January 26, 2017
New Haven Unveils Goal To Create Environmental Sustainability Plan,
New Haven Register
January 25, 2017
Branford Seeks To Protect Historic Lands Along Shoreline From Future Storms,
New Haven Register
January 25, 2017
New Satellite Takes Hi-Def Images of Connecticut, Earth
, The Hour
January 25, 2017
Save The Sound Speaks Out On EPA Grant Freeze,
WSHU Public Radio
January 30, 2017-
Storms Preview Ocean-Rise Damage to California Cities, Roads
, Associated Press
January 28, 2017-
Miami Beach to Begin New $100 Million Flood Prevention Project in Face Of Sea Level Rise
, Miami Herald
January 27, 2017
Coastal Greens Hope Trump's Exec Order Supports Adaptation,
January 27, 2017
Jefferson County Shoreline Restoration To Benefit Businesses, Environment,
January 25, 2017
What Can Mackerel And A Volcano Say About Climate Change?,
January 24, 2017
This Week's Jersey Floods Are A Taste Of What's To Come,
January 23, 2017
Climate Regulations Under a Watchful Internet Eye,
Inside Climate News
- January 23, 2017- Trump Administration Imposes Freeze On EPA Grants and Contracts, Pro Publica
Thursday, February 16, 6-8pm. Free.
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Rd
What makes our communities stronger to prepare for changing weather patterns and hazardous storms? Join a panel of experts from across Connecticut to learn how different communities are tackling these programs. What approaches are communities taking to address climate change in the future? What partnerships are gaining traction to solve these problems? What role can homeowners play?
Guest and moderator will be David Kooris, Director of-RBD (Rebuild by Design) and NDR (National Disaster Resilience) Programs, successfully funded projects that began with Resilient Bridgeport. Bridgeport residents, regional historic preservation officials and experts, local scientists and designers, and design team members who worked together to create a resiliency strategy. Additional guests include
Rebecca French, Director of Community Engagement, Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation, University of Connecticut, Dr. James Biardi, Fairfield University and Dr. Jennifer Mattei, Sacred Heart University.
The 22nd Gallivan Conference - Municipal Climate Policy: Local Solutions for a Global Problem
Friday, March 3, 2017
8:30 am to
UConn School of Law, Reading Room,
William F. Starr Hall,
45 Elizabeth St.,
Presented by: Sara Bronin, Thomas F. Gallivan Chair in Real Property Law,
and the Center for Energy & Environmental Law
The density of human beings and infrastructure that make cities vibrant also leaves them especially vulnerable to the threats presented by climate change. As extreme weather events become increasingly frequent and intense, and greenhouse gas emissions continue to erode air quality, cities across the United States are responding by taking steps to build community resilience while simultaneously addressing the root causes of climate change. "Climate Action Plans" are the guiding frameworks utilized by localities to achieve these ends.
"Municipal Climate Policy: Local Solutions for a Global Problem" is an innovative combined conference and workshop, bringing academic scholarship and community planning together in one venue. The conference will begin by featuring scholars and practitioners who have a global perspective on local responses to climate change. The afternoon session will be a workshop, where attendees can collaborate with panelists in an attempt to review the climate action planning efforts of the city of Hartford, which are being undertaken in collaboration with UConn Law students. A climate action plan that addresses the sources of climate change while planning for adaptation will have long-term positive effects on the health and well-being of all who live and work in Hartford. Ultimately, it is the local sustainability actions taken by cities that will coalesce to achieve substantial results on a global scale.
Co-Sponsored by the Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association and the City of Hartford Climate Stewardship Council
*Eligible for 3 hours of CT CLE Credit and 5 AICP CM Credits
CIRCA's Director of Community Engagement, Rebecca French will participate on panel:
"Financing For Resilience: Innovation At The Intersection Of Risk And Capital", Saturday, February 25th at 10:30.
Friday, February 24, 2017 - 12:00pm to Saturday, February 25, 2017 - 7:00pm
195 Prospect Street,
The Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies presents the 7th annual New Directions in Environmental Law Conference.
A great program is planned, including panels on climate geopolitics, the Arctic, and creative solutions in water resource policy. Check out the full conference agenda when you
! Session descriptions and event details will be available soon.
for more information. Register early to get access to pre-conference workshops!
CIRCA Matching Funds Program
The CIRCA Executive Steering Committee is excited to announce 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 Form
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. Proposals are required to leverage independent funding awarded through a competitive process. CIRCA matching funds are intended for grant proposals in preparation.
Project proposals should develop knowledge and/or experience that is transferable to multiple locations in Connecticut and have well-defined and measurable goals. Preference will be given to those that involve collaboration with CIRCA to address at least one of the following priority areas:
Improve scientific understanding of the changing climate system and its local and regional impacts on coastal and inland floodplain communities;
Develop and deploy natural science, engineering, legal, financial, and policy best practices for climate resilience;
Undertake or oversee pilot projects designed to improve resilience and sustainability of the natural and built environment along Connecticut's coast and inland waterways;
Create a climate-literate public that understands its vulnerabilities to a changing climate and which uses that knowledge to make scientifically informed, environmentally sound decisions;
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
- Reduce the loss of life and property, natural system and ecological damage, and social disruption from high-impact events.
The current review will be held on
NOAA is dedicated to investing in the tools and resources communities and businesses need to address the impacts of extreme weather and climate-related hazards, as well as to restore coastal habitat to enhance the resilience of coastal ecosystems and the communities that rely on them. NOAA has developed the Coastal Resilience Grants Program to strengthen our economy and provide sustainable and lasting benefits.
This competition represents the integration of two existing grant programs: the Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency Grants Program administered by NOAA Fisheries, and the Regional Coastal Resilience Grants Program administered by NOAA's National Ocean Service. The competition will fund projects that build resilience, including activities that protect life and property, safeguard people and infrastructure, strengthen the economy, or conserve and restore coastal and marine resources.
The NOAA Coastal Resilience Grants Program will support two categories of activities: strengthening coastal communities and habitat restoration. Applicants can now submit proposals for both categories through the same funding opportunity.
- Strengthening Coastal Communities: activities that improve capacity of multiple coastal jurisdictions (states, counties, municipalities, territories, and tribes) to prepare and plan for, absorb impacts of, recover from, and/or adapt to extreme weather events and climate-related hazards.
- Habitat Restoration: activities that restore habitat to strengthen the resilience of coastal ecosystems and decrease the vulnerability of coastal communities to extreme weather events and climate-related hazards.
Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, regional organizations, private entities, and local, state, and tribal governments. Typical award amounts will range from $250,000 to $1 million for projects lasting up to three years. Cost-sharing through cash or in-kind contributions is expected. Projects must be located in one or more of the 35 U.S. coastal states or territories.
NOAA 2017 Coastal Resilience Grant Information Session
Join representatives from the National Ocean Service and National Marine Fisheries Service for a short presentation, followed by a question and answer period. No preregistration is required.
When: January 30, 2017 3-4 p.m. Eastern
Telephone Toll-free (domestic): 888-677-1838
Conference number: PW2601255
CIRCA in the News
From the Fairfield Museum:
This month marks the final opportunity to view the ambitious and interactive exhibition, Rising Tides, Fairfield's Coast: Past to Future at the Fairfield Museum & History Center, which closes at the end of the month. Before the galleries change, however, the Museum is assembling a powerhouse panel of experts for a "Museum After Dark" event on February 16. The event begins with a wine & cheese reception at 6pm and continues with the panel discussion at 6:45pm. The group of experts will share how different communities are preparing for changing weather patterns and hazardous storms. The featured guest and moderator will be David Kooris, Director of-RBD (Rebuild by Design) and NDR (National Disaster Resilience) Programs, State of Connecticut. Additional panelists include Rebecca French, Director of Community Engagement, Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation, University of Connecticut, Dr. James Biardi, Fairfield University and Dr. Jennifer Mattei, Sacred Heart University.
"This program is the culminating event related to our Rising Tides exhibition and provides an opportunity for people and experts from across the state to share the work they are doing to increase coastal resiliency," said Mike Jehle, executive director of the Fairfield Museum. "It is our mission to use history to strengthen communities, and we are delighted to be able to provide this forum to examine one of today's most pressing issues and to shape a more informed future."
Local & State News Clips
January 26, 2017- CT Gets Good News For Now On Its EPA Grants
Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is breathing at least a temporary sigh of relief over the Trump administration freeze of Environmental Protection Agency grants and contracts.
Since the freeze was first reported Monday by the
, along with a multi-agency gag order, DEEP has been trying to get clarification from EPA regarding the status of its many funding sources from the agency.
DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee said the EPA's New England regional office confirmed DEEP would continue to receive funds for the two largest blocks of funding it receives. One is for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which funds wastewater treatment projects. The other is for the Performance Partnership Grant, used to implement and enforce programs related to federal laws such as the Clean Water and Clean Air acts.
January 26, 2017- New Haven Unveils Goal To Create Environmental Sustainability Plan
NEW HAVEN >> The city's goal to create a new sustainability strategy arrives at a curious intersection, with events in the past two weeks reminding Mayor Toni Harp that it's needed but it may also be challenged.
For one, President Donald Trump reportedly barred staff at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from awarding new contracts or grants, according to The Associated Press. While this may not directly make an impact on New Haven, which Harp said gets about $43 million annually in federal funds, it's another urgent reminder that the city will need to address its citizens' concerns about climate change. Harp said such decisions at the federal level don't recognize what citizens in cities such as New Haven understand.
The other reminder? It's a little closer to home.
"We just have to think about the past two weeks," Harp said. "And how warm it's been in January."
Harp Thursday unveiled the city's new sustainability strategy that will help establish an overall action plan for the city. The initiative includes New Haven joining the Compact of Mayors. The global cooperative aims to reduce greenhouse gas emission and climate change risk.
January 25, 2017- Branford Seeks To Protect Historic Lands Along Shoreline From Future Storms
BRANFORD >> If sea levels rise even the conservative estimates of 3 feet over the next 50 years, Doug Royalty said Connecticut's shoreline is going to be in trouble.
"If sea level rise is only 3 feet over 50 years, we should feel lucky," Royalty, the State Historic Preservation Office Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Grant coordinator, said. "But even then, a lot shoreline towns would be majorly affected."
Royalty, along with Scott Choquette, a senior associate with Dewberry Consultants, an engineering firm in New Haven, met with Branford officials Wednesday afternoon to discuss ways in which town planning can incorporate protection of historical sites from future storms and other effects of climate change.
The meeting Wednesday came as part of a statewide initiative to protect historic lands along Connecticut's shoreline from future storms. After Superstorm Sandy in 2013, $52 million in federal grants was distributed between 12 coastline states from the U.S. Department of the Interior to assist in recovery of historical sites and preparation for the next storm.
Back to News Clips
January 25, 2017- New Satellite Takes Hi-Def Images of Connecticut, Earth
Connecticut never looked better, at least from outer space.
On Tuesday, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released the first high-definition images from GOES-16, our newest weather satellite now orbiting the Earth.
One of the images shows Connecticut smack in the middle of the photo, easily spotted with Long Island Sound to the south, the white sandy beaches of the Hamptons and the blueish, green waters around Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket to the east.
With five-times greater coverage, four-times the spatial resolution, and three-times the spectral channels than earlier generations of weather satellites, the highly-detailed image of southern New England and the New York metro area is so clear, Lake Candlewood in greater Danbury is visible. Also seen are major rivers like the Hudson, Housatonic, Connecticut and Thames.
Next time a storm like Sandy, Hurricane Gloria or a great blizzard bears down on Connecticut, forecasters will use the satellite to track the storm's movement, study its infrared images and view its impact from thousands of miles above.
January 25, 2017- Save The Sound Speaks Out On EPA Grant Freeze
The Trump administration has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to stop giving out federal grant money. A Connecticut environmental advocacy group is worried about what that could mean for projects in the region.
Curt Johnson, executive director of the Connecticut Fund for the Environment's
Save the Sound program
, says environmental advocates expected bad news, but they were surprised Trump moved so quickly.
"We hope it's going to be very temporary. If it's two weeks it's not gonna be a problem. If it stretches into months, we're talking about major impacts on clean air and clean water in the state of Connecticut and on Long Island Sound and across the country."
National News Clips
January 30, 2017- Storms Preview Ocean-Rise Damage to California Cities, Roads
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Ocean rise already is worsening the floods and high tides sweeping California this stormy winter, climate experts say, and this month's damage and deaths highlight that even a state known as a global leader in fighting climate change has yet to tackle some of the hardest work of dealing with it.
The critical steps yet to come include starting to decide which low-lying cities, airports and highways, along with threatened landmarks like San Francisco's Embarcadero, to hoist above the rising water and which to abandon - and where to start getting the many billions of dollars for those climate rescues.
"People always tell us we're ahead of the curve" on climate change, said Larry Goldzband, head of a regional San Francisco Bay commission that late last year stepped up regional efforts to identify and prioritize communities and infrastructure at risk from rising sea level.
January 28, 2017- Miami Beach to Begin New $100 Million Flood Prevention Project in Face Of Sea Level Rise
With Miami Beach set to break ground this year on the most ambitious piece yet of its aggressive anti-flooding project, some homeowners worry that raising streets to keep them dry will cause flooding on their properties.
The city will embark on a $100 million project to raise roads, install pumps and water mains and redo sewer connections during the next two years across a swath of single-family homes in the La Gorce and Lakeview neighborhoods of Mid-Beach. A sizable chunk of a citywide effort estimated to cost $400 to $500 million, the work is meant to keep streets dry in the face of sea level rise.
Along the way, engineers will have to figure out how to smoothly join private property to the public right-of-way, which will be an average of two feet higher than it is now.
January 27, 2017- Coastal Greens Hope Trump's Exec Order Supports Adaptation
In addition to executive memos directing federal agencies to expedite the approval of both the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, the president also signed an executive order that calls for faster federal permitting and environmental reviews for "high priority" infrastructure projects.
"If we are going to talk about infrastructure, and it seems we are, then we want to be part of the conversation," Marmillion added.
Trump's order calls for the identification of high-priority projects requiring permits and reviews from multiple federal agencies and those with outsized economic benefits.
In the order, projects that strengthen the electric grid and telecommunications systems and address critical port facilities, airports, pipelines, bridges and highways are highlighted. But Marmillion argues it's not a stretch to consider restoration projects that protect Louisiana's shipping channels - of which more than 25 percent of the nation's exports flow - as infrastructure.
"This is an area important to the nation from agriculture exports, fisheries, trade, and it's enormously important from an environmental and ecological perspective," said John Day, an emeritus professor in the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences at Louisiana State University. "There's also an enormous amount of energy produced in this area, and a lot of it flows through it, and is dependent on the protection that coastal ecosystems give.
Back to News Clips
January 27, 2017- Jefferson County Shoreline Restoration To Benefit Businesses, Environment
Sand is coming to a beach near you, but the dredging company that will spray it onto a remote section of the Jefferson County shoreline is currently working on a Galveston beach and won't be available until March at the earliest.
When the project begins here, the company will scoop up 400,000 cubic yards of sand from about a mile and a half offshore and transport it via pipeline to a point about midway between Sabine Pass and High Island.
It's only for about two miles of beach, but the project should demonstrate to decision makers at the state level that money from the BP spill settlement should be made available to renourish the other 18 miles of eroded Jefferson County coastline, said
, director of coastal engineering for LJA Engineering of Austin, the consulting engineer for the county's restoration project.
January 25, 2017- What Can Mackerel And A Volcano Say About Climate Change?
A cooled climate led to deaths of livestock and changed fish patterns in New England, leaving many people dependent on the mackerel, an edible fish that was less affected than many animals. The researchers assert that bit of history gives clues about what food security could be like in the modern era of climate change.
"How we respond to these events is going to be critically important for how we come out of this in the long term," said Karen Alexander, the lead author of the study and a research fellow in environmental conservation. "We can learn from the past how people dealt with the unanticipated."
The study states there is a parallel between the need for immediate adaptation after Tambora and the challenges in coping with the climate-driven devastation caused by storms, floods and droughts today. It notes that the loss of food staples due to climate change caused people in the northeastern states to move - something seen today in places such as Pakistan and Syria.
"Understanding how adaptive responses to extreme events can trigger unintended consequences may advance long-term planning for resilience in an uncertain future," the report states.
January 24, 2017- This Week's Jersey Floods Are A Taste Of What's To Come
Every year or two, the Jersey Shore tends to get flooding as severe as this week.
But by midcentury, the Shore should expect floods this bad every month, on average, according to projections summarized in a new U.S. government report.
The reason is rising sea levels, caused by a combination of sinking land and human-induced warmer temperatures, said the report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Before he was elected, President Trump expressed skepticism that humans play much of a role in climate change. Since the election, he has said there is "some connectivity" between the two.
Climate scientists are in near-unanimous agreement that the connection is rock-solid. They say humans are the prime drivers in the cumulative 1.8-degree increase in average global temperatures since the late 19th century. The culprit is greenhouse gases, chiefly carbon dioxide released by burning gas, coal, and other fuel.
January 23, 2017- Climate Regulations Under a Watchful Internet Eye
A new tool launched by the Columbia Law School on
's first day in office is tracking every step the Trump administration takes to roll back or eliminate existing federal rules on
The tool is called the
Climate Deregulation Tracker
and is run by Columbia's
Sabin Center for Climate Change Law
. It's intended to be a public resource that catalogues the regulatory steps the new administration takes on issues including climate change, fossil fuels, clean energy and energy efficiency-and provides context for what those actions mean.
Columbia has tracked climate change-related regulations since 2009, but this tool was developed in anticipation that the new administration would seek "to undo regulations to avoid dealing with climate change," said
, the center's executive director.
January 23, 2017- Trump Administration Imposes Freeze On EPA Grants and Contracts
The Trump administration has imposed a freeze on grants and contracts by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a move that could affect a significant part of the agency's budget allocations and even threaten to disrupt core operations ranging from toxic cleanups to water quality testing, according to records and interviews.
In one email exchange obtained by ProPublica on Monday, an EPA contracting officer concluded a note to a storm water management employee this way:
"Right now we are in a holding pattern. The new EPA administration has asked that all contract and grant awards be temporarily suspended, effective immediately. Until we receive further clarification, this includes task orders and work assignments."
Asked about any possible freeze and its implications, EPA officials did not provide an answer.
One EPA employee aware of the freeze said he had never seen anything like it in nearly a decade with the agency. Hiring freezes happened, he said, but freezes on grants and contracts seemed extraordinary. The employee said the freeze appeared to be nationwide, and as of Monday night it was not clear for how long it would be in place.
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).