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.

Local & State News Clips
  • February 16, 2016 - Malloy signs on to energy pledge with 16 other states, The CT Post
  • February 16, 2016 - $2 million project would waterproof Stroffolino Bridge, The Hour
  • February 14, 2016 - Protecting Our Cherished Waterways, Port Washington
  • February 11, 2016 - Slossberg requests legislation that would impact Sliver Sands project, Milford Mirror
  • February 19, 2016 - NYC Wants to Build a State of the Art Transit Line - But Sea Level Rise Could Put It Under Water, Vice News
  • February 15, 2016 - Environmentalists sue state to stop 'biggest coastal threat since Sandy',
  • February 15, 2016 - Why can't poor countries access the climate finance they were promised?, The Guardian
  • February 12, 2016 - A Louisiana Tribe Is Now Officially A Community Of Climate Refugees, HuffPost
  • February 9, 2016 - No, Poor Countries Aren't The Only Ones That Will Suffer From Climate Change, Climate Progress
national Local & State News Clips

HARTFORD - Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and 16 other governors - representing states from Hawaii to New Hampshire - are pledging to work together to battle climate change and save money by expanding clean energy and transportation choices.
The Governors' Accord for a New Energy Future announced Tuesday offers a road map and a commitment by 17 governors to promote clean energy and transportation and work toward a modern electrical grid. It also provides a way to collaborate with each other and leverage partnerships in energy planning and policymaking, the governors said.
"Advancing clean energy is about advancing our future," Malloy said. "In Connecticut, we have coupled a forward-thinking vision with first-in-the-nation initiatives that dramatically reduce carbon emissions."
All of the New England states, except Maine, signed the accord. The states, which include both Democratic and Republican governors, represent nearly 40 percent of the U.S. population.
"With this agreement, governors from both parties have joined together and committed themselves to a clean energy future," said California Gov. Edmund Brown, a Democrat. "Our goal is to clean up the air and protect our natural resources."
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Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, offered similar thoughts.
"Massachusetts will continue to lead the way on clean energy, energy efficiency and the adoption of innovative technologies such as energy storage," Baker said. "These efforts, and our legislative proposal to bring additional hydroelectricity and other renewable resources into the region, will ensure we meet our ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets while also creating a stronger economy for the Commonwealth."
Malloy noted the goals of environmental protection and economic growth can be achieved together.
"We believe that economic growth and environmental protection aren't mutually exclusive, but can happen in concert - we can indeed create good paying jobs, lower electricity bills for residents and embrace greener, cleaner forms of energy," Malloy said.
States involved in the accord pledged to diversify energy generation, expand clean energy sources, modernize energy infrastructure and encourage clean transportation options.
The other states signing the accord are New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, New York, Delaware, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Washington, Minnesota, Virginia and Oregon.


NORWALK -- The Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) outlined to Norwalk Harbor users and other stakeholders Tuesday evening a $2 million project to waterproof the Stroffolino Bridge.
The 34-year-old bascule bridge, which carries Route 136 over Norwalk Harbor, took a hit from Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Its electrical components, which drive bridge lift, remain subject to inundation.
Steven D. Harlacker, principal associate with Hardesty & Hanover, the New Haven-based engineering firm hired by ConnDOT to design the project, showed the susceptibility in a photograph of the bridge.
"This front wall is below the flood elevation," Harlacker said. "During a high-tide event and a storm surge, either wind-blown wave action or water coming down the Norwalk River, it would exceed this limit and water would pour into this open pit and fill it up and that's what happened during Superstorm Sandy."
As such, the purpose of the project is to "storm armor and waterproof mechanical and electrical components to prevent future storm flooding damage."
The work will entail replacing electrical equipment and placing it above the flood elevation, waterproofing the bridge's bascule control house, replacing floor hatches and doors with waterproof hatches, and constructing a sub-wall surrounding the entire generator room.
About two-dozen people attended the informational meeting in the Community Room of City Hall, including Michael Griffin, state of Connecticut harbormaster for Norwalk. His concerns revolve around use of the harbor during the construction.
"Have they made an application to the Coast Guard, which is the approval agency for any navigation channel closures?" Griffin told The Hour. "And if they have made an application, what did the application include as far as (closure) frequency and duration?"
Griffin also asked about the type of water-borne equipment that will be used in the work.
Theodore H. Nezames, manager of bridges in ConnDOT's Office of Engineering, said the department hopes to start work early next year and finish by September 2017.
"There's going to be some periodic channel closures and street closures here," Nezames told The Hour. "The street closures will be short-term during off-peak hours."
The project is being funded with a grant provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.
The Stroffolino Bridge measures 498 feet and carries on average 19,000 vehicles daily. During peak season, the bridge is opened 50 times a week to accommodate maritime traffic, according to ConnDOT.


The Nautical Advisory Council of the Port Washington Public Library sponsored an interesting evening called "Environmental Issues and Long Island Sound." Long Island Sound Outreach Coordinator at NY Sea Grant Amy Mandelbaum and Joel Ziev, a Long Island Sound Citizens Advisory member, explained the latest conservation efforts to protect the health of the Long Island Sound ecosystem. Mandelbaum focused on several topics: marine debris, stormwater runoff, green infrastructure, safe seafood and wastewater treatment. Mandelbaum and Ziev described the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan, which addressed new environmental challenges while emphasizing sustainability, climate change resilience and environmental justice. They mentioned that everyone in the audience can help clean and maintain the waters on the Sound and Manhasset Bay. What can you do? 1. Keep the Sound clean, 2. Maintain septic systems, 3. Reduce, recycle and reuse, 4. Conserve water and energy, 5. Use organic lawn care techniques, 6. Buy and plant native plants and 7. Reduce runoff (if it gets into the ground, it goes into the water).
A table was set up with brochures and position papers to help understand what you can do to help. Two were especially informative: The Long Island Sound Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan 2015: Returning the Urban Sea to Abundance, a Public Summary and Sound Update: Newsletter of the Long Island Sound Study.
The Long Island Sound Study (LISS), a partnership led by Connecticut, New York and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), was launched in the 1980s to investigate the problems plaguing Long Island Sound at the time, including fill kills, degraded shoreline habitats and polluted beaches. In 1994, Connecticut, New York and the EPA approved a Long Island Sound Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) to restore and protect the health of Long Island Sound. Today, much has improved through the partners' water quality, stewardship and habitat restoration initiatives. But more still needs to be done. That is why LISS has revised the plan, proposing new actions and developing ecosystem targets for the next 20 years to fulfill LISS's mission to restore and protect the Sound. The complete plan is available at

  Other websites include:, , ,   and

  A booklet called Water Watch: What Boaters Can Do To Be Environmentally Friendly seemed especially relevant. According to the booklet, "Every action a boater makes impacts others sharing the waterway, the water itself, marine life and the near-shore and shoreline ecosystem and inhabitants. In almost all cases, a commonsense approach while boating will help protect the aquatic environment." The booklet lists the "Top Ten" Eco-Boating Practices: 1. Observe local and federal marine toilet rules, 2. Always pump out on shore if you have a holding tank, 3. Know and use legal bottom paints, 4. Use biodegradable cleaning agents when possible, 5. Don't litter on water. Bring it home. 6. When fueling, don't top tanks and mop up fuel spills. 7. Watch your wake and propeller wash, 8. Keep your motors finely tuned, 9. Control your bilge water and 10. If fishing, practice "catch and release."
Clean water is the foundation for enjoyable boating. It's up to those who appreciate and recognize the privilege of using the waterways to protect this resource now and for future generations. (Source: The Foundation for Recreational Boating Safety & Education, The Environmental Council for the Boating Industry, National Marine Manufacturers Association,
The Environmental and Long Island Sound presentation was the first of three events sponsored by NAC. The next is Nautical History of Long Island Sound on Thursday, Feb. 25, at 7:30 p.m., eco-photo explorers will present a multimedia program examining shipwrecks from throughout Long Island's history, from the Revolutionary War through modern times, including photos of what these wrecks look like today and what types of marine life inhabit them. Then on Thursday, March 31, at 7:30 p.m. members of Port Rowing will provide a visual presentation of their organization and their various programs.
Port Rowing encourages participation from juniors to adults, including rowers with special needs.
All the programs are at the library and are free and open to the public. For more information go to


Senator Gayle Slossberg (D-Milford) submitted a letter to legislators leading the General Assembly's Environment Committee requesting that the committee raise legislation that would impact projects similar to the buildout at Silver Sands State Park.
The bill requested by Slossberg would give members of the public the ability to request a new environmental impact evaluation if one has not been completed in the five years preceding the start of a new state development.
"Connecticut's natural environment is one of the greatest resources this state has, and it is vital that we ensure state construction projects do not inadvertently damage it," said Slossberg. "Milford residents have raised valid concerns about the Silver Sands buildout being done based on a 24-years-old environmental impact evaluation. I believe that residents of Milford and communities throughout Connecticut have a right to call for an evaluation so as to better protect the areas they live in from damaging development projects."
Milford City leaders and numerous local residents held meetings this past year calling for the state's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to complete a new environmental impact evaluation at Silver Sands State Park. DEEP is in the process of building restrooms and a concession stand, as well as expanding the parking lot where they will charge for parking.
Slossberg and hundreds of Milford residents have participated in public hearings on the project. A primary point of concern is that it has been 24 years since and environmental impact evaluation was conducted at Silver Sands, Slossberg said. In that time, Hurricanes Irene and Sandy as well as other major weather events have struck Connecticut, greatly impacting shoreline communities like Milford. Residents are concerned that the planned construction projects could damage the shoreline and surrounding wetlands, harm local wildlife and potentially make the area more prone to flooding.
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's website describes an environmental impact study as "a detailed written evaluation of the environmental impacts of the proposed State agency's action. The sponsoring agency shall consider any comments received and evaluate any substantive issues raised during the public scoping process in the environmental impact evaluation."
The environmental impact evaluation must include: a description of the proposed action; a statement of its purpose and need; a description of the environment of the area which would be affected by the proposed action as it currently exists; a description and analysis of the reasonable alternatives to the proposed action; a discussion of the potential environmental impact of the proposed action and mitigation measures to reduce or eliminate the impact.
Environmental impacts include those involving: air and water quality; ambient noise levels; public water supply systems; groundwater, flooding, and erosion or sedimentation; natural land resources and formations, including coastal and inland wetlands; historic, archeological, cultural, or recreational resources; natural communities, including critical animal or plant species and their habitats; resident or migratory fish or wildlife species; use of pesticides, or toxic or hazardous materials; aesthetic or visual effects; disruption of an established community or neighborhood; displacement or addition of substantial numbers of people; substantial increase in traffic; substantial increase in the type or rate of energy use; or creation of a hazard to human health or safety."

National News Clips

Early this week in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio championed what officials in his administration are calling a "modern, efficient, state-of-the-art" transit link along the waterfront of Brooklyn and Queens.
Since de Blasio signaled his intention to support the Brooklyn-Queens Connector (BQX) project earlier this month, neighborhood activists and climate experts have raised questions about its feasibility, price tag (currently $2.5 billion), and necessity, with many critics arguing that express busses (into Manhattan) would better serve the low-income communities along the waterfront.
The question of whether the project - which would traverse several low-lying waterfront areas - makes sense from a climate change perspective has not yet been fully scrutinized.
Instead, most news accounts have presented the BQX as a restoration of one leg of the trolley lines that used to be common throughout the boroughs, giving rise to the name of the Brooklyn (trolley) Dodgers. But at the Red Hook press conference, Polly Trachtenberg, the city's transportation commissioner, explained that the project would actually combine both trolleys and light rail.
The proposed route of the BQX is shown running through current flood zones (red), 2-feet of sea level rise (orange), and 4-feet of rise (green). Map by Klaus Jacob.
Promoted by a variety of transportation advocates, the BQX would extend from Sunset Park, Brooklyn to Astoria, Queens along a 16-mile route connecting what the city calls "innovation clusters. The New York Times' architecture critic Michael Kimmelman and the longtime traffic expert "Gridlock Sam" Schwartz, among others, have come out in support of the project.
At the Red Hook launch, Ydanis Rodriguez, chair of the city council's transportation committee, called the project "sustainable" and "the type of infrastructure investment the city needs in the 21st century."
But some leading climate change specialists are cautioning otherwise. Columbia University geologist Klaus Jacob says that while the proposed BQX project "solves desperate transportation needs, the problem is that it runs along current and future flood zones."
According to the latest report from the New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC), which consists of both de Blasio administration officials and leading scientists and urban planners, sea levels are projected to rise 11-21 inches by mid-century, 18-39 inches by the 2080s, and as high as 6 feet by 2100.
Jacob has been a member of the NPCC since it was created by the Bloomberg administration. He cautions against building up low-lying areas of the city until a variety of basic issues are resolved. "The resiliency of all transportation and infrastructure - electric and gas, sewage, etc.- in vulnerable areas needs to be established before large development projects should proceed," he said.
De Blasio, for his part, vows to connect the project to his administration's larger climate change initiatives. Amy Spitalnick, a de Blasio spokeswoman, said, "The BQX, like any new development along the waterfront, will be made climate resilient, and will be fully integrated into the $20 billion resiliency plan underway in Brooklyn, Queens, and across the city."
Councilman Carlos Menchaca, who represents Sunset Park and Red Hook, explained that those communities are engaged in "extensive flood protection, resilience, and environmental justice work that can serve as a model for the BQX plan." However, UPROSE, a leading environmental justice organization based in Sunset Park, cautioned that the project requires a "serious environmental impact analysis" led by the waterfront communities themselves.
Absent the creation of sea walls along the waterfront (which are not part of the administration's plans), areas like Red Hook will remain particularly vulnerable to flooding. And so one climate-ready solution would be to convert the BQX into a monorail.
Jacob points to many "elegant" examples of elevated rail in low-lying cities such as Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo. Though located on higher ground, the town of Wuppertal, Germany, which is nearby Dusseldorf, offers a particularly handsome monorail, one that's been running since 1901.
Closer to home, elevated tracks in New York City have yielded mixed results. The streets below tend to be dark, cramped, and noisy. And the great urban planner Jane Jacobs argued that areas under expressways and railroads became "border vacuums," walling off neighborhoods from one another.
But the successful renovation of the High Line on Manhattan's West Side recently showed that a repurposed overhead railway passage can help ignite a development boom. One trick for the BQX could be to merge some elements of the High Line's pedestrian-friendly benefits into a functioning railway project.
Spitalnick said there are plenty of design issues to be resolved, making it "incredibly premature to judge" the BQX project at this point.
Jacob offered two related suggestions. One is for the city to conduct a complete technical study, fully estimating the cost of the elevated option. The other is for it to show how the entire project corresponds with the comprehensive planning of the waterfront.
And should it proceed on the ground or in the air, Jacob said, if the BQX is detached from a full blueprint that maps out the waterfront's long-term sustainability, it risks becoming "one more example of short-sighted, short-term planning."


TRENTON - A group of environmental activists has sued the Christie administration to overturn new state rules that encourage development in flood-prone coastal areas like Barnegat Bay, posing "the biggest threat" to the Jersey shore since Hurricane Sandy.
The state Department of Environmental Protection adopted rules in July 2015 that make it easier to do things such as get permits to build docks, boat lifts in manmade lagoons and two-family homes in waterfront communities. The rules also make it easier to  expand or build marinas and add restaurants to those properties.
The rules were the first major revision to coastal development regulations since the October 2012 storm devastated large swaths of the Jersey Shore and other waterfront communities.
The rules are "intended to help maintain the economic viability of existing marinas and encourage the development of new ones in appropriate circumstances while minimizing environmental impacts," according to the department's announcement when it unveiled the proposal in June 2014.
The state Department of Environmental Protection held the first of three public hearings on the first proposed changes to coastal development rules since Hurricane Sandy
But environmental groups say the challenge they filed on Friday was necessary to protect coastal residents' properties, prevent future development, and maintain the integrity of the delicate ecosystems that are already at risk, such as shellfish beds, forests and wetlands that provide a home to threatened and endangered species.
"Hurricane Sandy should have been our wake up call to realize unchecked development along our coast will only be costlier in the future due to sea level rise. Instead, DEP's finalized coastal zone rules will only green-light more development in vulnerable coastal communities," said Doug O'Malley, director of Environment New Jersey and one of the plaintiff's in the case.
"These new rules are a gift to developers who are loving the Shore to death," O'Malley added.
The lawsuit by Environment New Jersey, Save Barnegat Bay and residents from Eagleswood along the Barnegat Bay was filed in state appellate court. The plaintiffs seek an injunction to block the rules and restore the old regulations until a new set can be developed, said Attorney Bill Potter who is representing the environmental groups.
John Weber, Mid-Atlantic regional director for Surfrider and Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club told reporters during a conference call Monday their organizations also intend to join the case.
Ocean County's coastline and waterways are particularly vulnerable, such as the barrier islands, Mystic Island, Tittel said. "They should have mapped areas where the storm surges happened, like Mystic Island and the barrier islands, and adapt, so we are more resilient for the next storm. Instead, these are areas targeted for major development," Tittel said.
"These rules are the biggest threat to our coast since Hurricane Sandy," he said.
A state spokesman defended the rules in response to the lawsuit.
"Our coastal rules are both environmentally responsible and conducive to sound and safe coastal development. We look forward to demonstrating in court that this challenge lacks merit," state environmental protection spokesman Bob Considine said.
Ray Cantor, a chief DEP advisor testified before a legislative panel in August 2014 that the more than 1,000-page plan aims to streamline administrative procedures that will save the state and residents time and money.

When the Green Climate Fund (GCF) was announced at COP16 in 2010, the intention was to give small, developing countries direct access to finance to protect themselves from climate change. Yet many of the smallest and most at-risk countries in the world now claim that they do not have the means to access these funds directly.
"It's a paradox," said Anote Tong, the president of Kiribati in December. "We need [the funds] the most but we don't have the capacity to get it because we're not accredited." Tong added that the accreditation process involves so much bureaucracy it is a significant challenge for low-resourced governments.
Later, when told of Tong's words by the Guardian, representatives of the governments of Tonga, the Comoros and Grenada all said they shared his concerns.
The GCF, which became operational in 2015, is funded by developed countries and aims to assist developing countries with climate change mitigation and adaptation projects, such as early-warning systems for climate-related disasters.
Deep in the bayous of Louisiana, about 80 miles southwest of New Orleans, lies the Isle de Jean Charles, a tiny swath of land that's all but vanished into the Gulf of Mexico.
Over the last half-century or so, the island has fallen victim to irresponsible oil and gas extraction practices and the effects of climate change. Many of its residents -- members of the Isle de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Native Americans -- have been forced to flee.
"What you see of the island now is just a skeleton of what it used to be," Chris Brunet, a tribal council member and lifelong island resident, told The New York Times in a mini-documentary called Vanishing Island in 2014.
A recent federal grant, however, will allow the state-recognized tribe to resettle on higher ground, making it the first community of official climate refugees in the United States, according to Indian Country Today.
Late last month, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $1 billion for resilient infrastructure and housing projects as part of its National Disaster Resilience Competition. On the list is $52 million for the Isle de Jean Charles tribe to relocate to a "resilient and historically-contextual community," HUD wrote.
Since the 1950s, the tribe has lost 98 percent of its land to rising sea levels, coastal erosion and flooding. Experts suspect the island will be completely submerged within 50 years, Houma Today reports.
Albert Naquin, chief of the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indians, has been fighting to secure funding for 13 years and said the money will allow the tribe to reestablish community, something that -- like their historic island home -- is being washed away.
"I'm very, very excited," Naquin told Indian Country Today. "Now we're getting a chance to reunite the family. ... They're excited as well. Our culture is going to stay intact, [but] we've got to get the interest back in our youth."
For 170 years, the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw have occupied this remote island, surviving off the land as fishermen, oystermen and trappers.
What was once a 22,000-acre island, however, has been reduced to a 320-acre strip. As of 2009, only 25 houses remained occupied, down from 63 only five years prior, according to a report by Northern Arizona University.
Pat Forbes, the executive director of the Louisiana Office of Community Development, said in a release that the tribe's people are on the front line of Louisiana's coastal land loss disaster.
"This $48 million grant," she said, "will allow the state to help them resettle their entire community to a safer place with a minimum of disruption to livelihoods and lifestyles. Together, we'll be creating a model for resettlement of endangered coastal communities throughout the United States."
The tribe will reportedly retain ownership of the island even after it relocates to its new community, which could happen as early as 2019.
Representatives of the Isle de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Tribe could not be reached for comment Thursday.
While the Louisiana tribal members are reportedly the first official U.S. climate refugees, they are not alone in their struggles.
In Alaska, for example, climate change already affects more than 180 villages. Among the hardest hit is the Yupik community of Newtok, a village that the Army Corps of Engineers predicts could be completely underwater by 2017. The Yupik people have also been called America's first climate refugees.

A well-meaning but ultimately flawed new study tries to argue that climate change is even more unfair than we thought. It has long been understood that climate change is uniquely inequitable and immoral since most of the world's poorest countries will suffer greatly from its impacts, even though they have contributed little or nothing to the problem because they are historically low emitters of carbon pollution.
A study released Friday by The University of Queensland and the Wildlife Conservation Society goes even further, however, arguing that the world's big carbon polluters won't suffer greatly from climate change.
The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, asserts:
Some countries, such as China and the United States of America, are in a win-win position of achieving economic growth through fossil fuel use with few consequences from the resulting climate change, while many other, mostly Island and African, countries suffer low economic growth and severe, negative climate change impacts.
While the second half of that assertion is true, the first half is, quite frankly, absurd. China and the U.S. are both going to suffer devastating consequences from climate change - indeed, we already are.
"It is certainly clear that the rich nations have gotten rich on fossil fuels and that many of the world's poorest countries are going to suffer a great deal and they didn't contribute at all," as I told the Christian Science Monitor Friday. "It's also clear that the U.S. isn't doing its fair share. Those points are sort of indisputable."
But it's a mistake to leave people with the impression that it's only poor countries that will take the brunt of climate change, as I have explained many times. We are the world's breadbasket with a vast, highly populated shoreline. We are very vulnerable to changes in precipitation, drought, heat waves, extreme weather events, storm surge, and sea level rise, as well as ocean acidification, invasive pests like bark beetles, and spreading tropical diseases. The list goes on and on.
Just this Monday I reported on the latest study showing the U.S. Southwest is drying out exactly as the climate models had predicted, dramatically increasing the chances for mega-droughts. We saw a glimpse of the havoc this drying (combined with warming temperatures) can bring in the recent multiyear California drought - as well as the devastating Texas and Oklahoma drought earlier in the decade. A 2014 study found that "drying will spread to 30 percent of land" around the globe because of climate change, and "even regions expected to get more rain, including important wheat, corn and rice belts in the western United States and southeastern China, will be at risk of drought."
Rising sea levels and storm surges will be especially devastating to countries like the U.S. (and China) that have vast amounts of wealth along their shores. To be clear, poor low-lying countries, like Bangladesh and the small island states, will be devastated by human-caused increases in sea level and storm surges. And, again, every rich country has a moral responsibility to help poor countries deal with a problem they did essentially nothing to create.
But the U.S. has more than $1.4 trillion in vulnerable coastal property along the U.S. shore. A 2013 NOAA study found that under business-as-usual climate change and sea level rise projections, Superstorm Sandy-level storm surges will become commonplace on the Northeast coast in the second half of this century. And a study from just last month found that human-caused climate change appears to be supercharging East Coast superstorms more than we thought, boosting both precipitation and storm surge in particular much faster than the global average.


Newest version of Climate Funding Opportunities document complied by NOAA (as of January 15, 2016).

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Office for Coastal Management has compiled a list of the newest currently-available climate related funding opportunities provided by multiple organizations that include: National Science Foundation, Department of Commerce, Department of the Interior, FEMA and many more.


The University of Connecticut's Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) program has recently released a research brief on the state of low impact development (LID) in Connecticut. This study incorporates a review of the plans and regulations of 85 Connecticut towns for references to LID policies, and phone interviews to capture real-world problems and successes with LID implementation.


March 10, 2016 - Free Webinar presented by CLEAR and CIRCA on Living Shorelines in Connecticut: Design Considerations and Site Suitability. Register here.

An increasing awareness of the need to reduce the potential adverse impacts of hardened coastal structures has prompted interest in the development of living shorelines as an alternative. This webinar will review of the benefits of living shorelines in comparison with traditional hardened shoreline protection structures, including non-structural and hybrid approaches, and describe the effectiveness of these approaches in response to waves, storms and sea-level rise. The webinar will also explore where living shorelines may be suitable on the Connecticut Coast based on an automated geospatial model which determines the suitability of living shoreline treatment options for the Long Island Sound shoreline. Factors such as fetch, bathymetry, erosion rates, marsh, and beach are taken into consideration in producing site suitability. This presentation will provide a brief overview of the site suitability model, as well as a tutorial of an online map-viewer which has been developed to display results from the analysis. A brief overview of the conference proceedings from the first-ever national living shorelines summit in Hartford, which drew nearly 300 researchers, government employees, engineers, students and others, will be provided.


March 15, 2016 - Next review date for CIRCA Matching Funds Program. Up to $100,000 available. For more information go to
The CIRCA Executive Steering Committee is excited to announce its fifth round of funding under the Matching Funds Program - up to $100,000 is available. CIRCA will consider requests from Connecticut municipalities, institutions, universities, foundations, and other non-governmental organizations for matching funds for projects that address the mission of the Institute. To be funded, a successful Matching Funds request must have a commitment of primary funding within 6 months of the CIRCA award announcement, or have received a waiver from the CIRCA Executive Steering Committee. CIRCA Matching Funds will provide up to 25% of the primary funder's contribution other than municipal or State of Connecticut funds to enhance the likely success of project proposals that advance CIRCA research and implementation priorities. In evaluating proposals preference will be given to those that leverage independent funding awarded through a competitive process.

March 17, 2016 - Connecticut Association of Wetland Scientists Annual Meeting. For more information go to     

The Connecticut Association of Wetland Scientists is hosting their annual meeting on March 17, 2016; this all-day event includes continental breakfast and lunch, exhibitors on site with products and services of interest to wetland professionals, and multiple speakers and presentations concerning wetland ecosystems and land development.


March 19, 2016 - 32nd Annual Land Conservation Conference.

Held every Spring, the Connecticut Land Conservation Conference (Annual Conference) is the largest conservation gathering and only convocation of its kind in Connecticut. Attracting over 300 attendees annually - and growing in size each year - the Annual Conference provides dynamic training, networking and information sharing opportunities for board members, staff and volunteers from Connecticut's many land trusts and conservation organizations, as well as a broad spectrum of people involved with municipal land use commissions, state agencies, private groups with conservation missions including enthusiasts from garden clubs and various grassroots-level land preservation advocates.

The Annual Conference features an inspiring opening plenary session, including an awards ceremony recognizing outstanding achievements in conservation by organizations and individuals; multiple subject matter tracks featuring 30+ workshops, roundtables and seminars on a range of topics of interest to the conservation community; exhibits and displays from land trusts, conservation partners and conference sponsors; and a unique opportunity for socializing and networking, including a post-conference reception, with land conservation peers from across the state and beyond.

Join us in Baltimore's Inner Harbor April 4-6, 2016, for the Local Solutions: Eastern Regional Climate Preparedness Conference. This capacity-building, "how to" conference, convened by Antioch University's Center for Climate Preparedness & Community Resilience in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is designed to build capacity for local decision makers from throughout the Eastern United States (EPA Regions 1-4). The convening builds on the success of the May 2014 Local Solutions: Northeast Climate Change Preparedness Conference, which drew more than 500 participants from Washington, D.C., to Canada's eastern provinces.


April 6, 2016 - NOAA funding opportunity for community habitat restoration. Application due April 6, 2016

NOAA has released a Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO), seeking proposals to restore habitats critical to Listed or Managed Species or their prey and all proposals that ensure healthy habitats for forage and juvenile fish will be considered. NOAA Fisheries promotes a holistic, landscape-scale approach to resource management in a changing climate. Proposed habitat restoration actions may also increase the resilience of coastal communities by providing important ecosystem services such as protection from coastal flooding, extreme weather events, and coastal erosion.
  • High priority will be given to proposals that fulfill the following NOAA programmatic goals: 
  • Have the greatest potential to contribute to the recovery of Listed Species under NOAA jurisdiction, including those species designated by NOAA as Species in the Spotlight, through habitat restoration project(s) that are consistent with priority habitat restoration actions identified in Recovery Plans;
  • Have the greatest potential to enhance or sustain populations of Managed Species or their prey, specifically through project(s) that restore or enhance Essential Fish Habitat or address actions supported by Fishery Management Plans;
  • Provide sustainable and lasting ecological and economic benefits that enhance the resiliency of communities to severe weather events and changing conditions as a result of climate change;
  • Restore critical habitat within NOAA Blueprint Habitat Focus Areas, where habitat restoration is a key strategy in achieving the goals of the Habitat Focus Area (;
  • Increase the amount of habitat accessible to diadromous species through dam and other instream migration barrier removal projects in high priority watersheds in the Northeast, as identified by the Restoration Center's regional fish passage prioritization; more information on Northeast regional fish passage priority watersheds can be found here ( 
One-year or multi-year awards up to three funding years will be considered, and additional releases of funds may be used to fund selected proposals through FY18 without further competition. NOAA anticipates typical federal funding awards will range from $300,000 to $2 million over one to three years. NOAA will accept proposals with a federal funding request of $100,000 or more up to $5 million over three years. NOAA anticipates up to $9 million will be available under this FFO in FY16.
Applicants with multiple-year award requests should divide their funding request into logical allocations by consecutive years, based on their project implementation plan. For instance, a proposal request might include design costs in year one and estimated construction costs needed in year two. Another example would be a proposal that requests construction costs for distinct sites in each of three years. If multiple restoration sites are included within one proposal, applicants are encouraged to develop a comprehensive approach for restoration which links proposed sites and restoration activities by habitat-based issue or proposed target species and outcome goals.
There is no matching requirement for this funding, although NOAA typically leverages its federal funding with matching contributions from a broad range of sources in the public and private sectors to implement coastal and marine habitat restoration. Applicants are encouraged to demonstrate partnerships and some portion of non-federal match (suggested at 1:1) with NOAA funds requested to implement the proposed project.


April 10-13, 2016 - Keeping History Above Water conference in Newport, RI.

Keeping History Above WaterKeeping History Above Water is a national conversation that focuses on the increasing threat of sea level rise to historic coastal communities and their built environment. Over four days, specialists from across the United States and abroad will share experiences, examine risks, and debate solutions with an emphasis on case studies and real world applications. Keeping History Above Water will approach sea level rise from a multi-disciplinary perspective in order to develop practical approaches to mitigation, protective adaptation, and general resilience.


April 15, 2016 - CIRCA Municipal Resilience Grant Program Round 2: Applications due April 15, 2016. Up to $100,000 available.
The  Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) is a partnership of the University of Connecticut and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. The mission of CIRCA is to assist Connecticut towns and cities adapt to a changing climate and to enhance the resilience of their infrastructure.
CIRCA is requesting  grant proposals from municipal governments and councils of government for initiatives that advance resilience, including the creation of conceptual design, construction (demonstration projects or other) of structures, or the design of practices and policies that increase their resilience to climate change and severe weather. This program is focused on implementation. The CIRCA Executive Steering Committee has made up to $100,000 in funds available to municipal governments and councils of government for the execution of resilience initiatives.
Project proposals should develop knowledge or experience that is transferable to multiple locations in Connecticut and have well-defined and measurable goals. Preferable projects will be implemented in no more than an 18-month time frame. Preference will also be given to those projects that leverage multiple funding sources and that involve collaboration with CIRCA to address at least one of the following priority areas:
1. Develop and deploy natural science, engineering, legal, financial, and policy best practices for climate resilience;
2. Undertake or oversee pilot projects designed to improve resilience and sustainability of the natural and built environment along Connecticut's coast and inland waterways;
3. Foster resilient actions and sustainable communities - particularly along the Connecticut coastline and inland waterways - that can adapt to the impacts and hazards of climate change; and
4. Reduce the loss of life and property, natural system and ecological damage, and social disruption from high-impact events.
Information on past grant recipients is available at:
Eligible Applicants
All Connecticut municipalities and councils of government are eligible to apply. Partnerships are encouraged.
Proposal Deadline
An original and complete application must be received no later than April 15, 2016 by 5:00 PM.
Application materials can be found on the CIRCA website:
CIRCA will host an informational webinar on March 17, 2016 at 11:00 AM. Please see the Municipal Resilience Grant Program  webpage for registration details.
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). 

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