December 2019
The Resilience Roundup highlights announcements, events, and funding opportunities along with links to the previous month's local, state, and national resilience news. 
Learn more about CIRCA at
and the Resilient Connecticut Project at
Resilient Connecticut Updates
November 12, 2019 - Resilient Connecticut Climate Adaptation Summit
On November 12, CIRCA held the first Resilient Connecticut Summit at Fairfield University. Commissioner Katie Dykes from CT-DEEP provided a welcome and Shaun O’Rourke, Rhode Island Chief Resiliency Officer gave a keynote address entitled,  Resilient Rhody: Building Climate Resilience in Rhode Island . In the afternoon, two breakout sessions focused on “Developing Capacity and Building Resilience Tools for Connecticut”. The program and event materials have been posted to the link below.
In response to the rising interest in the CRS program, CIRCA allocated funding to support communities with CRS entry and class advancement. CIRCA partnered with Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection staff to advise Milone & MacBroom about which municipalities could benefit and take advantage of CRS technical assistance. As a result of this funding opportunity, participating communities were able to work toward increased CRS points and advance their CRS rating or enter the program, which will ultimately reap the benefit of lower flood insurance premiums on a community wide basis.
CT State Health Assessment: Climate and Health
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is currently revising the draft 2025 State Health Assessment (SHA). The SHA is a comprehensive report that assesses the health needs of our state residents and sets the foundation for future state health improvement planning. This year's SHA has a chapter on Climate and Health. This chapter focuses on the changing climate in Connecticut, what threats it poses, and how to better adapt ourselves for the future.
Product Available - Restored vs. Natural Living Shorelines: Comparison of Ecosystem Services, Erosion Control, and Habitat Use
This study addressed the question about whether living shorelines provide similar ecosystem services to naturally established estuarine habitats in Connecticut. A new living shoreline in Stratford, CT provided a unique opportunity to compare the ecosystem services of two newly planted fringing salt marshes to nearby, already-established fringing and meadow marshes in the same estuary of the Housatonic River.
NPR's After the Water: Flash Floods Pose Existential Threat to Towns Across the United States
After the 1,000-year flooding event that occurred on July 30, 2016, citizens of Ellicott City, MD were sure it was something they would never have to experience again. However, in May of 2018, another very harsh flooding event occurred and devastated downtown Ellicott City yet again. These events forced residents and city officials to get serious about resilience and adaptation. This storymap from NPR not only tells Ellicott City's resilience story, but also serves as a call to action for other communities to adapt to the new climate extremes across the country.
Funding Opportunity - Accelerate R2 Network Challenge
The US Economic Development Administration, in collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), is seeking applications from eligible parties to create a nationwide network or networks of organizations working to address the nation’s most pressing disaster response and resiliency (R2) challenges with innovative technologies. The Accelerate R2 Network Challenge will award up to $1 million to an organization or organizations for creating a national network(s) that support entrepreneurship activity in either response or resiliency innovation.   Letters of Intent (LOI) are due by January 8, 2020 at 11:59 pm EST.
December 4, 2019 - Getting to Zero: A U.S. Climate Agenda Review Webinar


The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions recently released a report titled Getting to Zero: A U.S. Climate Agenda , which outlines the policies needed over the coming decade to put the United States on the path to carbon neutrality by 2050. A link to the report can be found here . C2ES will provide an overview of this comprehensive new agenda via a public webinar at on Wednesday, December 4.
December 5, 2019 - Resilience & Smart Communities Webinar

2:00pm - 3:30pm

The National Association of Clean Water Agencies and the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies have a four-part resilience webinar series to address water system vulnerability. The second installment focuses on exploring standards and tools that can help support water resilience, including ISO standards and the City Resilience Index, as well as the collection of data and use of new technology to evaluate and improve resilience.
December 11, 2019 - Meeting of the Governor's Council on Climate Change

1:30pm - 3:30pm

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) will hold a public meeting of the Governor's Council on Climate Change to review the Council’s objectives under Executive Order 3 and discuss the initial scope of work for the Council and its subcommittees and working groups. The meeting is open to the public and will include an opportunity to provide public comment. Remote viewing of the meeting is also available.
January 24, 2020 - The 2nd Annual Clinical Climate Change Conference
New York Academy of Medicine (125 5th Avenue, New York, NY) 

With the last year being the fourth warmest on record, it is critical that health care providers prepare now to address the health effects of increased temperatures and extreme weather events. This conference is aimed at a broad audience of allied health professionals seeking to improve understanding, performance, and patient outcomes.
Local & State News Clips
October 31, 2019 - Sen. Cohen's Bipartisan Coastal Caucus Holds First Meeting, Patch

On October 31 at the Legislative Office Building, state Senator Christine Cohen led the first meeting of the bipartisan Coastal Caucus. During this meeting, CIRCA presented a testimony on sustainability for vulnerable communities throughout the state, to which the Caucus is ready to take action.
November 7, 2019 - Zoning Reform is Connecticut’s Best Response to Climate Change , Connecticut Law Tribune

Connecticut’s municipalities have made it harder to build small-lot and multifamily housing, which can also reduce energy emissions. Large-lot zoning requirements lead to larger house sizes with increased energy costs. Multi-unit dwellings use, on average, half the energy per unit of single-family detached houses, both because of shared walls and typically smaller unit sizes. Therefore, the reform of restrictive zoning requirements may be key in Connecticut's response to climate change.
November 11, 2019 - Winds of Change Coming to Connecticut , CT Mirror

Connecticut is evaluating proposals in an off-shore wind energy solicitation. Offshore wind is a proven renewable technology that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create new jobs, provide affordable clean energy, and revitalize Connecticut’s port infrastructure.
November 13, 2019 - Branford, Connecticut, Sets up Fund to Pay for Costs of Climate Change, Yale Climate Connections

The town of Branford's new coastal resiliency fund, enabled by Public Act 19-77 and established by the municipality, has recently been put into motion. James Finch, Director of Finance, says Branford put $1 million in to start with more to be added each year. Over time, the invested funds are expected to grow. Then when it comes time to repair a flooded bridge, elevate houses, or improve stormwater drainage, the town can tap into those funds.
November 14, 2019 - Fenwick is Site of Second Living Shoreline Project in Connecticut, CT Examiner

Last winter, after years of increasing erosion exacerbated by sea level rise, Long Island Sound breached a protective sand dune offshore of Fenwick leaving a recently restored marsh behind it vulnerable. CIRCA took an active role in sponsoring the second living shoreline project, seeking to provide more opportunities for research and the development of these standard engineering practices.
National News Clips
October 29, 2019 - Report- Flooded Future: Global Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise Worse Than Previously Understood, Climate Central

Climate Central has recent released a tool titled CoastalDEM which shows that many of the world’s coastlines are far lower than has been generally known and that sea level rise could affect hundreds of millions of more people in the coming decades than previously understood. Based on sea level projections for 2050, land currently home to 300 million people will fall below the elevation of an average annual coastal flood. By 2100, land now home to 200 million people could sit permanently below the high tide line. 
November 5, 2019 - With Sea Levels Rising, These Strategies Could Help Coastal Communities Prepare, Yale Climate Connections

Many homes in the United States are currently being affected by sea level rise, storm surges, winds, etc. Although buyouts and relocation are a common solution via the federal government, Yale Climate Connections has assembled various strategies to better protect coastal homes from the effects of climate change.
November 6, 2019 - S enator King Helps Launch Bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus , Angus King

U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, announced that he has joined the Senate Climate Solutions Caucus, a bipartisan effort that brings together Republican, Democratic, and Independent members of the Senate to find bipartisan solutions to address climate change.
November 8, 2019 - How Scientists Got Climate Change So Wrong , The New York Times

Up until the early 1990s, it was believed climate change would occur with a steady pace; Arctic permafrost was nowhere near danger of melting nor the ice sheets in the Antarctic. Prior to this time, it was hypothesized that humans would have centuries before feeling harsh effects of climate change. However, the extreme effects of climate change are now seen all over the world.
November 16, 2019 - Opportunity Zones — for Billionaires, The New York Times

An Opportunity Zone is a designation created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, in which the purpose is to drive big money into investment deserts — areas where wealthy investors might otherwise hesitate to tread. However, the reality of this tax break is that it has been used to juice profit margins on building projects in these areas.

California’s first Community Choice Aggregation program, My Energy Choice ( MCE ) voted last week to commit $3 million to support  resiliency projects  for its customers. This major new investment is focused on funding local resiliency efforts in MCE’s four-county service area, specifically for critical facilities and sites serving vulnerable customers.
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).