CIRCA in the News
July 19, 2017
SHU's Living Shoreline Project Tapped for Federal Funding, HamletHub
The 100 Resilient Cities Network of
100RC supports the adoption and incorporation of a view of resilience that includes not just the shocks-earthquakes, fires, floods, etc.-but also the stresses that weaken the fabric of a city on a day to day or cyclical basis.
Examples of these stresses include high unemployment; an overtaxed or inefficient public transportation system; endemic violence; or chronic food and water shortages. By addressing both the shocks and the stresses, a city becomes more able to respond to adverse events, and is overall better able to deliver basic functions in both good times and bad, to all populations.
Cities in the 100RC network are provided with the resources necessary to develop a roadmap to resilience along four main pathways:
- Financial and logistical guidance for establishing an innovative new position in city government, a Chief Resilience Officer, who will lead the city's resilience efforts
- Expert support for development of a robust Resilience Strategy
- Access to solutions, service providers, and partners from the private, public and NGO sectors who can help them develop and implement their Resilience Strategies
- Membership of a global network of member cities who can learn from and help each other.
Through these actions, 100RC aims not only to help individual cities become more resilient, but will facilitate the building of a global practice of resilience among governments, NGOs, the private sector, and individual citizens.
100 Resilient Cities-Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation is financially supported by The Rockefeller Foundation and managed as a sponsored project by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides governance and operational infrastructure to its sponsored projects.
100RC has staff and offices in New York, London, and Singapore to support the work in cities across regions.
For more informations about the 100 Resilient Cities Network, click
Fulcrum Fellowship Applications Open
The Center for Community Investment is
recruiting up to 12 mid-career fellows to join a 15-month program for rising executives in the fields of population health, climate resilience, community development, urban planning and community investment. Designed to position fellows to help disinvested communities achieve their environmental, social and economic priorities, the fellowship will train leaders in adaptive leadership and collaboration, broaden their vision, strengthen their networks, and sharpen their ability to advance strategies that overcome barriers to investment, making communities healthier and more sustainable.
Find the application for it here
CIRCA Receives 2017 NOAA Coastal Resilience Grant to Evaluate Living Shorelines to Reduce Flood Risk
The Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) at the University of Connecticut will be awarded funds to monitor, evaluate and provide recommendations for the design and placement of living shorelines (a.k.a. nature-based infrastructure). The funds for CIRCA are part of a $1 million 2017 NOAA Coastal Resilience Grant to the Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC) and New England Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Agencies (ME, NH, MA, RI, and CT) with partners from the Nature Conservancy. An additional $500,000 in matching funds was provided by the partners to undertake the work.
that this grant and 18 others from across the country were recommended for funding out of a total of 167 proposals received. Projects are expected to begin by October 1, 2017.
James O'Donnell, Executive Director of the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation and Professor of Marine Sciences at the University of Connecticut will lead a team of researchers at UConn, in partnership with Dr. Jennifer Mattei, lead restoration ecologist at Sacred Heart University, to monitor the Stratford Point living shorelines site with sensors and a modeling effort. The monitoring data will inform how well this living shoreline performs to reduce coastal erosion under real-world conditions, including the storms and ice that we experience in Connecticut. Representatives from CIRCA and the Connecticut Coastal Zone Management program at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection will also participate in the development of regional policy and practice guidance as well as engagement with regulators, natural resource management, practitioners and the general public on nature-based infrastructure. The grant and matching funds awarded to support this work in Connecticut total more than $180,000.
CIRCA in the News
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July 19, 2017 - SHU's Living Shoreline Project Tapped for Federal Funding
FAIRFIELD, Conn. A multi-state project including a research team from the Biology Department at Sacred Heart University (SHU), was selected for funding to monitor, evaluate and provide recommendations for the design and placement of living shorelines or nature-based infrastructure as part of a $1 million 2017 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Resilience Grant. The grant will be awarded to the Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC) and New England Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Agencies in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut with partners from the Nature Conservancy. An additional $500,000 in matching funds was provided by the partners to undertake the work.
Jennifer Mattei, restoration ecologist and biology professor at SHU, will lead a team of researchers to monitor the Stratford Point Living Shoreline site with sensors and terrestrial LiDar technologies. SHU will collaborate with James ODonnell, executive director of the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA), and professor of marine sciences at the University of Connecticut. This partnership will result in a modeling effort that will ultimately help coastal communities better manage storm events. The monitoring data will inform how well this living shoreline performs to reduce coastal erosion under real-world conditions, including the storms and ice that we experience in Connecticut. Representatives from CIRCA and the Connecticut Coastal Zone Management program at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection will also participate in the development of regional policy and practice guidance and engagement with regulators, natural resource management, practitioners and the general public on nature-based infrastructure. The funds awarded to support this work in Connecticut total more than $180,000 in grant and matching funds.
The Stratford Point Living Shoreline will be a model for the use of nature-based solutions to abate wave energy and prevent shoreline erosion in New England, Mattei said.
The Living Shoreline has utilized reef balls to dissipate waves and allow the newly restored marsh grasses to thrive. Support from current grant work by the SHU coastal and marine science team including the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Connecticut in-lieu Fee Fund will aid in the restoration of the high marsh and dune system behind the reef. The reef balls are concrete structures that have been designed to reduce waves, but also to allow for a continuous connection between the water and the upland shore while also providing habitat for marine life. Data collected from this project will measure how much sediment accumulates around the reef balls and the extent to which the reef ball design and placement reduce wave height. This information will inform the design and construction of living shorelines throughout Connecticut and New England.
Local & State News Clips
July 22, 2017 - Northeast States Talk Big on Climate. This is Their First Serious Test.
A nine-state coalition could aggressively cut carbon emissions, but they're split on whether to do so.
States along the East Coast loudly rejected President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord and forged a bipartisan alliance that vowed to "uphold" the international pact to cut planet-warming emissions and "take aggressive action on climate change."
While the formation of the U.S. Climate Alliance made a powerful statement, it's another, rarely discussed regional league that offers the first real chance to make good on those promises.
Eight years ago, the Regional Green House Gas Initiative - made up on Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont - established an interstate cap-and-trade system that puts a limit on carbon dioxide emissions from the utility sector and allows power companies to buy and sell permits to pollute. The program has proven to be a notable success, reducing average utility bills by 3.4 percent, driving $2.7 billion in economic growth and creating at least 14,200 new jobs through energy conservation projects funded by the revenue it generates.
It's popular, too: Nearly 8 in 10 voters in RGGI states support strengthening carbon pollution limits.
Last year, RGGI - pronounced "reggie" by those in the know - embarked on a full review to determine whether to adopt a lower cap and stricter standards. The results of that review could come in the next few weeks. Sources familiar with the negotiations told HuffPost that it was "imminent" and said the talks had accelerated following Trump's drastic rollback of climate policies.
July 14, 2017 - Could the Rockeyways Survive Another Sandy?
Rockaway, like many coastal neighborhoods in New York, is extremely vulnerable to water. More than 120,000 people live on the Rockaway peninsula - a slender mass of land that stretches across 10 miles with the ocean to the south and Jamaica Bay to the north.
One recent report by the Waterfront Alliance estimated that 61 percent of Rockaway residents, or 74,800 people, had a one-in-two chance of a major flood in their homes by 2060.
"This is the story of our time," said Robert Freudenberg, the vice president for energy and environment at the Regional Plan Association, an urban research organization. "Adaptation will require one of the biggest investments that we'll need to make in the region."
On the beachside of the peninsula, the Army Corps has proposed building 13 new jetties and extending five existing jetties - rock formations that jut out perpendicularly to trap sand and build up the beaches they protect.
Sand is widely regarded as an effective mitigator of storm damage: A wider beach can dissipate the energy of storm tides.
But a significant amount of the sand replenished in Rockaway by the Army Corps in 2014 after Sandy has already been washed away. In certain sections of Rockaway Beach, the water has eaten away at the shoreline, reaching the sand dunes and the boardwalk that shield the neighborhood.
July 12, 2017 - Feds Release High-Speed Rail Plan, Rethinking 2 New England States
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Federal officials are rethinking a plan to build new high-speed railroad tracks through parts of Connecticut and Rhode Island after complaints that the project would devastate neighborhoods, marshlands and tourist attractions.
The Federal Railroad Administration dropped the proposed bypass Wednesday as it moves forward with a $120 billion to $150 billion plan for rebuilding the congested Northeast Corridor, between Boston and Washington, D.C., over the next 30 years.
Instead, the agency said it will continue to study options for more track capacity and faster service in the 100-mile stretch from New Haven, Connecticut, to Providence, Rhode Island, and that it's seeking public input.
June 19, 2016 - New York's Remodeled Governors Island Has Build-In Climate Change Defense
"This is really the first park to be really designed as a resilient landscape. And it's all integrated with the idea of visitor experience."
The revamped island does offer a bucolic, green oasis in between the no-nonsense glass and steel of Manhattan and Brooklyn. A hiking trail winds up one of the hills leading to a solid concrete hut, an art installation that evokes Henry David Thoreau's yearning to
escape to nature
Of course, this kind of landscaping on a blank canvas of an island can't be replicated everywhere. Lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn have billions of dollars' worth of infrastructure right beside the water, much of it built on the sort of artificially landfilled areas that were so vulnerable on Governors Island. Molding park land is not the same as protecting shiny real estate, aging transportation and electrical assets and the people who live amid it all.
Geuze has given it his best shot, however, joining with a group of architects and scientists to propose a string of artificial islands called
the Blue Dunes
, which would sit about 10 miles from New York's coast and ebb the strength of a gathering storm.
The city certainly faces a stark challenge. Average sea levels have already risen around New York by more than 1ft over the past century, about double the global average. A report put out by the city last year found that a further 21in of seawater could be added by 2050, rising to 6ft by 2100. It could be even more than that if warming temperatures help disintegrate Antarctica's vast ice cap.
It's a situation that New York's mayor, Bill de Blasio, has acknowledged is "daunting", not least because prime sites such as LaGuardia airport and Battery park in lower Manhattan face looming danger of flooding. America's financial heart could miss a beat or two if regular inundations cause transportation chaos and businesses abandon the area to those unable to do so. Sea level rise won't stop in 2100, of course - one study suggests the coming centuries could see more than 70ft of sea level rise, which would sink all but the upper reaches of Manhattan.
In the shorter term, the example of Governors Island could show the city that simply flinging up large seawalls won't solve the problem. In fact, the walls could just push the water elsewhere, on to the soggy feet of people in Brooklyn or Queens.
A variety of alterations, using natural buffers such as grass and marsh land, could be the unexpected remedy, for now at least. Building design is already starting to adapt, too; parking garages in Rotterdam, for instance, can store excess water, while the Perez Art Museum in Miami has been crafted to withstand hurricanes and floods.
"I think it's going to be a mixture of things because this is our reality now. It's not an 'if', it's a 'when'," said Koch.
"It's not that we have to retreat from the coast but you have to assume the coast will become wet. Look at South Ferry subway station [which was inundated during Sandy]. It opened 10 months before Sandy and it's still out of service. It's extraordinary to me that you would build a new piece of infrastructure next to the water and let that happen."
National News Clips
July 13, 2017 - Rising Seas Threaten Scores of Species on Pacific Islands with Extinction
On small islands, land-based creatures have fewer places to move to when their habitats are lost. In addition, through evolution, many island-living species no longer have the traits that would have helped them move on - for example, many birds and insects have lost their ability to fly.
Putting all these factors together, species living on these Pacific islands are "highly vulnerable to extinction", the paper says.
Eighty-four of the 150 species aren't found anywhere else on Earth. Fifty-four of them - such as the Giant Bandicoot, the Goodfellow's tree-kangaroo and the Taom Striped Gecko - can only be found on a single island. Eleven species live on two islands and the remaining 29 live on three or more.
July 12, 2017 - Iceberg Twice the Size of Luxembourg Breaks off Antarctic Iceshelf
A giant iceberg twice the size of Luxembourg has broken off an ice shelf on the Antarctic peninsula and is now adrift in the Weddell Sea.
Reported to be "hanging by a thread" last month, the trillion-tonne iceberg was found to have split off from the Larsen C segment of the Larsen ice shelf on Wednesday morning after scientists examined the latest satellite data from the area.
The Larsen C ice shelf is more than 12% smaller in area than before the iceberg broke off - or "calved" - an event that researchers say has changed the landscape of the Antarctic peninsula and left the Larsen C ice shelf at its lowest extent ever recorded.
July 11, 2017 - Communities and Experts Collaborate for Climate Resilience
Climate change is global, but its effects are felt locally. Although many communities try to plan for anticipated changes and want strategies for bouncing back when disasters occur, they simply don't have the level of technical expertise that such planning can require. Also, what works in one place may not work somewhere else, further compounding the challenge.
The Resilience Dialogues project aims to make it easier for communities to reduce their climate-related risks and build community resilience. The project does this by connecting community stakeholders with climate experts through online facilitated dialogues. The project, which is co-managed by the U.S. Global Change Research Program and the American Geophysical Union's Thriving Earth Exchange, launched in late 2015 with a pilot phase that included five communities. Building on the success of those dialogues, 10 more communities held dialogues during the first half of 2017.
The facilitated online dialogues have been useful to a variety of groups, including local governments, county managers, urban planners, community organizations, private sector stakeholders, and public health professionals. Communities that participated in the dialogues say they came away with new knowledge, useful connections, and practical next steps for decreasing their vulnerability to climate change. Each community received a final report summarizing key vulnerabilities as well as opportunities and resources for climate resilience planning that were identified during the discussions. Here are a few examples of communities that have benefited from Resilience Dialogue
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).