Local, State, and National News Clips
April 20, 2015 - $2M in repairs made to Pleasure Beach breakwaters, Hearst Communications Inc.
BRIDGEPORT - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has provided $2 million to repair the breakwaters off of Pleasure Beach, city officials said Monday.
U.S. Rep Jim Himes and U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy worked to secure the federal grant for the city, said Brett Broesder, spokesman for Mayor Bill Finch.
The repairs to the structures along the beach will protect the 71-acre barrier island from erosion and storm damage. The work has been completed ahead of this year's beach season.
April 17, 2015 - Malloy's $101million plan for biking, hiking and pedestrians, CTPost
HARTFORD -- Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's 30-year vision to improve the state's transportation system includes an unprecedented level of spending for bike lanes, recreational trails and pedestrian pathways.
Tucked within Malloy's $100 billion wish list for new train stations, wider interstates and revamped train service is $780 million -- including $101 million to be spent during the first five years -- for new bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure designed to make communities more livable, walkable and efficient.
The plan, Malloy says, offers alternatives to traditional commuting while fostering economic development by encouraging younger residents to settle in cities with or without a car. "We need a long-term investment strategy that supports everything we do," Malloy said last week.
April 16, 2015 - Harsh Northeast Winter No Hindrance To Hungry Ticks, Hartford Courant
Albany - Think you're safe from ticks because the harsh winter froze them or because you haven't been trekking through the woods?
Think again. Researchers focused on ticks and the debilitating diseases they spread say the heavy snow that blanketed the Northeast this winter was like a cozy quilt for baby blacklegged ticks that are now hungry for blood as the weather warms up. And a researcher at New York's Binghamton University said Lyme disease-infected ticks aren't just in forests and fields.
April 16, 2015 - Input Needed on Three Concepts for Seaside, Waterford Patch
As part of the continuing effort to gather public input in planning for a new state park at Seaside in Waterford, the public is asked to comment on three proposed concepts by visiting the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's page on Seaside.
"More than 700 individuals responded to last month's survey with thoughtful ideas for re-use of this historic property," said Susan Whalen, Deputy Commissioner of the DEEP, via a press release. "We encourage everyone to go online now and review details of the concepts we've developed and then take a new survey to provide additional feedback to the state planning team."
April 2, 2015 - CT seeks $6.6 million from feds for towns hit by January blizzard, The CT Mirror
Washington - Towns in New Haven, New London, Tolland and Windham counties suffered at least $6.6 million in damages and costs from January's devastating blizzard, a state emergency management official says.
March 31, 2015 - Malloy's big ask: Find $100 billion for transportation, The CT Mirror
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy named a group led by a former legislative tax expert Tuesday to identify the means to pay for a 30-year, $100 billion effort to modernize and maintain Connecticut's transportation infrastructure.
April 16, 2015 - Vatican announces major summit on climate change, ClimateProgress
Catholic officials announced on Tuesday plans for a landmark climate change-themed conference to be hosted at the Vatican later this month, the latest in Pope Francis' faith-rooted campaign to raise awareness about global warming.
The summit, which is scheduled for April 28 and entitled "Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity. The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Development," will draw together a combination of scientists, global faith leaders, and influential conservation advocates such as Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is slotted to offer the opening address, and organizers say the goal of the conference is to "build a consensus that the values of sustainable development cohere with values of the leading religious traditions, with a special focus on the most vulnerable."
"[The conference hopes to] help build a global movement across all religions for sustainable development and climate change throughout 2015 and beyond," read a statement posted on several Vatican-run websites.
April 15, 2015 - Gov. McAuliffe: Climate change an economic issue, too, Richmond Times-Dispatch
Climate change is not just an environmental concern but an economic issue, Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Wednesday.
"It's how you frame the issue" that largely determines how concerned the public is about climate disruptions, McAuliffe said. For example, he said, "jobs of the future" include making parts for clean-energy sources such as windmills.
And rising sea levels caused by global warming and other factors can hurt employers like Norfolk Naval Station, the world's largest Navy base, the governor said. "If you don't deal with these climate-change issues and sea-level rise, we may not have the Navy here 20 years from today," he said.
McAuliffe spoke during an on-stage interview and in response to questions from an audience of about 150 during a climate-change event at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond in the Fan District.
April 12, 2015 - When Climate Science Clashes With Real-World Policy, Climate Central
When a San Francisco panel began mulling rules about building public projects near changing shorelines, its self-described science translator, David Behar, figured he would just turn to the U.N.'s most recent climate assessment for guidance on future sea levels. He couldn't.
Nor could Behar, leader of the city utility department's climate program, get what he needed from a 2012 National Research Council report dealing with West Coast sea level rise projections. A National Climate Assessment paper dealing with sea level rise didn't seem to have what he needed, either. Even after reviewing two California government reports dealing with sea level rise, Behar says he had to telephone climate scientists and review a journal paper summarizing the views of 90 experts before he felt confident that he understood science's latest projections for hazards posed by the onslaught of rising seas.
"You sometimes have to interview the authors of these reports to actually understand what they're saying," Behar said. "On the surface," the assessments and reports that Behar turned to "all look like they're saying different things," he said. "But when you dive deeper - with the help of the authors, in most cases - they don't disagree with one another very much."
Governments around the world, from Madison, Wis., and New York City to the Obama Administration and the European Union have begun striving in recent years to adapt to the growing threats posed by climate change. But the burst of adaptation planning threatens to be hobbled by cultural and linguistic divides between those who practice science and those who prepare policy.
"Climate science, and the ways climate science is produced, even when it's intended for decisions makers, is often unintelligible to decision makers," Behar said. "It's not the science that's the problem. It's the way it's presented."
April 9, 2015 - White House adaptation plans are 'pretty big deals' but generate little fuss, E & E Publishing LLC
The steady stream of climate adaptation initiatives that has trickled out of the White House in the past year and a half since President Obama unveiled his Climate Action Plan has made few waves. But advocates who track the administration's efforts on climate change adaptation say some of these efforts have had real policy heft, especially when it comes to how federal agencies implement disaster relief and preparedness.
Take this week's White House plan to fortify the country against the health effects of climate change, or look at all the task forces, studies and reports undertaken in the past 18 months to gather data on the climate-driven threats now facing the country. And don't forget the competitions in which private companies or local communities vie for minor pots of funding Congress has already provided to federal agencies.
The rollouts are heavy on messaging from high-ranking White House staff, even if the policies involved seem so modest that they generate only a small fraction of the media buzz reserved for controversial regulations. But the initiatives amount to real progress on climate readiness, some observers say. ...
"I think we're still seeing the drumbeat of these policies," said Vicki Arroyo, executive director of the Georgetown Climate Center. Many of these initiatives were a response to the recommendations provided by the 26-member State Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Change, which the White House created months after unveiling the action plan as a way to improve federal-state cooperation. The task force included governors, mayors and other officials who issued their recommendations last year.
"I think that they were heard and that the administration has really taken some of those recommendations to heart if you look at the announcements that they've been rolling out ever since," she said.
April 7, 2015 - FACT SHEET: Administration Announces Actions To Protect Communities From The Impacts Of Climate Change, The White House
President Obama is committed to combating the health impacts of climate change and protecting the health of future generations. We know climate change is not is not a distant threat, we are already seeing impacts in communities across the country. And while most Americans see climate change hitting their communities through extreme weather events - from more severe droughts and wildfires to more powerful hurricanes and record heat waves - there are other threats climate change poses to the American people.
In the past three decades, the percentage of Americans with asthma has more than doubled, and climate change is putting these individuals and many other vulnerable populations at greater risk of landing in the hospital. Certain people and communities are especially vulnerable, including children, the elderly, the sick, the poor, and some communities of color. Rising temperatures can lead to more smog, longer allergy seasons, and an increased incidence of extreme-weather-related injuries.
That is why the President is taking action now. The sooner we act, the more we can do to protect the health of our communities our kids, and those that are the most vulnerable. As part of the Administration's overall effort to combat climate change and protect the American people, this week, the Administration is announcing a series of actions that will allow us to better understand, communicate, and reduce the health impacts of climate change on our communities ...
April 2, 2015- At Howard medical school, Obama to present climate change as a hazard to your health, U.S. News and World Report
President Barack Obama will ask Americans to think of climate change as a threat not just to the environment, but also to their health.
Obama on Tuesday was to announce a series of steps that private entities like Google and Microsoft are taking to better prepare the nation's health systems for the inevitable effects of a warmer, more erratic climate. He was to be joined at Howard University Medical School by Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Gina McCarthy.
Warning of the perils to the planet has gotten the president only so far; polls consistently show the public is skeptical that the steps Obama has taken to curb pollution are worth the cost to the economy. So Obama is aiming to put a spotlight on ways that climate change will have real impacts on the body, like more asthma attacks, allergic reactions and injuries from extreme weather.
April 1, 2015 - This Is How the Federal Government Is Going to Force Your State to Prepare for Climate Change, Mother Jones
The Federal Emergency Management Agency wants states to do a better job planning for the natural disasters they are likely to face in a warming world. Beginning next year, the agency will require states to evaluate the risks that climate change poses to their communities in order to gain access to millions of dollars of disaster preparedness funding.
EPA?s New England Healthy Community Grants
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making grants available for New England communities to reduce environmental risks, protect and improve human health and improve the quality of life.
EPA New England?s Healthy Communities Grant Program is currently accepting initial proposals for projects that will benefit one or more New England communities. EPA plans to award a total of approximately 10-15 cooperative agreements, each up to a maximum of $25,000.
The Healthy Communities Grant Program funds projects that:
- Target resources to benefit communities at risk [areas at risk from climate change impacts, environmental justice areas of potential concern, sensitive populations (e.g. children, elderly, tribes, urban/rural residents, and others at increased risk), and Southeast New England coastal watersheds].
- Assess, understand, and reduce environmental and human health risks.
- Increase collaboration through partnerships and community-based projects.
- Build institutional and community capacity to understand and solve environmental and human health problems.
- Advance emergency preparedness and ecosystem resilience.
- Achieve measurable environmental and human health benefits.
If you have any questions about the grants.gov, SAM registration process or the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, please call Matthew Reutter directly at (860) 741-6011.
April 25, 2015 - Spring Field Trip: The Coastal Geology of Eastern Connecticut; Bluff Point, Groton, CT to Meigs Point, Madison, CT, Geological Society of Connecticut Spring Field Trip
The object of the trip will be to explore the bedrock and glacial history of the CT coast as expressed in outcrops, landforms and beaches easily and safely visited at Hammonasset, Rocky Neck, and Harkness Memorial State Parks, Bluff Point Coastal Reserve and Waterford Town Beach. Each of these sites also allows for an examination of the modern processes that are currently working to modify the coast and a few missteps humans have made in trying to return things to "normal".
Date: Saturday April 25, 2015 @ 8:00am
Location: University of Connecticut - Avery Point Campus, Groton (click here to see map)
Trip Leader: Ralph Lewis, GSC president.
Please RSVP by April 22, 2015. More information can be found here.
April 27, 2015 - Hurricanes and Mold: the health concerns; reducing personal risk; and re-building homes with resiliency, UCONN Health Center Workshop
The training on April 27 focuses on how individuals can protect themselves and others from biological exposures that affect respiratory illness when working in flooded buildings and how to rebuild buildings more resilient to future storms.
Date: April 27, 2015
Time: 9:30 AM-2:30 PM
Location: UCONN Avery Point Campus, Marine Science Building - Room 312, 1084 Shennecossett Rd. Groton, CT 06340
The workshop is free of charge but space is limited. Please reserve with Kelly Wallace, by email (email@example.com) or by phone (860) 679-2971. Please see the workshop flyer or projectwebsite for more information.
June 24, 2015 - Living Shoreline Workshop Part 2, UCONN Sea Grant and CLEAR Climate Adaptation Academy
The Second of a Three Part Series: This workshop is the 2nd in a series of workshops, Living Shorelines II will focus on an integrated approach to living shorelines and review examples of living shorelines installations in CT and other states.
Date: June 24, 2015
Location: UConn Avery Point Campus, Academic Building Rm 106 , UConn Avery Point
1084 Shennecossett Rd. Groton, CT 06340
More information can be found here.