Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
August 10, 2020
A biweekly newsletter of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative
Follow the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative on social media!
We’d like to welcome our newest members to the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative – the City of Woodland, Placer County, and the Sacramento Association of Realtors!

If you missed our virtual quarterly meeting COVID Response: Lessons for Climate Action last week, the webinar recording and presentation are now available on our website. Special thanks to our speakers: Janice Lam Snyder of SMAQMD, Meg Arnold of Valley Vision, Adrienne Moretz of SACOG, Patrick Mulvaney of Mulvaney’s B&L, Louis Stewart of the City of Sacramento, Giovanni Circella of UC Davis, & Chris Flores of SacRT.

We have also launched our PSA campaign around urban heat, which shares information to help residents understand how to protect themselves from extreme heat and the urban heat island effect. Heat resilience is particularly challenging this summer as many traditional cooling solutions, such as libraries and community centers, are currently closed due to the pandemic, and people are discouraged from going out. Please fill out this form if you are interested in joining the campaign. You can also view the recording of SMAQMD’s recent webinar for community residents on the urban heat island effect. We hope you have a safe, healthy, and cool summer.
COVID-19 Resilience Poll
The COVID-19 Resilience Poll tracks the experiences, perceptions, concerns, and hopes of people in the Capital region through the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic including the health impacts and fear, and the economic fallout from the pandemic. Nearly half of respondents have lost income and about a third are struggling to afford basic needs including rent or mortgage, bills, and paying down debt. Capital Public Radio has stories examining how Black and Latinx communities and communities of color are disproportionately burdened by COVID-19, and more likely to be exposed on the job, experience loss of income, or experience anxiety and concern. (Valley Vision and Capital Public Radio)
California was set to spend over $1 billion to prevent wildfires Then came COVID-19
Still recovering from devastating wildfires, California was poised to spend billions of dollars to prepare for future fires and other extreme weather disasters. The infrastructure projects, designed to make communities and homes more resistant to wildfire, have long been overlooked, fire experts say. But with a $54 billion budget deficit, the programs are being put on hold. (NPR) Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images
COVID-19 is complicating Seattle's response to wildfire smoke
In 2019, the Seattle city government designated five public buildings as community refuges from smoke. This summer, as August approaches, Washington has already seen above-average wildfire activity. Meanwhile, Seattle has shuttered the community center to curb the spread of COVID-19, and, with cases in the area rising, it may remain closed for some time. Public health officials have been working around-the-clock for months, tracking COVID-19 cases, adapting to new policies, and crafting pandemic messaging for the public, among other things. Now, they’re facing another public health threat on top of the virus: smoke exposure. (High Country News)
Coronavirus is coming for wildland firefighters. They're not ready.
Keeping wildland firefighting crews safe this year will require a significant shift in the way the country has fought wildfires for decades. But that shift, according to wildland firefighters Grist spoke to, hasn’t materialized yet. States and federal agencies, their resource pools sucked dry by the coronavirus pandemic, are scrambling to come up with a plan to protect these men and women on short notice. (Grist) Photo: Grist / Amelia Bates
Climate change tied to pregnancy risks, affecting Black mothers most
Pregnant women exposed to high temperatures or air pollution are more likely to have children who are premature, underweight or stillborn, and African-American mothers and babies are harmed at a much higher rate than the population at large, according to sweeping new research examining more than 32 million births in the United States. The research adds to a growing body of evidence that people of color bear a disproportionate share of the danger from pollution and global warming. The cumulative findings from the studies offer reason to be concerned that the toll on babies’ health will grow as climate change worsens. (NYT) Photo: Living Art Enterprises, LLC/Science Source
Black people often aren't heard in environmental discussions. These Black Sacramentans formed their own group to speak out.
Black and brown communities formed the Red, Black and Green Environmental Justice Coalition to inform public policy and to not just have a token Black voice at the table when plans about the environment are formed and decisions are made. The group aims to address what members of the community bring up, such as how African American communities are disproportionately exposed to air pollution, which contributes to respiratory issues and death. This comes down to having to even ask city, county, state or federal leader to not put something that could potentially endanger lives in their community. (Capital Public Radio) Photo: The Facebook page for the Red, Black and Green Environmental Justice Coalition
Want to fix the climate crisis? Start listening to Black people
The Green New Deal ignited controversy around its release in February 2019 by positioning climate as part of the same systemic social crisis that sparked the Black Lives Matter movement and the ascent of Democratic Socialist Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Less than two years later, this effort—known broadly as the movement for climate justice—is central to the campaign platform of the Democratic nominee for president. This article features an interview with Rhiana Gunn-Wright, the director of climate policy at the non-profit think tank the Roosevelt Institute, who is one of the architects of the Green New Deal. (Bloomberg Green)
Letter from economists: to rebuild our world, we must end the carbon economy
From deep-rooted racism to the Covid-19 pandemic, from extreme inequality to ecological collapse, our world is facing dire and deeply interconnected emergencies. But as much as the present moment painfully underscores the weaknesses of our economic system, it also gives us the rare opportunity to reimagine it. As we seek to rebuild our world, we can and must end the carbon economy. (Guardian)
Want to save lives? Name heat waves like hurricanes, experts say.
Heat waves are far deadlier than hurricanes and other natural disasters, but they are not named or ranked. Now, as triple-digit heat waves set records around the country and around the world, a group of health experts, climate scientists, and policymakers are trying to give them names and rankings. By doing so, the new Extreme Heat Resilience Alliance hopes to spark public awareness and encourage local cities and states to take preventative measures — setting up air-conditioned cooling centers, for example, and sending search-and-rescue teams to check on elderly and vulnerable populations. (Grist) Photo: Scott Heins / Getty Images
American Planning Association: The heat is on
When it comes to dangerous weather events, hurricanes and tornadoes draw a lot of attention because of the destruction they create, culminating in presidential disaster declarations and federal funds. But that's not the case with extreme heat. Cities are largely on their own to figure out how to pay for creating and implementing plans to address heat. And while cities have been planting trees and encouraging installation of green roofs and surfaces that trap less heat over the past few decades, experts say it's nowhere near enough. What's needed are specific urban heat management plans or climate adaptation plans that focus on strategies like modifying the design of cities to lessen heat intensity for the long term. (APA) Photo: stevanovicigor/iStock/Getty Images Plus.
Millions of Americans lack access to quality parks, report reveals
Years of patchy investment in public parks has left 100 million Americans, including 27 million children, without access to decent nearby green spaces during the coronavirus lockdown, a report reveals. Multiple studies have shown that spending time in green spaces reduces stress and improves physical and psychological wellbeing for adults and children. But the annual parks score index by the Trust for Public Land has revealed wide disparities in access. Within cities, access to green spaces – like access to healthy food, healthcare and good schools – is also inequitable, with low-income households and people of color least likely to live close to parks with basic amenities like bathrooms, playgrounds and basketball courts. (Guardian) Photo: Frank Franklin II/AP
Hurricane, fire, Covid-19: Disasters expose the hard reality of climate change
A low-grade hurricane that is slowly scraping along the East Coast. A wildfire in California that has led to evacuation orders for 8,000 people. And in both places, as well as everywhere between, a pandemic that keeps worsening. The daily morning briefing from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, usually a dry document full of acronyms and statistics, has begun to resemble the setup for a disaster movie. Experts argue that the country must fundamentally rethink how it prepares for similar disasters as the effects of global warming accelerate. (NYT)
Virus crisis exposes cascading weaknesses in U.S. disaster response
Volunteers are key to America’s disaster response, distributing supplies, clearing debris, and rebuilding homes. In interviews, executives with the nonprofit organizations like the Salvation Army said that, in normal years, they would be training and equipping thousands of people and flying them to whichever part of the country needs help, then housing and feeding them in close quarters. Suddenly, none of that works. The consequences could be enormous. (NYT)
Coronavirus is reshaping urban mobility
The coronavirus pandemic is remaking city landscapes worldwide, and the ultimate scope and duration of the changes will influence the future of urban mobility, pollution and even global oil demand. “A moment like this — when millions of urban trips are temporarily up for grabs across transportation modes — is exceedingly rare. The stakes for cities could scarcely be higher," said Harvard Kennedy School urban expert David Zipper. (Axios) Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Coronavirus will reshape our cities - we just don't know how yet
The development of cities has been by affected by disease for centuries, so what legacy will Covid-19 leave on urban life? Cities have evolved over the centuries according to theories of how to fight disease, turning features such as public parks and sewers into “a mundane part of city thinking.” (Guardian) Photo: Antonio Olmos/The Observer
Tools & Resources
Georgetown Climate Center's Equitable Adaptation Legal & Policy Toolkit
Many local governments and community-based practitioners are incorporating principles of equity into their climate adaptation planning and implementation. This toolkit highlights best and emerging practice examples of how cities are addressing disproportionate socioeconomic risk to climate impacts and engaging overburdened communities. This toolkit will further explore how cities are moving beyond equitable adaptation planning and implementing policies that address both social equity and climate resilience. (GCC)
The GREEN Program's Resource Library for Fighting Racism & Injustice
An open-sourced digital library curated by the GREEN Program, and developed by their community of allies who support the fight against racism and injustice. The GREEN Program is an experiential education program focused on the world's most pressing issues in sustainable development. (Link)
On the Front Lines: Climate Change Threatens the Health of America's Workers
Climate change is already making existing workplace hazards worse and creating new ones, and the situation will only accelerate as our world gets even hotter and our weather more extreme. Outdoor workers will be exposed to more severe heat, more toxic substances, and a heightened risk of infectious diseases. As increasingly extreme weather events destroy infrastructure and threaten communities, first responders and cleanup crews will face ever more frequent, exhausting, and dangerous deployments. Many individuals with jobs most affected by climate change are also people of color, and low-wage workers—that are more likely to live in polluted areas and suffer from related health complications. (NRDC)
Census Bureau's New Experimental CRE Tool Shows How Vulnerable Communities Are to Disasters, Including COVID-19
For the first time, using newly developed experimental estimates, the U.S. Census Bureau has created a tool to help measure the degree of a community’s resilience in the face of disasters and other emergencies. The Community Resilience Estimates (CRE) is a resilience measure that identifies a community’s ability to endure, respond and recover from the impact of disasters. Individuals with three or more risk factors – from health and income to age and living conditions – are considered high risk. Likewise, communities are high risk if at least 30% of their population has three or more risk factors. (Census)
Upcoming Opportunities
CivicSpark Project Partner Applications for 2020-21 Still Being Accepted and Able to Support COVID Recovery Projects
Apply today to receive project support to address emerging environmental and community resilience challenges. In response to the scale and urgency of COVID-19, CivicSpark is prepared to focus Fellow support on recovery activities such as: supporting development of responsive programs or connecting community members with resources. Hosting a Fellow is a cost-effective way to bolster response efforts. Explore potential recovery activities by contacting Kif Scheuer (, or visit our website below to learn more about the application. (CivicSpark)
WALKSacramento Executive Director
WALKSacramento is launching a search for an Executive Director. This is a rare and exciting opportunity to join a strong team and lead a regionally recognized non-profit in advancing policies that drive health equity, supporting community priorities through meaningful engagement, and delivering programs that encourage active travel for health, economic development, and environmental benefits. You can view the full posting and details on how to apply here.
Housing opportunity grant: Homekey
Building on the success of Project Roomkey, Homekey is the next phase in the state’s response to protecting Californians experiencing homelessness who are at high risk for serious illness and are impacted by COVID-19. $600 million will be made available to cities, counties, or other local public entities; the $550 million in federal Coronavirus Aid Relief Fund must be expended by December 30, 2020; the Department will provide ongoing support to assist Grantees in meeting the deadline. The priority deadline is August 13, and the final deadline is September 29. (HCD)
Beacon Program Request for Award Consideration 2020
The Beacon Program recognizes the measurable achievements of cities and counties working to address climate change. Cities can be awarded in five categories based on their achievement level. If you would like to apply for award consideration, please complete the form by July 31. (ILG)
Strategic Growth Council: Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Grant
The Strategic Growth Council is accepting applications for Round 6 of the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program (SALC), which fights climate change by protecting farmlands and encouraging infill development. Planning grants support the development of policies and economic development strategies to protect agricultural land, and Land Acquisition Grants (for either conservation easements or fee acquisitions) permanently protect lands that are at risk of conversion to sprawl development. Deadlines for both grants August 28. (SGC)
Sustainable Transportation Equity Program (STEP) Grants
STEP is a new transportation equity pilot managed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) that aims to address community residents’ transportation needs, increase access to key destinations, and reduce GHG emissions by funding planning, clean transportation, and supporting projects. STEP projects should also build community resilience in preparation for the direct and indirect impacts of climate change. Deadline: 5pm, August 31. (CARB)
CalTrans Active Transportation Program
The goals of the Active Transportation Program include, but are not limited to, increasing the proportion of trips accomplished by walking and biking, increasing the safety and mobility of non-motorized users, advancing efforts of regional agencies to achieve GHG reduction goals, enhancing public health, and providing a broad spectrum of projects to benefit many types of users including disadvantaged communities. Applications for Quick-Build projects are due July 15, and for all other project types September 15. (CATC)
Agriculture and Food Research Initiative: Ed and Workforce Development
The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Education and Workforce Development focuses on developing the next generation of research, education, and extension professionals in the food and agricultural sciences. Deadline: September 24. (USDA)
Bureau of Reclamation WaterSMART Grants: Water and Energy Efficiency for FY21
Applications could include projects that seek to conserve and use water more efficiently, increase the production of hydropower, mitigate conflict risk in areas at a high risk of future water conflict, enable farmers to make additional on-farm improvements in the future, and accomplish other benefits that contribute to water supply reliability. Awards are available for up to $1.5 million. Eligible applicants include states, Tribes, irrigation districts, water districts, or other organizations with water or power delivery authority. Deadline September 30. (
Clean Mobility Options Voucher Pilot: Applications open
The Clean Mobility Options Voucher Pilot provides funding for the design and implementation of clean mobility projects in California's historically underserved communities. $20 million is available in 2020 for two types of projects: 1) the Community Transportation Needs Assessment Vouchers help communities to engage residents to identify their biggest transportation needs; and 2) Mobility Project Vouchers fund the implementation of projects that increase access to transportation, designed with community priorities at the forefront. (Link)
California Grants Portal
The California State Library, in partnership with Strategic Growth Council and other State grantmaking agencies, has launched the California Grants Portal in compliance with the Grant Information Act of 2018 to provide a centralized location for all State grant opportunities. Start using the Portal today and find funding opportunities for your community! (
Upcoming Events
Redlining's Intensifying Harm: Rising Temperatures, Hotter Neighborhoods, and How Trees Can Help
Wednesday, August 12, 10-11.15am
Many are well aware of the inequitable distribution of trees in our urban areas. These inequitable patterns and the related persistent disparities in human health are an enduring legacy of various forms of housing segregation. In this presentation, Dr. Vivek Shandas will provide a summary of one pernicious and federally sponsored urban planning policy officially begun in the 1930s – redlining – and the current day implications on the distribution of tree canopy, urban heat, and quality of life for those historically underserved communities. Cate Mingoya will discuss the Climate Safe Neighborhoods Partnership and how residents are working to intervene in municipal planning systems to ensure a more equitable distribution of climate mitigation resources. (Link)
SEEC Virtual Forum - Webinar 8: Building Decarbonization Policy Tools for California Local Governments
Wednesday, August 12, 11am
The Clean Building Compass is a new tool designed for local government staff and elected officials seeking guidance on a spectrum of different building decarbonization policy pathways. Attendees will learn about how the Clean Building Compass can help their community with reducing GHG emissions from the building sector, see a demonstration of the Compassʼs functions, and explore different applications for the tool. (Register)
Assessing the Health Benefits of California's Air Quality and Climate Change Programs
Wednesday, August 19, 10am-noon
Please join this virtual meeting of the Public Health Workgroup of the California Climate Action Team (CAT-PHWG). California’s air quality and climate change programs provide multiple benefits to health and well-being that go beyond respiratory health, including health benefits associated with increased physical activity, access to affordable housing, healthier food and agricultural systems, healthy homes through weatherization and energy efficiency, and increased social cohesion and community engagement. This meeting will focus on ways to better integrate health analysis broadly into the design and implementation of California’s air quality and climate change programs with the goal of maximizing health benefits. The meeting will discuss potential tools for assessing health benefits associated with air quality and climate strategies, and provide an opportunity for public input. (CDPH)
American Climate Leadership Summit 2020 Live Online
Thursdays August 6-27, 11am PDT
Join ecoAmerica’s 9th annual American Climate Leadership Summit (ACLS 2020) each Thursday during August for a series of dynamic and interactive 3-hour webcasts, featuring engaging topics and speakers, with themes addressing our compounded crises and online features to engage with the sessions, speakers and each other. ACLS 2020 is the nation’s largest and most diverse virtual gathering of leaders dedicated to broadening and catalyzing action and advocacy for climate solutions. (Register)         
CARB Public Workshop - Achieving Carbon Neutrality in California: A Report by E3
Wednesday, August 19, 10am-noon
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) will host a public workshop to discuss a recent publication identifying scenarios California could take to reduce emissions from the fossil energy and industrial sectors to help achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. The workshop will focus on energy-related emissions. (CARB)
SEEC Virtual Forum - Webinar 9: Maximizing Value of Resiliency Programs: Case Study & Resources
Thursday, August 20, 10am
A diverse group of presenters will share a case study and best practices on leading-edge approaches to region-wide energy resiliency programs that maximize economic, climate, and reliability benefits. (Zoom)
Sustainable Recreation & Economic Recovery in the Sierra
Monday, August 24, 1-2.30pm
Join Sierra CAMP experts and partners for a virtual discussion on the value and opportunity of public lands in a post-COVID economic recovery for communities hard hit by shutdown orders. Economic, social science, and policy experts will discuss how public lands have been impacted by COVID- and climate-driven changes in visitor and use patterns as well as the importance of adaptable stewardship in the face of increased recreation demand. (Register)
ARCCA Learning Session - Realities of the Triple Pandemic, Racialized Violence, COVID-19 and Climate Change
Monday, August 24, 2-3.30pm
Join us for this activating webinar that will center an authentic dialogue with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) grassroots leaders sharing calls to action, key learnings and case studies of equitable adaptation. This webinar aims to demonstrate how climate change adaptation, racial justice and resilience practitioners are uniquely positioned to leverage their collective power to drive the cultural shift needed to uproot the deeply entrenched issues endangering BIPOC communities. If not now? When? (Register)
Webinar: Reducing the Impacts of Extreme Heat: A Global Perspective
Thursday, August 27, 11am-12.30pm
Extreme heat has wide-ranging impacts on health, occupations, energy use, and the economy. In this webinar, international experts will explore the understanding of urban and personal heat mitigation strategies, providing global viewpoints and best-practices, with an emphasis on new knowledge and preparations to reduce future life and economic losses. (Register)
Water Forum 20th Anniversary VIRTUAL Symposium and Reception
Wednesday, October 14th, 1-5pm
Join the Water Forum at a virtual symposium - Addressing Climate Impacts on the Sacramento Region's Water Supplies and Environment - in exploring new cutting-edge science that describes the projected impacts of climate change on the Sacramento region’s water supplies and a suite of potential solutions to address increasing threats from more frequent and intense floods and droughts.

The half-day symposium will take a special look at how to address impacts on vulnerable and sensitive communities, which are expected to feel the effects of climate change the most, as well as the role of the Water Forum in facilitating a collaborative path forward to meeting the co-equal goals of providing reliable and safe water supplies for the Sacramento region and preserving the environment of the lower American River.

The symposium will be followed by a special virtual reception to celebrate the Water Forum’s 20th Anniversary, the region’s progress toward reaching the co-equal goals, and a glimpse at what’s to come for the Water Forum.
The Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative is a membership based collaborative network designed to promote greater climate change resilience planning coordination in the six-county Sacramento Region. The purpose of this collaborative network is to create a forum where leaders from government, academia, environmental and community groups, the business community, and labor can come together to exchange information, identify vulnerabilities and data gaps, leverage resources, and advance comprehensive solutions in an effort to create stronger, sustainable, and economically viable communities in the Capital Region.
CRC is a program of the Local Government Commission.