March 8, 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


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.

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


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.
More details can be found closer to the event at



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


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.
More information:
- How to apply for a 2017 New England Healthy Community Grant:
 - Additional background on EPA's New England Healthy Community Grants:


Local & State News Clips


March 1, 2017- Searching The Connecticut River Floodplain For Resistance To Dutch Elm Disease


"Hopefully we can come up with enough tolerant individuals with both sufficient tolerance and sufficient genetic diversity to restore the American elm. If we plant just one genotype that is highly tolerant that is not going to last because the disease is constantly evolving and we want the elms to co-evolve with the disease and that requires genetic diversity," he said.

Despite all the efforts, Marks pointed out that there are other challenges trees have to master from climate change to pests and pathogens and Mother Nature in the form of ice storms and droughts.

"But it's good if we can give them some genetic diversity to build on," he said. "It's possible to succeed. It's a long term proposition...there is all this hype about climate change adaptation right now and trees are super important about that...we can improve the health of the forest and trees we do have so they live longer, grow bigger and store more carbon. I think this is exactly where this work can come in."

The ultimate goal is to have the disease tolerant trees spread their seeds and repopulate the flood plains, Marks said.



February 25, 2017- DEEP Chief Pledges To Maintain Strong Environmental Rules, Even If EPA Weakens

Regardless of what happens with federal environmental programs, the mission and priorities of Connecticut's environmental protection agency won't change.

Leading the list are actions to curtail greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate change, improving the state's ability to adapt to rising sea levels and other climate change effects, increasing recycling and enforcing laws to ensure clean water and air.

"We will still maintain high environmental standards," said Rob Klee, commissioner of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. "We have a mission to protect public health and the environment."

During a phone interview Friday, Klee shared his concerns about expected rollbacks under the Trump administration of the federal Environmental Protection Agency's stance on enforcement of clean water and clean air rules, climate change initiatives, toxics regulations and vehicle mileage standards, among other areas.



February 19, 2017- Researcher Unveils Tool for Cleaner Long Island Sound

A new model released today at the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science by UConn ecologist Jamie Vaudrey pinpoints sources of nitrogen pollution along Long Island Sound, and shows municipalities what they might do to alleviate it.

Long Island Sound is an estuary of the Atlantic Ocean bordered by Connecticut to the north, New York City to the west, and Long Island to the south. The Sound is home to dozens of species of birds, 170 species of fish, and more than 1,200 species of invertebrates. Historically it has supported rich recreational and commercial fisheries for lobster, oysters, blue crabs, scallops, striped bass, flounder, and bluefish.

In recent decades however, those fisheries have suffered from excess nitrogen in the water. The extra nitrogen feeds seaweed and algae blooms that use up oxygen, killing fish, and changing the ecology in ways that make it less suited to shellfish. This is called eutrophication.



National News Clips


March 2, 2017- Flood Barrier in Brooklyn: A 7 Foot Wall, Erected in Hours

The next time the floodwaters come to Empire Stores on the Brooklyn waterfront - and there will almost surely be a next time - the medieval-looking landmark will be defended by a wall.

Two or three days before a really big storm is expected to arrive, 29 crates containing four- and seven-foot-tall panels will be trucked to the site, overlooking Brooklyn Bridge Park , from a local warehouse.
Should the forecast call for an unrelenting storm, workers will erect the panels a day before anticipated landfall, creating a 1,100-foot-long barricade - one-fifth of a mile - in four to five hours. If all goes as hoped, Empire Stores, which includes West Elm 's headquarters, will ride out the flood like a tasteful island in a surging sea.

Communities across the country are confronting the mounting evidence of climate change and fortifying buildings and infrastructure against rising sea levels and ever-more-intense storms. The New York Times is presenting case studies in resilient design in and around New York City. The series and a glossary are looking at tangible measures being taken to resist floods, surges, high winds and heavy rains.

Deployable flood barriers, which are in use around the world, are far from foolproof. But they are among the most straightforward and economical measures available.

Back to News Clips



March 1, 2017- Antarctica Sees Record Heat As Scientists Worry About Rising Seas

OSLO, March 1 (Reuters) - An Argentine research base near the northern tip of the Antarctic peninsula has set a heat record at a balmy 17.5 degrees Celsius (63.5° Fahrenheit), the U.N. weather agency said on Wednesday.

The Experanza base set the high on March 24, 2015, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said after reviewing data around Antarctica to set benchmarks to help track future global warming and natural variations.

"Verification of maximum and minimum temperatures help us to build up a picture of the weather and climate in one of Earth's final frontiers," said Michael Sparrow, a polar expert with the WMO co-sponsored World Climate Research Programme.

Antarctica locks up 90 percent of the world's fresh water as ice and would raise sea levels by about 60 meters (200 ft) if it were all to melt, meaning scientists are concerned to know even about extremes around the fringes.



March 1, 2017- New USGS Maps Identify Potential Ground-Shaking Hazards in 2017

New USGS maps identify potential ground-shaking hazards in 2017 from both human-induced and natural earthquakes in the central and eastern U.S., known as the CEUS. This is the second consecutive year both types of hazards are forecasted, as previous USGS maps only identified hazards from natural earthquakes. This research was published today in Seismological Research Letters.

Approximately 3.5 million people live and work in areas of the CEUS with significant potential for damaging shaking from induced seismicity in 2017. The majority of this population is in Oklahoma and southern Kansas.

Research also shows that an additional half million people in the CEUS face a significant chance of damage from natural earthquakes in 2017, which brings the total number of people at high risk from both natural and human-induced earthquakes to about 4 million.




February 28, 2017- The Geography of American Climate Confusion: A Visual Guide

Climate change may seem like a complicated issue, but it's actually simple if you understand five key facts, according to Edward Maibach, director of the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University.

They are: 1. It's real. 2. It's us. 3. Scientists agree. 4. It's bad. And: 5. There's hope.

Yet, far too few Americans get it.

That became more painfully apparent to me this week when Yale University researchers released data and maps that detail American attitudes on climate change. The data, which are based on surveys and modeling by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, do show there is broad agreement in the American public on the solutions needed to fight climate change and usher in the clean-energy era. The most striking example: majorities of people in every single congressional district support setting strict limits on carbon dioxide pollution from existing coal-fired power plants, according to the research.



February 28, 2017- With Climate Change, California is Likely To See More Extreme Flooding

Californians are in shock that after five years of too little water, the problem now is too much.

All eyes in California have been on Oroville Dam, where a broken spillway forced major evacuations. But the damage from winter storms has gone beyond the dam in the northern part of the state. Downstream, rivers are running high and levees have been breaching.

Some are calling this a wake-up call for California as climate change could bring similar damage.
In the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, about 60 feet of levee is just gone, having been eaten away. A huge crane is dumping rocks in that gash to try and stop the river from breaking through.

Steve Mello, a farmer on Tyler Island in the delta, about two hours from San Francisco, watches every rock load, anxiously gnawing on his cigar.

"Every hour we work, we're safer," he says. "We're not out of the woods yet by a long shot."
The farms and homes nearby would be underwater without this levee. Mello watched it crumble in only 15 minutes.



February 24, 2017- South Florida Continues Prep For Sea Level Rise

South Florida is taking more steps to protect against climate change and the rising seas that already are spilling over into neighborhoods.

This month, Broward County ordered that new flood maps be drawn using predictions of higher waters, the latest in a series of steps taken from Palm Beach County to the Keys.

Fort Lauderdale raised the required height of sea walls and the elevation of home sites; Delray Beach added valves to keep salt water out of the city drainage system; Broward County put a financing program in place for homeowners who want to tap solar energy.

That doesn't mean Florida is all ready and set for the ill effects of rising global temperatures. A nationally recognized advocacy group that rated states on preparedness gave Florida a C- .

The causes of climate change and debate about how far government should go to prepare for it continue to be a political flash point nationally. But at Florida's southern end, densely populated and with billions in real estate at stake, preparing for it has become commonplace.

"It's mainstream planning these days,'' Palm Beach County Commissioner Steve Abrams said. "It [also] took a while for people to understand that cigarettes are bad for you or to put on your seat belt.''


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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