Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
March 6, 2019
A biweekly newsletter of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative
Youth climate strikers: 'We are going to change the fate of humanity'
The students striking from schools around the world to demand action on climate change have issued an uncompromising open letter: “United we will rise on 15 March and many times after until we see climate justice. We demand the world’s decision makers take responsibility and solve this crisis. You have failed us in the past. [But] the youth of this world has started to move and we will not rest again.” “For people under 18 in most countries, the only democratic right we have is to demonstrate. We don’t have representation,” said Jonas Kampus, a 17 year old student activist, from near Zurich, Switzerland. “To study for a future that will not exist, that does not make sense.” The letter says: “We are the voiceless future of humanity ... We will not accept a life in fear and devastation. We have the right to live our dreams and hopes.” ( Guardian)
What happens when the next big wildfire hits?
Don’t be fooled by the precipitation, the snowpack, the wildflowers. When winter ends, it’s unlikely that California’s iconic landscape will sustain the moisture to withstand the 100-degree summer and fall. So what happens when the next big wildfire hits? ( CalMatters) Photo: Cal Fire
For a warming world, a new strategy for protecting watersheds
In increasingly arid regions such as the western US, water managers are learning that careful management and restoration of watershed ecosystems, including thinning trees and conducting prescribed burns, are important tools in coping with a hotter, drier climate. To meet the high cost of watershed-scale forest restoration, stakeholders around New Mexico’s Rio Grande watershed launched a public-private partnership with 73 contributing members, including government agencies, foundations and other NGOs, local water utilities, and local businesses and residents. Together they raised enough money for a 20-year program to restore 600,000 forest acres — enough to support the resilience of the entire central and northern New Mexico portion of the Rio Grande watershed. ( Yale 360) Photo: Alan W. Eckert
Another looming climate disaster: Dam collapses
Major dams in California are five times more likely to flood this century than the last one due to global warming, a new study finds, possibly leading to overtopping and catastrophic failures that threaten costly repairs and evacuations. A new Geophysical Research Letters study suggest that California has at least six major dams – including Shasta, Trinity, Lewiston, and New Don Pedro – that have an even higher potential flood risk than the Oroville Dam did. Higher temperatures will mean that much of the state's mountain snow will instead fall as rain, leading to earlier snowmelt and greater flood risks. What used to be 1-in-100 year floods will now happen every 20 years to the four most threatened dams. In September 2018, a report from the legislature noted that the state has 678 “high hazard” dams with many needing repairs or upgrades. ( BuzzFeed )
How federal disaster money favors the rich
In the early and mid-20th century, fewer than 20 percent of US counties experienced a disaster each year. Today, it's about 50 percent. An NPR investigation has found that across the country, white Americans and those with more wealth often receive more federal dollars after a disaster than do minorities and those with less wealth. Federal aid isn't necessarily allocated to those who need it most; it's allocated according to cost-benefit calculations meant to minimize taxpayer risk. Put another way, after a disaster, rich people get richer and poor people get poorer. And federal disaster spending appears to exacerbate that wealth inequality. ( NPR)
Inequitable exposure to air pollution from vehicles in California
The Union of Concerned Scientists analyzed statewide air quality data to find that Latino, African American, Asian American, and low-income communities are exposed to disproportionately more air pollution from cars, buses, and trucks, than other demographic groups in California. On average, African Americans are exposed to PM2.5 pollution that is 43 percent higher than that for white Californians, while Latinos are exposed to PM2.5 pollution 39 percent higher. The lowest-income households live where PM2.5 pollution is 10 percent higher than the state average, while the highest-income households live where PM2.5 pollution is 13 percent below average. ( UCS)
Why aren't we using nature to fight climate change?
Restoring forests, maintaining peatlands, planting mangroves: These are some of the "nature-based solutions" that could help the world combat climate change. As well as sequestering carbon, restoring natural ecosystems creates new habitats, protects against flooding, provides opportunities for food and pollination, and helps generate a trove of material for future medicines. A recent study suggests that natural solutions can provide "over one-third of the cost-effective climate mitigation needed between now and 2030 to stabilize warming to below 2 degrees Celsius," reducing the need for riskier options, like geo-engineering or bioenergy with carbon capture and storage. So why is it so difficult—and often so controversial—to bring nature into the discussion on tackling climate change? ( PSMag )
The deforestation of American cities
Urban tree cover is declining in the majority of American cities, by as many as 36 million trees per year. That means we’re also losing the $96 million in benefits these trees provide. ( Medium) Photo: Niko Lazaris
Clouds' cooling effect could vanish in a warmer world
Low-lying cloud banks off the coast of California, Peru and Namibia are some of the planet’s most effective cooling systems, because they reflect sunlight back into space. But new climate simulations show that increasing carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere could break up these cloud layers and exacerbate future warming. The findings reveal a previously unknown interaction between clouds and GHGs: about three times the current level of atmospheric carbon dioxide can abruptly disperse clouds. Under a business as usual emissions scenario, this could occur in about a century. A world with fewer clouds could witness up to 8ºC of warming in addition to that caused GHGs. Earth’s climate would be similar to conditions 50 million years ago, when crocodiles swam in an ice-free Arctic and palm trees grew as far north as Alaska. ( Nature) Photo: Mathew Lodge/Alamy
Climate change isn't just frying the planet - it's fraying our nerves
Forty percent of Americans reported hearing about climate change in the media at least once a month in 2015, and about half said they were worried about the topic that year, making it “a powerful environmental stressor,” according to a 2016 federal report. And that’s not the only way global warming causes psychological problems: A recent report from the American Psychological Association details some of the effects of natural disasters on mental health, including social disruption, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicide. Research suggests that heat waves affect our neural regulation, weakening our ability to regulate our emotions, and that people are more aggressive and less empathetic during warm periods. ( Mother Jones)
Want to know what your city will feel like in 2080? Look 500 miles south.
Want a glimpse of Washington, D.C.'s climate future? Take a road trip down to Greenwood, Mississippi. Meanwhile, in Mississippi, seasons will morph into something like those in northern Mexico today. New research shows that by the 2080s, the climate in cities across the country will look and feel like places a few hundred miles south of them today. But it’s not just temperature or precipitation that will change, but the entire natural system, with potentially massive implications for forests, water supplies, farming, and more. You can look up your city in the interactive map; Sacramento, for example, will be more like Oildale, California. ( National Geographic)
Tools & Resources
California Faces Cascade of Health Harms from Climate Change
This issue brief from the Natural Resources Defense Council examines climate change’s multiple threats to health in California. The combination of climate impacts and high social and economic vulnerability means that health harms are accruing faster than the state can respond. For example, the majority-Hispanic farm workers who help drive California’s $50 billion agriculture industry are particularly likely to experience heat-related illnesses and deaths, water shortages during drought, and a fungal infection called Valley fever. Elderly Californians, more than 10 percent of whom experience poverty, can have difficulties getting out of harms’ way of wildfires and floods, and are especially vulnerable to extreme heat and wildfire smoke. California’s urban communities of color tend to live in the hottest neighborhoods with the most severe air pollution. At the same time, they can have more difficulty affording air-conditioning, which helps keep them safe from heat, smog, and wildfire smoke. ( NRDC)
Preparing for the Health Effects of Drought Workshop - Materials available
Presentations and other materials are now available from the February 4 Preparing for the Health Effects of Drought: A Workshop for Public Health Professionals and Partners, part of the Climate Action Team Public Health Workgroup meetings. The materials provide information on drought in California, the connection between drought and public health, drought impacts, and resources to better prepare for the health impacts of drought. ( ARB)
Commission on Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery
A video recording and resources from the first meeting of the Commission on Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery are now available online. ( Link)
Principles for Building Healthy and Prosperous Communities
The Build Healthy Places Network works at the intersection of community development and health. Based on a thematic review of mission statements and principles from 35 organizations representing community development, health, academic, and other sectors, they developed the Principles for Building Healthy and Prosperous Communities to guide cross-sector efforts to achieving an equitable future where “fair opportunity is an outcome for all." ( Link
Upcoming Opportunities
Sacramento Tree Foundation seeking community partners for tree planting
The Sacramento Tree Foundation is looking for community partners for its NeighborWoods program which seeks to develop neighborhood forests through community action. The Tree Foundation has a grant to plant trees in disadvantaged areas in the unincorporated County, many of which are in Environmental Justice Communities. If you are interested in partnering with the Tree Foundation to plant trees in your community, please contact Theresa Bible (916-974-4306;, NeighborWoods Organizer for the unincorporated County. ( Link)
Funding: Wildfire - Assessing and Preparing for Risks under Climate Change
This California Energy Commission 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. Deadline: March 13, 5pm. ( Link)
Apply today to receive CivicSpark support for your climate and resilience projects
CivicSpark is a Governor’s Initiative AmeriCorps program dedicated to building capacity for local agencies to address community resilience to environmental and socioeconomic challenges such as climate change, water resource management, affordable housing, and mobility. CivicSpark Fellows are AmeriCorp Members that serve at public agencies for 11 months, supporting resiliency-focused research, planning, and implementation projects such as climate action planning, climate risk assessments, waste reduction, stormwater resource planning, housing equity programs, shared mobility, and more. Learn more by attending an informational webinar. Applications will be accepted in waves, with the first priority deadline on March 15, and the second on May 3. ( CivicSpark)
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)
Kresge Foundation: Climate Change, Health & Equity Initiative RFP
The Kresge Foundation invites community-based, nonprofit organizations seeking to accelerate work at the intersection of climate change, health, and equity in urban, low-income communities to submit an application for the planning phase of the Climate Change, Health & Equity (CCHE) Initiative’s community-based strategy. The RFP will focus on the planning phase of a multi-year effort supporting community-based nonprofits to accelerate implementation of equitable climate-resilience policies that reduce health risks. Deadline: March 19, 11:59pm EST. ( Kresge)
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)
Green Infrastructure Grant Program
The California Natural Resources Agency is pleased to release for public comment its draft guidelines for the Green Infrastructure (GI) grant program. The GI grant program, funded by Proposition 68, will fund multibenefit green infrastructure projects in or benefiting disadvantaged or severely disadvantaged communities. Comment deadline: March 21. ( Link
CommunityWINS Grant: Funding for Community Development Non-Profits
The CommunityWINS (Working/Investing in Neighborhood Stabilization) grant program, administered by the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation, is offering nonprofits in eight cities up to $300,000 for projects aimed at accelerating neighborhood revitalization, economic development and job creation in municipalities across the U.S. All USCM member cities are eligible to apply and may nominate up to three eligible nonprofit organizations. Deadline: March 22. ( Link)
Draft Grant Administration Guide for Proposition 68 funding available for public review
This guide will be used for the administration of capital improvement projects awarded through the California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018 (Proposition 68). Public review and comments may be sent to or in person at a public hearing. Deadline: March 29. ( Link)
10th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum - Call for Proposals Now Open!
The 2019 Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum (June 26-27, Long Beach) is an opportunity to showcase innovative best practices, local projects, strategies for energy efficiency and sustainability, and tools and technologies. We are looking for creative and interactive sessions that engage a broad spectrum of energy and sustainability practitioners. We are very interested in proposals that highlight impactful energy efficiency measures and lift up the voices of local governments and disadvantaged, underserved communities. Deadline: April 2, 2019, 5pm. ( Link)
California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) Grants
CDFA’s Dairy Digester Research and Development Program (DDRDP) provides financial assistance for the installation of dairy digesters. The Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP) provides financial assistance for the implementation of non-digester manure management practices in California. Deadline: 5pm, April 3. 
Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program Easement and Planning Grants
The Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation (SALC) Program makes strategic investments to protect agricultural lands from conversion to more GHG-intensive uses. Easement grants have no maximum limit and aim to protect important agricultural lands under threat of conversion through the acquisition of voluntary, permanent agricultural conservation easements. Planning grants provide up to $250,000 to local and regional governments to work closely with local stakeholders to develop local and regional land use policies and implementation activities that integrate agricultural land conservation in a way that reduces or avoids GHG emissions, supports job creation, and benefits AB 1550 populations. The pre-proposal deadline is Wednesday, April 17 (required only for easement grants), and the final deadline is Friday, September 13. ( SGC)
2019 AARP Community Challenge
The AARP Community Challenge funds community-based “quick-action” projects related to housing, transportation, smart cities and public spaces. The goal is to spark change and build momentum to improve livability for people of all ages. Deadline April 17. ( AARP)
Funding: Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014
The State Coastal Conservancy will award $20 million 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. Deadline: April 30, 5pm. ( Link)
Launch your social purpose career with CivicSpark!
CivicSpark, a Governor’s Initiative AmeriCorps program, is currently recruiting 90 Fellows who are interested in serving with local governments in California to address a broad range of resiliency issues. Fellows implement local projects on topics including sustainable transportation, energy efficiency, climate action planning, water conservation, drought response, affordable housing, and rural-broadband. Fellows gain exceptional career experience and training to become future leaders in California’s response to emerging environmental and social equity challenges. CivicSpark is looking for upcoming/recent college graduates who want to gain real-world experience, launch a social purpose career, and make a lasting impact! Learn more about CivicSpark by attending a Fellow Recruitment Webinar. The application for the 2019-20 Fellow service year opens April 1st. ( 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: Tribal Emergency Management in the Face of Climate change
Thursday, March 7, 9-10.15am
The Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals Climate Change Program is hosting a webinar to share guidance, experience, and technical knowledge regarding tribal emergency management. Learn about available tools and resources in developing a tribal emergency management plan, financial assistance resources to build capacity, ways to strengthen partnerships with state and federal emergency management teams, and more. ( Register)
UC Davis Environmental Law Symposium 2019: Deconstructing Waste
Friday, March 15, 8.30am-4.30pm
King Hall, 400 Mrak Hall Drive, Davis
This year's Environmental Law Symposium focuses on the human-made law of waste management. Leaders in government, non-profit and private sectors will discuss the ways we manage organic, hazardous, agricultural, and other waste streams, opening the door to dialogue about the impacts of dumping on vulnerable landscapes and populations, and how our society can shift from disposal to regeneration in the era of climate change. ( Register)
Wildfire Technology Innovation Summit
March 20-21, 2019, 600 J Street, Sacramento
The first of its kind, the Wildfire Tech Innovation Summit will gather national and international thought leaders and practitioners from state and local governments, academia, industry and others to inform and engage each other about the challenges of wildfires and tools that can help us better manage these devastating disasters. The Summit is designed to initiate an ongoing dialogue between the technology industry, academic researchers, utilities, and government on the challenges of identifying, responding to and recovering from today's wildfires and the potential technological solutions to address these challenges. ( Link)
Shared Mobility Policy & Modeling Workshop
Friday, March 22, 9am-4.30pm
Alumni House, Berkeley, CA
Join us for a day of interactive workshops with industry experts, and regional and local government agencies on the cutting-edge of shared mobility! Learn how shared mobility is transforming California's communities and how your community can incorporate micromobility into public policy and modeling practices. This workshop is organized by the Local Government Commission and UC Berkeley's Transportation Sustainability Research Center, with a Caltrans grant. ( Register)
Join us for a Lantern Festival across the I Street Bridge
Saturday, March 23, 7-9pm
West Sacramento Parking Lot, 201 C Street, West Sacramento (at the base of the I Street Bridge)
The existing I Street Bridge, built in 1912, provides a critical railroad line for regional and national goods movement. The City of West Sacramento received a Caltrans Sustainable Communities Grant to study how to transform the bridge to serve only pedestrians and bicyclists. Motorized vehicles would be moved from the existing bridge to the new I Street Bridge. Join us for a lantern festival to learn about the study, provide your input, and celebrate the region’s cultural heritage! The festival will include a lantern walk with live music and entertainment. ( Link)
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 .