May 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



Funding and Technical Assistance Resources

A compilation of resources that can provide help and guidance for individuals, businesses and municipalities in recovering  from disaster and preparing for future events.

Resources described below contain a wide range of federal, private, and non-profit funding, program and technical assistance resources that may be available pre and/or post disaster. The list includes: 

1. Federal disaster recovery funding opportunities, technical guidance, and program resources 
2. National resources for State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial (SLTT) governments
3. Other federal funding programs that are available to tribal and local governments through a congressional supplemental allocation 
4. Federal technical assistance to tribal and local governments to better prepare them for future disaster recovery



Resilience and Adaptation in New England database

Here's what's new:

Almost 200 communities are now included the database! 196 to be exact. Communities include any group of people working on or planning for climate change adaptation such as, tribes, municipalities, cities, towns, states, specific New England waters, regional planning commissions, and other groups.

Two new spotlights:

o    Mattapoisett, MA - recently conducted a vulnerability assessment for their wastewater and drinking water systems and created "Weather Ready Mattapoisett" to help their community be more resilient for the future. Mattapoisett is also featured as a case study in the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit.                                                                                                                                  
o    West Haven, CT- is removing homes that experience repetitive loss and restoring the land to its natural state.

Reports have been updated and are easier to read.  

60 communities have joined climate and resilience programs in our region since the last update. These include Massachusetts' Green Communities, Compact of Mayors, and the National Weather Service StormReady program.



2017 Responsible Growth and Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Grant Program

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 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 State of Connecticut Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan project RFP

The State of Connecticut, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection/Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DESPP/DEMHS) is seeking proposals to update the State of Connecticut's Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan, approved January 9, 2014. This is a time sensitive project. The State of Connecticut is required to update and receive Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approval for its natural hazard mitigation plan every five years. The updated NHMP must be approved and adopted by the State no later than January 9, 2019. A copy of Connecticut's current Natural Hazard Mitigation plan can be downloaded from this website.

RFP here


Local & State News Clips

May 5, 2017- Risk Study: Stonington Roads, Buildings Are Vulnerable In 100-Year Storm

Much of the town's infrastructure would be vulnerable in the event of a 100-year storm, but changes can be made gradually to mitigate the risks and develop coastal resiliency.

That was the conclusion of Arup, a global engineering firm with offices in Cambridge, Mass., whose consultants presented the interim results of its long-term planning study of the town's assets and risks related to storms and climate change at a public session Thursday at the Mystic Seaport Meeting House.

The town hired Arup last fall after receiving a $150,000 grant from the Connecticut Department of Housing for the development of a Coastal Resilience Plan.

About 70 people attended the session, which laid out the town's vulnerabilities in the event of a 100-year storm and suggested steps the town can take to protect itself from storm surge and sea-level rise.

Kate Wholey, a resilience consultant at Arup, said the study used a risk assessment formula that included variables such as whether a community facility had multiple uses. For example, the high school could be used as an emergency shelter. The study also looked at the impact of losing critical facilities and key services such as medical clinics, and police and fire protection.
Back to News Clips


May 3, 2017- Rising Sea Levels Put Connecticut's Marshes At Risk

Old Lyme - With sea-level rise in Long Island Sound predicted to be as much as 6 feet by the end of this century, the remaining salt marshes on Connecticut's coast are particularly vulnerable to disappearing completely unless steps are taken to preserve them.

David Kozak, senior coastal planner for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, offered that message Tuesday to an audience of about 80 people at the Town Hall. Kozak's talk was one of a series of environmental science lectures sponsored by the Connecticut Audubon Society's Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center.

"Our marshes are constantly trying to keep up with sea-level rise," he said. "It's this constant battle between the water and the land."

Marshes, transitional landscapes that provide critical habitat and food supply for wildlife, also buffer shorelines against flooding and storm surge, he noted. But many marshes were filled or have been severely compromised by development, making it even more important to preserve those that remain, he said.

"They've been diked, they've been drained, they've been ditched and we have roads going through them," Kozak said.

DEEP and other coastal planners, he said, are using the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model, or SLAMM, to show how the sea-level rise will impact specific marshes and adjacent roads vulnerable to flooding. Using sea-level rise predictions, land surface elevations, tidal data and other variables, he said, the model shows how a marsh is likely to change and identifies where conservation resources can be used most effectively.



April 20, 2017- CT Fires Its First Shots In Battle With Trump Over Environment

Connecticut is ready for battle. But no guns, no grenades, no things that go boom here. Just a platoon of lawyers armed with the Clean Air and Water acts and a lot of guidance from the U.S. Supreme Court.

The goal is just that - clean air and water - but also vigilance in combating climate change in the face of Trump administration actions to roll back, alter or even eliminate existing environmental regulations and programs.

California, the longstanding face of cutting-edge environmental policy, has hired Obama Attorney General Eric Holder to spearhead its anti-Trump environmental action. Considerably smaller Connecticut is running its offense with a dozen or so attorneys in Attorney General George Jepsen's office.

The state could turn out to be one of the most uniquely qualified to challenge the Trump administration on environmental policy.

"Connecticut fights way above its weight in a number of the areas on the national scene," Jepsen said. "Environmental issues is one of those areas."

Especially on matters related to air quality. That's because, after California, Connecticut has some of the worst air in the country - and it's not its own fault - more on that later. Policies threatened by Trump during the campaign and now beginning to take shape could make it even worse.



April 18, 2017- Connecticut Climate Protection Advocates See A Future If People Want It

State environmental activists believe there can be a future, both for jobs in Connecticut and for life on Earth, as long as people are willing to unite for a cause and find common ground.

Advocates from environmentalist groups, unions, churches and the U.S. Senate said Tuesday at Common Ground High School, a farming and environmentally-focused charter school, that the need for climate action is urgent, especially as President Donald Trump's administration continues to roll back environmental protections from the Obama era.

"It is literally a fight for the future in the most fundamental way," said John Harrity, president of the Connecticut State Council of Machinists. "The solution to climate change rests with the people."

The Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs , which organized the event, is a statewide initiative that strives to find mutually beneficial solutions for environmentalists and laborers through solutions such as creating green energy jobs or improving public transportation infrastructure.

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy said climate change is "a meteor that is hurtling towards Earth" and "the clock is ticking on our ability to prevent disaster."


climateNational News Clips

May 5, 2017- Climate Change Is Already Forcing U.S. Communities To Abandon Their Homes

Projections of climate-fueled sea level rise show terrifying scenarios with major economic centers like New York and Miami losing much of their land to rising seas. But for some communities in the United States, losing land to climate change isn't a future nightmare- it's a present and daily struggle.

According to new analysis from the Center for Progressive Reform, at least 17 communities across the United States are currently being forced to relocate due to climate change. And the majority of those 17- like the residents of Isle de Jean Charles in Louisiana- are indigenous communities for whom relocation would mean leaving coastal areas replete with cultural and economic significance.

"Community displacements due to climate change are about so much more than moving possessions and finding new homes," the report's co-author Maxine Burkett said in a statement. "They uproot entire communities and tear at the fabric of life, while threatening cohesiveness and culture, as well as doing harm to individuals, families, and businesses."

But relocation could be made easier, according to the report, if federal and state governments work to create opportunities for impacted communities to purchase or obtain land in less vulnerable areas.

Back to News Clips


April 27, 2017- California Says Oceans Could Rise Higher Than Thought

SAN FRANCISCO - New climate-change findings mean the Pacific Ocean off California may rise higher, and storms and high tides hit harder, than previously thought, officials said.

The state's Ocean Protection Council on Wednesday revised upward its predictions for how much water off California will rise as the climate warms. The forecast helps agencies in the nation's most populous state plan for climate change as rising water seeps toward low-lying airports, highways and communities, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Discoveries that ice sheets are melting increasingly fast in Antarctica, which holds nearly 90 percent of the world's ice, largely spurred the change.

As fossil-fuel emissions warm the Earth's atmosphere, melting Antarctic ice is expected to raise the water off California's 1,100 miles (1,770 kilometers) of coastline even more than for the world as a whole.

"Emerging science is showing us a lot more than even five years ago," council deputy director Jenn Eckerle said Thursday.

Gov. Jerry Brown has mandated that state agencies take climate change into account in planning and budgeting. The council's projections will guide everything from local decisions on zoning to state action on whether to elevate or abandon buildings near the coast and bays.


April 26, 2017- U.S. Vulnerable to Worst of Extreme Sea Rise

The beginning of a collapse this century of sections of the Antarctic ice sheet would disproportionately inundate coasts circling the U.S. - the country that has done more than any other to pollute the climate.

While such a cataclysmic outcome of warming temperatures from greenhouse gas pollution is considered unlikely, recent studies have shown it's more plausible than previously thought.
Based on that research, the federal government increased its worst-case scenario for the rise of the seas worldwide by a quarter in January compared with 2014 findings, up to an average of more than 8 feet by 2100.

The impact would be even worse around the U.S. A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report warned that regional effects of gravity and ocean current changes triggered by the start of the ice sheet's collapse could lead to more than 12 feet of sea level rise engulfing some coastlines in the Lower 48. That's about the height of a one-story house.

NOAA's extreme sea level rise scenario would leave many American coastal cities almost completely submerged. For example, unless hulking new defenses are built to protect against floods, portions of New York City that are currently home to more than 800,000 would be underwater, Climate Central analysis of NOAA data shows.

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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