Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
January, 25, 2019
A biweekly newsletter of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative
Don’t forget to join us at our upcoming quarterly meeting, the Sacramento Valley Regional Climate Symposium! Leading climate scientists and state agency experts will highlight new findings on key climate risks impacting the Sacramento Valley region. Community leaders, topic experts, and elected officials will also discuss financing, opportunities for action, and tools and resources. 

We also invite you to share your thoughts on the Capital Region’s priorities for climate change and building heat-resilient neighborhoods and transportation solutions via our Community Climate Survey. This survey will help inform the work of the Mayors’ Climate Commission and the Capital Region Urban Heat Island Reduction Project to help us build a healthy, sustainable region. Please take a few minutes to take the survey, share it with your friends, neighbors, and social and professional networks, and encourage others to spread the word as well. Thank you for contributing your voice and your support.
2018 marks 3rd consecutive year with natural disaster losses over $200 billion
According to reinsurance company Aon’s annual report, 2018 was the third consecutive year in which catastrophe losses – at $225 billion – surpassed the $200 billion threshold, and the 10 th time since 2000. Total global economic losses from weather disasters was $215 billion, a reduction from 2017’s record-setting total of $438 billion but the sixth-highest total for weather disasters since 1980. In total, 42 natural disasters exceeded one billion dollars in damage in 2018, above the average of 31 events dating to 2000 and higher than the 36 events in 2017. Four of the 10 costliest natural disasters occurred in the US, accounting for nearly $53 billion in economic losses and 176 deaths. The US accounted for 64% of global insured losses, with the Camp Fire ($12 billion) as the world’s costliest individual insured loss event. ( Aon)
A year of climate change evidence: Notes from a science reporter's journal
Several recent climate reports tell us that 2018 may be remembered as a turning point, for better or worse, in the fight to cap global warming. Compelling new evidence shows we will speed past a dangerous climate-risk threshold as soon as 2030 if GHG emissions continue at their current rate, triggering climate change on a scale that would present grave dangers to much of the living planet, as well as hundreds of billions of dollars in economic costs. ( Inside Climate News) Photo: InsideClimateNews, Source: US Global Change Research Program; NOAA
Shutdown threatens to stall recovery in wildfire-ravaged Paradise, California
Wildfire prevention work has ground to a halt on federal public lands. The rainy California winter is a key window for prescribed fire and other mitigation work in the Sierra foothills. At this time of year, federal land agencies are now usually well underway with that work. If the work does not happen this season, that equates to another year of increased vulnerability. Federal agency representatives have been absent from local fire planning meetings, which causes headaches and stalls work because many projects are on a mix of state, private and federal land. ( NPR) Photo: Noah Berger/AP
Friendly Fire: Can neighborhood burn squad save California from the next big wildfire?
This is a new phenomenon here in California’s fire country: not the use of controlled burns, but the willingness to participate in community organization to stem future fires. There are 23 firewise community associations in Nevada County, 25 more have filed papers to be officially recognized, and another 25 are organizing, according to the County fire council. These community associations are a relatively recent development in California and a necessary one. Neighbors help motivate each other, they educate each other, and they figure out who needs help. That last point is crucial during emergencies when fire agencies count on individuals to save one another. “People need, not just a personal plan, but a community plan,” said Scott McLean, spokesperson for Cal Fire “What about the little street they live on? Who is going to help out the elderly neighbors?” ( Grist) Photo: Grist / Nathanael Johnson
US carbon pollution surged in 2018, after years of stasis
Carbon dioxide emissions from the United States spiked sharply in 2018, bucking a three-year trend and making it more likely that the country will fail to meet its promises under the Paris Agreement on climate change. Carbon emissions leaped by 3.4 percent, the second-largest increase in more than two decades. The emissions surge was driven by a number of factors: Americans flew more, shipped more goods by truck, and burned more heating oil during a frigid winter. Even emissions from power plants went up, after years of declines. ( Atlantic) Photo: Brendan McDermid / Reuters
Glaciers Are Retreating. Millions Rely on Their Water
The world’s roughly 150,000 glaciers, not including the large ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica, cover about 200,000 square miles of the earth’s surface. Over the last four decades they’ve lost the equivalent of a layer of ice 70 feet thick. Most of them are getting shorter, too. Smaller glaciers in places like the Rockies and the Andes have disappeared. Even if GHG emissions were sharply curtailed immediately, there has already been enough warming to continue shrinking glaciers around the world. This great global melting contributes to sea level rise. It affects hydroelectricity. It leads to disasters like rapid, catastrophic floods and debris flows. It alters rivers and ecosystems, affecting the organisms that inhabit them. But here in the Tien Shan, the biggest impact may be on the supply of water for people and agriculture. ( NYT)
Sierra Nevada snowpack on track to shrink up to 79% by the end of the century
According to a new report, the size of the Sierra snowpack could shrink by 54% in the next 20 to 40 years, and by 79% by the century’s end if humans don’t limit GHG emissions. Reservoirs such as Folsom, Shasta, and Oroville in northern California would be more affected than those in the central and southern regions. That’s because the Sierra Nevada is not quite as high in northern California as it is in other parts of the state. That doesn’t mean less precipitation will fall up north, but that it will come as rain rather than snow. That’s a problem for water managers: to prevent flooding, much of winter rain will have to be let go rather than stored in reservoirs. ( LA Times) Photo: Peter Mourning / Mammoth Mountain
How climate change is affecting small Sierra Nevada lakes
There are over 14,000 lakes in the Sierra Nevada, and UC Davis scientists have deployed a monitoring network at 20 of them to understand how climate change is affecting the lakes. At one lake, temperatures are warming as fast as 1C per decade, which is on par with some of the most severe warming on the planet at high mountain ranges. Despite rapidly warming air temperatures, spring snowpack is the biggest predictor of summer warming in small Sierra Nevada lakes. The amount of snow acts as a buffer against higher temperatures, by controlling when the lake becomes free of ice and can absorb radiation from the sun, which heats the water. (UC Davis) Photo: Kevin Skeen/UC Riverside
Gavin Newsom needs a plan for California's endangered water supply
California’s water supply is now inextricably tied up with climate change. In a warming world, nature has already brought smaller Sierra snowpacks and less predictable precipitation patterns, with periods both of drought and of flooding. Gov. Gavin Newsom, if he is to successfully steer the state into the future, has to bring to his water agenda the same steely-eyed, reality-based drive that the two previous governors brought to limiting carbon emissions. It is time for the state to respond to its water challenge with the same sense of urgency with which it adopted Assembly Bill 32, the landmark law capping greenhouse gas emissions, in 2006. ( LA Times) Photo: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times
California Farmland Trust conserves nearly 70 farms to preserve agricultural lands
California Farmland Trust has bought the development rights for 16,000 acres of farmland in the Central Valley and Northern California, almost 70 farms in all. The goal is to keep the land from being developed for housing or any other use, as every year, an estimated 40- to 50,000 acres of farmland are lost. The farm owners are paid for their land rights, but still own the property. Farmers may be land rich but cash poor, so payments for development rights can be used for costly expenses, such as a new tractor. ( Cap Radio) Photo: Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio
Tools & Resources
New guide to how cities can manage shared micromobility services
Produced in collaboration with 23 cities, Transportation for America released a playbook to help cities think about how to best manage shared micromobility services like dockless bikes, electric scooters, and other new technologies that are rapidly being deployed in cities across the country. The rapid pace of change highlights the need to create flexible regulatory frameworks that will help cities integrate new technologies and contribute toward their preferred long-term outcomes. The Shared Micromobility Playbook aims to help cities better understand the variety of policy levers at their disposal and explores the core components of a comprehensive shared micromobility policy for local governments. ( Link)
2018 California Legislative Update: Climate Change
This factsheet from the Alliance of Regional Collaborative for Climate Adaptation (ARCCA) highlights key climate change and adaptation bills that were chaptered into law in 2018. ( ARCCA)
Policy Priority Solutions for California's Next Governor: Water, Climate, and Wildfire
This report highlights three sets of actions that California's new governor could take immediately to address wildfire; drought, flood, and drinking water safety and affordability; and the stubbornly high carbon pollution from our transportation system. ( Link)
Upcoming Opportunities
Cal Fire: Forest Health Grants Program
Cal Fire is soliciting applications for $155 million in projects that will help prevent catastrophic wildfires and restore forest health while sequestering carbon and reducing GHG emissions. The  Forest Health Grants Program will fund projects that proactively restore forest health, protect upper watersheds, promote the long-term storage of carbon in forest trees and soils, and minimize the loss of forest carbon. Conservation easements and land acquisitions are also eligible under the Forest Legacy Program. In addition, up to $3.5 million will be available specifically for applied research studies that examine forest management and health to support forest landowners, resource agencies, and fire management organizations. Deadline: 3pm, January 29, 2018. ( Link)
FEMA FY 2018 Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program and Flood Mitigation Assistance Program
The Pre-Disaster Mitigation program (PDM) funds State, Local and Tribal Governments to implement and sustain cost-effective measures designed to reduce the risk to individuals and property from natural hazards, while also reducing reliance on Federal funding from future disasters. The Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) Program funds State, Local and Tribal Governments to reduce or eliminate the risk of repetitive flood damage to buildings and structures insured under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). In FY18, the FMA Program will prioritize proposals that address community flood risk by setting aside $70 million for this purpose. Deadline for both programs: January 31, 2019. ( PDM & FMA)
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Health and Climate Solutions
This funding opportunity aims to develop and amplify the evidence around approaches that improve community health and well-being and advance health equity, while also addressing climate change adaptation or mitigation. Eligible local approaches can focus on one or more of a range of determinants of health—including but not limited to air quality, energy, transportation or mobility design, food and water systems, and housing. Grant funds will support research and evaluation activities to develop the best possible evidence highlighting what is working well with the select approach and why; where there have been opportunities and challenges; and how other communities may learn from this approach to tackle similar challenges. All interventions eligible for this funding must have been implemented and active for at least one year as of the date of the application. Deadline: 12 noon, February 8, 2019. ( Link)
Winter Rise Habitat Incentive Program
The California Winter Rice Habitat Incentive Program provides economic incentives to landowners who agree to manage their properties in accordance with a management plan developed cooperatively by biologists from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Comprehensive Wetland Habitat Program and the landowner. Management plans will require landowners to flood harvested rice fields for a minimum of 70 continuous days during the winter months (October-March). Properties that can maintain water during critical months (January through mid-March) will be given additional points in the ranking process. Workshop: January 28, 10-11.30am, in Colusa. (Applications due: February 11, 2019, 4pm. ( Link)
$395 Million Available for Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Round 4
Round 4 of the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) Program is now open for applications. Administered by the Strategic Growth Council and implemented by the Department of Housing and Community Development, the AHSC program funds land use, housing, transportation, and land use preservation projects to support infill and compact development that reduces GHG emissions. Deadline for applying for technical assistance is Nov. 21. Deadline: February 11, 2019. ( Link)
Forest Health Watershed Coordinator Grant Program
The Department of Conservation is accepting applications under the Forest Health Watershed Coordinator Grant Program for grant funding for watershed coordinators in the Sierra Nevada/Cascade and North/Central Coast regions. Watershed coordinators will facilitate watershed-scale collaborations, promote integrated watershed management efforts, and support local implementation activities to restore resilience to forestlands. Eligible applicants include local and tribal governments, special districts, and nonprofits. Deadline: Friday, February 15. ( Link)
EPA: Environmental Justice Small Grants Program
EPA announced $1.5 million for a new competition cycle for the Environmental Justice Small Grants (EJSG) program. In general, the EJSG program awards grants to community-based organizations that support community-driven projects designed to engage, educate, and empower communities to better understand local environmental and public health issues and develop strategies for addressing those issues, building consensus in the community, and setting community priorities. The current opportunity will emphasize projects that address emergency preparedness and increase resiliency, as well as projects that include the needs of US military veterans and homeless populations. Deadline: February 15, 2019. ( EPA)
Drinking Water for Schools Grant Program
The State Water Resources Control Board is now accepting applications for $9.5 million in grant funding for projects that improve drinking water quality and access on public school campuses in disadvantaged communities. Applications are due March 1, 2019. ( SWRCB)
Funding: State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program
The State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) provides grants to implement irrigation systems that reduce GHG emissions and save water on California agricultural operations. Eligible system components include soil moisture monitoring, drip systems, switching to low pressure irrigation systems, pump retrofits, variable frequency drives and installation of renewable energy to reduce on-farm water use and energy. Deadline: March 8, 5pm. ( CDFA)
Funding: Wildfire - Assessing and Preparing for Risks under Climate Change
This California Energy Commission (CEC) grant will fund applied research that will fill gaps in knowledge of fire science and apply that new knowledge to improve models to assess wildfire risk for grid operations and planning. The project will develop next-generation wildfire risk models at both local and statewide scales. Such models are needed to help ensure resiliency of the electric grid in the near- and long-terms in the face of the growing wildfire risk under climate change. Pre-application workshop: January 25, 10am. Deadline March 13, 5pm. ( Link)
Request for Information: Transformative Climate Communities Program
The Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) Program intends to develop a short list of Program Evaluation Technical Assistance providers that can work with Round II awardees to assist with data collection and program evaluation. The Program Evaluation Technical Assistance provider will work with the Round II awardees throughout the five-year grant implementation period and for two additional years during the program performance period. Awardees were required to budget for these services and will select a Program Evaluation Technical Assistance provider from the list to contract with directly. Deadline: March 15, 2019. ( Link)
Funding: CalEPA's Environmental Justice Small Grants
The CalEPA Environmental Justice Small Grants Program offers funding to assist non-profit community organizations and federally-recognized Tribal governments to address environmental justice issues in areas disproportionately affected by environmental pollution and hazards. Priority is given to projects that address one or more of program goals, which include addressing climate change through community-led solutions and capacity-building. Deadline: March 21. ( CalEPA)
Funding: Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014
The State Coastal Conservancy will award approximately $20 million in funding from Proposition 1, the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014. The Conservancy’s four priority areas for funding are water sustainability improvements, anadromous fish habitat enhancement, wetland restoration, and urban greening. The Conservancy will prioritize projects that help California communities prepare for the impacts of climate change, achieve multiple benefits, serve disadvantaged communities, and result in quantifiable outcomes. Pre-grant webinar: January 29, 10am. Deadline: April 30, 2019, 5pm. ( Link)
Funding: Acorn Foundation's general support grants for environmental justice groups
The Acorn Foundation is dedicated to supporting community-based organizations working to advance environmental conservation, sustainability and environmental justice. The Foundation is particularly interested in small and innovative community-based projects that engage in community organizing to advocate for environmental health and justice; preserve and restore habitats supporting biological diversity and wildlife; and prevent or remedy toxic pollution. The Foundation has an open Letter of Inquiry process for general support grants ($5,000-$10,000) to grassroots organizations. ( Link)
Upcoming Events
Webinar: Is your community dangerous by design?
Thursday, January 24, 11.30am-12.30pm
If 6,000 people died in plane crashes every year in America, air travel would grind to a halt and the industry would be thrown into chaos. Unfortunately, nearly 6,000 people were killed in 2017 doing something much more commonplace: walking. In fact, even as traffic fatalities overall have been decreasing, pedestrian fatalities have been on the rise over the last decade. However, the danger of being hit and killed is not the same in every place. The National Complete Streets Coalition is releasing the Dangerous by Design 2018 report, which ranks each state and the 100 most populous metro areas based on how deadly they are for pedestrians. This webinar will discuss the results of the report, and importantly, what can be done to save lives. ( Register)
Webinar: Saving Our Suburbs (Part 2): How to Seize Emerging Opportunities
Tuesday, January 29, 10-11.30am
Learn about how suburbs can cover the costs of creating walkable urbanism by being opportunistic and developing innovative public/private partnerships to pay for streets, public spaces, art and culture, and, yes, even parking—in other words, the infrastructure that turns density into a tool for creating community. ( Register)
California Bioresources Economy Summit 2019
January 29-30, 2019
David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA
The California Bioresources Economy Summit will bring together policymakers, bioresource experts, technology innovators, community groups, and researchers to explore how the State’s bioresources from the forest, agricultural, and urban sectors can help the State adapt to and mitigate climate change, improve air quality, create jobs, and achieve other co-benefits. ( Link)
Capital Region Opportunity Zone Forum
Friday, February 1, 8.30am-2pm
Depot Park: Conference Center, 8215 Ferguson Avenue, Sacramento
Newly created and quickly developing, Opportunity Zones will benefit the Capital Region by motivating increased investments of “patient capital” into our underserved communities. Opportunity Zones (OZ) have been enacted at the federal level, designated by state governors, and are being defined by federal agencies at the same time as investors are beginning to direct funds into emerging OZ funds. This forum will gather key leaders including investors and advisors, project developers and businesses, community organizations, and local jurisdictions, as we work together to build stronger, more equitable communities. Join us to learn more about OZs, gain insight into what’s eligible for investments, and understand implementation issues. ( Register)
Preparing for the Health Effects of Drought: A Workshop for Public Health Professionals
Monday, February 4, 2019, 10am-4pm
Cal/EPA, Sierra Hearing Room, 2nd floor, 1001 I Street, Sacramento
This workshop is hosted by the California Department of Public Health’s Climate Change and Health Equity Program as part of the Climate Action Team Public Health Workgroup. The morning will provide an informational session on the health impacts of drought, and drought projections. Facilitated by the National Drought Mitigation Center, the afternoon session will focus on understanding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Preparing for the Health Effects of Drought: A Resource Guide for Public Health Professionals. Webcast available. ( Register)
CRC Quarterly Meeting: Sacramento Valley Regional Climate Symposium
Wednesday, February 6, 2019, 10am-4pm
Multi-purpose Room, UC Davis Student Community Center, 397 Hutchinson Drive, Davis
Join the CRC, leading climate researchers and scientists, state agencies, local jurisdictions, and community leaders at our first quarterly meeting of 2019 to learn about key findings from the Sacramento Valley regional report and California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment and opportunities to advance local adaptation initiatives. This workshop will highlight new findings on key climate risks impacting the Sacramento Valley region with a special emphasis on rising temperatures and shifting participation, public health, community planning, and local and land use and natural habitats. Participants will also learn about financing mechanisms, funding opportunities, key tools and resources while also engaging in interactive discussions to inform the update to the State’s Adaptation Planning Guide. ( Register)
Yolo Climate Compact
Friday, February 8, 2019, 9-11am
Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District, P
The meeting will focus on staff funding and organization to promote energy efficiency and sustainability both within municipal facilities and programs as well as for the community at large.
Planning for 19%: Tackling the Capital Region's GHG Reduction Target
Friday, February 8, 2019, 11.30am-1.30pm
The California Endowment, 1414 K Street #500, Sacramento
The Cleaner Air Partnership will explore the SB 375 mandate to reduce GHG emissions in the Capital Region to 19% below 2005 levels by 2035. Attaining these critical GHG reductions will require coordinated transportation, housing, and land use planning as well as new partnerships between public agencies, business leaders, environmental advocates, and others. ( Register)
6th California Climate & Agriculture Summit
March 4-5, 2019
The first day features tours of three climate-friendly farms in Yolo and Solano Counties, and the second day will be a full day of plenary, workshop and poster presentations about the latest science, policy and practice related to climate and agriculture. This summit brings together a diverse group of over 350 farmers and ranchers, researchers, agriculture professionals, agriculture and environmental nonprofit organizations, and local and state policymakers and government agencies. The California Climate & Agriculture Network hosts a summit once every two years, and it usually sells out, so register now! ( Register)
Registration for the National Adaptation Forum is now open!
The 4th National Adaptation Forum will take place in Madison, WI, from April 23-25, 2019. Attendees will learn how to make their work climate-informed, share insights with others, and develop a stronger network of like-minded peers. Early registration ends March 1, 2019. ( Link)
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 .