Resilience Roundup
                                                       June 23, 2015

CIRCA in the News

  • June 22, 2015 - HUD Selects Finalists for National Disaster Resilience Competition, HUD Press Release

Local, State, and National News Clips

  • June 18, 2015 -  The nation's system of power plants, utility poles and electrical wires is aging. And compared with other developed countries, it's less and less reliable. Among the worst hit states: Connecticut. , Market Place
  • June 18, 2015 - Pope urges revolution to save Earth, fix 'perverse' economy, The Day
  • June 18, 2015 - Pope Makes Moral Case For Climate Action, Hartford Courant
  • June 15, 2015 - Stormy weather knocks out power to thousands in Greater New Haven, New Haven Register News
  • June 23, 2015 - More climate change moves for USDA, Farm Futures
  • June 23, 2015 - Hurricane Sandy and Typhoon Haiyan tied to global warming, scientists argue, Mashable
  • June 22, 2015 - Climate Change Impacts Western Wildfires, CBS Local Denver
  • June 22, 2015 - Warmer Oceans Create Monster Storms, CBS Local Denver
  • June 17, 2015 - L.A. County's plan to capture stormwater could be state model, Los Angeles Times
  • June 16, 2015 - Pope: Climate change a moral issue and due to human activity, USA Today
  • June 11, 2015 - Decade-Long UN Forest Climate Talks Reach Breakthrough, Bloomberg Business
  • June 9, 2015 - White House launches $34 million plan to help developing countries prepare for climate change, Washington Post


CIRCA in the News


June 22, 2015 - HUD Selects Finalists for National Disaster Resilience Competition, HUD Press Release

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Juli?n Castro announced today that 40 states and local communities will compete in the second and final phase of HUD's 
National Disaster Resilience Competition  (NDRC). Aligned closely with a companion education and technical assistance effort by the Rockefeller Foundation, HUD's competition is designed to help states and local communities recover from past disasters while improving their ability to withstand future extreme events through strategic community investments.


In Phase 2, each finalist is invited to propose specific projects that advance their community's comprehensive resilience plans, as envisioned in Phase 1. Selected projects will be funded from a total pool of nearly $1 billion. $181 million is set aside for projects in New York and New Jersey. The maximum grant award available at the end of Phase 2 will be $500 million and the minimum will be $1 million.

The National Disaster Resilience Competition finalists are:

New Jersey

New Mexico
New York
West Virginia

Cook County, Illinois
DuPage County, Illinois
Jefferson Parish, Louisiana
St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana
Dauphin County, Pennsylvania
Shelby County, Tennessee

Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Chicago, Illinois
New Orleans, Louisiana
Springfield, Massachusetts
New York City, New York
Minot, North Dakota
Moore, Oklahoma

Puerto Rico

"HUD is committed to helping communities meet the realities of climate change and extreme weather,"said HUD Secretary Castro. "We're proud to partner with the Rockefeller Foundation in supporting American families as they recover from natural disasters and prepare for the challenges of tomorrow. Together, we can build a nation that's stronger and more resilient than ever."

"Catastrophic events are becoming more common place, and crisis is the new normal. This is why it is critical for communities, large and small, to place a premium on building resilience. They can be prepared for whatever comes their way, and disruptions won't become disasters," said Dr. Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. "Resilience is a journey, not a destination, and the time to build resilience is now, through a focus on strengthening social cohesion and making smart plans for communities through collaboration across sectors, so that investments - particularly in infrastructure - will yield multiple benefits, or what I call a resilience dividend. The NDRC finalists share this vision, and I am eager to learn more in the coming months about their innovative ideas inspired through the competition."... Read full press release



Local, State and National News Clips



June 18, 2015 - The nation's system of power plants, utility poles and electrical wires is aging. And compared with other developed countries, it???s less and less reliable. Among the worst hit states: Connecticut., Market Place

Three historic storms hit the state in 2011 and 2012. Each time, more than 600,000 residents lost power for days. More than lights went out: household water comes from wells in the town of Marlborough.

"The well runs off electricity," resident Cliff Denniss says. "And when you lose power you don't have the pump working to push the water into the house. And you only get about two flushes out of the toilet. ..and when you're out for a week it can get pretty tough."

Marlborough went dark for a week in all three storms. Cliff Denniss's wife, Dorothy, now fills the tub with water when a big one's coming. Which she admits is not enough for a week-long outage.

"You don't flush every time," she says. "Trust me."

Gas stations in town lost power to pump their gas. Cellphone batteries died. And perishable food ... perished. Unless you ate it.

"I had filet mignon all week," Dorothy Denniss says. "I just bought a brand new one, had it chopped up into steaks. It was in the freezer, we lost the power. I said 'we have to eat this!'" 

In the average year, New England loses power for a total of three and a half hours, compared with four minutes in Japan. The U.S. fares worse than any other rich country. The cost - in lost work and production - is estimated at $80 billion, more than Google makes in a year. 

The big culprit is weather - say, winds knocking tree limbs into power lines strung along streets. So in Marlborough, backup generators sell rather well.

"We're still consuming electricity in ways we have done over 100 years in this country," remodeling contractor Scott Welchsays. "I think what we're doing is antiquated."

In fact, one joke told frequently in the business: if Thomas Edison came back today, he would recognize the power grid he helped create.

In 1882, Edison built the first electric "utility" system.

"He invented a light bulb," Virginia Tech energy historian Richard Hirsh says. "He also invented specialized generators to produce electricity. He developed the wiring system."

Edison's very first utility went up in Manhattan. Like a local drugstore, it was a local electric company, with generators and customers in the same place. But this local model lost out. Two of Edison's rivals, Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse, developed long-distance transmission, to send power from big sources far away.

"Westinghouse transmitted power from a Niagara Falls hydropower plant to the city of Buffalo about 20 miles distant," Hirsh says.

Long-distance electricity was more efficient and cheaper. So America ended up with a hub-and-spoke system of poles and wires.

And electricity changed everything.

"It allows you to heat, to cool, to illuminate," Hirsch says. "In factories, it boosted productivity hugely. In homes, it enables people to do things at day and night in ways that people in the 19th century could only imagine."

We became addicted to electricity.

But then, the grid aged, and investment didn't keep up. Power failures have tripled since the 1980s.

"An experienced electrical engineer, a field operator, once said to me, 'the whole system is going to fall down some day, it's just not going to happen on the same day,'"  says Larry Reilly, a former utility executive now with Rosewood Consulting. "That was really the philosophy of operating companies for a long time, to wait 'til failure."

The electricity infrastructure, Reilly says, went up in a big hurry early on. "People were looking for the fastest, cheapest places to put facilities," he said. "If we went back and had the ability to do it again, the system would have been designed a little bit differently, but of course, we don't have that opportunity."

A case in point: a 1920s substation in the Connecticut town of Branford, on Long Island Sound. It was built right at sea level. So it floods and fails with storm surges.

"I don't know what was in the minds of folks as to why it went here," local resident and journalist Marcia Chambers says. "The flooding of the street has long been an issue." In two of the big storms -Irene and Sandy - one of Branford's main Internet providers, Comcast, lost its power. Gone was the whole Comcast bundle: internet, TV, phone.

"The idea that companies are bundling everything and giving you a discount sounds really terrific," Chambers says. "Except when it goes down." 

Local cell towers also lost power. The town hospice saw its backup generator fail, so it had to move dying people. Electric wheelchairs could not recharge.

Why did so much of the grid go down?

"We found in Connecticut that half the utility poles were more than 50 years old, did not meet modern standards, and when faced with heavy wind began to snap," Yale law professor Dan Esty says. He was state energy commissioner for all three storms. "A significant percent of the wires were not insulated, meaning that not only if they were knocked down there was a problem, but if a tree branch touched them they would arc and short out."

Esty blames state rules aimed at keeping customer rates low, which may have discouraged utilities from investing in reliability.

"We have an antiquated regulatory model that provided limited capital," Esty says, "and resulted, I think, in systematic underinvestment in grid modernization."

By the third storm, state lawmakers said enough. They started to consider big changes to the power grid. Esty's wife had enough, too, by Superstorm Sandy.

"I came home after the first night in the bunker with the governor," Esty says. "And on the second night, did grill on my outside grill and served my wife dinner by candlelight, and I think it was quite charming. On the third day she was grumbling a bit. And on the fourth day she asked me, 'Who the hell is the commissioner of energy in the state of Connecticut?'"

At that point, Connecticut passed a law to finance more decentralized, or distributed energy. What's that like? Take a look at Denmark's system:


 June 18, 2015 - Pope urges revolution to save Earth, fix 'perverse' economy, The Day 

Vatican City - Pope Francis called Thursday for a bold cultural revolution to correct what he calls the "structurally perverse" economic system of the rich exploiting the poor that is turning Earth into an "immense pile of filth."

In a sweeping manifesto aimed at spurring action in U.N. climate negotiations, domestic politics and everyday life, Francis explains the science of global warming, which he blames on an unfair, fossil fuel-based industrial model that he says harms the poor most. Citing Scripture and past popes' and bishops' appeals, he urges people of all faiths and no faith to undergo an awakening to save God's creation for future generations.

It's an indictment of big business and climate doubters alike.

"It is not enough to balance, in the medium term, the protection of nature with financial gain, or the preservation of the environment with progress," he writes. "Halfway measures simply delay the inevitable disaster. Put simply, it is a matter of redefining our notion of progress."

Environmental scientists said the first ever encyclical, or teaching document, on the environment could have a dramatic effect on the climate debate, lending the moral authority of the immensely popular Francis to an issue that has long been cast in purely political, economic and scientific terms.

Veerabhadran Ramanathan, a Scripps Institution of Oceanography scientist, said the encyclical would be a "game-changer in making people think about this."

"It's not politics anymore," he said, adding that science is usually difficult for people to understand but that people respond to arguments framed by morality and ethics.

The energy lobby was quick to criticize the encyclical and its anti-fossil fuel message.

"The simple reality is that energy is the essential building block of the modern world," said Thomas Pyle of the Institute of Energy Research, a conservative free-market group. "The application of affordable energy makes everything we do - food production, manufacturing, health care, transportation, heating and air conditioning - better."

Francis said he hoped his effort would lead ordinary people in their daily lives and decision-makers at critical U.N. climate meetings later this year to a wholesale change of mind and heart, saying "both the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor" must now be heard.

"This vision of 'might is right' has engendered immense inequality, injustice and acts of violence against the majority of humanity, since resources end up in the hands of the first comer or the most powerful: the winner takes all," he writes. "Completely at odds with this model are the ideals of harmony, justice, fraternity and peace as proposed by Jesus."

The encyclical "Laudato Si," (Praise Be) is 191 pages of pure Francis. It's a blunt, readable booklet full of zingers that will make many conservatives and climate doubters squirm, including in the U.S. Congress, where Francis will deliver the first-ever papal address in September. It will likely put several U.S. presidential candidates on the hot seat since some Republicans, Catholics among them, doubt the science behind global warming and have said the pope should stay away from the debate.

"I don't think we should politicize our faith," U.S. Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, a Catholic convert, said on the eve of the encyclical's release. "I think religion ought to be about making us better as people and less about things that end up getting into the political realm."

Yet one of Francis' core points is that there really is no distinction between human beings, their faith and the environment.

"Everything is related, and we human beings are united as brothers and sisters on a wonderful pilgrimage, woven together by the love God has for each of his creatures and which also unites us in fond affection with brother sun, sister moon, brother river and mother earth," he writes.

The chemist-turned-pope takes as fact that the world is getting warmer and that human activity is mostly to blame.

"The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth," he writes.

Citing the deforestation of the Amazon, the melting of Arctic glaciers and the death of coral reefs, he rebukes "obstructionist" climate doubters who "seem mostly to be concerned with masking the problems or concealing their symptoms." And he blames politicians for listening more to oil industry interests than Scripture or common sense.

He praises a "less is more" lifestyle that he is known for, one that shuns air conditioners and gated communities in favor of car pool s, recycling and being in close touch with the poor and marginalized. He calls for courageous, radical and farsighted policies to transition the world's energy supply from fossil fuels to renewable sources, saying mitigation schemes like the buying and selling of carbon credits won't solve the problem and are just a "ploy which permits maintaining the excessive consumption of some countries and sectors."

"Nobody is suggesting a return to the Stone Age, but we do need to slow down and look at reality in a different way, to appropriate the positive and sustainable progress which has been made, but also to recover the values and the great goals swept away by our unrestrained delusions of grandeur," Francis writes.

Some have dismissed the Argentine pope as pushing what they call Latin American-style socialism. Just this week, he again answered those critics, saying it was not a sign of communism to care for the poor.

Within the church, many conservative Catholics have questioned the pope's heavy emphasis on the environment and climate change over other issues such as abortion and marriage.

Francis does address abortion and population issues in the encyclical, criticizing those in the environmental movement who show concern for preserving nature but not human lives.


June 18, 2015 - Pope Makes Moral Case For Climate Action, Hartford Courant

As an environmental economist, I operate in the space between two related but separate worlds - the physical and natural science of environmental impacts and the social science of how humans can respond. At the same time, as a Christian and a scientist, I inhabit both the worlds of evidence and of faith. The official release Thursday of Pope Francis' encyclical on climate change brings the issues of faith, economics, physical and natural science, as well as social science, together in a beautiful and accessible way.

The encyclical, which was leaked by an Italian magazine Monday, is a very valuable and much needed injection of morality into the scientific and economic discussions on climate change - it is quite likely a game-changer.

Science speaks to what we know and what is likely to be the consequences of inaction, but the pope's views play an enormous role in extending the discussion to "So what?" and "What can we do about it?" Indeed, he speaks to the question, "What must we do about it?"

We are now increasingly experiencing the effects of a warming world in every corner of the globe, the country and Connecticut. This was one of the major points of the latest National Climate Assessment; but another major point is equally important - there are things that we can do in response, if only we were motivated.

Economists have suggested that the most efficient way to reduce emissions is simply to put a price on carbon - through a tax, cap-and-trade or direct regulation. This would mean manufacturers would respond to estimates of the true social cost of the carbon content of the products by changing technology, employing more people and efficiently adjusting their pricing to a more dynamic marketplace.

The pope's encyclical adds a moral dimension to this case with nearly 200 pages of inspiring text about man's pollution and the immorality of emissions. He notes that the Bible tells humans, as early as the first chapter of Genesis, that they have a stewardship obligation to the planet. The Bible also commands us to protect the least among us - the poorest who lack the means to provide for themselves. These are the people, the world over, who will be most heavily impacted by climate change - the poor, the very young, the elderly and infirm - especially if they live near a coastline. Working from there, as the leader of a billion Catholics, the pope provides theological justification that we are behaving immorally by continuing to avoid reducing emissions.

It is up to those of us in the developed world to begin the process of reducing emissions and to invest in adaptations designed to ameliorate the most extreme consequences. This means, perhaps unfortunately, that it is up to politicians ultimately to decide how to cut our carbon emissions and adapt. More directly, then, it is up to us to make strong and clear demands of our leaders. Tell them that the science is clear - humans are causing climate change. The economics are straightforward - carbon is currently artificially cheap because we do not pay its full price.

And now the moral dimension is becoming undeniable - in the eyes of the pope, pollution is a sin.

I must admit, at this point, that declaring something a sin is way above my pay grade. What I can say from my scientific and faith perspective is this: Putting human beings, their societies and communities, and aspects of nature unnecessarily at risk by ignoring science on the basis of ideology, business interest, or ill-informed and unyielding denial is morally irresponsible - especially for elected officials.

I believe that the pope's encyclical confirms this perspective not only for more than 1 billion Catholics around the world and across this country, but also for the billions of others from multiple faiths who take seriously their stewardship obligations to the planet and its inhabitants.


June 15, 2015 - Stormy weather knocks out power to thousands in Greater New Haven, New Haven Register News

NEW HAVEN >> More than 2,200 United Illuminating customers were without power for a short time Monday morning as rain and wind pounded the region.

By 10:20 a.m. Monday, the utility was reporting that the number had fallen to 1,439 outages.

The largest UI outage was reported in North Haven, where more than 1,700 customers were without electricity shortly after 10 a.m.

According to the utility company's online map, the outage originated on Route 17, where wires reportedly fell into trees around 8:30 a.m.

But around 10:20 a.m., the company reported that the number of outages in that town had been reduced to 896.

The utility was reporting that most customers affected by the outage were expected to have their service back by about 11:30 a.m.

A school district official said the Route 17 outage did not affect Montowese Elementary School.

The utility was also reporting 256 customers without power in New Haven and 80 customers in the dark in East Haven.

An additional 104 customers were reported to be without power in Hamden, where a transformer reportedly blew in front of Cedarhurst School on Prospect Street.

This story will be updated when more details are available.


June 23, 2015 - More climate change moves for USDA, Farm Futures

USDA on Monday said it would be updating its policies to better integrate climate change adaptation into its programs and operations. The move is an effort to ensure taxpayers' resources are "invested wisely," a statement from the agency said, and that USDA services and operations "remain effective under current and future climate conditions."

The agency says climate change effects are complex and far-reaching and potential changes could have important impacts on the ability of USDA to fulfill its mission. Under the updated USDA Policy Statement on Climate Change Adaptation, USDA recognizes that climate stressors have consequences for food production, yields of staple crops, forests and grasslands, and these, in turn, affect the economic well-being of individuals.

"Climate change adaptation is a critical component of climate change and a complement to mitigation planning," the statement said. "Both are required to address the causes, consequences and potential benefits of climate change. USDA is taking a leadership role with climate adaptation planning to safeguard a resilient, healthy and prosperous Nation in the face of changing climate."


June 23, 2015 - Hurricane Sandy and Typhoon Haiyan tied to global warming, scientists argue, Mashable

Humans are not just loading the dice in favor of extreme weather events, as many scientific studies have shown. They are also changing the characteristics and impacts of those events, be it in the form of an unprecedentedly strong and extremely deadly Typhoon Haiyan or the damaging Boulder, Colorado, floods of 2013.

The way that scientists have been probing extreme events for human fingerprints is flawed, however, because it underestimates the influence that global warming is playing, argues a new Perspective piece published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.

The piece, written by Kevin Trenberth, a senior atmospheric scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, and two of his colleagues, calls for a new approach to analyzing the role of global warming in creating individual extreme weather events. Trenberth's proposal would have scientists focus far more closely on the thermodynamics of an event - that is, the role played by heat and moisture in the air and oceans, rather than the broad-scale atmospheric weather patterns that many scientists have been focusing on in many extreme event studies-to-date.


 As ocean temperatures warm, rain and snowstorms become more intense, but may also come less often, according to distinguished senior science Dr. Kevin Trenberth at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Those are changes the people who fight wildfires across the nation have noticed.

"The climate is changing. I mean if you look at the last 100 years the average temperature has increased, if you looked at the last 30 years the average temperature has increased," said Rod Moraga, a wildfire behavior analyst.

Don Whittemore is a fire incident commander with the Rocky Mountain Incident Management team and he has battled blazes for a long time. "When I first got into firefighting 20 some years ago, Colorado was kind of jokingly referred to as the asbestos state," Whittemore said, "Meaning that we just didn't have fires and if we did have one it was an outlier. It was a rare event triggered by a weather anomaly."


June 22, 2015 - Warmer Oceans Create Monster Storms, CBS Local Denver 

  A key component in understanding climate change is understanding ocean temperatures. The impact was apparent for months starting with record blizzards during the winter of 2014 and stretching into the spring of 2015 as record rainfall swamped many states. Blame it on El Nino.

El Nino is a change in atmospheric circulation and weather patterns across the globe caused by abnormally warm water pooling over the equatorial Pacific Ocean. That warm water moves west to east crossing the International Dateline where it works with the atmosphere to cause changes in weather patterns.

Dr. Kevin Trenberth is a distinguished senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. He explained that change in pattern can cause major problems.

"If there is a full blown El Nino, then the storm track becomes very active into California. The sea level along the coast goes up by 6 to 12 inches along that coast. Because of all the rain fall, there is often a lot of erosion along the coast. The big storms and waves also cause coastal erosion and so there can be some really adverse effects of these heavy rains. Mudslides can occur."


June 17, 2015 - L.A. County's plan to capture stormwater could be state model, Los Angeles Times

Amid a worsening drought, California water officials adopted new rules Tuesday aimed at capturing and reusing huge amounts of stormwater that have until now flowed down sewers and concrete rivers into the sea.

Federal clean water legislation has long required municipalities to limit the amount of pollution - including bacteria, trash and automotive fluids - that is flushed into oceans and waterways by storm runoff.

But only recently has California considered capturing this water as a way of augmenting its dwindling water reserves. The plan approved by the State Water Resources Control Board applies to Los Angeles County but is seen as a model for other parts of water-starved California.

"This could be quite historic and path-breaking," said Felicia Marcus, the board's chairwoman. "Our collective objective should be to use each scarce drop of water, and each local dollar, for multiple local benefits - flood control, water supply, water quality and urban greening in the face of climate change."


June 16, 2015 - Pope: Climate change a moral issue and due to human activity, USA Today

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis says most climate change is due to human activity and calls it one of the most important moral issues facing society, according to a draft leaked Monday of his long-awaited encyclical on global warming.

The 191-page draft says the problem needs urgent action and is a key issue related to development and poverty. The leaked draft in Italian was posted online Monday by L'Espresso magazine, prompting consternation from the Vatican. The final document is scheduled to be released Thursday. The Vatican asked journalists to "respect professional standards" and await the final text.

The Vatican spokesman, Federico Lombardi, called the leak a "heinous decision" and cautioned that the document was a draft and not necessarily an accurate reflection of what the final encyclical will say.


June 11, 2015 - Decade-Long UN Forest Climate Talks Reach Breakthrough, Bloomberg Business   

A surprise agreement has been reached by envoys from about 190 nations after about a decade of talks on how to reduce deforestation in developing countries to help curb climate change.

The deal agreed on at a United Nations meeting in Bonn this week provides clarity on safeguards such as helping protect indigenous communities and ensuring biodiversity, which countries need to report on when seeking funds in exchange for protecting forests, Niranjali Amerasinghe said.

"We were surprised that countries came to an agreement" on REDD+, the UN's Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation program, Amerasinghe said Wednesday in an interview in Bonn. "While there's an international legal basis that recognizes the rights of indigenous people, the success of REDD+ will depend on its actual implementation on the ground," said Amerasinghe, who monitors the talks for the Washington-based Center for International Environmental Law.

The agreement provides a spur to the traditionally snail-paced climate talks. Months before a year-end summit in Paris, where envoys are seeking a global agreement that for the first time would limit emissions in richer and poorer nations, it means countries can start applying for projects. Forestry now has a better chance to be part of the actual Paris agreement as well, Amerasinghe said.


June 9, 2015 - White House launches $34 million plan to help developing countries prepare for climate change, Washington Post

When it comes to rising seas and flooding risks, there are few countries more vulnerable than low-lying Bangladesh. Not only does the nation face the risk of devastating tropical cyclones - but with higher seas forecast for later in this century, such storms could flood a considerably broader area, according to the World Bank.

Bangladesh is one of three countries targeted for climate readiness assistance in the first phase of a new $34 million White House initiative, to be announced Tuesday at the U.S. Institute of Peace. The administration, including its key international aid agencies like USAID, but also scientific ones NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey, will be collaborating with partners ranging from Google and the American Red Cross to the UK Government to help developing countries get ready for a warmer world. ...

The new partnership, to be dubbed Climate Services for Resilient Development, includes more than $34 million in resources, a total that includes in-kind contributions from the partners, such as data and computing resources from Google. Another partner, the GIS-mapping software provider Esri, will be providing "access to foundational open spatial data sets, such as elevation, ecological land units, and climatological information products," according to the White House.





June 18, 2015 - Restore America's Estuaries. First National Report on Living Shoreline Institutional Barriers Released.

Restore America's Estuaries has released the First National Report on Living Shoreline Institutional Barriers; "Living Shoreline from barriers to opportunities" . This report
"provides a national assessment of institutional barriers that are preventing broader use of living shorelines and provides clear recommendations and strategies to move forward".
The report identifies three major obstacles to broader use of living shorelines: 1) institutional inertia; 2) lack of a broader planning context; and 3) lack of an advocate. To address these obstacles, the report identifies four broad strategies, including: 1) education and outreach; 2) regulatory reform; 3) improve institutional capacity; and 4) public agencies as role models. Each strategy identifies a number of specific and actionable recommendations for decision and policy makers.  


July 15, 2015 - Next review date for CIRCA Matching Funds Program, $100,000 available

Please see the CIRCA webpage for funding opportunities through the Institute's Matching Funds Program. Our second round of grants available under the Matching Funds program is currently available!


CIRCA will consider requests from Connecticut municipalities, institutions, universities, foundations, and other non-governmental organizations. 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 a municipal or State of Connecticut funds to enhance the likely success of project proposals that advance CIRCA research and implementation priorities. Requests are due to CIRCA by July 15, 2015.


August 28, 2015 - FY15 FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grants Program Announced. Applications due 8/28/15


Today, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is announcing $180 million in funding available through two Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant programs: Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) and Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM). These two grant programs assist state, local, tribal, and territorial governments in strengthening our nation's ability to reduce the potential cost of natural disasters to communities and their citizens.

FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant programs provide states, tribes, territories, and local governments funding for eligible mitigation activities to strengthen our nation's ability to reduce disaster losses and protect life and property from future disaster damages.

The Flood Mitigation Assistance grant program provides funds on an annual basis so that measures can be taken to reduce or eliminate risk of flood damage to buildings insured under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The FY 2015 Flood Mitigation Assistance grants will continue to focus on reducing or eliminating claims under the NFIP with a focus on mitigation planning and the mitigation of severe repetitive loss properties.

The Pre-Disaster Mitigation grant program provides funds on an annual basis for hazard mitigation planning and the implementation of mitigation projects prior to a disaster. The goal of the Pre-Disaster Mitigation grant program is to reduce overall risk to the population and structures, while at the same time, also reducing reliance on Federal funding from actual disaster declarations. The FY 2015 Pre-Disaster Mitigation grants will continue to focus on implementing a sustained pre-disaster natural hazard mitigation program and provide the grant funding set aside as required in the Stafford Act to states and tribes to support overall mitigation planning and projects.

Both Hazard Mitigation Assistance FY 2015 Funding Opportunity Announcements can be found, and PDF versions are attached to this advisory. Eligible applicants must apply for funding through the Mitigation eGrants system on the FEMA Grants Portal accessible at FEMA will open the application period on May 29, 2015. All applications must be submitted no later than 3:00 PM EDT on August 28, 2015.

Further information on these grant programs is available at mitigation-assistance.

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.