will join with other states to uphold its principles.
The coalition, calling itself the United States Climate Alliance, has said it is not only committed to the Paris climate agreement, but also in furthering steps to tackle climate change.
In a statement, Malloy said Connecticut "has been a national leader in combating climate change and we have no plans of slowing down our efforts."
WNPR spoke with Rob Klee, Commissioner of Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. His agency is responsible for implementing and overseeing Connecticut's climate efforts.
Klee said Trump's withdrawal from the accord was disappointing.
Rob Klee: The decision is really wrong on the science. It's the wrong side of the international consensus. It's [the] wrong side of where the public is in the United States. It's on the wrong side of our major corporations -- even members of his own administration, including folks who I think know a thing or two about risks associated with climate change. It's pretty much a wrong decision on all accounts.
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May 28, 2017- Forum: Long Island Sound Gains Made By Congress Threatened By Trump Budget
As we celebrated Long Island Sound Day Friday, it is important to note some exciting bipartisan developments that will put us in a better position to protect and preserve the Sound. In Connecticut, we know what an invaluable asset Long Island Sound is - not just for its scenic beauty and beaches, but also as a wildlife habitat and a job creator for our region.
But the long-term health of the Sound is threatened by pollution, rising sea levels, and declining marine life.
There's not a lot that gets bipartisan support in Congress lately, but, surprisingly, Congress increased funding for the Sound in the last bipartisan spending bill. I worked with the rest of our state's delegation in Congress to secure the new funds. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which writes these spending bills, I made this one of my priorities.
Most notably, Congress doubled funding for the Long Island Sound Program. This federal program funds the implementation of a conservation plan for the Sound, including improving water quality, reducing harmful nitrogen levels, restoring coastal habitats, and spreading public awareness.
National News Clips
June 5, 2017- New York Boardwalk Shows Climate Adaptation Costs
ROCKAWAY PENINSULA, N.Y. - Beachgoers in this New York City oasis can now flip-flop along a fully rebuilt boardwalk, one that reflects a coastal reimagination underway along the Mid-Atlantic and that heralds the staggering costs ahead of adapting to a changing climate.
Rockaway Beach, where a holiday getaway at the southern edge of Queens long ago transformed into a dense neighborhood, had its wooden boardwalk shredded by Hurricane Sandy. The homes behind it were crushed by a storm surge and inundated with floodwaters. Eight died here.
Nearly five years later, the wooden walkway has been replaced by more than five miles of sand-toned concrete atop 50 million pounds of sandbags and a retaining wall that holds in place new sand dunes. It is meant to help protect residents and residences from storm surges.
The boardwalk and dunes were built at a cost of $70 million a mile, with the final segment of beachfront walkway put in place last month.
"When Hurricane Sandy came, it lifted the whole boardwalk," said Kylie Murphy, the city parks department's project manager. "In some areas the whole thing was just demolished; it was gone. So we were really starting from scratch."
The replacement of a venerable wooden walkway with a lattice of rigid and sandy flood protection structures is emblematic of how planners are rethinking coastal infrastructure in a vulnerable region.
Seas along the New York coastline have risen by about a foot during the past century. Warming has melted ice and expanded ocean water, currents have shifted, and geological processes have caused land to sink. That extra sea level exacerbated Sandy's heavy toll.
June 1, 2017- Disaster Agency To Weather Hurricane Season With No Leader, Proposed Cuts
Forecasters say the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, which begins Thursday, could bring "above-normal" storm activity. Residents along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts are making sure they have supplies and plans in place if a storm hits.
But this year there are concerns that the federal agencies in charge of dealing with disasters - from providing emergency relief to rebuilding homes - may be less prepared than usual and could be hampered by proposed budget cuts.
Last year provided a reminder of why many say federal assistance is vital. In October, Matthew slammed into Haiti as a powerful Category 4 hurricane, killing more than 500. After that, it swept up the U.S. Atlantic coast, pounding communities like St. Augustine, Fla., where beaches were washed away and much of the downtown was underwater.
Eight months after the storm, St. Augustine and surrounding communities are still recovering, spending millions to rebuild the coastline. The emergency manager of St. John's County, Linda Stoughton, says federal support for that effort is vital. "We understand disasters are local," Stoughton says. "We responded. But we are going to need federal funding to make St. John's County back to where it was."
This year, key federal agencies that state and local governments and the public depend on still don't have leaders. Nearly five months after Donald Trump was sworn in as president, NOAA, the agency that oversees the government's weather forecasting, is still without an administrator, as is the agency that responds to disasters, FEMA.
May 31, 2017- A Refrain As Louisiana's Coast Washes Away: We're 'Water People. We Can't Leave
Locals put the crisis into a perspective that's easy to understand.
Louisiana loses a football field of land every hour of the day.
"Even my customers are starting to recognize it now," says charter boat captain Ripp Blank. "And it don't come back once it leaves."
Blank has been fishing the waters around Bayou Barataria - 30 miles or so north of the Gulf of Mexico - his entire life. If you're a newcomer, it can be hard to discern where the water ends and the land begins.
"It washes through little cuts and then before you know it a boat might go through it, two boats might go through it and then it just keeps getting bigger and bigger, deeper and deeper," Blank says of the vanishing land. "And before you know it, it's gone."
The Mississippi River Delta is one of the largest of its kind in the world. The river carries tons of sediment hundreds of miles to its mouth in the Gulf of Mexico. Natural flooding over thousands of years has built up the land. But modern flood control has stopped the natural cycle, and now the land is sinking.
May 30, 2017- Ominous and Overlooked: Back-bay Flooding Plagues Millions
OCEAN CITY, N.J. - Marty Mozzo gets a gorgeous show each night when the sun sets over wetlands near his property on the bay side of a barrier island.
When he and his wife bought the house in 2008, she looked at the marsh, where the only sign of water was a tiny trickle nearly a half mile away.
"Do you think this will flood?" she asked.
"How could it?" he replied. "Look how far away the water is."
Within weeks of moving in, a storm stranded them for two days with water on all sides. Theirs is one of several neighborhoods in Ocean City, New Jersey, where residents have adopted unofficial flood etiquette: Don't drive too fast through flooded streets or you'll create wakes that slam into houses, scatter garbage cans, and damage lawns and gardens.
They are among millions of people worldwide whose lives and land are being dampened by back-bay flooding - inundation of waterfront areas behind barrier islands where wind and tides can create flooding during storms or even on sunny days. It's a type of flooding that tends to be overshadowed by oceanfront storm damage that grabs headlines - and government spending - with dramatic video of crashing waves and splintered houses.
"This insidious flooding is increasing, and it is an important social issue, but it is not getting enough attention paid to it," said S. Jeffress Williams, a coastal scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey. "Flooding is happening with increasing frequency in back bay areas. It happens very rapidly; it's just not as dramatic."
May 25, 2017- Bipartisan Bill Introduced To Fix Neighborhood Floods
As floodwaters from some of the highest tides of the year spilled this week into cul-de-sacs and avenues from Delaware to Hawaii, federal legislation was introduced to ease the growing toll that rising seas are taking on coastal neighborhoods.
Rep. Carlos Curbelo, a Republican from Florida who champions climate action, joined with Rep. Seth Moulton, a Democrat from Massachusetts, in introducing H.R.2607, a bill to provide $3 billion a year toward projects that improve wetlands and infrastructure to alleviate "frequent and chronic" coastal flooding.
"Although the bill makes no mention of climate change or sea level rise, it's clear from the language that that's what its drafters have in mind," said James DeWeese, a fellow at the Georgetown University Law Center researching climate change adaptation policy. "Flooding is already one of our costliest natural hazards - and climate change is exacerbating the risks."
Billions of dollars of federal work to reduce flood hazards already focuses heavily on protecting high-value oceanfront property from storm surges. Lower-income neighborhoods built near bays and coastal rivers are being left vulnerable to frequent floods when tides are high.
May 23, 2017- How Rising Seas and Coastal Storms Drowned the U.S. Flood Insurance Program
Long Beach Island is the largest and richest barrier island in New Jersey, an oasis of sprawling oceanfront retreats and second homes located midway down the state's heavily developed coast, a two-hour drive from the metropolitan centers of New York City and Philadelphia. On a clear day, visitors in the southern end can see the shiny facades of the Atlantic City casinos rising like obelisks across Great Bay. In the north, historic Barnegat Lighthouse towers over an unruly inlet steadied by boulders stretching into the Atlantic Ocean. In many places, the long, slender island is barely a few feet above sea level. And like most of New Jersey's coast, it has been eroding for decades, leaving it vulnerable to flooding and rising seas.
Recently, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers pumped more than ten million cubic yards of sand from offshore dredges to widen Long Beach Island's beaches and dunes - part of a Sisyphean-like effort to protect the island's $15 billion of high-calorie real estate. But there is a problem. The sand keeps washing away. A series of storms over the last two years gouged the neatly groomed beaches, costing tens of millions in additional repairs. When all is said and done, the project will cost more than half a billion dollars, most of the money paid by U.S. taxpayers.
Like other barrier islands up and down the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, Long Beach Island is drowning in slow motion. Over the last century, researchers estimate that the ocean and bays that flank the island have risen by about a foot. That doesn't sound like much, but the added water has made a huge difference in life on the island. Barnegat Bay now routinely washes over the bulkheads and floods the streets. Occasionally, school buses have to wait for the water to recede to pick up or drop off children. Even more worrisome, the rising water makes it easier for storm surge and waves to do more damage in violent storms such as Hurricane Sandy, which wrecked Long Beach Island and the back-bay communities in Ocean County in October of 2012.
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).