Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
December 16, 2016
A biweekly newsletter of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative

What a year this has been. In a seemingly short timeframe many have moved through a full spectrum of emotions - from hope and optimism, to loss and fear - to determination, resolution, and commitment. Looking ahead to 2017, we are confident that there are many opportunities in our region to forge ahead on solutions to build healthy, climate-ready, strong communities.

This year, CRC nearly doubled our membership, with 13 new members and one new channel partner. We look forward to the diverse perspectives that our  new members will bring to our work. We hosted three regional meetings and one tour that engaged over 150 stakeholders on the issues of extreme flooding, resilient infrastructure, and the urban heat island effect.

Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative members also worked hard to ensure that Sacramento County's Local Hazard Mitigation Plan update will account for the impacts of climate change - for the very first time - in a robust and useful way. In addition, we provided 11 scholarships for community and non-profit members to attend the second annual California Adaptation Forum, and provided feedback on statewide policies and plans such as the forthcoming General Plan Guidelines update and the 2030 Draft Scoping Plan.  

A resilient community is an equitable community, and in 2017 we will be exploring ways to better integrate social equity into our work. This year we also started an exciting urban heat island initiative that will help reduce health impacts and improve neighborhoods. We look forward to continuing all these efforts with you in 2017.

Warmest wishes for the holiday season from the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative.  
Planning to save: Increasing your community's resiliency
Photo: Gordon Swanson/
Resiliency is a community's sustained ability to respond to, withstand and recover from adverse situations. Cities are incorporating resiliency principles into land-use and policy decisions to reduce and respond to risk - and effectively recover from and adapt to immediate disasters and long-term stressors like climate change. Although addressing resiliency and adaptation may appear to require new plans and processes and threaten to tap already scarce resources, these issues are already part of many cities' ongoing activities. ( Institute for Local Government)
Prepare for a stormier future: Extreme rainfall risks could triple in the U.S. 
Photo: Reuters
According to a new study, climate change is likely to increase both the frequency and severity of extreme precipitation events throughout much of the U.S. - in fact, these events could become up to five times more frequent in some areas, while the amount of rain in a single event could increase by 70 percent. Such massive amounts of rain occurring more often could put significant strain on infrastructure that already struggles to deal with heavy rainfall. "I think this is one of the most severe consequences of climate change, at least in the US," said study co-author Andreas Prein. ( Guardian)
Climate change has a disproportionate impact on public housing
Storms and flooding are damaging or destroying a growing share of the nation's 1.1 million public housing units. Those homes are getting replaced slowly or not at all, forcing residents to relocate. Yet the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has neither a plan for safeguarding the country's stock of public housing from that threat, nor the funding to carry out such a plan. It has yet to even compile a list of which properties are at risk. The aftermath of major storms like Hurricane Katrina show low replacement rates for public housing, resistance from city authorities, and the majority of residents unable to return to their old neighborhoods - a phenomenon dubbed "climate gentrification". ( Bloomberg)
How climate change triggers earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes
Photo: Tomohiko Kano/AP
Storms and atmospheric changes may have a bigger influence on the Earth's crust and tectonic plates than previously suspected, according to various studies that have linked large rainfall events with earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. For example, in Taiwan and Haiti, large earthquakes have a tendency to follow exceptionally wet hurricanes or typhoons, possibly due to storm-related landslides reducing weight on the faults below. Today in southern Alaska, parts of which have lost a vertical kilometre of ice cover, the reduced load on the crust is already increasing the level of seismic activity. ( Guardian
Bike lanes can cost effectively improve public health
Photo: Flickr user Green Lane Project
A new study from researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health shows that per dollar spent, bike lanes are a cheap way to improve public health. When New York City spent $10 million on traffic curbing measures such as widening sidewalks and building bike lanes in 2005, it resulted in societal benefits equivalent to an estimated $230 million from increased physical activity, improved air quality, and other health benefits. ( Fast Co.Exist
Building bike lanes has real impact on reducing GHG emissions 
Building bicycle lanes and other infrastructure can lead to a significant decline in driving and GHG emissions, according to a McGill University study. Examining how commuter mode share has changed with the built environment in Montreal, researchers found a 10% increase in the bicycling accessibility index resulted in a 3.7% increase in ridership, and a 7% increase in the length of the bicycle network resulted in a 2% decrease in GHG emissions. Other studies corroborate this: a 2014 study in Portland found that building new bike lanes led to an increase in ridership anywhere from 21 to 171 percent in different neighborhoods. Similarly, a 2015 survey found that 54 percent of Americans would like to bike more, but fear of getting hit by a car holds them back. ( Momentum)
Highlighting Local Actions
How locals can continue momentum on climate change
In an op ed published in the Sacramento Bee, Sacramento City Councilmember Steve Hansen and Local Government Commission Executive Director Kate Meis draw inspiration and implementation lessons from local climate leadership in California. ( Sac Bee)
Putting cities' abandoned spaces to work - fighting climate change
What if you could use a computer program to create thousands of site-specific designs for abandoned land in a city, building a network of sites across a city that together could mitigate threats such as stormwaters and heat waves? That's what UC Berkeley professor Nicholas de Monchaux has done on a project called Local Code. He has mapped thousands of underused sites in four different cities, starting with San Francisco and Los Angeles, and has written code to connect each specific location with a design proposal to transform it into a point of urban resilience. The proposals would fill these abandoned sites with greenery, bioswales, porous paving, and low albedo surfaces-all established techniques for increasing urban resilience and improving the ecology of a city. The open-source software is now available for anyone to use on Github.  ( Fast Co.Design)
U.S. cities, counties, and states can do a lot for climate action 
As the global climate agenda forges ahead with or without the United States, cities, counties and states now have a significant responsibility to keep the U.S. on the path of climate action. Here ICLEI-USA provides some suggestions for local governments to improve the lives of their citizens, foster green growth and react to the existential threat posed by climate change. ( Trust)
Tools and Resources
Climate and Energy Legislative Update
The SEEC legislative update provides brief summaries of key climate- and energy-related bills passed in the 2016 legislative session, while the ARCCA update focuses on bills related to climate adaptation. Please note that these summaries are not comprehensive and do not provide any analysis. For full context and bill language, please refer to ( SEEC; ARCCA
EcoAmerica's Let's Talk Climate: Messages to Motivate U.S. Latinos
EcoAmerica's latest research report provides tested communications guidance for engaging Latinos on climate. Successful climate messaging that targets Latinos depends not only on choosing the right messenger, but also on understanding and connecting with distinct Latino views and values. This research project qualitatively and quantitatively explored ways to relate climate change to closely-held, personal Latino values and to use culturally competent language. The rigorously tested findings include key words, phrases, and messages that resonate with Latinos, as well as outreach recommendations. ( EcoAmerica, webinar)
Climate Adaptation: The State of Practice in U.S. Communities
This Kresge Foundation report provides a critical assessment of community-based adaptation to climate vulnerability through in-depth case studies for 17 cities. No single community has put together a comprehensive adaptation program, but all the tools exist to do so, and each city is undertaking a range of bold projects. The report found that adaption actions frequently go hand in hand with progress on other community priorities, particularly economic development. ( Link)
EPA launches new guide for long-term stormwater planning
EPA announced a package of tools to help communities plan long-term strategies for managing stormwater pollution. The tools promote the use of flexible solutions that spur economic growth, stimulate infrastructure investments, and help compliance with environmental requirements. The tools include a step-by-step guide to help communities develop and implement long-term stormwater plans and a forthcoming online toolkit that will contain technical and financing resources to walk communities through the planning process. ( EPA)
Upcoming Opportunities
Call for Posters: California Climate Change Symposium 2017 - Science to Safeguard California
Researchers, local governments, private sector stakeholders, and other groups working to support climate resilience are invited to submit abstracts for posters for the California Climate Change Symposium 2017. Posters should present current scientific research projects or implementation of strategies to promote climate resilience. Deadline: December 22, 5pm. ( Link)
USDA seeking proposals for $25 million in Conservation Innovation Grants
USDA is seeking proposals for cutting-edge projects for the competitive Conservation Innovation Grants program. Projects will spark the development and adoption of innovative conservation technologies and approaches in areas like conservation finance, data analytics, and precision conservation to benefit producers on private agricultural and forest lands. For example, The Climate Trust launched a Working Lands Carbon Fund to serve as a revolving source of financing for conservation projects that reduce GHG emissions and sequester carbon on working lands.  Deadline Jan. 9, 2017. (, USDA
Comments requested: ARB's Draft Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Strategy
Developed pursuant to SB 605 and SB 1383, the Draft Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Strategy is a comprehensive outline of how California will reduce short-lived but powerful greenhouse gases (methane, F-gases, and black carbon) through options including regulations, incentives, and other market-supporting activities. Comments are due January 17, 2017. ( ARB)
Sustainable Communities Planning Grant and Incentives Program: Best Practices Pilot
In partnership with the Office of Planning and Research, the Strategic Growth Council is making available $250,000 to support local land use planning related to climate change and the State's planning priorities. Applicants can apply for up to $50,000 to support the development and/or implementation of a specific portion of a land use plan, land protection or management practice, or development project, with the express intent of 1) implementation of that project or plan; and 2) identification of a best practice and creation of a Case Study to share amongst land use planning and policy peers. This small grant is not intended to fund a long-range plan or project in its entirety. Proposed applications must support local implementation of state policies, with a focus on creating more resilient communities through climate adaptation and mitigation. Deadline: January 11, 2016. ( SGC;
Call for Presentations: APA California Conference 2017 - Capitalizing on Our Diversity
The American Planning Association California Chapter's 2017 conference will be in Sacramento on September 23-26, 2017 and is seeking proposals for presentations and workshops. Proposals should reflect the conference theme of Capitalizing on Our Diversity and include a diversity of opinions and presenters. Sessions must refer to one of the five core conference tracks. Deadline: January 31, 2017, 11.59pm. ( Link)
NFWF - Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program
This program seeks to develop nation-wide community stewardship and restoration of coastal, wetland, and riparian ecosystems across the country, preserving them for future generations and enhancing habitat for local wildlife. Projects seek to address water quality issues in priority watersheds, pollution from stormwater run-off, and degraded shorelines caused by development. Deadline: January 31, 2017. ( NFWF)
Upcoming Events
Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change
Thursday, December 22, 10.15-11.45am PST
Announced at COP 22, the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change is a multidisciplinary research collaboration between academic institutions and practitioners across the world. The initiative will track the relationship between health and climate change and will publish a set of key indicators in advance of the annual COP meetings. The Lancet Countdown is now conducting a global consultation to review the proposed indicators, and this webinar is the U.S. introduction. Lancet wants to hear from you - researchers, health practitioners, community leaders, policy makers and the public - to make sure that the indicators represent a useful and usable mechanism to complement your work on health and climate. ( Register)
Webinar - The Business of Risk: Climate and Resilience
January 11, 2017, 10.15-11.15am
Climate change poses serious and novel risks to businesses of all types and sizes - from supply and chain disruptions, to changes in national and international regulation, to shifting expectations of employees and customers. This webinar will explore the implications of climate risk for business. Experts from among the companies most advanced in resilience thinking will share their views of how climate risk has changed their firms' products, services, and ways of doing business-and how to weigh the costs of acting on climate against the risks of not preparing. (Register)
California Climate Change Summit: Science to Safeguard California
January 25-26, 2017, Sheraton Grand Hotel, Sacramento
The California Climate Change Symposium 2017 is the premier forum for the sharing of cutting-edge research addressing the impacts of climate change on the state. This research informs the state's strategies and policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to develop programs to safeguard California from a changing climate. The 2017 symposium will feature preliminary reports from California's Fourth Climate Change Assessment, a status report on the state's Climate Change Research Plan, as well as presentations on emerging research. ( Register)
Greenprint Summit: Restoring Nature to Our Neighborhoods
Thursday, January 26, 2017, 9am-3.30pm
Guild Community Theater, 2828 35th Street, Sacramento
The Sacramento Tree Foundation's sixth annual summit will feature inspiring speakers showcasing research and projects that prove the many benefits of trees, as well as case studies demonstrating successful community-led urban greening projects. Confirmed speakers include Mayor Elect Darrell Steinberg and US Forest Service forester Dr. Greg McPherson. ( Register)
About the Capital Region Climate  Readiness  Collaborative
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.

The CRC is a program of the Local Government Commission.