Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
November 2, 2016
A biweekly newsletter of the Climate Readiness Collaborative

For those of us in the climate change world, Leonardo DiCaprio may be better known for his climate activism than his day job. That's why we're excited to hear that he is making his new climate change documentary, Before the Flood, available for free online streaming this week to educate as many people as possible. Find out how you can see it here.

We'd also like to warmly welcome Indigo Hammond + Playle Architects as our newest CRC members. Indigo Hammond + Playle Architects embodies environmentally responsible, resilient design that integrates art, architecture and ecology. Their office in Davis, converted from an old Dairy Queen, captures 90% of its heating and cooling energy from the environment through daylighting, passive heating, night ventilation cooling, and thermal storage. The construction materials include rice straw, a local agricultural byproduct, while the landscaping features drought-tolerant vegetation and preserved mature oaks.
San Francisco Bay ecosystem collapsing as rivers diverted
Photo: Liz Hafalia, The Chronicle
Human extraction of water from the San Joaquin River system is driving the San Francisco Bay toward ecosystem collapse and threatening many species of fish, birds, and marine mammals that depend on the estuary's complex food web. State regulators could use the study to support their proposal to restore 40 percent of the naturally flowing water in the San Joaquin, Tuolumne, Merced, and Stanislaus rivers. This could result in drastic water use reductions for Bay Area cities and San Joaquin farmers. Last year, only 10 percent of the San Joaquin River reached the delta, while the Tuolumne, San Francisco's main water supply, is one of the state's most over-tapped rivers, with 80 percent of its normal flow directed to human uses. Of California's 120 native freshwater fish species, over 80 percent are faced with extinction by the end of the century if current trends continue, while 22 species of birds in the estuary are endangered, threatened, or species of concern. ( SF Gate)
Strategic Growth Council (SGC) approves $289 million for affordable housing near transit
The SGC awarded $289.4 million under the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program to fund 25 affordable housing projects, which will help reduce driving and GHG emissions, create more compact development, and protect agricultural land from sprawl. Each project must include transit, bike, and pedestrian improvements. In total, the projects will provide 2,500 affordable homes and reduce emissions by 350,000 metric tons. Projects in disadvantaged communities will receive 73% of the funding, and 12% will benefit disadvantaged communities by proximity, or provide jobs or training to disadvantaged community residents. Neighborhood Partners was awarded $11.9 million for the 90-unit Creekside Affordable Housing project in downtown Davis for disabled, homeless, and other residents. ( Streetsblog, SGC)
Major public-private collaboration will help address California drought 
Photo: Shutterstock/Eddie J. Rodriquez
Twenty organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, investors, and NGOs, announced their support for four projects protecting water resources as part of the California Water Action Collaborative (CWAC), which aims to build social capital for improved local water management, return water to natural surface water and groundwater systems, and drive corporate water stewardship aligned with Governor Brown's California Water Action Plan. CWAC is funding a research project by the Nature Conservancy, the University of California, and the Forest Service on how forest thinning can reduce wildfires, improve forest health, and potentially increase water supply in the American River by up to 3 percent. The project is taking place at the American River Headwaters, sources of drinking water and hydropower for the Sacramento region, as well as a fishery for rainbow trout. ( GreenBiz)
New California law recognizes meadows & streams as "green infrastructure" eligible for funding
Last month Governor Jerry Brown signed a landmark law, Assembly Bill 2480, declaring that "source watersheds are recognized and defined as integral components of California's water infrastructure." This makes it possible to funnel billions of dollars in infrastructure finance towards the restoration of forests and the maintenance of meadows, streams and rivers, accelerating a decades-old trend towards the use of natural infrastructure to manage water supplies. State legislators will determine how much water infrastructure funding will flow toward projects in five critical California watersheds, which supply 25 million people with drinking water and irrigate 8 million acres of farmland. ( Link)
City of Davis wins awards for climate action and greenhouse gas reductions
More than 140 elected officials and staff from 50 Californian cities joined the Institute for Local Government, a CRC member, and the State Energy Efficiency Collaborative in celebrating local sustainability achievements at the annual Beacon Spotlight Award ceremony at the League of Cities Annual Conference. The day began with a breakfast meeting featuring Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and the mayors and city managers from the winning cities, including Davis. Davis won a Silver Beacon Award recognizing its holistic approach to addressing climate change, as well as Spotlight Awards recognizing its Community and Agency Greenhouse Gas Reductions. ( ILG)
Tools and Resources
EPA: Adaptation Resource Center  
EPA's Adaptation Resource Center (ARC-X) is a self-guided, interactive web portal to help local governments effectively deliver services to their communities even as the climate changes. Decision makers can create an integrated package of information tailored specifically to their needs. Once users select areas of interest, they will find information about the risks posed by climate change; relevant adaptation strategies; case studies illustrating how other communities have successfully adapted to those risks and tools to replicate their successes; and EPA funding opportunities. ( EPA)
Aging dams and clogged rivers: an infrastructure plan for America's waterways
Photo: AP/Drew Perine
With an American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) grade of a D, the U.S.'s nearly 2 million dams are one of the most pressing infrastructure challenges for safety, the environment, and the economy. Most dams were built before the 1980s, and as technologies have improved, the need for many of these structures no longer exists. As a result, there are now many dams that no longer serve their original purpose and are costly, aging, and unsafe. Functional or not, many dams pose a safety problem, such as the Lake Lewisville dam in Dallas that could cover the city of Dallas in 50 ft. of water in case of a collapse. The ASCE classifies nearly 4,000 dams as "deficient." This report from the Center for American Progress makes recommendations for the next phase of U.S. dam policy. ( CAP)
Upcoming Opportunities
Office of Planning and Research (OPR) - Draft Safety Element Update for SB 379
In accordance with Senate Bill 379 (Jackson), OPR developed draft language to incorporate climate change adaptation and resilience in the Safety Element of the General Plan Guidelines, which is now available for public review. The release of the final General Plan Guidelines document, including changes to the Safety Element to respond to SB 379, will occur in late 2016. Please submit comments by November 4, 2016, at, and include "SB379 Safety Element Comments" in the subject line. CRC is also working with ARCCA to submit comments on this document. ( OPR)
EPA Offers Assistance to Rural Communities to Revitalize Downtowns
EPA invites rural communities to apply for planning assistance to develop strategies that help grow the economy and revitalize downtown neighborhoods. There are three technical assistance programs for communities. The Local Foods, Local Places program leverages local food enterprise to diversify local economies. Cool & Connected uses broadband service to create walkable, connected economically successful neighborhoods. The Healthy Places for Healthy People program promotes active living through centrally located health care facilities to catalyze downtown revitalization. Selected communities will work with an EPA-supported team of experts to develop strategies and action plans that enable them to realize their local revitalization goals. Deadline November 6. ( EPA)
Agriculture and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change Challenge Area
This USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Challenge Area focuses on the priority to mitigate and adapt to climate variability and change. It supports activities that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase carbon sequestration in agricultural and forest production systems, and prepare the nation's agriculture and forests to adapt to variable climates. Deadline November 17, 2016. ( USDA)
Job opportunity: Marin County - Long-Range Planning & Sea Level Rise Adaptation
Marin County Community Development Agency is recruiting a Planner to join a dynamic team responsible for developing, updating and implementing planning programs including but not limited to the Countywide Plan, Development Code and the Local Coastal Program. Marin County is widely recognized as an award-winning leader in addressing the unprecedented challenges of sea level rise, achieved through creativity, innovation and an extra-ordinary collaboration with science, educational, engineering and advocacy organizations. This person will contribute to our culture as they analyze land use, environmental, economic and social data, legislation, policies and regulations, and the concerns and aspirations of the County's citizens to prepare and recommend policies, regulations, and programs that will shape the County's future. Deadline: November 14, 4pm. Find out more here or call 415-473-6104.
Upcoming Events
Webinar: Office of Planning and Research's Draft Safety Element Update for SB 379
Wednesday, November 2, and Thursday, November 3, both 3-4pm
In accordance with the requirements of Senate Bill 379 (Jackson), OPR developed Draft language to incorporate Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience in the Safety Element of the General Plan Guidelines. Two webinars will provide an opportunity to explain the changes to the Safety Element. Please register for the webinar on Nov. 2 or Nov. 3
Public Workshop on the 2030 Target Scoping Plan Update: GHG Policy Scenarios, Natural & Working Lands, and Public Health Analysis
Monday, November 7, 10am-4pm
Byron Sher Auditorium, CalEPA, 1001 I Street, Sacramento
The California Natural Resources Agency, California Department of Food and Agriculture, California Department of Public Health, and California Air Resources Board (ARB) are jointly hosting a public workshop to discuss policy scenarios and associated reductions; the Natural and Working Lands (NWL) Sector, including carbon sequestration scenario modeling and ARB's NWL inventory; and public health implications of climate change and mitigation polices. This work is being done to inform development of the update to the State's AB 32 Scoping Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to meet the 2030 target codified in Senate Bill 32. ( Link)
Sierra CAMP & UCLA: What Climate Change Means for the Sierra Nevada - and California
Wednesday, November 9, 5.30-7.30pm
Squaw Valley Ponderosa Room 
Using innovative techniques to downscale global climate model projections to very high spatial resolution, Professor Alex Hall (UCLA) has produced first-of-their-kind future projections that capture the intricate physical processes affecting climate change in the Sierra. Dr. Hall will present key findings and their implications for Sierra residents, resource managers, and anyone interested in the fate of California's iconic mountain range and its unique ecosystems. ( Register)
EPA Black Carbon Webinar - Accounting for impact, emissions, and uncertainty
Monday, November 7, 9-10.30am PST
Black carbon, the sooty material emitted from combustion processes such as wildfires and fossil fuels, negatively impacts health and contributes to climate change. This webinar will highlight new research on black carbon behavior, how fuel type and cookstove use changes emissions in developing areas, and how black carbon deposition on snow affects climate. ( Register)
Webinar - Healthy Planning Leadership Series: Healthy Food Systems
Thursday, November 10, noon
Hosted by the Governor's Office of Planning & Research, this session will bring together planning and public health experts to highlight the opportunities within land use planning to simultaneously plan for healthy food systems. This is particularly important with SB 1000, new legislation that requires local jurisdictions to address food access for disadvantaged communities. Hear from experts from UC Davis Extension, California Department of Public Health, and the City of Fresno. ( Register)
Street Lights: Illuminating Implementation and Equity in Complete Streets
Tuesday, November 15, 9am-5pm, Elks Tower, 921 11th Street, Sacramento
A Complete Streets approach can help improve health, daily commutes, local economies, and communities. How can advocates encourage Complete Streets and work with engineers and practitioners to get projects built? This conference will be a chance for transportation planners and engineers; community, equity, and health advocates; local officials, and Complete Streets practitioners to share ideas, brainstorm solutions, and celebrate the success of the Complete Streets movement together. Join us for interactive panels and breakout discussions about cutting-edge Complete Streets research, ideas, and practices. ( Register)
ARCCA Learning Session: Virtual Adaptation Tools Salon
Tuesday, November 15, 11am-noon
This learning session will provide a walk-through of three major climate adaptation tools for local governments - Cal-Adapt, the Adaptation Clearinghouse, and Atlas. We encourage all participants to preview these tools and to register as users for the Adaptation Clearinghouse and the Atlas to participate fully in the discussion. ( Register)
Sacramento County Climate Action Plan Workshops
Tuesday, November 15, 6-8pm - Louise Perez Resource Center, 3821 41st Avenue, Sacramento
Wednesday, November 16, 6-8pm - F.C. Joyce Elementary, 6050 Watt Avenue, North Highlands
Sacramento County is hosting public workshops for its Climate Action Plan - Communitywide Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation (Communitywide CAP) project. The Communitywide CAP will include strategies that will both reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and help the community prepare for and adapt to the effects of climate change.  Please come and share your ideas about these critical topics. ( Link)
Sacramento County Hazard Mitigation Planning Public Meetings
Tuesday, November 15, 6-7.30pm - South Natomas Community Center, Conference Room, 2921 Truxel Rd., Sacramento
Wednesday, November 16, 6-7.30pm - Laguna Creek High School, Career Room, 9050 Vicino Dr., Elk Grove
Sacramento County is completing the 2016 update of its Local Hazard Mitigation Plan, which will now consider climate change as a hazard for the first time. Please attend one of the public meetings if you would like to participate and provide feedback on the plan. ( Link
Capital Ideas - Transportation for America
November 16-17, Elks Tower, 921 11th Street, Sacramento
Capital Ideas is the premier national conference on state transportation policy, and offers an interactive curriculum of best practices, campaign tactics, innovative policies, and peer-to-peer collaboration to help transportation initiatives succeed. It will also address policies to empower smart cities and prepare for autonomous vehicles, how cities can go it alone with local revenue for transportation, and new partnerships and policies to better manage traffic. ( Register)
Early-Bird Registration is Open: New Partners for Smart Growth Conference
February 2-4, 2017,  St. Louis, MO
The 16th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference will focus on practical tools and innovative strategies for creating great communities, and will include more than 80 plenaries, breakouts, focused trainings, experiential learning opportunities, and implementation workshops. Climate change-related topics include resilient cities, renewable energy, adaptation, green infrastructure, and more. Early-bird rates are available through November 30th. Use the CRC discount code (NP17CRC) when registering and receive a 5% discount on your conference registration! (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.