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.
  • May 2, 2016 - Green Bank raid upsets business, environmental communities, CT Mirror
  • April 27, 2016 - Green infrastructure project to combat storm water runoff in Bridgeport, Bridgeport News
  • April 19, 2016 - Connecticut ranks among 'greenest' states, CT Post
  • April 30, 2016 - Saving Louisiana's coast: Curbing emissions critical to avoiding devastating sea level rise, The Advocate
  • April 29, 2016 - Obama administration warns of 'climate refugees' due to rapid Arctic warming, The Guardian
  • April 24, 2016 - World heading for catastrophe over natural disasters, risk expert warns, The Guardian
  • April 22, 2016 - San Francisco Combats Rising Sea Levels With Solar Panels, The Huffington Post
  • April 22, 2016 - Surviving the 100-Year Flood Doesn't Mean 99 Years of Safety, Bloomberg
  • April 22, 2016 - Virginia sets up fund (without funding) to help property owners prepare for sea-level rise, The Virginian-Pilot
  • April 20, 2016 - "The new abnormal" - the latest Houston flood disaster's climate context, Texas Climate News

  •  Executive Order signed on Earth Day to Strengthen State Building Code to Limit Storm Damage as a Result of Climate Change.
  • May 24 or 25, 2016 - Social Media for Natural Disaster Response and Recovery course being offered in East Haddam, CT by the National Disaster and Preparedness Training Center. Two training dates available; May 24 or May 25.
  • May 16, 2016 - Next review date for CIRCA Matching Funds Program. These funds are meant to help Connecticut organizations bring in new sources of funding for resilience. For this reason these CIRCA funds can provide the match for proposals that will be submitted to an external funding organization. Applicants should apply to CIRCA before they submit their proposal or before the external grant award is made. The CIRCA award will provide up to 25% or up to $100,000 in funding to match a non-state or non-municipal grant proposal.
localLocal & State News Clips

Connecticut's ground-breaking Green Bank - a first-in-the-nation model being replicated nationally and internationally - is facing the loss of 65 percent of the next fiscal year's funding in the latest state budget proposal from Democratic legislators.
The proposed cut has brought vehement opposition from both the business and environmental communities - groups that often disagree on energy matters. They say that the cuts are either exorbitant or that this particular money shouldn't be touched at all, pointing to the way the bank both gets and uses its money.
Neither of the bank's two principal sources of funding comes from taxpayer dollars. Most comes from fees consumers pay on their electric bills. A much smaller amount comes from the price power plants in Connecticut pay to pollute.
While some of the money it gets walks out the door as grants, most is leveraged in different ways to hopefully make more money, but also in ways that make the bank self-sufficient. There are loans, loan guarantees, and ways to help projects gain investors that will eventually be repaid. But without its regular infusion of money, which is limited when you're talking about generally expensive energy projects, the bank has few ways to expand its reach.
The bank has leveraged the money it's received by a factor of 10 or more to be used for programs it's created and administers. It is seen as a money, business, jobs and therefore tax revenue creator - as well as a way to expand clean energy and make a dent in stopping climate change.
"The latest proposal to cut funding from the Connecticut Green Bank would certainly hurt the organization," Bryan Garcia, Green Bank president said in an email. An earlier Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee proposal would have taken about $5 million from the bank to use for state operating expenses. The budget released last week ups the sweep to nearly $21 million, half of a $42 million sweep for the bank and other energy efficiency programs managed separately.
"I'd be remiss if I said it wasn't unsettling, but the fact is, it's out of our hands," Garcia said. "We're hopeful though that all the good work we have done will ultimately speak for itself."
The bank has been in budget-plugging crosshairs before - most recently in 2013. But political outrage similar to that occurring now resulted in replacement of most of the swept funds.
Calling the bank "one of the most successful innovations any state government has created in decades," Eric Brown of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association labeled the Green Bank raid "a bad idea."
"If the state wants to make adjustments to how ratepayer funds are allocated," Brown said. "It should make sure more of those dollars go to the Connecticut Green Bank - not less."
The Green Bank is essentially the second generation of what had been the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. Like the Fund, the bank is quasi-governmental. It was created in 2011 in the same legislation that expanded the old Department of Environmental Protection into the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection - signature legislation of Gov. Dannel Malloy's first year in office.
The basic funding for the Clean Energy Fund, and now the bank, is about $27 million in electric ratepayer fees. The fund used the money for incentives for residential and commercial clean energy projects. When the money ran out - which it inevitably did - that was it.
The bank was designed to take that same money and leverage it through investments, loan programs and other means so it would not only not run out, it would actually grow. The latest budget sweeps $15 million of those funds.
The bank primarily handles the state's residential solar program. (Commercial solar is now handled separately.) Data from the bank show that its funding stream since 2011 has helped finance about 17,000 solar projects totaling 130 megawatts and creating more than 8,500 direct and indirect job years.
The bank also gets money through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI, pronounced reggie) - the nine-state program that caps power plant emissions. The plants pay for the right to pollute through quarterly auctions. Under RGGI guidelines, at least 25 percent of the auction proceeds must be used for energy-related programs. In most cases they have involved energy efficiency.
In the seven years of the RGGI program, Connecticut has taken in more than $160 million. It allots 69.5 percent of RGGI funds to energy efficiency, 23 percent to the Green Bank and 7.5 percent to other energy programs and administration. The Green Bank uses its RGGI portion for yet another renowned program - Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy, or C-PACE.
C-PACE allows commercial properties to finance clean energy projects that they pay for through assessments on their property tax bills. If the property is sold, the payment transfers to the new owner.
The initial Finance Committee proposal swept about $22 million in RGGI funds into the state's General Fund, which pays for most of the state's operating expenses. The most recent Democratic proposal increased that to $27 million. The Green Bank would lose about $6 million of that total.
The four RGGI auctions in 2015 brought about $29.9 million to Connecticut. The $22 million sweep would have just barely maintained the 25 percent minimum of RGGI funds that are supposed to go to energy programs. A $27 million sweep would drop below it.
Some worry that if auction prices continue to fall, as they have lately (the first auction of 2016 netted some of the lowest proceeds in several years) that the sweep could actually exceed RGGI proceeds.
Rep. Lonnie Reed, D-Branford, co-chair of the Energy and Technology Committee called what she termed "cannibalizing" the Green Bank "outrageous and beyond counter-productive."
Reed, who is also a member of the finance committee, voted in that committee for the initial budget version that stripped the $22 million in RGGI funds. She said it was part of a deal with the committee co-chairs to move the legislation in order to begin negotiations.
"Looting the Green Bank will drive investors away, kill green projects that are now being negotiated and destroy an incredibly innovative and successful economic engine," she said. "How shortsighted is this? There are no words."
The environmental and solar community had plenty of words, most of them focused on jobs.
"The Green Bank pretty much turns water into wine, but lawmakers in Hartford want to cut their budget in half," said Mike Trahan, executive director of Solar Connecticut, an industry group whose members stand to be hit the hardest. "Do that, and you'll see a hundred solar workers show up in the unemployment line the next day and maybe a hundred more the following week. What business wants to stay in Connecticut and get jerked around whenever the state budget doesn't balance? It's insane."
CT Green BankChris Phelps of Environment Connecticut said raiding the bank would have an indirect impact on many kinds of jobs. "The fuel cell sector is threatened by this," he said. "Jobs all across the clean energy sector will be threatened.
Leah Lopez Schmalz, program director at Connecticut Fund for the Environment, said she thinks legislative leaders need some education about the bank and how it works.
"I realize we have this massive chasm," she said of the budget shortfall. "But I don't understand why raiding the bank is still in the conversation."
The bulk of the RGGI funds sweep would actually come from money destined for the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund. While the amount is sizeable, about $19 million, it is a much smaller portion of the fund's budget - about 10 percent.
Jobs are a key issue for people like Leticia Colon de Mejias, founder and CEO of Energy Efficiencies Solutions, an energy conservation company in Windsor that specializes in providing services to low-income people. Efficiency services to her clientele are heavily subsidized through the Energy Efficiency Fund.
"I would have to lay off at least half of my staff," Colon de Mejias said. She has 37 employees, many of whom she plucked from unemployment rolls and spent money to train.
Companies like hers speak to the issue of energy savings, calculated to be nearly $4 lifetime for every $1 invested in efficiency. And that has a bearing on overall energy load for the electric grid. The less energy efficiency in place, the more conventional power that's needed, and that would probably mean higher electric rates for consumers.
There's one more factor weighing on a potential RGGI raid: regional politics. It may seem arcane, but could have a direct bearing on Connecticut's future finances.
RGGI is going through its regular program review right now. Connecticut's energy chief, Katie Dykes, is also the current chair of RGGI's executive committee. That means she is the point person for convincing the nine RGGI member states to lower the emissions cap on power plants, a move that would probably increase auction proceeds.
But if Connecticut raids its RGGI money to help close its budget hole, and especially if it goes below that 25 percent level for energy programs, many worry the state will no longer have the political credibility to push the other RGGI states.
"These short-sighted cuts to Connecticut's energy efficiency programs will harm consumers and the state's reputation for energy and climate leadership," said Bill Dornbos, Connecticut director of the Acadia Center, a regional environmental group and longtime RGGI watchdog.  "The raid will increase energy waste, stop or slow crucial clean energy projects, and undermine Connecticut's clean energy and climate credibility at a time of increasing attention to the otherwise-successful RGGI program."

Save the Sound, a bi-state program of Connecticut Fund for the Environment, and Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo are breaking ground this week on a joint green infrastructure project. Construction will involve installing a porous walkway and bio-retention garden designed to capture stormwater runoff from the zoo's parking area.
The project will slow down and clean stormwater runoff before it flows into the Pequonnock River. The walkway and garden will provide a two-step process for capturing, filtering, and releasing clean water into the river. In addition, the garden and walkway's prominent location in a highly-trafficked Connecticut tourism site will act as a public education opportunity.
Local youth groups will join in the project with a green infrastructure education workshop and garden planting event on May 21, World Fish Migration Day. The cleaner water will benefit fish migrating up the Pequonnock to spawning ground.
The project is supported by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Fairfield County's Community Foundation, Jeniam Foundation, and Werth Family Foundation.


As the weather begins to warm throughout southwest Connecticut, feel free to take in a deep breath of fresh air.
Connecticut was recently ranked as one of the 'greenest' states in the country, according to financial website WalletHub. Notably, the Nutmeg State ranked second in contributions to climate-change and fifth in environmental quality.
State were ranked on three factors: environmental quality, eco-friendly behaviors, and climate-change contributions. These factors graded each state on air, water, and soil quality; energy, gas, and water consumption; and emission levels of various chemicals.
Connecticut also ranked first in water quality and the fifth lowest energy consumer per capita. Five of the top ten states reside in the New England region.
The study also found that Democratic states ranked "greener" than Republican states, receiving an average score of 36.96 to 14.92.
Recently, state energy advocates were alarmed after hearing Connecticut's Finance Committee propose a $22-million cut to the state's Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which helps fund state energy programs through carbon emission caps, in efforts to balance Connecticut's budget.
Related Stories
The impact would have also been felt by Connecticut's Green Bank, which attracts investment into the state's energy projects.
However, Gov. Dannel Malloy recently announced budget revisions that would restore funding to the state's RGGI fund, allowing energy advocates to breathe a sigh of relief.

nationalNational News Clips

Donald Boesch and Virginia Burkett, coastal researchers with Louisiana connections, are widely respected for their expertise on why the state's coast is rapidly being flooded by the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the state's proposed 50-year, $92 billion effort to stop this disaster.

Both believe that recently released research could hold the key to the success of that effort - or its rapid demise.

However, the new study doesn't involve levees, sediment diversions, oil and gas canals or any of the other issues usually debated when Louisiana's coastal plan is discussed.

It concerns Antarctica, thousands of miles south of the Louisiana coast.

The research presents evidence that the world and Louisiana face a stark choice: Keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100, and little will change in Antarctica, which means sea-level rise could be manageable and Louisiana's coastal plan might succeed.

Or fail at that goal, and the result could be a sudden, dramatic melting of ice on Antarctica, adding another 3 feet to the current prediction of a 3.5-foot rise in sea level by 2100 - an event that would swamp most of the southern third of Louisiana, even if the master plan is implemented.
This year's international meeting on climate change in Paris set a goal of reducing carbon emissions to a level that would limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.

"Anyone who cares about the future of coastal Louisiana should be very concerned about what happens in Antarctica," said Boesch, a New Orleans native who is president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Research. "In many ways, it holds a key to whatever future the coast has."

Burkett is the former head of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and now the chief scientist for climate and land use change at the U.S. Geological Survey. She agrees with Boesch.

"The rate of ice loss projected for Antarctica could result in the loss of our coastal systems as we know them," she said. "What happens in Antarctica could determine what happens here. We're definitely linked."

Continue Reading...


The Obama administration has warned the US will need to deal with a wave of "climate refugees" as the Arctic continues to warm, joining with the Canadian government to express alarm over how climate change is affecting indigenous communities.

Sally Jewell, US secretary of the interior, painted a stark picture of communities relocating and lives disrupted in her first official visit to Canada. The Arctic, which is warming at twice the rate of the global average, has just recorded its lowest recorded peak ice extent after what's been called a "warm, crazy winter".

"We will have climate refugees," Jewell said. "We have to figure out how to deal with potentially relocating villages. There's real tangible support we need to do from a government basis, working alongside indigenous communities as they make very difficult choices about what is right for them.

"We can't turn this around. We can stem the increase in temperature, we can stem some of the effect, perhaps, if we act on climate. But the changes are under way and they are very rapid."

The escalating Arctic temperatures, diminishing ice and rising sea levels are having consequences for humans as well as other animals such as polar bears and walruses. The ability to catch fish and travel - or even to hold the famed Iditarod dog sled race in Alaska - is at risk.

Jewell said the remote town of Kivalina in Alaska is "washing away". The coastal town, located around 80 miles above the Arctic circle, has been visited by Barack Obama following warnings its 400-strong population will have to be moved due to thinning ice that exposes the town to crashing waves.

It's a problem that is expected to be replicated elsewhere in Alaska and in Canada. Jewell said political leaders need to "act and support" efforts to make communities more resilient to climate change. US Republicans have, so far, opposed any funding to protect or relocate Alaskan towns.

"The changing climate isn't just about melting permafrost, it's having a huge impact upon cultures," said Catherine McKenna, Canada's environment minister, who met with Jewell in Quebec. "When your ice highway has gone, communities can't interact. It's having a huge impact upon food and food insecurity."


The world's failure to prepare for natural disasters will have "inconceivably bad" consequences as climate change fuels a huge increase in catastrophic droughts and floods and the humanitarian crises that follow, the UN's head of disaster planning has warned.

Last year, earthquakes, floods, heatwaves and landslides left 22,773 people dead, affected 98.6 million others and caused $66.5bn (£47bn) of economic damage (pdf). Yet the international community spends less than half of one per cent of the global aid budget on mitigating the risks posed by such hazards.

Robert Glasser, the special representative of the secretary general for disaster risk reduction, said that with the world already "falling short" in its response to humanitarian emergencies, things would only get worse as climate change adds to the pressure.

He said: "If you see that we're already spending huge amounts of money and are unable to meet the humanitarian need - and then you overlay that with not just population growth ... [but] you put climate change on top of that, where we're seeing an increase in the frequency and severity of natural disasters, and the knock-on effects with respect to food security and conflict and new viruses like the Zika virus or whatever - you realise that the only way we're going to be able to deal with these trends is by getting out ahead of them and focusing on reducing disaster risk."
Failure to plan properly by factoring in the effects of climate change, he added, would result in a steep rise in the vulnerability of those people already most exposed to natural hazards. He also predicted a rise in the number of simultaneous disasters.

"As the odds of any one event go up, the odds of two happening at the same time are more likely. We'll see many more examples of cascading crises, where one event triggers another event, which triggers another event."

Glasser pointed to Syria, where years of protracted drought led to a massive migration of people from rural areas to cities in the run-up to the country's civil war. While he stressed that the drought was by no means the only driver of the conflict, he said droughts around the world could have similarly destabilising effects - especially when it came to conflicts in Africa.

"It's inconceivably bad, actually, if we don't get a handle on it, and there's a huge sense of urgency to get this right," he said. "I think country leaders will become more receptive to this agenda simply because the disasters are going to make that obvious. The real question in my mind is: can we act before that's obvious and before the costs have gone up so tremendously? And that's the challenge."


San Francisco just took a step toward its ambitious goal of relying solely on renewable energy by 2020 with a law that makes it the first major U.S. city to require solar panels on some new buildings, according to its sponsor.

Supervisor Scott Wiener's legislation, passed this week by the Board of Supervisors, is part of the city's efforts to lower emissions and offset climate change.

"By increasing our use of solar power, San Francisco is once again leading the nation in the fight against climate change and the reduction of our reliance on fossil fuels," Wiener said.

California law requires that new buildings less than 10 stories tall include "solar-ready" roof space, meaning 15 percent of the roof must be free from shade and obstructions. The San Francisco ordinance, which goes into effect next year, takes the requirement further by mandating that solar-ready space is actually used for solar panels. Two smaller California cities also require solar panels for new buildings.
The San Francisco ordinance says the solar energy is needed because the city is vulnerable to sea level rise due to carbon dioxide emissions. Solar energy can replace power generated by fossil fuels, reducing those emissions.
"San Francisco is already experiencing the repercussions of excessive CO2 emissions as rising sea levels threaten the City's shoreline and infrastructure, have caused significant erosion, increased impacts to infrastructure during extreme tides and have caused the City to expend funds to modify the sewer system," the ordinance states.

The city's goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent of 1990 levels by 2050. The solar panel requirement will lower carbon dioxide emissions for construction currently planned by 26.3 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, according to two former San Francisco environment commissioners who supported the ordinance.

New solar installations are increasing rapidly in the United States, and the cost has fallen dramatically. Solar power still makes up only a tiny fraction of the country's energy production, but it has bigger potential: If solar panels were put on all viable homes, they could supply nearly 40 percent of the country's electricity needs, according to a study from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. (The study's author notes that filling every inch of sunny roof with solar panels is unrealistic.)

Clean energy has a value in the trillions, Secretary of State John Kerry said at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance conference earlier this month. He compared the economic opportunity with the tech industry's infancy. Kerry also underscored the human and environmental costs of continuing to rely on nonrenewable energy sources.

"Unless we harness the power of the sun, the wind and the oceans, the consequences will be devastating," Kerry said.


Eleven months ago, Houston had a deadly flood. This week, the city had another.

Events like these are often called "100-year floods," and that can be misleading. The U.S. government began using the term in the 1960s to describe a flood that has a 1 percent chance of happening in any given year, not a chance of happening only once a century. It's statistical probability -- and that can change over time.

"Over the span of 30 years, which is the length of many people's mortgages, there is a once in four chance it is going to happen," said Mari Tye, a project scientist in the mesoscale and microscale meteorological laboratory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. "Over 100 years, there is a 67 percent chance."

And that doesn't take into account other conditions that can alter the outlook, including changing climate or the effects of El Nino or La Nina.
'Moving Target'

"That's why the 100-year event is such a moving target, especially in an urban environment," said Chuck Watson, director of research and development at Enki Research, which develops tools to measure hazards. "Someone builds a couple of parking lots, and you just turned a 100-year event into a 70-year event because of the impervious surfaces."

Asphalt doesn't soak up rainwater; it just sends it somewhere else, such as into the house next door. When you add in natural climate cycles, the results are further skewed, Watson said from his office in Savannah, Georgia. One of the influences of El Nino is to send more rain across the southern U.S. In a situation like that, the chances of a catastrophic flood might rise to one in 20.

At least seven people died in Houston in this week's rain, according to CNN. The bulk of the downpour was Monday, when a daily record 9.92 inches (25 centimeters) fell at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, the National Weather Service said. Some areas received more. At least 100,000 customers lost power, the city's light rail was shut and water was over the banks of more than half of its 22 bayous and creeks, which help with flood control.

Even Worse

"If you get that much rain, there is no place for the water to go," said Jill Hasling, who founded the Weather Research Center in the Texas city.

The current flood is worse in some ways than the one last May, Hasling said in an interview at the American Meteorological Society's Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Parts of the city that were dry a year ago are inundated now.

That flood damaged more than 2,500 homes and killed more than 30 people in Texas and Oklahoma, according to reports at the time. A little more than 35 percent of the state had been suffering some level of drought, but by the first week of June the share had dropped to less than 1 percent, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported.

This reveals another problem with trying to quantify extreme events -- things can always get worse, which makes it difficult to come up with a worst-case scenario.

"With all our records, we don't know what the most extreme is, because they are rare," Tye said. "You make an estimate of the probability and then another storm comes along that is worse."

As for Houston, Hasling has some advice: "There's more than one flood a year in Houston. If you live in Houston, buy flood insurance. If you are not in the flood zone, buy it anyway; it will just be cheaper."


Virginia has established a revolving loan fund to help homeowners and businesses make changes to their properties in anticipation of sea-level rise - a step the program's advocates say no other state has taken.
But the distinction comes with an asterisk: There's no money in the fund, and there may not be for several years.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Friday signed legislation establishing the Virginia Shoreline Resiliency Fund. Sen. Lynwood Lewis, a Democrat from the Eastern Shore, sponsored the bill, SB282.

It's similar to a program in Connecticut called ShoreUp CT. But that fund and those like it in other states focus on helping applicants deal with current flooding threats. Virginia's program would lend money not just for immediate needs, but also for changes "to mitigate future flood damage" - in other words, sea-level rise.
The Norfolk-based nonprofit group Wetlands Watch worked with Lewis to develop the legislation. Skip Stiles, the group's executive director, said the fund has the potential to accelerate retrofits of buildings in flood-prone areas throughout coastal Virginia.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency provides grants to elevate properties for which multiple damage claims have been made through the National Flood Insurance Program. But that mitigation assistance program is so backlogged that new applicants in this region have almost no chance of getting any money through it in their lifetimes, he said.

In Norfolk, the wait would be 188 years at the pace applications are being processed now, Stiles said. An increase in flooding episodes in recent years led more people to apply for the federal help.
"This is a big problem getting bigger," he said.

New Orleans is the only U.S. metro area considered at greater risk from climate change than Hampton Roads. Scientists have predicted water levels could climb in the region from 1.5 to 8 feet by the century's end, and that was before a study published last month in the journal Nature that warned Antarctic ice melting could cause sea-level rise to accelerate.

Lewis first introduced the legislation in 2015, and Stiles said it was an accomplishment to win bipartisan support for it in this year's General Assembly. Business or home owners would go through their local governments to apply for the low-cost loans, which would be secured by placing liens on their properties. As loans are repaid, money would be freed up to lend to others.

The next step, actually getting money for the fund from the legislature or through a state bond issue, could take three or four years, Stiles said: "But at least now we've got a bucket to put it in."


This week's catastrophic flooding in and around Houston - which claimed at least eight lives, officials reported - calls for climate context.

It's way too early, of course, for any scientific analyses of the sort that researchers call "attribution studies" - attempts to calculate how much, if any, influence manmade climate change may have had on a particular weather event.

Scientists, however, are increasingly pointing in general terms to links between warming temperatures due to carbon pollution, more water vapor in the air, and extreme downpours.
"Near-record atmospheric moisture levels"

"Suffice it to say, this was a very significant flooding storm, and delivered on the near-record atmospheric moisture levels that had been building up over Houston during the last few days," meteorologist and science journalist Eric Berger's Space City Weather blog reported.

The latest Houston inundation, according to an item posted Monday, qualified as that region's "worst flooding event in nearly 15 years, since Tropical Storm Allison [in 2001] deluged the upper Texas coast and dumped in excess of 30 inches of rain over parts of the city."

That blog post didn't address climate change regarding the latest flood disaster to strike Houston, but a prominent Texas climate expert did.



Executive Order   signed on Earth Day to Strengthen State Building Code to Limit Storm Damage as a Result of Climate Change.

Gov. Malloy Signs Order Strengthening State Building Code to Limit Storm Damage as a Result of Climate Change

(HARTFORD, CT) - Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that - with Connecticut facing more frequent and severe weather events as a result of global warming - he is directing state agencies to develop new building code standards that will better protect residential and commercial structures from damage caused by flooding and high winds.

Through an executive order issued on Earth Day, the Governor is instructing the Department of Administrative Services (DAS), the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), and the Insurance Department (CID) to work with the State Building Inspector to ensure that the next revision to the State Building Code contains standards that increase the resiliency of new and renovated homes and buildings.

"The science could not be more clear - global warming is real.  Knowing what the science says, we should plan and be prepared as we take steps to mitigate our carbon footprint," Governor Malloy said.  "Over the past several years, revisions to the state the building code have incorporated higher energy efficiency standards to help reduce demand for electricity, heat, and water. We believe it is now time to strengthen building codes to help protect buildings from damage caused by the high winds and flooding that come with severe weather conditions.  Experts say that every dollar invested in more resilient construction can save $4 in insurance claims, which is a significant return on investment.  This is a commonsense step to help plan and prepare for the future."
Many of these measures are relatively inexpensive when compared to the significant damage to homes and businesses they can prevent or mitigate.
Some examples include:
  • Requirement to seal seams in the roof deck to eliminate or reduce the volume of water that can seep in if shingles are blown off in a storm
  • Stronger tie-down of roofs to the building structure and gable end vents
  • Require impact resistant glass in areas of state subject to high winds
DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee said, "Strengthening our state building code offers an effective way to help protect our residents and their property from the impacts of climate change.  This approach will help make certain that homes and commercial structures people invest in can better withstand the strong winds and flood waters we are likely to face in the future as a result of changes in the climate."

"With the Governor's actions today, Connecticut takes another important step toward building resilient communities," Insurance Commissioner Katharine Wade said.  "These are the type of effective mitigation measures that help to keep insurance coverage available and affordable for homeowners."

"With our state remaining vulnerable to dangerous weather events, we have an obligation to ensure the safety of our citizens through the preservation of our infrastructure," State Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr. (D-Branford), co-chair of the legislature's Environment Committee, said.  "As a resident of a coastal community, I applaud the Governor for recognizing the need to strengthen the resiliency of Connecticut's buildings against the threat of storms and flooding."

State Representative James Albis (D-East Haven), co-chair of the legislature's Environment Committee, said, "Ensuring that Connecticut's building codes recognize the reality that weather patterns are changing and our state faces increasing vulnerability is a vital step forward to maintaining long-term resilience and coastal viability.  I want to thank Governor Malloy for recognizing the importance of this initiative."


Register by May 3, 2016  - Training for Fortified-WISE (Fortified Home)  on May 10 in Narragansett, RI. Training for resilient building practices.

May 10, 2016 (8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)
URI Narragansett Bay Campus
Coastal Institute Building (#26)
Large Conference Room
215 S Ferry Rd, Narragansett, RI 02882
In-Person Training Class & Exam:
* Early Bird
$250 (Associates)
$350 (Professionals)
* After April 12
$275 (Associates)
$375 (Professionals)
* After April 26
$300 (Associates)
$400 (Professionals)
No registrations accepted after May 3.

Professional candidates must have a current license or certification in a related field. See registration website for more details.
Fee includes lunch, the cost of the class, the FORTIFIED-Wise Manual, the FORTIFIED-Wise exam (minimum score to pass exam is 85%), and listing in the FORTIFIED-Wise Directory.
For more information and to register, please visit


EPA, along with Water Environment Federation, National Association of Clean Water Agencies, Water Environment Research Foundation, and WateReuse, will host two webinars - May 4 and May 19, 2016. These webinars are part of a series focused on innovative ways in which utilities are becoming their own Utility of the Future. May 4 will be on "The Utility of the Future" and May 19 will be on "Enabling Water Resources Utility of the Future." Future webinars will cover other leading topics such as building public support, green infrastructure, and watershed-based solutions.

May 5, 2016 - Stakeholder meeting for Governor's Council on Climate Change. 5:30-7:30pm. Satellite meeting locations throughout Connecticut.
Thursday, May 5
5:30 - 7:30 pm (refreshments at 5:00)
New Haven   
During 2016, the Governor's Council on Climate Change ( will be gathering input from stakeholders across the state, as part of its charge to develop a strategy/plan to meet the state's mandated goal of an 80% reduction in GHG emissions below 2001 levels by the year 2050.

The current plan involves three rounds of stakeholder events (May, July and October) to engage stakeholders at different points in the process.  For the first round, the primary/central location will be in Hartford, with six satellite locations around the state.  Participants at the satellite locations will view the presentation(s) via video link and then engage in facilitated dialogue at the local level.  (We anticipate having additional sites in July and October.)

The May 5th gatherings will provide stakeholders the opportunity to learn about and provide feedback on the technologies and measures that will be modeled in the Long range Energy Alternatives Planning System (LEAP). This widely-used software tool for energy policy analysis and climate change mitigation assessment will help us understand the GHG reduction potential of various measures and technologies (and combinations thereof).

The CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs is helping to coordinate logistics for these gatherings.
Please use the form below to register to receive updated information and background materials a few days before the event and to tell us which site you plan to attend. 

You can download the details for all locations here:

All of the sessions are scheduled for Thursday, May 5th, 5:30pm-7:30pm, with refreshments available at 5:00pm.

Contact: John Humphries - or 860-216-7972


May 13, 2016 - Long Island Sound Research Conference 2016 . Register  by May 10, 2016
About the Conference
The Long Island Sound Research conference convenes every other year, rotating venues between the states of Connecticut and New York. It's the go-to conference for the science of the Sound.
Date: May 13, 2016
Location: Holiday Inn, Bridgeport, CT
Registration: $60 / $40 students
TO REGISTER: Register here
A new format will highlight work addressing the four themes of the new Long Island Sound Study CCMP:
* Clean waters and healthy watersheds
* Thriving habitats and abundant wildlife
* Sustainable and resilient communities
* Sound science and inclusive management

In conjunction with the National Disaster Preparedness Center, CAMF is bringing the HURRIPLAN two-day course back to CT on May 12th and 13th.  Planners, this course is very well suited to you, your colleagues in the Building Department, and Emergency Management team members.  Preparedness is a cross-departmental collaboration so please circulate this amongst other potential interested parties.  This was last offered about 5 years ago and will be held at Fort Trumbull in New London, CT.  For those who are Certified Floodplain Managers, this FREE course provides 12 CECs.  Please register directly on the NDPC website.

May 16, 2016 - Exploring Climate Solutions Webinar Series Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. May 16, noon to 1pm. Sponsored by Governor's Council on Climate Change.

Yale Program on Climate Change Communication

May 16, Noon to 1 PM

Join us to hear from Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz, Director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. The Yale Program conducts scientific studies on public opinion and behavior; informs the decision-making of governments, media, companies, and advocates; educates the public about climate change; and helps build public and political will for climate action. Consisting of a team of psychologists, geographers, political scientists, statisticians, pollsters, and communication scientists the Program investigates how and why citizens in the US and around the world are, or are not responding to climate change, identifies key audiences requiring tailored communications, and develops strategies to engage these audiences in climate change solutions.


May 24 or 25, 2016 - Social Media for Natural Disaster Response and Recovery course being offered in East Haddam, CT by the National Disaster and Preparedness Training Center. Two training dates available; Register for May 24 or Register for May 25.

This course focuses on the use of social media in disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. Participants are provided with the knowledge and skills to integrate social media into their current communication plans. The course defines social media and its uses and identifies the tools, methods, and models to properly make use of social media. Social media, when used effectively, can help people communicate and collaborate about events as they unfold. Social media can provide rapid and real-time information about events that helps to provide greater situational awareness leading to better decision making. This course provides the information and hands-on experience necessary to help participants begin developing social media disaster plans and strategies.
May 24 or 25, 2016
8 am-5 pm
East Haddam, Connecticut
Fire Company 1
440 Town St
East Haddam, CT 06423
Two training dates available.
Register for May 24
Register for May 25
Amanda Bates * 808-725-5236  
  • Participants must bring a wi-fi enabled device(laptop Preferred).
  • Participants must register and take the pre test online.
  • Participants must create a Twitter and a Facebook account prior to attending the course.
  • Participants must be able to post test messages on these accounts.  

May 16, 2016 - Next review date for CIRCA Matching Funds Program . These funds are meant to help Connecticut organizations bring in new sources of funding for resilience. For this reason these CIRCA funds can provide the match for proposals that will be submitted to an external funding organization. Applicants should apply to CIRCA before they submit their proposal or before the external grant award is made. The CIRCA award will provide up to 25% or up to $100,000 in funding to match a non-state or non-municipal grant proposal.

The Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) is a partnership of the University of Connecticut and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. The mission of CIRCA is to assist Connecticut towns and cities adapt to a changing climate and to enhance the resilience of their infrastructure.
Up to $100,000 Available

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.
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 Institutes' priority areas.

Contact Information

Those requesting Matching Funds should consult the CIRCA office via email at with any questions. Please see our growing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.

Matching Funds requests will be accepted on a rolling basis. Awardees must confirm availability of the primary funding source related to the proposal within six months.

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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