Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
July 25 , 2018
A biweekly newsletter of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative
Registration for the 3rd California Adaptation Forum, taking place August 27-29, in Sacramento is open! The Forum will gather a multidisciplinary audience of over 700 climate leaders to foster knowledge exchange, innovation, and mutual support to transition California communities from adaptation awareness to planning and action. We hope that you will join us!
Sacramento's $44 million plan to become the U.S. electric car capital
Photo: Envoy
A new $44 million Green City program funded by Electrify America seeks to radically upgrade the city's electric vehicle infrastructure-adding hundreds of cars, charging stations, and buses-to see if building a support network for more sustainable transit can be replicated in other cities. The Green Cities plan also builds on the city's existing investments in EV adoption. Sacramento's share of electric vehicles is about three times the national average, and it boasts the fifth highest uptake level of EVs among U.S. cities. ( Link)
Red-hot planet: All-time heat records have been set all over the world during the past week
Photo: University of Maine Climate Reanalyzer
From the normally mild summer climes of Ireland, Scotland and Canada to the scorching Middle East to Southern California, numerous locations in the Northern Hemisphere have witnessed their hottest weather ever recorded over the past week. Quriyat, Oman, posted the world's hottest low temperature ever recorded on June 28: 109 degrees (42.6 Celsius). No single record, in isolation, can be attributed to global warming. But collectively, these heat records are consistent with the kind of extremes we expect to see increase in a warming world. ( WP)
Nights are warming faster than days. Here's why that's dangerous
Photo: Mike Blake/Reuters
New daily, monthly and all-time record highs were set across the U S last week, with more than 100 million people sweating it out under heat warnings or advisories. But the warming nighttime temperatures in combination with scorching days may be more deadly, providing no respite for bodies to cool down. Nationwide, summer nights have warmed at nearly twice the rate of days, with overnight low temperatures increasing 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit per century since 1895.   Risks are higher in places where temperatures have historically been cooler, like coastal California, where people are less physiologically acclimated and less behaviorally adapted. ( NYT)
Phoenix tries to reverse its silent storm of heat deaths
Photo: Matt Mawson/Getty Images
More than 155 people died from heat-related causes in the Phoenix area last year, a new record in a place where the number of such deaths has been on the rise. The city has launched an overhaul of how it prepares for and deals with extreme heat and aims to create a model program for coping with extreme heat, including trying to actually lower the temperature of the city. The city is gathering input from residents on how to cool their community, and exploring solutions such as UV umbrellas and heat alert systems for homes of elderly residents. ( NPR)
Rising heat linked to suicide spikes in US and Mexico
A hotter planet could lead to tens of thousands more suicides by 2050 in the US and Mexico, according to a study examining decades of temperature data and suicide rates. A 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) increase in average monthly temperature led to a 0.7 percent rise in suicide rates in the US, and a 2.1 percent rise in Mexico. If global warming is not capped by 2050, there could be at least an additional 21,000 suicides in the two countries alone. ( Link)
Sacramento receives $1.8 billion in federal money to improve flood defenses
Sacramento is the second-most flood-prone major city in the US, after New Orleans, and significant portions of the area lack 100-flood-year protection. Boosting flood-fighting efforts, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Rep. Doris Matsui's office announced that the region has been allocated nearly $1.8 billion to strengthen levees and raise Folsom Dam. The federal money also will be spent widening the Sacramento Weir, which channels flood waters into the Yolo Bypass. The projects that received funding, along with a separate project that will rebuild 24 miles of levees around the Natomas Basin, will elevate Sacramento to 300-year flood protection. ( Link)
Climate change contributed to Oroville Dam spillway collapse
Photo: Pam Wright/
A new study suggests global warming contributed to the collapse of the Oroville Dam spillway in February 2017 by increasing the Sierra Nevada's early-season snowpack runoff by 30 percent. The authors suggest that anthropogenic warming may have exacerbated runoff conditions underlying the spillway overflow incident at Oroville. The study highlights the inadequacies of decades-old infrastructure in the Golden State that were "designed for the climate of the past and not for the rapidly changing climate of the future." ( Link)
Amid climate change and recent deaths, coalition demands worker protections from extreme heat
More than 100 labor, public health, environmental justice and environmental groups are petitioning OSHA to establish extreme heat protections for both indoor and outdoor workers. U.S. Rep. Judy Chu, D-Pasadena, said she plans to introduce legislation in Congress that would require the federal government to develop federal heat protection standards. These standards would likely require employers to provide workplaces with water, shade and rest breaks if needed to recover from the heat, similar to what California already requires. ( Link)
Californian grasslands set to store carbon more reliably than forests
Photo: Joe Proudman/UC Davis
Grasslands and rangelands will be more resilient carbon sinks than forests in California this study, a new study has found. "Looking ahead, our model simulations show that grasslands store more carbon than forests because they are impacted less by droughts and wildfires," says Pawlok Dass of UC Davis. "This doesn't even include the potential benefits of good land management to help boost soil health and increase carbon stocks in rangelands." Whilst forests mostly store carbon in woody biomass and leaves, grasslands sequester most of their carbon underground in roots and soil, where it largely remains even after a fire. ( Link)
Rising seas are coming for the Internet
Within 15 years, thousands of miles of fiber optic cable-and hundreds of pieces of other key Internet-related infrastructure-are likely to be swamped by the encroaching ocean. And while some of that infrastructure may be water resistant, little of it was designed to live fully underwater. Just a foot of extra water could put 20% of the nation's key Internet structure underwater. Considering how much relies on the internet these days, protecting its physical manifestation will be crucial. ( Link)
Can a tiny fern help fight climate change and cut fertilizer use?
Photo: Fay-Wei Li
Scientists have sequenced the entire genome of the tiny fern species Azolla filiculoides, a wunder-plant that played a pivotal role in cooling our planet 50 million years ago. Among its many properties, the Azolla can capture CO2 and nitrogen from the air and has genes that provide insect resistance. Some 50 million years ago, the planet was a much hotter place, and Azolla formed thick mats across the entire ocean and crept onto the surrounding continents. Over the course of 1 million years, the plant pulled an estimated tens of trillions of tons of CO2 from the atmosphere, which helped cool the planet to a climate more similar to what Earth has today. ( Link)
Tools and Resources
Top Measures to Accelerate Local Clean Energy Programs: How to Push the Envelope on a Budget
This report provides analysis of the most effective clean energy ordinances, reach codes, zoning, building and energy codes, policies, initiatives, permitting processes, and advanced energy technology programs. ( Link)
Defining Vulnerable Communities in the Context of Climate Change
Developed by the Governor's Office of Planning and Research through the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program (ICARP), this resource guide is intended to be used as a starting point for practitioners to use when first considering how to define vulnerable communities in an adaptation context. ( OPR)
NREL: Valuing the Resilience Provided by Solar and Battery Energy Storage Systems
Interest is increasing in combining solar photovoltaic (PV) systems with battery storage to provide backup power during electric grid outages; however, these resilience benefits are often not fully accounted for in the cost-effectiveness analysis. This paper explores the impact of resilience on the economics of PV and energy storage systems for commercial buildings, and illustrates that accounting for the cost of electric grid power outages can change the breakeven point for PV and storage system investment. ( Link)
Using trauma-informed care to guide emergency preparedness and response
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (OPHPR) collaborated with SAMHSA to develop a trauma-informed care training for CDC. SAMHSA's National Center for Trauma-Informed Care developed and led a new training for OPHPR employees about the role of trauma-informed care during public health emergencies. The training aimed to increase responder awareness of the impact that trauma can have in the communities where they work. ( Link)
Upcoming Opportunities
SACOG launches $11.76 million Green Region program
The Green Region program is aimed at helping our region's transportation system emit fewer emissions while continuing to function effectively and efficiently. The program focuses on five groups of projects: personal vehicles, shared rides and vehicles, public and private microtransit and shuttles, medium and heavy duty fleets, and disadvantaged communities. Deadline: August 24, 4pm. In addition, the Transportation Demand Management Innovations Grant and Traditional Grant program has $750,000 and $250,000, respectively, available ( Link)
Partners for Places Grant Program
The Partners for Places Grant Program has released the RFP for Round 13 of its matching grant program, which improves communities by building partnerships between local government sustainability leaders and place-based foundations. National funders invest in local projects to promote a healthy environment, a strong economy, and well-being of all residents. The grant program will provide partnership investments between $25,000 and $75,000 for one year projects, or $50,000 and $150,000 for two year projects, with a 1:1 match required by one or more local foundations. Deadline: July 31. ( Link)
Bureau of Reclamation WaterSMART Grants: Small-Scale Water Efficiency Projects
This Small-Scale Water Efficiency Project grant opportunity supports specific small-scale water efficiency projects that have been prioritized through planning efforts led by the applicant. These projects conserve and use water more efficiently; mitigate conflict risk in areas at a high risk of future water conflict; and accomplish other benefits that contribute to water supply reliability in the western United States. Deadline July 31, 2018. ( Link)
Apply now for Active Transportation Program grants up to $5 million
The California Transportation Commission is now accepting applications for Cycle 4 of the Active Transportation Program. Funded through the California Climate Investments, this grant program was created to help make it safer and easier for Californians to walk and bike in their communities. Grant applications of up to $5 million will be accepted until July 31. ( Link)
Rose Foundation: Northern California Environmental Grassroots Fund
This fund supports small grassroots groups throughout greater northern California that are tackling environmental problems including toxic pollution, urban sprawl, sustainable agriculture, climate change, environmental degradation of our rivers and wild places, as well as, of our communities and our health. Applications due August 1, 2018. ( Link)
Center for Health, Environment & Justice Small Grants program
The Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ) has a small grants program for grassroots groups working on environmental health and justice issues. Grassroots communities of color, low wealth, rural, and urban groups are encouraged to apply. The grant program supports projects that help groups move toward their goals by building leadership, increasing capacity, and/or providing training and education. Deadline August 3. ( Link)
CAL FIRE Fire Prevention Grant Program
California Fire Safe Council will be re-opening the 2018 Fire Prevention Grants Program for $5.45 million in funding for fire prevention education, planning and hazardous fuels reduction projects. The 30-day extension will encourage applicants to utilize CAL FIRE's 2018 California Climate Investments Fire Prevention grants to meet the match requirement, but all eligible organizations are encouraged to apply. Application re-opened from August 1-30, 2018. ( Link)
4th National Adaptation Forum: Call for Proposals is Open!
Proposals are being accepted for Symposia, Training Sessions, Working Groups, Oral Presentations, Posters, and the Tools Cafe. Submissions should reflect the best thinking in the adaptation field, informed by theory, research and practice on subjects related to identified focal topics and cross-cutting themes. Deadline is August 3, 2018. ( Link)
Land and Water Conservation Fund Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program
This program provides grants to acquire and/or develop public lands for outdoor recreation purposes consistent with the purposes of the LWCF, but with the further specific goals of funding projects that are located within or serve jurisdictions delineated by the Census Bureau as urbanized areas, and are in or directly accessible to neighborhoods or communities that are underserved in terms of parks and recreation resources, and where there are significant populations of people who are economically disadvantaged. Deadline: September 14. ( Link)
EPA: 7th Annual Campus Rainworks Challenge
The Campus RainWorks Challenge is a green infrastructure design competition open to colleges and universities across the country. The challenge seeks to engage with students to foster a dialogue about stormwater management and showcase the environmental, economic, and social benefits of green infrastructure practices. Registration is from September 1-30. ( 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 second phase is open July 15 through December 31, 2018. ( Link)
USDA: Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants
This program helps eligible rural and tribal communities prepare, or recover from, an emergency that threatens the availability of safe, reliable drinking water. Applications accepted continuously. ( Link)
Upcoming Events
Strategic Growth Council Meeting
Tuesday, July 31, 1-4pm
Sacramento County Board of Supervisors Chambers, Suite 1450, 700 H St., Sacramento
With new Executive Director Louise Bedsworth, the Strategic Growth Council will make decisions on the final awards for the first round of its Climate Change Research Program, the Guidelines for round 2 of the Transformative Climate Communities Program and Health and All Policies' Parks and Healthy Tree Canopy Action Plan, in addition to other items. ( Link)
EPA Webinar: Cool Fixes for Hot Cities Part 1: San Antonio
Wednesday, August 1, 11am-12.30pm PT
Part 1 of the Cool Fixes for Hot Cities webcast series will cover San Antonio's Under 1 Roof program, which aims to provide relief from extreme heat and high utility bills to the city's low-income residents. The growing program has installed over 150 cool roofs for low-income homeowners so far. Learn more about San Antonio's program, the benefits of cool roofs, and monitoring efforts in this webcast. ( Register)
Sierra Nevada Alliance Conference: Regional Resilience
August 15-17, Kings Beach, CA
Attendees will collaborate and learn innovative ways to enhance the ecological resiliency of the Sierra. There are many opportunities and constraints that stand before us, but as a true alliance we can succeed. The Sierra Nevada Alliance is planning a progressive, provocative agenda, with many networking opportunities, and fun to be had throughout. ( Link)
Registration OPEN for the 3rd California Adaptation Forum
August 27-29, 2018, Sacramento, CA
Join the Local Government Commission and the State of California at the 3rd California Adaptation Forum taking place August 27-29, 2018, in Downtown Sacramento. The Forum gathers a multidisciplinary audience of 700+ 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. For information about the forum program, additional activities, and how to register TODAY, visit
Climate Change: Science, Impacts, Politics and Solutions - A Sac State Renaissance Society Seminar Course
Saturdays, 10:00-11:45am, Sept 8 - Dec 8, 2018
California State University, Sacramento
This course will cover basic climate science (how our climate system works); climate history; the expert scientific consensus on human-caused global warming, including detection, risks and impacts. The Big-5 Carbon Polluters: (U.S., China, EU, India, Russia); how ongoing climate change is affecting extreme & unpredictable events: e.g.- temperature, rainfall, hurricanes, wildfires, sea level rise. How politics has shaped the climate change discussion and will do so in the future. The Paris Climate Agreement; why our Military is taking this VERY seriously; alternative energy sources; geo-engineering, economic and policy solutions; and how EACH OF US can make a
difference... locally, and globally. Registration Begins August 20. ( Link)
Managing Lands in a Changing Climate to Improve Agricultural Resiliency, Food Security and Health Symposium
Monday, September 10, UC Davis Mondavi Center
Hosted by the University of California, Davis, and the California Department of Conservation, this day-long symposium will focus on innovative strategies and actions that have the greatest promise to promote agricultural resiliency, food security, and health in a changing climate, with a long-term view to sustaining ecosystem and agricultural services as well as population and planetary health outcomes. The event is affiliated with the   Global Climate Action Summit (September 12-14) in San Francisco. ( Link )
10th Biennial Bay-Delta Science Conference - Our Estuary at an Intersection
September 10-12, Sacramento Convention Center
The Biennial Bay-Delta Science Conference is a forum for presenting technical analyses and results relevant to the Delta Science Program's mission to provide the best possible, unbiased, science-based information for water and environmental decision-making in the Bay-Delta system. The goal of the conference is to offer new information and syntheses to the broad community of scientists, engineers, resource managers, and stakeholders working on Bay-Delta issues. ( Link)
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.