December 2021
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
CIRCA Updates
Municipal Resilience Grant Program - 2022 Funds Available!

CIRCA is pleased to announce new Municipal Resilience Grant Program (MRGP) funding. Proposals are now being accepted from municipal governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in partnership with municipalities, and councils of governments (COGs). Up to $150,000 is available in each of two tracks that advance the following climate activities: 1) implementing stormwater authorities, and 2) developing a resilience “project pipeline.” This new round of MRGP funding supports implementation of CT's climate priorities identified by the Governor’s Council on Climate Change (GC3) and in PA 21-115, An Act Concerning Climate Change Adaptation. For more information and to apply, visit the Municipal Grants webpage. Applications are due February 1, 2022

A webinar to learn more about this grant funding will be held on January 7, 2022 from
12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Register to attend, ask questions, and hear more about how to apply.
CIRCA is Hiring - Join Our Climate Research Team

Physical Oceanography, Coastal Engineering Postdoctoral Research Associate:
The Postdoctoral Research Associate (PDRA) will work in a team developing science that supports the resilience framework for Connecticut. The PDRA will gain experience working in a research team environment at CIRCA and have opportunities for professional development. With the supervision of the Assistant Director of Research, the PDRA will work on the development, testing and application of numerical models of circulation in complicated coastal areas to determine levels and patterns of flood risk. Assessment of the effectiveness of risk reduction strategies will also be required. Applications close 12/7/21.

Oceanographic Research Assistant 2
The University of Connecticut, Department of Marine Sciences (DMS), and the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) seek a candidate for the position of Oceanographic Research Assistant to work as a member of a team of scientists based at the Avery Point Campus that deploy and maintain a wide variety of instruments to measure conditions in the coastal environment. Work on ships and small boats in challenging conditions and in all types of weather, and several multi-day trips per year will be required. The loading and unloading of equipment and deployment and recovery of instruments will require the capacity to lift and carry up to 40lbs for 10 meters. Applications close 12/24/21.

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Emergency Coastal Resilience Fund
2021 RFP Released

NFWF's Emergency CRF supports projects that increase the resilience of wildlife habitat and coastal communities impacted by hurricanes and wildfires in 2020 and 2021. Under the same authorities as NFWF’s National Coastal Resilience Fund, NFWF will award approximately $24 million in grants through this RFP for practices that help restore wetlands, build living shorelines, improve hydrologic flow, reduce hazardous fuels, and enhance natural systems. The Request for Proposals will close on February 3, 2022 and an applicant webinar is being offered on December 7, 2021 from 3-4 p.m. ET. Due to the emergency nature of these funds, a non-federal match​ is NOT required. Interested applicants can reach out to CIRCA for a letter of support if helpful in preparing their application.
DECD: CT Communities Challenge Grant

The CT Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) is undertaking a competitive grant application process to fund multiple projects under the CT Communities Challenge Grant Program in an effort to improve livability, vibrancy, convenience and appeal of communities throughout the state. It is DECD’s goal to allocate up to 50% of the funds to eligible and competitive projects in distressed municipalities. While this funding opportunity isn’t specifically resilience focused, many elements of successful projects add to community resilience (e.g. TOD, essential infrastructure, public space improvements). The application deadline is January 14, 2022.
FEMA NFIP Regulation Reform 

FEMA issued a Request for Information to receive the public’s input on revising the National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP) floodplain management standards for land management and use regulations to better align with the current understanding of flood risk and flood risk reduction approaches. Specifically, FEMA is seeking input from the public on the floodplain management standards that communities should adopt to result in safer, stronger, and more resilient communities. Additionally, FEMA seeks input on how the NFIP can better promote protection of and minimize any adverse impact to threatened and endangered species and their habitats. Written comments are requested on or before December 13, 2021.
FEMA Disaster Declaration for Hurricane Ida

On October 30, 2021, FEMA announced a federal disaster declaration for the remnants of Hurricane Ida that caused flooding in Connecticut on September 1-2, 2021 (DR-4629-CT). Governor Lamont submitted a formal request for federal assistance on October 22, 2021. Individuals and property owners affected by flooding in Fairfield and New London Counties, can now apply for disaster assistance, which includes grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the disaster. Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
NIHHIS-CAPA Urban Heat Island Mapping Campaign Application

Health Information System (NIHHIS), in partnership with Climate Adaptation Planning and Analytics (CAPA) Strategies, will be accepting applications from groups of organizations interested in participating in the 2022 cohort of NIHHIS-CAPA Urban Heat Island mapping campaigns. Pending the availability of funds for FY22 and the amount of matching funds provided by communities, they anticipate being able to support campaigns in 5 to 10 communities. Community applications to participate in the Summer 2022 UHI Mapping Campaigns opened on October 28, 2021 and will remain open until January 14, 2022

CAFM December Meeting
December 7 - 9

The Connecticut Association of Flood Managers (CAFM) will convene its eighth Annual Conference and Meeting. Similar to last year, the conference will be held virtually in 2-1/2 hour sessions over three days featuring approximately four 30-minute presentations per day. CAFM presentations will include a broad range of professional perspectives about problems and solutions associated with managing flood risk, making communities more sustainable, disaster recovery, and protecting floodplain and fragile natural resources. 
ASAP Climate Migration Workshop: Preparing Receiving Communities

December 7 - 8

We know climate migration will intensify as climate impacts worsen. But who will migrate? Where will those migrants go? And how will that migration affect people and livelihoods in both leaving communities and receiving communities? Join American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP) and their collaborators to explore findings on these questions and consider how those findings can help receiving communities plan for socially just and environmentally responsible growth.
ULI Coastal Forum 2021: Preparing Communities for Federal Resilience Funding

December 7, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has passed Congress and is awaiting the President's signature. This bipartisan legislation articulates a strong commitment to advance climate change preparedness. However, now the focus must shift toward finance and implementation of initiatives outlined in the Act and other federal programs. Join the virtual Urban Lands Institute (ULI) Coastal Forum, a member-initiated network of leaders focused on waterfront development to discuss these critical issues and connect with experts around the country to foster climate resilience in coastal communities. 
NERRs Webinar: Evaluating the Impact of Hydrologic Alterations
on Salt Marsh Sustainability in a Changing Climate

December 7, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

A team of scientists including staff from the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) worked with coastal managers and restoration practitioners to develop a decision support tool for marsh hydrology management strategies under future sea level rise scenarios. In this webinar, the project team will share both the collaborative and technical aspects of their approach and the resultant Marsh Sustainability and Hydrology Decision Support Tool. The tool predicts potential outcomes of maintenance in salt marshes under different scenarios of suspended sediment input and sea level rise. 
Columbia University Seminar: Climate Change and Mental Health

December 7, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

This Columbia University Seminar will feature the interdisciplinary research from a panel of experts working on issues related to climate change and global mental health. Brief presentations will be followed by a moderated discussion of the priorities, challenges, and opportunities to address climate change and mitigate its impacts on mental health.
2021 Climate Leadership Series - Investing in our Cities:
Pursuing Smart, Resilient Infrastructure

December 9, 9:00 p.m.

Climate-related weather events are damaging and disrupting infrastructure across the country, jeopardizing the local economies and livelihoods that rely on it. The recently enacted Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will provide a critical influx of funding to increase infrastructure resilience moving forward. In this conversation, experts, and federal and local leaders will explore what is needed to leverage federal funds, catalyze private dollars, and scale up efforts to build climate resilient, equitable communities.
UMass Sustainable Solutions Lab Webinar:
Climate Adaptation and Energy Justice at the Federal Level

December 14, 1:00 p.m.

Join the Climate Adaptation Forum (CAF) for a special edition conversation with Shalanda Baker, Secretarial Advisor on Equity and Deputy Director for Energy Justice at the U.S. Department of Energy. A former member of the CAF community, Deputy Director Baker will share insights from her time in Washington and the key themes to pay attention to in the coming months. This one-hour event will consist of a presentation and discussion.
CT DEEP Climate Solutions Webinar: Funding Solutions for Chronic Flooding, Extreme Rainfall Events, and Water Quality with Stormwater Authorities

December 16, 12:00 p.m.

Earlier this year, an Act Concerning Climate Adaptation (Public Act 21-115) was passed, and one of the key components of this act was the expansion of the current pilot program for municipal stormwater authorities which would give all municipalities the ability to create such an authority. As a result, these authorities may address reductions in stormwater pollution and flooding, help municipalities afford green infrastructure and resiliency investments, and leverage additional state and federal funding sources. Join DEEP for a presentation by representatives from UConn CLEAR and CIRCA to learn more about stormwater authorities. Additionally, Joe Lanzafame, Director of New London Public Utilities, will present the challenges and benefits with Connecticut's first stormwater authority.

Resilient Connecticut Phase II Report

Phase II of CIRCA's Resilient Connecticut project involved a regional risk and vulnerability assessment for all 51 municipalities in New Haven and Fairfield Counties. After addressing input from a Phase II public comment period, a final report is now available along with an executive summary and a series of vulnerability maps focused on topics of transit oriented development, affordable housing, wastewater treatment, and public water supply. Want to learn more about this project and see maps to better understand local heat and flood vulnerability? Visit the Phase II website to see products in both English and Spanish.
What's in the Glasgow Climate Pact?

Nearly 200 nations agreed to adopt the Glasgow Climate Pact after more than two weeks of intense negotiations, with the UK host saying the deal would keep alive international hopes of averting the worst impacts of global warming. The agreement acknowledges that commitments made by countries so far to cut emissions of planet-heating greenhouse gases are nowhere near enough to prevent planetary warming from exceeding 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial temperatures. For perspective on COP 26, visit CIRCA's website, to read about UConn Professor of Marine Sciences and CIRCA’s Executive Director, Jim O’Donnell's experience at the conference along with additional news article links.
YCCCH Issue Brief Outlines the Health Effects of
Extreme Weather in Connecticut

Yale Center on Climate Change and Health's (YCCCH) newest issue brief, "Extreme Events and Health in Connecticut," examines how extreme events have changed – and are expected to change – in Connecticut, how this impacts health, and what policies can be enacted to protect the health of our residents. The research team tracked environmental and climate conditions over time, largely at the county level, and identify a series of recommendations.
Adapt CT Training Video - Legal Issues & Flood Resilience

Adapt CT has completed a new 18 minute educational video entitled Drowning in Liability: Reducing Climate Change Impacts through Municipal Planning and Zoning, aimed at helping viewers recognize the planning and zoning interests related to flooding, describing actions that can reduce liability related to planning and zoning decisions, and identifying key resources for further information.
FACT SHEET: President Biden Renews U.S. Leadership on World Stage at U.N. Climate Conference (COP26)

On day one in office, President Joe Biden rejoined the Paris Agreement, restored U.S. leadership on the world stage, and reestablished our position to tackle the climate crisis at home and abroad. On day one at the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), President Biden outlined the bold steps his Administration is taking in his whole-of-government approach to combat climate change, underscored how bold action delivers economic prosperity and peace and security, and rallied countries from every corner of the world to step up their ambition and confront this existential threat during a decisive decade.
FACT SHEET: The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Boosts Clean Energy Jobs, Strengthens Resilience, and Advances Environmental Justice

President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal passed by Congress will strengthen our nation’s resilience to extreme weather and climate change while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expanding access to clean drinking water, building up a clean power grid, and more. President Biden’s commitment to reduce U.S. emissions by 50-52% from 2005 levels in 2030, create a 100% carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035, and achieve a net-zero economy by 2050. Together, these once-in-a-generation investments will unlock the full potential of a clean energy economy that combats climate change, advances environmental justice, and creates good-paying, union jobs.
FEMA's Risk Rating 2.0

FEMA is updating the National Flood Insurance Program’s pricing methodology to communicate flood risk more clearly, so policyholders can make more informed decisions on the purchase of adequate insurance and on mitigation actions to protect against the perils of flooding. Risk Rating 2.0 provides actuarially sound rates that are equitable and easy to understand. It transforms a pricing methodology that has not been updated in 50 years by leveraging improved technology and FEMA’s enhanced understanding of flood risk. 
New LiMWA Viewer Developed by FEMA Region 1

The FEMA Region 1 Risk Analysis Branch has released a new Limit of Moderate Wave Action (LiMWA) Viewer for the New England states, including Connecticut. This tool is designed to supplement the flood insurance rate maps (FIRM) and the National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL) available on the FEMA Map Service Center in order to reduce confusion for anyone trying to make a determination if a property is located in a Coastal AE zone/LiMWA area.
New Flood Insurance Misconception Videos

FEMA’s Office of the Flood Insurance Advocate has created four videos to explain commonly misunderstood topics about the National Flood Insurance Program. Learn about the process for filing an NFIP claim, how basements are defined under the NFIP, flood risk, and when flood insurance is required. 
NE CASC Launches Five New Projects

The Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center (NE CASC) has awarded just over $1 million to NE CASC university consortium institutions, USGS Science Centers, and other partners to embark on five new research efforts that will inform natural and cultural resource climate adaptation initiatives in the region. These projects will address partner-identified information needs in the area of landscape-scale conservation under climate change and support new partnerships that advance Tribal climate adaptation goals.
RISCC Management Challenge: Embracing the Future--Promoting Adaptation and Resilience to Invasive Species and Climate Change

In a new handout from the Regional Invasive Species and Climate Change (RISCC) Network, researchers discuss the pursuit of ecosystem resilience in the face of increased disturbance caused by the interaction of climate change and invasive species. While resilience may be complicated and take many forms, it can generally be thought of as the ability of an ecosystem to experience disturbances or environmental change without changing to a fundamentally different state.
Quit Worrying About Uncertainty in Sea Level Projections

A November 2021 AGU EOS Journal Article emphasizes that uncertainty in model projections of long-term sea level rise is a misguided approach. Instead, authors focus on communicating what we know while improving model confidence. Although models provide a murky picture of the magnitude of sea level rise that will occur by the end of the century, estimates of what will happen in the next few decades are much clearer. This clarity is important because the most pressing adaptation decisions facing communities now primarily reflect needs on decadal, not centennial, timescales. Rather than stressing distant targets that are evolving, communities need to adapt to near-term climate risks.
State and Regional News Clips
Where Are They Now? Meet CIRCA's Yan Jia
UCONN Marine Sciences - November 4, 2021

Dr. Yan Jia is a recent graduate of UConn's Marine Sciences Department and is currently working as a CIRCA postdoctoral research associate running studies on the local impacts of climate change. Specifically, the research team is running simulations of the effects of storm surge and waves around New Haven Harbor and neighboring coastal towns.
As Climate Change Arrives in Connecticut, Coastal Towns like Groton Face a Precarious Future of Rising Sea Levels and Intensifying Storms
Hartford Courant - November 4, 2021

Climate change has already arrived in Connecticut, as demonstrated this summer by scorching temperatures and punishing storms. In the coming decades, its effects will only accelerate. While the entire state will face increasing impacts of climate change, seaside communities like Groton will feel them most acutely and immediately.
New Report Provides a Comprehensive Outlook on Climate Resilience on Massachusetts Municipalities
UMass Amherst - November 4, 2021

AMHERST, Mass. – A new report published today by a team of 20 researchers representing four University of Massachusetts system campuses provides valuable insight into the various climate resilience approaches being undertaken by municipalities across Massachusetts.
Here's What Connecticut Will Receive Under the $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill Approved by Congress
Hartford Courant - November 6, 2021

The $1 trillion infrastructure bill that Congress approved will bring billions of dollars in federal spending to Connecticut on railroads, highways and bridges, while also expanding internet access and creating a statewide network of electric vehicle charging stations. Connecticut’s all-Democratic Congressional delegation was effusive in praising passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, even after weeks of divisive infighting among members of Congress.
Climate Crisis Sneaks up on Connecticut
The Daily Campus - November 8, 2021

The Northeast might not be able to recognize the growing threat of climate change like the rest of the United States, according to natural resources professors at the University of Connecticut. UConn professor Mike Dietz, Ph.D., who teaches courses in water quality management, explained how recognizing dangers as “enormously complicated” as the climate crisis is not a part of human nature.
$100 Million in Federal Funds to Go Toward Restoring, Preserving
Long Island Sound
The Day - November 9, 2021

New London — With the passage of a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal last week, $106 million has been allocated to restore and preserve Long Island Sound. The $106 million will supplement the Long Island Sound Geographic Program, which supports the Long Island Sound Study including its sustainability and resilience focus.
Connecticut Insurance Giant to Tackle Climate Change with
$2.5 Billion Investment
CT Insider - November 12, 2021

HARTFORD — Insurance giant The Hartford announced this week that it would invest $2.5 billion over the next five years on initiatives to tackle climate change and support the transition away from fossil fuels. As part of the new initiative, the company confirmed its previously announced plan to exit by the end of 2023 coal-investment holdings.
Sea Level Rise is Accelerating in Maine. In York County,
Hundreds of Millions in Property Value is at Risk
Maine Public - November 15, 2021

Sea level rise is accelerating along Maine's coast. This year, record high water levels have been documented in Bar Harbor, Cutler and Wells. For coastal communities it means threats to buildings and infrastructure, the loss of beaches and intrusion of salt water into private wells. A modest 1.6 foot rise, which is expected by the year 2050, will result in a 15-fold increase in coastal flooding.
CIRCA Awarded $5 million in New Funding to Strengthen CT’s
Climate Change Resilience
UCONN Today - November 16, 2021

Connecticut is already feeling the effects of climate change, meaning that now is the time to take action and continue building resilience. CIRCA is hard at work helping communities around the state adapt to climate challenges, namely increased flooding and heat vulnerability. CIRCA will be able to expand these efforts thanks to an additional $5 million awarded as part of the Connecticut General Assembly’s 2021-23 state budget.
Researchers Look to Prepare Coastal New England for Future Storms
Brattleboro Reformer - November 22, 2021

New research on the combined threat of rising sea levels and extreme weather focuses on coastal areas in New England. By simulating hazards like flooding with computer models, the researchers say their findings could help prepare communities that are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The four-year project is funded by a $1.5 million grant from NOAA as part of its federal research on sea level rise. The study will focus on seven areas in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine.
A Regional Approach to Climate Resilience
The Berkshire Edge - November 23, 2021

Building on four communities’ climate resilience planning process completed in 2021, these funds will allow the communities to complete a road-stream crossing assessment for all their bridges and culverts, which will determine which need upgrading or improvements to best prepare for increased precipitation and flooding.
National News Clips
How Drought Could Make Sea-Level Rise Worse
JSTOR - November 1, 2021

California and the western United States face drier futures with climate change, and although there is already significant concern about how drought will continue to interact with agriculture, wildfires, and habitats, sea-level rise and coastal erosion tend to be part of an entirely separate climate conversation.
U.S. Housing Department to Send Disaster Funds to States,
Focus on Building Climate Resilience
Reuters - November 1, 2021

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Monday said it will distribute more than $2 billion in recovery and mitigation funds to nine states and Puerto Rico following 15 separate major disasters, as part of a broader push to boost resilience to climate change.
FEMA Panel: Offer Aid Automatically After Disasters
E&E News - November 3, 2021

A federal advisory panel plans to urge government officials to vastly expand access to disaster aid so individuals and communities can get more money after a hurricane, flood or other major event. The panel said that it will ask FEMA to offer aid automatically to people after a disaster, and to make it easier for counties and municipalities to get federal money.
Infrastructure Bill Makes First Major U.S. Investment in Climate Resilience
New York Times - November 6, 2021

WASHINGTON — The $1 trillion infrastructure bill now headed to President Biden’s desk includes the largest amount of money ever spent by the United States to prepare the nation to withstand the devastating impacts of climate change. The $47 billion in the bill designated for climate resilience is intended to help communities prepare for climate change.
COP26: 6 Charts to Help you Understand Climate Change
World Economic Forum - November 11, 2021

With the United Nations’ climate conference in Scotland turning a spotlight on climate change policies and the impact of global warming, it’s useful to understand what the science shows. While larger-scale solutions such as renewable energy are being used to combat rising temperatures, more people are now finding ways to reduce their own personal impact.
6 Takeaways from the U.N. Climate Conference
New York Times - November 13, 2021

Before it started, the United Nations global climate summit in Glasgow known as COP26 was billed by its chief organizer as the “last, best hope” to save the planet. On Saturday, diplomats from nearly 200 countries struck a major agreement aimed at intensifying efforts to fight climate change, by calling on governments to return next year with stronger plans to curb their planet-warming emissions and urging wealthy nations to “at least double” funding by 2025 to protect the most vulnerable nations from the hazards of a hotter planet.
Here's What World Leaders Agreed to — and What They Didn't —
at the U.N. Climate Summit
NPR - November 13, 2021

World leaders signed off on a new climate change agreement after two weeks of intense negotiations in Glasgow, Scotland. While some countries committed to more ambitious cuts to heat-trapping pollution, many nations did not agree to rein in emissions fast enough for the world to avoid the worst damage from climate-driven storms, heat waves and droughts.
How Biden's Infrastructure Funding Will Help the US Prepare
for Future Climate Disasters
CNN - November 16, 2021

Biden's bipartisan infrastructure package, freshly signed by the President on Monday, contains funding to tackle drought, heat, floods and wildfires. And while it does little to address the root cause of the climate crisis and to lower greenhouse gas emissions (the bulk of that would happen in the President's larger economic package), the funding is intended to help make the US more livable, even as disasters accelerate.
House Passes Blueprint for $500 Billion Investment
in Renewables, “Resilience,” Grid
JDSURPA - November 22, 2021

This morning, the House passed H.R. 5376,the Build Back Better Act (the “BBB Act”), by a vote of 220-213. If it clears the Senate and is signed into law, the BBB Act would represent one of the largest investments in U.S. history under the banner of “climate resilience, clean energy, and environmental justice.”
The Biggest Problem Facing The U.S. Electric Grid Isn't Demand.
It's Climate Change
NPR - November 24, 2021

The power grid in the U.S. is aging and already struggling to meet current demand. It faces a future with more people — people who drive more electric cars and heat homes with more electric furnaces. Climate change has forced utility companies and other entities to grapple with the question: How can we prepare for something we've never experienced before?
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). 
State and Regional News Clips