Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
February 7, 2018
A biweekly newsletter of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative
We are excited to welcome three new members to the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative: Breathe California Sacramento Region, Placer County, and the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water.
Breathe California Sacramento Region develops and enhances programs and coalitions that support clean air and healthy lungs, such as the Lung Health Collaborative, Organics Recycling, and a Youth Advisory Board.
Placer County is pursuing a number of climate mitigation and adaptation initiatives to protect the health and safety of the community from potential hazards in our everyday environment and the growing impacts of climate change. Notable plans and projects include the Placer County Conservation Plan, the  Wildfire Protection and Biomass Utilization Program, and award-winning programs to ensure kitchen safety for mass food preparation including preparing meals for people experiencing homelessness and emergency sheltering.
The Environmental Justice Coalition for Water  (EJCW) works to educate, empower, and nurture a community-based coalition that serves as a public voice and an effective advocate for environmental justice issues in California water policy. EJCW implements a suite of projects  ranging from legislative campaigns to Thirsty for Justice , and they've also co-hosted a fantastic CRC quarterly meeting on traditional ecological knowledge in September 2017.
Amid record heat and dry conditions, fears of another drought in California
Southern California is in the midst of an unusual heat wave that brought record high temperatures in Long Beach (91 degrees), UCLA (89), and Santa Ana (88). Both Northern and Southern California have seen little of their average rainfall, and the water content in the northern Sierra Nevada snowpack is only 30% of normal. A key problem has been rising temperatures in the Sierra Nevada. Though more storms have come to the north than the south, warmer temperatures have caused precipitation to fall as rain instead of snow. ( LA Times)
Cape Town faces no-water "Day Zero"
Photo: Joao Silva NYT
After a three-year drought Cape Town, South Africa, may become the first major city in the world to run out of water. By April 22, if no rains come, taps in homes and businesses will be turned off, and the city's 4 million residents will have to line up for water rations at 200 collection points. But just four years ago, the reservoirs were full, and the city won an adaptation implementation prize from C40 Climate Cities for its water management. However, the success of its conservation measures led to Cape Town to delay diversifying its water supplies, which relies on just six dams. The city had been warned as far back as 2007 of the need to increase its water supply. ( Sac Bee)
More "wet" snow droughts predicted for Sierra Nevada
Photo: Benjamin Hatchett DRI
Snow droughts will become increasingly common in some Western mountain ranges - not just "dry"droughts caused by low levels of precipitation but also "wet" droughts in which mountain areas get rain instead of snow. This means that precipitation levels may remain deceptively at average or above average, while snowpack is below average, with consequences for watersheds and local economies. ( Link)
Reducing diesel pollution and other aerosols can help support our water supply
Diesel soot, black carbon, sulfates, and nitrates - known as aerosols - that are pollution byproducts of fossil fuel combustion have immediate, localized, and profound effects on the water cycle, leading to decreased rainfall and even drought. Aerosols cause haze and block sunlight, creating a "dimming" effect that reduces evaporation and slows the water cycle. In societies that depend heavily on agriculture, the result can be threats to food security and increased poverty. Scientists from the Scripps institute suggest that this dimming effect will cause some regions to be "drastically" drier, including North America, sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia. Reducing aerosol emissions through cleaner energy and transportation systems would have an immediate benefit for atmospheric dimming and could reduce the risk of droughts and support food security. ( Link)
Photo: Roehan Rengadurai
Nearly half of California's vegetation vulnerable to climate stress
Photo: Getty Images
Current levels of GHG emissions are putting nearly half of California's natural vegetation at risk from climate stress, with transformative implications for the state's landscape and the people and animals that depend on it, according to a UC Davis study. Vegetation in Los Angeles, the Central Valley, and the Sierra Nevada would be the most affected. However, limiting climate change to 2 degrees Celsius could reduce those impacts by half, with about a quarter of the state's natural vegetation affected. Commissioned by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the data is helping the agency identify not only vulnerable areas but also which areas are more resilient, such as some coastal areas and parts of northwestern California. ( UC Davis)
Deaths of ancient trees an alarming warning for California
Studies of centuries-old oak trees at the peak of the drought revealed that some of the oldest oaks in California were dying. Scientists say that warming and extreme droughts pose "very serious threats to the future of oak woodlands" in California. In the Sierra Nevada, scientists saw a sudden, if small, spike in deaths of giant sequoias, and found that bristlecone pines, the world's oldest individual organisms, are being overwhelmed by faster growing species advancing upslope as temperatures rise in the high country. Scientists predict that in the coming decades, Northern California's flora and fauna will increasingly resemble that of Southern California, which, in turn, will look more like Northern Mexico does today. In Northern California, as oak trees die off, they'll likely be replaced by shrubs and grasslands, a process heightened by forest fires. ( Link)
Chula Vista is taking water management and resiliency to the next level
To address long-term drought, Chula Vista created a formal Water Stewardship Plan to guide the city's expansion of water reuse strategies and conservation efforts. By establishing a baseline and facilitating extensive stakeholder input, the plan identifies the best short and long term strategies for storm water, waste water, and gray water reuse. ( Link)
Tools and Resources
Safeguarding California Plan: 2018 Update
The California Natural Resources Agency released the Safeguarding California Plan: 2018 Update, which lays out a roadmap for current and planned state agency actions and strategies to protect communities, infrastructure, services, and the natural environment from climate change. The plan lays out 69 recommendations across 11 sectors and more than 1,000 ongoing actions and next steps developed by scientific and policy experts across 38 state agencies. New chapters and features include a Climate Justice chapter highlighting how equity is woven throughout the entire plan. A companion document provides examples of state agency projects, such as planned Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments for the state highway system in all 12 Caltrans districts to guide future planning and investments by October 2019. Using data from the study, Caltrans intends to help evaluate the vulnerability of other modes of the transportation system through partnerships with local and regional agencies. ( Link)
Report: Rising to the Challenge, Together
The emerging field of climate adaptation is growing in sophistication and influence, but there is a significant gap between the magnitude of the challenge and existing efforts, according to a new Kresge Foundation report assessing the state of climate adaptation today. Rising to the Challenge, Together finds that while many communities are now accessing a growing base of knowledge, tools and networks, adaptation efforts remain limited in scope and effectiveness. The field is largely crisis-driven and fails to adequately address the social equity aspects of adaptation choices.  It also lacks a shared vision, consistent funding ,and agreed-upon best practices. The report recommends aggressive acceleration of adaptation planning, coordination across jurisdictions, and implementation among advocates, planners, and funders. At the same time, funding support must grow and policy incentives should be aligned to support the incorporation of resilience across different practices and sectors. ( Link)
Upcoming Opportunities
Round 2 Solicitation Open for the Urban Greening Grant Program
The California Natural Resources Agency is announcing the open solicitation period for the Urban Greening Grant Program. Please read the Guidelines, Application, and Forms in their entirety for information on project eligibility, evaluation criteria, and submission requirements. Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend a technical workshop (February 14), which will include breakout sessions to provide guidance in preparing applications. Deadline: April 11 at 5:00 pm. ( CNRA)
New Climate Change and Health Equity Newsletter
The California Department of Public Health's Climate Change and Health Equity Program (CCHEP) launched a new monthly newsletter. Please subscribe to receive climate change and health equity news, science, resources, opportunities, and events. CCHEP embeds health and equity in climate change planning and policies, and embeds climate change and equity in public health planning and practice. Past issues can be accessed here: December 2017 and January 2018. Also see the CCHEP webpage for additional information and resources.
Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Grants
The Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement Programprovides funding to support community-based organizations to collaborate and partner with local stakeholder groups (e.g., local businesses and industry, local government, medical providers) as they develop and implement solutions that address environmental and/or public health issues for under-served communities. EPA anticipates awarding 10 awards of up to $120,000 each. Deadline:February 16, 2018, by 11:59 pm Eastern Time. ( Link )
Cal FIRE: Forest Health, Fire Prevention, and Urban and Community Forestry Grants
Up to $200 million is now available through CAL FIRE's Forest Health grants (including conservation easements through the California Forest Legacy Program) and Fire Prevention grants. Concept Proposals will be due on February 21, 2018 by 3pm. Up to $20 million in grant funds is available through CAL FIRE's Urban and Community Forestry program. Concept Proposals will be due on February 26, 2018 by 3pm. Additionally, CAL FIRE will continue to partner with the California Conservation Corps (CCC) by making $5 million available to the CCC's for Forest Health and Fire Prevention activities. ( Link)
Caltrans: Adaptation Planning Grants, Round 2
Caltrans is making available $40.8 million for transportation planning projects statewide, including $29.5 million in Sustainable Communities Grants, $4.3 million in Strategic Partnership Grants, and $7 million for adaptation planning grants to reduce climate impacts on the transportation system. Visit the Caltrans site to find the 2018-19 Grant Application Guides, application forms, required templates, and presentations and events. Deadline: February 23, 2018, at 5pm. ( Link)
California EPA: Environmental Justice Small Grants Program
At least $750,000 will be available to eligible nonprofit community groups and federally recognized tribal governments to address environmental justice issues in areas disproportionately affected by environmental pollution and hazards across California. The maximum grant amount is $50,000, and the grant term is 12 months. Deadline: February 28, 2018, at 5pm. ( Link )
California ReLeaf: 2018 Social Equity Grant Program
California ReLeaf is offering up to $800,000 for tree planting projects throughout the state as part of its 2018 Social Equity Tree Planting Grant Program. Community grant workshops will be held in various locations across the state this January. Application materials and more information can be found on their website. Deadline: Wednesday, February 28, 2018. ( Link)
Bureau of Reclamation Agricultural Water Conservation and Efficiency Grants
This funding opportunity invites Tribes, irrigation districts, water districts and other organizations with water or power delivery authority to leverage their money and resources by cost-sharing with the Bureau of Reclamation on projects that save water, improve water management, improve energy efficiency, and benefit endangered species. Water conservation and water use efficiency are critical elements of any plan to address these resource issues. Deadline: March 6. ( Link)
EPA: $3 million available for 2018 Environmental Education Local Grant Program
EPA will award three to four grants of $50,000 to $100,000 each for locally focused environmental education projects in each of the 10 EPA regions. This grant program supports projects that promote environmental awareness and stewardship and provide people with the skills to take responsible actions to protect the environment. The 2018 program includes support for projects that reflect the intersection of environmental issues with agricultural best practices, conservation, food waste management, and natural disaster preparedness. Deadline: March 15. ( EPA)
Help us Honor our City of Trees and its Tree Heroes! 
Help the Sacramento Tree Foundation recognize the people and projects that make TREEmendous contributions to the City of Trees by nominating a Tree Hero. Tree Heroes showcase the tree-healthy behaviors supported and promoted by the Sacramento Tree Foundation. Awardees will be recognized at the annual Tree Hero Awards Celebration on May 30, 2018. Please consider nominating a Tree Hero for one of several awards by April 1. ( Link)
Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Mini Grant Program
SACOG will award mini-grants of up to $3,000 per project in support of small events and non-infrastructure programs or projects that encourage biking, walking, riding transit, carpooling, vanpooling and teleworking, as options for reducing car trips and vehicles miles traveled. Projects that focus on testing a new strategy or tactic for changing travel behavior will be prioritized. Applications considered on a rolling basis until $30,000 has been awarded for each of two application phases. The first phase will run from January 16 through June 30, 2018. The second phase will open July 15 through December 31, 2018. ( Link)
Upcoming Events
California Climate Action Team Public Health Workgroup Meeting: Healthy Soils
Wednesday, February 7, 1-3.30pm
Sierra Hearing Room, Cal EPA, 1001 I Street, Sacramento
Join the Climate Action Team's Public Health workgroup to learn about how soil health and soil carbon are important components in advancing community health and addressing climate change. Also available via webcast. ( Link)
Sacramento Tree Foundation: The Significance of School Grounds
Thursday, February 8, 11.30am-1pm
Sacramento Tree Foundation, 191 Lathrop Way, Sacramento
As part of the California Urban Forest Council's "Learn at Lunch" series, Dr. Bill Sullivan will present a discussion of how the built environment impacts human health and wellbeing, and how we can create settings that promote health and wellness for individuals, families, and our community. Bring your lunch and enjoy an intimate talk as we explore how we can create spaces that inspire, invigorate, and improve our lives. ( Link)
Webinar: Using Data to Drive Low-Income Energy Solutions: Tool Demo and Case Studies
Thursday, February 8, noon-1.30pm
As part of the Clean Energy for Low Income Communities Accelerator (CELICA), the Dept. of Energy has developed the Low-income Energy Affordability Data (LEAD) tool in partnership with state and local agencies to assist in identifying energy needs and housing characteristics of low-income communities and inform their program planning. This webinar will demonstrate the new LEAD tool, which is available for all 50 states with county- and city-level detail, and hear from two CELICA partners - the state of Connecticut/Connecticut Green Bank and the City of Rochester, NY - about how they have utilized this tool to answer key program planning questions. The LEAD tool provides interactive state-, county-, and city-level worksheets with dynamic graphs and data, including number of households at different income levels and numbers of homeowners versus renters, and breaks down fuel type, building type, construction year, average monthly energy expenditures, and energy burden. ( Register)
Yolo Climate Compact Meeting
Friday, February 9, 9-11am
Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District, 1947 Galileo Court, #103, Davis
The Yolo Climate Compact will be hearing from representatives of three citizen-led climate groups. The Citizens Climate Lobby will discuss bipartisan efforts for a fee and dividend program around climate taxes, Fossil Free California will share efforts to encourage pension funds and other organizations to divest from fossil fuels, and 350 Sacramento will discuss equitable solutions to accelerate the transition to a sustainable future. (Contact:
The Next Step in the Clean Energy Transition - Decarbonizing Heating Energy in Buildings
Monday, February 12, 11am-12.30pm
NRDC, the Sierra Club, and a coalition of partners are launching a new policy initiative to shift energy for space and water heating in residential and commercial buildings from natural gas to renewable energy. This presents numerous regulatory and market development challenges, and requires leadership from state policymakers to set a clear direction for the state agencies and implement policies. This webinar will discuss problems, solutions, and barriers to decarbonizing building energy, proposed legislation, and actions for local jurisdictions. ( Link)
Workshop: Urban Greening Grant, Round 2 Solicitation
Wednesday, February 14, 9am-noon
Natural Resources Building Auditorium, 1416 9th Street, Sacramento
This workshop is designed to provide help and guidance for applicants interested in applying to the Natural Resources Agency's Urban Greening Grant Program. The workshop will include a formal presentation and breakout sessions, and will be webcast. ( Link)
Webinar: The Writing's on the Wall: Cool Wall Research and Measures
Thursday, February 22, 10-11.30am
Have you heard about cool walls? Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) is working to understand how cool wall technologies can mitigate heat islands and provide a range of other benefits at the same time. This webinar will present key results from LBNL's recent research on the energy and environmental co-benefits of cool walls and highlight Hawaii's experience adopting cool walls into their state codes. ( Register)
Planning and Conservation League's California Environmental Assembly
Saturday, February 24, 8.30am-4pm
McGeorge School of Law, 3200 5th Avenue, Sacramento
The Planning and Conservation League will bring together diverse advocates, business and government leaders, and academics in a work-session focused agenda to develop and commit to specific strategies to protect and advance California's progress in environmental sustainability and social equity. Plenary and breakout sessions will focus on building and maintaining winning coalitions, deepening commitments to shared values, and seeking ways to address housing, transportation, and climate change challenges. ( Link)
3 Revolutions Policy Conference
February 26-27, 2018
UC Davis Activities and Recreation Center, Davis
Transformative changes are coming to passenger transportation-with the promise of huge energy, environmental, and social benefits. The 3 Revolutions Policy Conference will assemble leading transportation experts to explore how we can steer shared, electric, and automated technologies and services to a better future. Join us in moving beyond hype and hostility in considering how we can anticipate--rather than react to-environmental, economic, and social challenges and opportunities. ( Register)
Sierra CAMP webinar: Case Studies in Forest Health and Woody Biomass Utilization
Wednesday, February 28, 10-11.30am
There is no silver bullet to tackling climate issues in the Sierra Nevada region. After the 2017 wildfire season, it is critical that we unify as a region to protect our forested areas, watersheds and frontline communities. Forest restoration, biomass utilization and innovative economic development strategies are only a few of the incredible ways Sierra Nevada communities have found to adapt to and mitigate climate perils. By learning from these innovative projects we can increase the pace and scale at which we need to operate, identify collaboration opportunities, and adopt best practices. This webinar will feature four ground-breaking case studies of organizations and individuals doing critical climate action work in the Sierra Nevada. ( Register)
Save the date for the 3rd California Adaptation Forum
August 28-29, 2018, Sacramento, CA
Join the Local Government Commission and the State of California at the 3rd California Adaptation Forum taking place August 28-29 (with pre-forum workshops on August 27), 2018, in Downtown Sacramento. The Forum gathers a multidisciplinary audience of 600+ climate leaders to foster knowledge exchange, innovation, and mutual support to transition from adaptation awareness to planning and action through a series of engaging plenaries, sessions, workshops, networking activities, and more. ( CAF)
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.