Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - CT Green Building Council Event at State House "Financing Resilience in Connecticut"
Financing Resilience in Connecticut: Current Programs, National Models, and New Opportunities
Tuesday March 28, 2017- 7:30 am registration and breakfast, Program 8am to 10am. At the Connecticut State House, Old Judiciary Room (visitor parking at the Legislative Office Building)
An Educational Program on Financing Resilience in Connecticut for Legislators, Municipal and State Officials, Planners, Architects and Engineers Organized by the Connecticut Green Building Council Advocacy Committee
Speakers and Presenters include:
- Rep. James M. Albis, Deputy Majority Leader, 99th District - East Haven, Connecticut
- George Bradner, Property & Casualty Division, Connecticut Insurance Department
- Wayne Cobleigh, CPSM, Vice President, GZA and CTGBC Vice Chairman
- Rebecca A. French, Ph.D., Director of Community Engagement, Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA)
- David M. Kooris, AICP, Director, Rebuild by Design and National Disaster Resilience Programs, Connecticut Department of Housing
- Matt Macunas, Legislative Liaison & Marketing Manager, Connecticut Green Bank
Additional program details: Becoming more resilient to the impacts of climate change and extreme weather in Connecticut has come at a high price. To date, in Connecticut most of the dollars invested in resilient infrastructure have come from federal grants received after a declared disaster, but grants alone will not cover the bill. Listen to the lessons learned in Connecticut about unmet recovery needs from Irene, Alfred and Sandy. Living, working and playing on the coast, in our cities or near riverine floodplains are expected to increase our exposure to more climate risks. Our buildings' and infrastructure's vulnerability will increase due to more days with high temperatures, more flooding and more business disruption from extreme precipitation and storms due to the impacts of climate change.
So how are we going to set building codes and standards for more resilient design and pay for climate mitigation and climate adaptation? Our panelists will share their experience and perspectives on:
- the challenges with solvency and relying on the National Flood Insurance Program
- the limitations of national disaster recovery funding and competitive grants,
- the need for proactively financing resilience,
- some promising new financing mechanisms and insurance linked securities like R-PACE and Resilience Bonds that need to be pilot tested.
$10 Member Ticket
$20 Non-Member Ticket
Wednesday, April 5, 2017 - Webinar- Windsor Locks Goes TIF
Join us for a webinar about TIF in CT:
WINDSOR LOCKS GOES TIF!
A real-life Tax Increment Financing Case Study
What they did - How they did it - What happens next
April 5, 2017 at 11:00am-12:00pm
Co-sponsors: CCAPA, CT Main Street Center
1 AICP CM Credit
Susan Westa, AICP, Community Engagement Director
c/o Eversource PO Box 270
Friday, April 21, 2017 - Climate, Carbon & Cars
From Mass. v. EPA to Our Electric Future
Friday, April 21, 2017
8:30 am to
William F. Starr Hall,
45 Elizabeth St.,
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)
Tuesday, May 23, 2017 - CIRCA & NOAA present Green Infrastructure for
Coastal Resilience Training
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
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.
EPA Grants Available to Improve the Environment and Public Health in New England Communities - due April 7, 2017
EPA is making grant money available for New England communities to reduce environmental risks, protect and improve human health and improve the quality of life.
EPA New England's Healthy Communities Grant Program is currently accepting initial proposals for projects that will benefit one or more New England communities. EPA plans to award a total of approximately 10 cooperative agreements.
Eligible applicants include state and local governments, public nonprofit institutions or organizations, private nonprofit institutions or organizations, quasi-public nonprofit institutions or organizations, Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments, K-12 schools or school districts; and non-profit organizations (e.g. grassroots and/or community-based organizations).
The Healthy Communities Grant Program will identify and fund projects that:
- Target resources to benefit communities at risk [areas needing to create community resilience, environmental justice areas of potential concern, sensitive populations (e.g. children, elderly, tribes, urban/rural residents, and others at increased risk)].
- Assess, understand, and reduce environmental and human health risks.
- Increase collaboration through partnerships and community-based projects.
- Build institutional and community capacity to understand and solve environmental and human health problems.
- Advance emergency preparedness and ecosystem resilience.
- Achieve measurable environmental and human health benefits.
Eligible projects under this program must be located in and/or directly benefit one or more of the "target investment areas" and identify how the proposed project will achieve measurable environmental and/or public health results in one or more of the five "target program areas."
In 2017, "target investment areas" include: 1) Areas Needing to Create Community Resilience; 2) Environmental Justice Areas of Potential Concern, and/or Sensitive Populations.
"Target Program Areas" include: 1) Clean, Green, and Healthy Schools; 2) Community and Water Infrastructure Resilience; 3) Healthy Indoor Environments; 4) Healthy Outdoor Environments; and/or 5) Tribal Youth Environmental Programs. A description of these target areas can be found in the 2017 Application Guidance.
There is a two-step process for selecting proposals. The program requires the submission of an Initial Project Summary as a first step; then applicants with the highest quality proposals will be invited to submit full proposals for consideration. The deadline to submit an Initial Project Summary is April 7, 2017.
To help answer questions from prospective applicants, the Healthy Communities Grant Program will host three conference calls before the Initial Project Summary is due. The information sessions are being offered on March 15, 21, and 30, 2017. These information sessions are optional, but RSVP's are required. A registration form can be found in the Application Guidance.
- Additional background on EPA's New England Healthy Community Grants
CIRCA in the News
Back to News Clips
March 22, 2017- Gov. Malloy, DEEP Speak Against President Trump's Budget Cuts to EPA
HARTFORD -- Connecticut
Governor Dannel Malloy
and local leaders in science are calling
President Donald Trump
's budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency an attack on science and an attack on future generations.
The governor held a news conference Wednesday focused on how those cuts would impact Connecticut. President Trump is proposing a 31% cut to the agency's budget. Governor Malloy said that would include approximately $6 million in cuts to Connecticut's
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee said, "Science itself is under attack in the federal budget."
Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation Executive Director James O'Donnell, Connecticut Fund for the Environment President Donald Strait, and Connecticut's Acadia Center Office Director Bill Dornbos also spoke at the press conference about the possible impacts of these cuts.
Those impacts include slashed funding for hazardous waste clean up, bacteria testing at state beaches, clean water programs, and environmental efficiency programs.
"It's air. It's water. It's conservation. It's an attack on who we are and what we are," said Governor Malloy. "The bottom line is this is absolutely an attack on future generations, those yet unborn, who will suffer the consequences of this major retreat that the Trump administration is attempting to bring about."
Watch the Press Conference and Continue Reading...
March 17, 2017- Trump Would Slash CT Environment Funds; Hit To Sound Feared
Donald Trump's first proposed budget takes its biggest proportional cuts out of environmental programs, targeting climate change and science research in particular.
If enacted, the budget would translate in Connecticut into profound cuts to efforts to keep the air, water and land clean and combat climate change, environmental officials and advocates said.
"This is an assault on public health and the environment and particularly some of the most vulnerable populations," said Rob Klee, commissioner of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, which faces some of the deepest proposed cuts.
While the budget proposal is not likely to pass in its original form, it telegraphs a clear philosophy that climate change policy and funding is not an administration priority. Trump and his new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, have consistently questioned the science of climate change.
The EPA budget was slashed by nearly a third in Trump's proposal, and President Obama's Clean Power Plan to cut power plant emissions was eliminated.
But climate change-related cuts also were aimed at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA, the Department of Energy, and even the State Department, which would see all funding for United Nations climate change programs eliminated.
March 3, 2017 - Hartford Wins $350,000 Grant for 'Sustainability Office', Hartford Courant
The city of Hartford will use a $350,000 grant to create a new sustainability office with two full-time positions, Mayor
announced Friday at a climate change conference hosted by the UConn Law School.
The grants, funded by private and public organizations that raised the money specifically for sustainability efforts in the city, will pay for a sustainability coordinator for 22 months and a green-infrastructure specialist for one year.
The conference was titled "Municipal Climate Policy: Local Solutions for a Global Problem." The grant was funded by the Partners for Places Funders' Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation.
Local & State News Clips
March 21, 2017- Stop Destructive Airport Tree-Cutting Plan In Hartford, Groton
The Connecticut Airport Authority should withdraw its plans to cut down trees along the Connecticut River in Hartford and at Bluff Point State Park in Groton, and release new plans that protect aviators while safeguarding natural resources.
The airport authority has issued preliminary plans to remove a large number of healthy trees at and near several airports around the state. Although these proposals are intended to increase aviation safety, there is no meaningful analysis that shows that the trees pose existing threats or that the proposed level of tree removal is necessary. The state's conservation-minded citizens need to speak out and ensure that the airport authority reformulates its proposals in an environmentally responsible manner.
Two of the proposals stand out for the sheer level of environmental destruction they entail. The proposal for Hartford's Brainard Airport would remove at least 40 acres of trees, many of which stabilize the banks of the Connecticut River. The area has served as a nesting site for bald eagles in recent years and many of the trees are located on protected lands including the Keeney Cove Marsh State Wildlife Area and property held under Nature Conservancy conservation easements.
March 16, 2017- Connecticut Official: Shoreline Communities Risk Losing Storm Funds
HARTFORD >> Officials from eight coastal communities in Connecticut are being urged to quickly complete work on Superstorm Sandy-related infrastructure upgrades.
That's because further delay could result in a loss of federal funding for the projects.
In a letter sent Thursday, state Housing Commissioner Evonne M. Klein said 12 municipalities received money under the Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery program. Eight are considered "behind schedule," facing looming 2017 and 2018 deadlines.
March 9, 2017- Sacred Heart University Biology Department Plans Earth Day Event at Stratford Point
The Biology Department at Sacred Heart University is celebrating Earth Day this year with a project at Stratford Point that will have volunteers planting saltmarsh grass to help restore the eroding shoreline. The event, spearheaded by Professors Jennifer Mattei, LaTina Steele and Jo-Marie Kasinak, will take place Friday and Saturday, April 21-22 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Students of all ages and local volunteers will learn how to care for our fragile coastal habitats and estuaries. "The Lordship Cub Scout Pack 74 in Stratford were the first to volunteer," declared Kasinak, who also is outreach coordinator of Project Limulus. "These scouts, who help us with our horseshoe crab study, already understand the value of the beaches and saltmarsh for the survival of fish and wildlife."
Coastal development, pollution and continued harvest of fish and shellfish have changed the very structure and function of the shores of the Housatonic River and the Sound, Mattei noted. She and Steele have been studying the use of 'living shorelines' to combat the effects of climate change that are contributing to coastal erosion.
"The celebration will serve as an educational event to teach participants how to care for estuaries and restore their ecological services that we rely on," said Steele "We need to find more natural solutions to these problems and not just try to wall out the sea."
This event is open to the public. In addition to student volunteers from SHU, the University's biology club, Green SHUs environmental club, and alumni are expected to attend.
March 6, 2017- Accounting for Extreme Rainfall
A University of Connecticut climate scientist has confirmed that more intense and more frequent severe rainstorms will likely continue as temperatures rise due to global warming, despite some observations that seem to suggest otherwise.
In a research
appearing this week in Nature Climate Change, UConn civil and environmental engineering professor
explains that data showing the intensity of severe rainstorms declining after temperatures reach a certain threshold are merely a reflection of climate variability. It is not proof that there is a fixed upper temperature limit for future increases in severe rains, after which they would begin to drop off.
"We hope this information puts things in better perspective and clarifies the confusion around this issue," says Wang, who led an international team of climate experts in conducting the study. "We also hope this will lead to a more accurate way of analyzing and describing climate change."
Severe and prolonged rainstorms can have a devastating impact on local environments and economies and are closely watched. These damaging storms can cause catastrophic flooding; overwhelm sewage treatment plants; increase the risk of waterborne disease; and wipe out valuable crops.
National News Clips
March 23, 2017- Experts Press Trump Not To Dump Obama's Flood Standards
Experts on flooding are concerned President Trump might roll back an Obama-era order requiring public infrastructure to be built to withstand rising sea levels and heavier downpours.
The potential move comes as the administration is proposing a $1 trillion build-out of roads, bridges and other infrastructure over 10 years. Combined with the termination of the federal flood risk management standard, signed by former President Obama in 2015, the construction boom could result in new roads that are susceptible to flood damage and taxpayer losses, some experts say.
Eli Lehrer, president of the libertarian R Street Institute and an expert on flood policy, said that repealing the standard could also expand residential development in floodplains by encouraging the construction of roads and other services in disaster-prone areas.
"This will inevitably expand the need for disaster aid, both to rebuild federal facilities likely to be destroyed, and to help people who would be lured into harm's way by dumb decisions by central planners," Lehrer said of repealing the Obama order.
Obama's flood standard, enshrined in Executive Order 13690, was praised by floodplain managers and policy experts when it was released two years ago for requiring federal agencies to ensure that public infrastructure - from subsidized housing to water treatment plants - is built at least 2 feet above the 100-year flood standard. For critical infrastructure, like hospitals and fire departments, it ordered a 3-foot bump in elevation.
Back to News Clips
March 15, 2017- Doctors Warn Climate Change is Harming Our Health
isn't just happening in the
where more ice is melting year after year. Its impact is being felt right here at home, and it's posing a threat to the health of millions of Americans, say doctors representing 11 top U.S. medical societies. They are joining forces in Washington, D.C., today to speak out about the health risks posed by climate change.
They announced the formation of a new organization, the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health - made up of family physicians, pediatricians, obstetricians, allergists, internists and other medical experts - and are meeting with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to discuss their concerns. More than half of all U.S. doctors are members of one of the participating groups, which include the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
They'll also present a new report, "Medical Alert! Climate Change is Harming Our Health," which includes scientific evidence and accounts from doctors who see climate change exacerbating a wide range of health issues, including:
March 7, 2017- NOAA Sea Grant Cut Could Slow Climate Adaptation
As President Trump moves to rein in federal efforts to slow warming, his administration is also mulling cost-saving measures that would leave coastal Americans more vulnerable to rising seas, heavier deluges, acidifying waters and other effects of climate change.
A four-page budget memo
obtained by the Washington Post
showed the Trump administration may seek to eliminate the National Sea Grant College Program, which provides grant funds and other support for university-based efforts to strengthen coastal economies and communities.
The proposal is part of a broad effort to reduce funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a leading climate science agency.
Experts have warned
that the proposed cuts would hamstring NOAA's weather forecasting and climate modeling, jeopardizing public safety.
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).