CIRCA Seeking 4 New Positions to Support CT Resilience Planning NEW Application
Deadline - August 3, 2018
CIRCA is seeking four new positions to support development of the Connecticut Connections Coastal Resilience Plan (C3RP). The planning process will involve extensive public input and coordination with state agencies, regional Councils of Governments, and municipalities. Along with its current staff, CIRCA is hiring these four new employees to manage the project. All employees will report to University of Connecticut's Avery Point campus located in Groton, CT.
Director of Resilience Planning
The Director of Resilience Planning will coordinate and contribute to a four-year project that uses science-informed risk assessment and broad consultation to develop a prototype resilience framework for Connecticut. Activities will include selection and supervision of contractors, coordination with scientists, engineers, architects and state and municipal officials.
Assistant Director of Research
The Assistant Director of Research (ADR) will coordinate a team developing science that supports a four-year project to develop a prototype resilience framework for Connecticut. With the supervision of the Executive Director, the ADR will coordinate the development, testing and application of numerical models of circulation in complicated coastal areas to determine levels and patterns of flood risk. Assessment of the effectiveness of proposed risk reduction strategies will also be required.
The Data Analyst/Programmer (DAP) will work in a team developing science that supports a four-year project to develop a prototype resilience framework for Connecticut. With the supervision of the Executive Director, the DAP will support and facilitate the collection and archiving of data, and the development, testing and application of numerical models of circulation in complicated coastal areas to determine levels and patterns of flood risk. Field work and the preparation of maps using GIS will be required.
The Research Associate will work in a team developing science that supports a four-year project to develop a prototype resilience framework for Connecticut. With the supervision of the Executive Director, this position will work on the development, testing and application of numerical models of circulation in complicated coastal areas to determine levels and patterns of flood risk. Assessment of the effectiveness of proposed risk reduction strategies will also be required.
Click on the links above or go to CIRCA's website by clicking here. Choose "Learn More" under each position title to read more about responsibilities, required qualifications, and instructions for how to apply for each job. Indicate which job you are applying for in your Letter of Application. Review of applications will begin immediately. Employment of the successful candidate will be contingent upon the successful completion of a pre-employment criminal background check.
Site Tour: Meriden Green
Learn about the development of this award-winning site, its crucial stormwater management functions, and design and programmatic features that have transformed downtown
Meriden and brought significant economic development benefits to the city.
Wednesday, August 8, 2018 * 10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Tour begins at the Community Room at Meriden
Commons, 161 State Street, Meriden, CT
$20 Members of ASLA & AIA
(includes box lunch)
Coffee / Networking
Welcome & Introductions
History & Design of the Site
Mark Arigoni, Vice President of Milone & MacBroom,
and lead landscape architect on the project
Additional comments and reflections from:
Robert Bass, Public Works Director, City of Meriden
Juliet Burdelski, Economic Development Director, City of Meriden
Charlie Adams, Regional Vice President, Pennrose
Box Lunch with Q&A
National Coastal Resilience Fund 2018 Request for Proposals
Full Proposal Due Date: Tuesday, August 7, 2018 11:59 PM Eastern Time
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is pleased to announce the National Coastal Resilience Fund. Projects funded under this national program will provide benefits to communities, as well as for fish and wildlife. In partnership with NOAA, NFWF will make investments to advance identified priorities for restoring and strengthening natural systems so they can protect coastal communities from the impacts of storms and floods and enable them to recover more quickly, while also enhancing habitats for important fish and wildlife populations.
Contiguous areas of natural habitat such as coastal marshes and wetlands, dune and beach systems, oyster and coral reefs, and coastal forests and rivers and streams -- maintained at a significant size for the habitat type -- provide communities with enhanced protection and buffering from the growing impacts of sea-level rise, changing flood patterns, increased frequency and intensity of storms, and other environmental stressors. NFWF identifies these types of natural areas as "Resiliency Hubs1 " - areas where natural resource restoration efforts will have the greatest impact for human community resilience, as well as for fish and wildlife - and have prioritized these areas that provide dual benefits under this program.
NFWF will award up to $30 million in grants to create, expand and restore natural systems in areas that will both increase protection for communities from coastal storms, sea and lake level changes, flooding, and coastal erosion and improve valuable habitats for fish and wildlife species. NFWF will invest in projects in two focus areas:
- Project Planning and Design
- Project Implementation
This program is funded by and closely coordinated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and will include input from other federal agencies and outside experts.
More Information & To Apply
CIRCA in the News
July 17, 2018- $8 Million Grant to Increase Connecticut's Coastal Resilience
In the fall of 2012, Hurricane Sandy inflicted almost $70 billion in damage and killed at least 233 people in eight countries. Connecticut was one of those states, with four reported deaths and more than $360 million in damage resulting from Sandy.
CIRCA has recently been awarded a contract worth $8 million from the Connecticut Department of Housing for administration of a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) National Disaster Resilience Competition.
"By connecting the world-class, multidisciplinary researchers who are part of UConn's centers of excellence, like CIRCA, and the extensive practical regulatory experience in government agencies, this project will better prepare and protect Connecticut's citizens, communities, and our natural environment from the impacts of future storms," says Radenka Maric, UConn's vice president for research.
The Connecticut Connections Coastal Resilience Plan (C3RP) project focuses on New Haven and Fairfield counties, where some of the state's most vulnerable coastal communities are located and which were eligible for HUD funding.
The multi-year project has three phases. The first phase will bring together stakeholders and assess their current planning.
"While many towns and cities have already taken action, there was very little coordination between municipalities," explains James O'Donnell, executive director of CIRCA and a professor of marine sciences at UConn. "Severe storms, flooding, and other effects of climate change don't care about municipal boundaries, so CIRCA will help bring various groups together across town lines to prepare effectively."
O'Donnell and other UConn researchers will also create simulations of the various options to show stakeholders how projects could impact their communities.
"A large sea wall might initially seem like the best approach, but our advanced simulations can show to what degree that would change the coastal landscape," explains O'Donnell. "In the end, gaining consensus and exploring all of the options will help communities be informed and move forward with projects that are effective and protect the environment."
Local & State News Clips
July 28, 2018- Connecticut Mold-Related Health Concerns Rise with the Sea Level
A day after Superstorm Sandy hit, Nancy Arnold waded down her basement stairs and saw five feet of storm surge partially submerging her furnace and hot water heater.
After the water eventually retreated, and the local fire department pumped out the rest, Arnold had another worry: mold.
A husband and wife who had done painting for the Arnolds showed up and offered to wash the home's lower level with bleach. "Where would I have been without that," Arnold wondered this summer, "because they knew about the mold, and they Cloroxed the whole basement. If there's another storm, I don't know if they're up to do that again."
Arnold has lived in a house near the end of Whitfield Street in Guilford since 1962. She and her family evacuated to a local community center for six hours, during the worst of Sandy's tempest. Evacuations have become commonplace in her neighborhood. A year prior, during
Tropical Storm Irene
, the family had packed its bags and spent the night at the center.
After the Sandy cleanup, Arnold hired a contractor to install a new furnace that hangs from the ceiling, about five feet above the floor.
"That's as high as they could make it," she said. "If it needs to be higher than that, Guilford's in trouble. But the way the world is today, who's to say, you know, what could happen?"
For the past several decades, Arnold has watched the tide creep deeper into the marshes that ripple outside her living-room window. Guilford's coastal neighborhoods, like most of the shoreline, saw the future arrive with Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.
July 21, 2018- Blumenthal, Rossi Want Federal Funding To Rebuild West Haven Dunes
WEST HAVEN - U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, and Mayor Nancy Rossi advocated Friday morning for federal funding to repair berms and dunes along the city beaches, which could be provided as part of this year's Water Resources Development Act.
The two held a press conference at the West Haven Beach Gazebo, standing along the coastline with the sunshine glinting off the Long Island Sound behind them.
"On a beautiful day like today, it may be difficult to imagine why we are talking about coastal resiliency and storm hazard mitigation, but this is exactly when we should be making plans - not when a serious storm is in the forecast," said Rossi, noting that she was to meet with the United Illuminating Company and town officials to help safeguard the town during the ongoing hurricane season.
Rossi said Hurricanes Irene and Sandy hit West Haven "like a one-two punch" in 2011 and 2012, but portions of the town, particularly from Washington Avenue to East Avenue, were guarded against flooding by berms - a part of the city's defenses.
The town is considering other flood mitigation strategies, such as restoring the Old Field Creek floodplain, where berms are not practical, she said.
Blumenthal, D-Conn., said he and his colleagues, including U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-New Haven and U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., had fought to include a measure in the upcoming Water Resources Development Act to provide funding to rebuild the berms and dunes along the West Haven shoreline.
He said he expected a vote on the bill within the next three weeks.
"That's what we need to protect the homes and lives that are nearby. Those dunes are more than just beautiful. They are also immensely protective of property and life," said Blumenthal, noting that they naturally degrade, even without major storms.
July 10, 2018- Malloy Files Federal Disaster Declaration
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says he requested a federal presidential disaster declaration, which could pave the way for funding assistance to help municipalities recover from a storm in May that left more than 150,000 homes without power.
Malloy announced Monday he submitted the declaration after
four tornadoes and severe storms
swept through Connecticut on May 15. The requests were made for the hardest-hit communities, including New Haven and Fairfield counties and towns in Litchfield County.
"As some towns continue with the recovery from the destructive weather, we asking the federal government to provide assistance to those that were devastated by the storms," the governor said.
Connecticut's request seeks Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) public and individual assistance. If approved for public assistance, affected municipalities will receive federal reimbursement of 75 percent for eligible municipal and state costs. Approval for individual assistance will grant homeowners up to a maximum of $34,000 for uninsured cleanup costs.
National News Clips
July 25, 2018- Sea Level Rise Has Already Sunk Carolinas Beach Property Values - By $1.6 Billion, Study Finds
Sea levels are rising and the southeast has already lost billions in property value, a recent study shows.
Scientists have found $7.4 billion was lost in home values across North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Florida because of sea level rise flooding from 2005 to 2017.
First Street Foundation
- a technology nonprofit dedicated to increasing awareness of sea level rise -
used data from
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Geological Survey, local governments, the National Weather Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to estimate flood risks.
Scientists used data from local governments
to determine changes to property values over time
FSF used the data to create an interactive tool -
- that allows people to search communities and individual properties to see how much value they've lost, and could lose in the future due to sea level rise.
"Sea level rise is something that is already costing the American public billions of dollars and in the last five years alone has sped up 66 percent,"
, FSF executive director, told The News & Observer.
Steven A. McAlpine
, head of data science at FSF, and.
Jeremy R. Porter
Columbia University lecturer
and FSF statistical consultant, recently released an academic paper in the journal "Population Research and Policy Review" showing $465 million was lost in Miami-Dade County real-estate market value from 2005 to 2016 due to sea level rise flooding.
That peer-reviewed analysis was expanded to cover all of Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina,Virginia and Georgia by analyzing more than 5.5 million real estate transactions in those states and extrapolating the results to 12.2 million properties, to find a total home value loss of $7.4 billion since 2005.
July 24, 2018- Record-Breaking Summer Marches On to the Beat of Climate Change
The summer of temperature extremes just keeps going, with record heat waves this month on all four continents that occupy the non-tropical Northern Hemisphere where it is now summer.
Kumagaya, a city only 40 miles from Tokyo, hit 41.1 degrees Celsius (106 degrees Fahrenheit) in the midst of a multiweek heat wave that has killed at least 44 people.
The extreme temperatures are also affecting other countries in East Asia: South and North Korea have set heat records with temperatures climbing near 40 C (104 F).
It is these types of heat waves that scientists have been warning would be a consequence of warming the planet through greenhouse gas emissions.
"The impacts of climate change are no longer subtle," said Michael Mann, a climate scientist and director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University.
"We are seeing them play out in real time in the form of unprecedented heat waves, floods, droughts and wildfires. And we've seen them all this summer," he said.
July 19, 2018- State Wants Projects To Plan for Climate Change
The state (New York) wants anyone seeking certain kinds of government funding or permits for building projects to demonstrate that their plans account for the risks of rising seas and increased flooding from ongoing climate change.
On Thursday, about a dozen people gathered in the downtown offices of the state Department of Environmental Conservation for the unveiling of details on how that could be done to meet the state's 2014 Community Risk and Resiliency Act.
Rising waters are part of the state's climate future, warned Mark Lowery, head of the climate policy office for DEC. Global climate models indicate that about six feet of sea level rise by the end of the century is inevitable, even if man-made greenhouse gas emissions were totally eliminated today.
"This much is already programmed in," he said. "Our grandchildren could even see more than that."
Such rising waters, along with increasing floods from severe rainstorms, are going to pose an increasing risk to life and property in the state, particularly along its coastal regions on the Atlantic Ocean, Lowery said.
By 2045, as many as 15,000 homes on the state's Atlantic shoreline will be in high-risk areas, he said, and by 2100, that number would jump to nearly 150,000.
To ensure that construction of new projects takes such risks into account, the state is proposing to make planning for it mandatory for more than a dozen state permits issued by DEC for such things as sewer and water systems, and bulk and liquefied petroleum storage and infrastructure.
The permits would require planning based on an "extended" floodplain, with a buffer of between two and three feet, depending on the type of project.
On Friday in Fort Lauderdale, leaders from the four southeast Florida counties discussed how to avoid those sorts of challenges after future disasters.
"If we have pre-planning in place, then we can activate and bounce back quicker," said Susy Torriente, chief resilience officer for Miami Beach and a steering committee member for the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact. As part of the compact, Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach counties have agreed to conduct workshops on regional issues such as hurricanes and transportation.
Torriente said one goal of Friday's workshop was to think about how local governments and businesses can be partners in disaster recovery. That's in keeping with a
recent re-commitment among compact members
to include private partners in planning efforts.
"We hold these workshops in the region so we can train our city and county staff and help them understand the recommendations in the
Regional Climate Action Plan
," Torriente said, referring to the tool members use to exchange best practices for resilience challenges. The climate action plan includes sections on public health and emergency management, and emphasizes equity -- including making sure all residents have access to the post-disaster supplies and services they need.
Torriente noted pre-planning for hurricanes is particularly important because rising seas will worsen storm surge and flooding, and global warming due to climate change may be making storms stronger.
Southeast Florida's collaborative pre-planning effort is a good example for other regions throughout Florida, said Whitney Gray, director of the Florida Resilient Coastlines Program for the state Department of Environmental Protection. She called the regional climate compact, which has inspired similar efforts statewide, "the gold standard," and urged leaders to follow through on the pledge
they made last year
to emphasize equity in resilience plans.
July 11, 2018- With Gov. Scott and Legislature in Denial, Tiny Town Adapts On Its Own to Climate Change
While Florida state government bans the terms "climate change" and "global warming" in official business, this coastal fishing village of about 500 people and more water than dry land is being swallowed by the sea with almost no public attention or concern.
But town officials here are fighting back, and with some success.
Every few minutes a tide gauge takes another measure of the dramatic change facing Yankeetown, situated near the Florida peninsula's northwest corner, where the Withlacoochee River flows 141 miles north from Central Florida's Green Swamp into the Gulf of Mexico.
The gauge is inside a weathered PVC pipe screwed into the wood piling of a tiny tin dock at the end of a trail in the Withlachoochee Gulf Preserve. The fishermen and kayakers who use the dock don't notice the instrument. A University of Florida student monitors information it records, comparing the data to that collected by a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration gauge located just up the coast in Cedar Key.
The data shows the sea level here is rising seven inches per century, about the global rate, and the rate is accelerating.
The signs of change are visible everywhere, most notably in what climate scientists describe as "ghost forests," the bony remains of inundated forest islands that 30 years ago were lush with cabbage palms and red cedars. In some places, the grassy black needlerush of the salt marsh almost completely shrouds the old tree stumps.
"The Withlachoochee Gulf Preserve and the area around Yankeetown is perhaps the best place in the world to see the effects of sea-level rise," said Jack Putz, a University of Florida forest ecologist who has worked in the area for nearly three decades. "You go from forest to salt marsh to mud flats and sea grass to open Gulf water all in the space of a mile, and it's just a spectacular kind of place to see the whole process."
July 5, 2018- Georgia's Vanishing Coast: With Stronger Storms, Higher Tides, and Rising Sea Levels, How High Will the Water Go?
On October 5, 2016, 18 hours prior to Hurricane Matthew's anticipated arrival in south Georgia, Jeff Adams received an ominous message in his inbox. Adams has a background in extreme climate events; he's helped Kansans prepare for flash floods and Idahoans for mudslides. As director of community development for St. Marys, Georgia, Adams's job was to guide the low-lying town as it planned for storm surges and higher seas.
Founded in the late 1700s, the town is laid out on a grid on the north bank of the St. Marys River, which separates Georgia from Florida and empties into the ocean a few miles downstream. The historic district, dotted with live oak trees and hazy with Spanish moss, forms a peninsula. The river meets it at the south, and to the east and west, it's surrounded by vast expanses of flat, grassy salt marsh, which fill with water twice a day as the tides rise. A century-old hotel looks across St. Marys Street to an active marina, a waterfront park, and the dock for the ferry that brings visitors to Cumberland Island National Seashore.
The PDF that showed up in Adams's inbox, from the National Hurricane Center, depicted a brightly colored map of the projected storm surge from Matthew-the strongest hurricane to blow through the Caribbean in a generation, which was maintaining a course about 30 miles off the Atlantic coast of Florida and vacillating between a category 3 and a category 4. On the map, most of downtown St. Marys was blanketed in yellow, indicating water levels greater than three feet, with halos of orange for flooding of six feet or more. Patches of red-nine feet of water or higher-ringed the peninsula and formed a straight line running through the center of downtown, a marshy, low-lying area.
Inside his windowless office on Osborne Street, just a few blocks from the water, Adams could immediately visualize the damage: "There's very little that's going to be above water if we get hit."
Matthew wreaked havoc up and down the Georgia coast, but in the end, St. Marys escaped the direst predictions Adams had contemplated. Yet, the town was hardly in the clear. Adams realized that the map, with its bright shock of deep water in the town center, provided a vision of another future, one St. Marys is inexorably approaching. Simply put, it reveals what the town will look like someday-first at high tides, and then, eventually, under regular conditions-as sea levels continue to rise.
The Resilience Roundup highlights
CIRCA's presence in the news, provides links to recent local/state/national news articles related to resilience and adaptation, and announces upcoming events and seminars.
The Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation's (CIRCA) mission is to increase the resilience and sustainability of vulnerable communities along Connecticut's coast and inland waterways to the growing impacts of climate change and extreme weather on the natural, built, and human environment. The institute is located at the University of Connecticut's Avery Point campus and includes faculty from across the university. CIRCA is a partnership between UConn and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP).