CLEAR and CT NEMO have developed an MS4 website and MS4 listserv to provide assistance to the 121 communities in Connecticut included in the newly expanded MS4 General Stormwater Permit. The Connecticut MS4 Guide covers 6 minimum control measures including:
- Public Education and Outreach
- Public Involvement
- Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
- Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control
- Post-construction Stormwater Management
- Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping
Additionally, the MS4 map viewer has been expanded to include
new stormwater layers such as impaired waters and statewide 1ft resolution impervious data (the latter is available for download on CTECO).
CIRCA Blog: Sea Level Rise in Connecticut: Planning for 20 in / 50 cm in 2050
By Rebecca A. French, Ph.D., CIRCA Director of Community Engagement
On October 19, 2017, CIRCA released an Executive Summary of its locally updated sea-level rise scenarios and recommendations on how Connecticut should adapt to the mean sea level changes projected in a 2012 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report (Parris et al, CPO-1 Report, 2012):
"We recommend that planning anticipates that sea level will be 0.5 m (1ft 8 inches) higher than the national tidal datum in Long Island Sound by 2050. It is likely that sea level will continue to increase after 2050. We recommend that global mean sea level measurements and projections be monitored and new assessments be provided to towns at decadal intervals to ensure that planning be informed by the best available science."(O'Donnell, Executive Summary, 2017)
It is important to note that the 20 in/50 cm planning level is
a prediction of the expected sea level increase by 2050, as has been reported in some recent newspaper articles. Rather,
20 in/50 cm characterizes the upper end of the range of values projected using several different simulation approaches and local tide gauge data sets
. Together with the 10-year review, this is a prudent approach to providing planning guidance in a changing world.
On the CIRCA website (https://circa.uconn.edu/) the public can find the Executive Summary of the report and a 30-minute presentation by the report's author and CIRCA Executive Director, Professor James O'Donnell. It provides a more in-depth explanation of his analyses and conclusions. The presentation shows how NOAA's low, intermediate-low, intermediate and high global sea level rise projections were updated for Connecticut, and measurements from tide gauges in Long Island Sound were employed to create the recommendations.
More information can be found on our website or by contacting CIRCA staff directly at email@example.com.
May 11, 2018- Creating a Resilient Connecticut: A CIRCA Forum on Science, Planning, Policy & Law
Friday, May 11
8:15am to 4:30pm
UConn School of Law
Reading Room, William F. Starr Hall
45 Elizabeth St. Hartford, CT 06105
For GPS purposes, use 110 Sherman Street as your destination address. Parking Lot B
Please join the UConn Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA), UConn School of Law's Center for Energy & Environmental Law (CEEL), and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) for this exciting forum that combines science, policy, and planning at the state and local levels. This event is the culmination of work undertaken over the past two years by CT DEEP and UConn/CIRCA to address the resilience of vulnerable communities along Connecticut's coast and inland waterways to the growing impacts of climate change. Important research is leading to the creation of products for assessing vulnerabilities and strategies to mitigate potential damage from climate change and storm impacts.
Forum presentations, panel discussions, and poster topics will also include:
State sea level rise projections,
Inland and coastal flood vulnerability data and case studies,
Legal and policy recommendations to support resiliency,
Vulnerability assessments in Milford and New London,
Applications for new coastal aerial photography, and
Climate-informed resiliency projects from inland/coastal municipalities and Councils of Governments.
This event sponsored by CIRCA, CEEL, and CT DEEP is free and open to the public. Work was made possible through a Municipal Resilience Planning Assistance grant from the State of Connecticut Department of Housing CDBG-Disaster Recovery Program and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Parking is complimentary and available by self registering in advance.
To reserve parking, click HERE and enter your vehicle license plate number.
Park on B Lot. Parking for this event is valid only 5/11/18, 7 am to 5 pm.
If you do not pre-register you will be able to access a self pay by phone system on site. Vehicles with Area 2 UConn Parking Services hang tags or stickers can park in Area 2 with no registration.
If you have any questions or require any accommodations for this meeting please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
More information can be found on CIRCA's website
May 16, 2018- Connecticut SHPO Statewide Historic Preservation Conference
Back to Announcements
The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is hosting its second annual statewide conference. Under the theme of Shared Stewardship, the conference will explore ways communities, governments and advocates can engage new participants and reinforce partnerships to enhance our state through historic preservation. Connecticut residents, staff of municipal and regional governments, planners, students, and people interested in Connecticut's cultural heritage are encouraged to attend.
Wed, May 16, 2018
8:30 AM - 4:00 PM EDT
Sheraton Hartford South Hotel
100 Capital Boulevard
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
For more information and to register click HERE
Long Island Sound Futures Fund 2018 Request for Proposals
Full Proposal Due Date: Thursday, May 10, 2018 by 11:59 PM Eastern Time
The Long Island Sound Futures Fund (Futures Fund) is soliciting proposals to secure clean water and healthy watersheds, restore thriving habitats and abundant wildlife, and engage the public in creating sustainable and resilient communities around the Long Island Sound Watershed. Approximately $2 million is expected to be available for projects in 2018. The Futures Fund grant program is administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Long Island Sound Study (LISS), and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
For more information & to apply click here
Local & State News Clips
April 22, 2018- State Benefits From Cut to Carbon Emissions
Despite President Donald Trump's resistance to climate control measures, Connecticut and nine other regional states are reaping huge economic rewards from cutting carbon emissions.
A new report on the nation's first Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative shows participating states realized $1.4 billion in economic value between 2015 and 2017, and the RGGI created more than 14,500 new jobs.
Connecticut gained $78.3 million in proceeds, including $41.7 million for energy efficiency projects, $25.4 million for renewable energy investments and $7 million for the state's General Fund, a report by the Analysis Group concluded.
"For years, many on the right, including many in the Trump Administration, have peddled a false choice between protecting our environment for future generations and growing our economy," said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
"As this report proves, promoting clean energy both benefits the environment and creates good jobs," Malloy said. "We must commit to ensuring RGGI remains strong now and in the future."
Nearly a decade ago, Connecticut and nine other states - Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont - formed the RGGI and set carbon reduction goals.
The compact allows energy producers to bid against each other for the right to emit carbon and the proceeds help pay for renewable energy projects that reduce emissions.
"RGGI was not designed to be an economic development program," said Susan Tierney, a senior advisor with Analysis Group.
"It was designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions, which it is doing successfully," Tierney said. "The data continue to show that cutting carbon emissions can be a positive for the economy."
National News Clips
April 23, 2018- Wilder Weather Swings in California's Future Could Spell Disaster
If you think California has seen some wild weather recently, fasten your seat belt.
from climate scientists at UCLA projects big increases in the frequency of extreme events at both ends of the wet-dry spectrum: big flood-inducing storms as well as droughts.
'I can definitely attest to being unnerved by some of our findings.'Daniel Swain, UCLA
"I can definitely attest to being unnerved by some of our findings," says the normally restrained Daniel Swain, lead author on the study.
The team looked at specific extreme events in California's past and used a suite of climate models to project their frequency in the future. Those events included last year's "whiplash" winter that drenched the state after a five-year drought, as well as the state's driest year and the epic
floods of 1861-62
. That was the winter Gov. Leland Stanford attended his own inauguration by rowboat.
"It was kind of a biblical flood," says co-author Alex Hall, who directs the
Center for Climate Science
at UCLA. "It was 40 days straight, practically, of rain."
Hall and Swain estimate that a similar event today could trigger a $1 trillion catastrophe. And they say it will happen again, perhaps sooner than scientists had previously reckoned.
study, published today
in the journal, Nature Climate Change, estimates that the Great Flood of 1862 was a once-in-200 year event at the time that it happened. Now, their projections indicate we can expect an event on that scale about every 50 years, and that it's "more likely than not" we'll see a recurrence sometime between now and 2060.
"I don't think that we are prepared for that type of event," says Hall, recalling the February 2017 storms that triggered widespread flooding throughout the state and mass evacuations along the Feather River after the nearly catastrophic failure of the spillways at Oroville Dam.
Researchers looked at last year's record-setting precipitation and projected that kind of whiplash winter will also be a more frequent feature of California's hydrologic cycle, approximately doubling in frequency from its prior 25-year interval, a trend they say will be "noticeable" by 2035.
"We know that these events happen," says Hall. "They're a natural feature of the climate system here in California - but, we expect them to become much more frequent in the future because of climate change."
April 13, 2018- UMass Report Cautions Billions Needed for Local Climate Change Preparations
A report to be released Friday by the University of Massachusetts points to the challenges the city and the region face in funding solutions to combat climate change, with local neighborhood projects expected to amount to $2.4 billion.
The report warns of the dangers of projected sea level increases in future years and decades, as recent winter storms produced nearly three feet of ocean storm surge and flooded neighborhoods from East Boston to Dorchester.
"The broad conclusion here is that we're going to need to make some very substantial investments in resilience," said David Levy, a management professor at UMass Boston and lead author of Financing Climate Resilience: Mobilizing Resources and Incentives to Protect Boston from Climate Risks. The report is slated to be released Friday morning at a climate adaptation forum hosted by the UMass Club.
City and regional policy makers have worked in recent years to develop climate resiliency plans, but they remain in the preliminary stages. Meanwhile, projections show ocean levels around Boston could increase several feet over the next century and cause routine flooding, affecting 90,000 residents and $80 billion worth of real estate.
April 12, 2018- California Lawmakers Want More Focus on Adaptation
California must focus more on adapting to climate change, a state Senate committee chairman said
"We know that there is an ever-growing body of scientific research that the climate is warming and that this changing climate is having a serious impact on California," state Sen. Bob Wieckowski (D) chairman of the state Senate Environmental Quality Committee, said at a hearing yesterday.
"Already we've seen rising sea levels, an increase in average temperature, diminished snowpack, and the list goes on," he said. "The frequencies of theses extreme events, such as the heat waves, wildfires, floods and droughts, also is increasing."
The state's five-year drought resulted in $2.7 billion in total economic losses, he said. In addition, seven of the 10 largest wildfires in state history happened in the last decade.
He has offered S.B. 262, a measure he plans to revise in the coming weeks to set up a one-stop shop for adaptation policies.
Wieckowski also wants to create a centralized location for funding, although that wouldn't be included in S.B. 262. That would need to come in the budget process.
There's been some funding for adaptation, Wieckowski said, but it's been scarce and inconsistent from year to year. He noted that the state in its proposed budget contains $800 million in funding for fire suppression. At the same time, he said, there's $160 million for keeping forests healthy.
Wieckowski in 2015 authored S.B. 246, a measure that created the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program. It coordinates and maintains the State Adaptation Clearinghouse of information. But more work needs to be done, he said.
Some speakers at the hearing said increased coordination on adaptation is needed.
State Sen. Jerry Hill (D) asked about the California Coastal Commission and its policies on "managed retreat." He did not elaborate, but that state agency - which oversees development along the state's lengthy coastline - has policies limiting seawalls, depending on when homes were built. Managed retreat generally refers to removing structures in order to save the sandy beach.
"I'm getting a lot of concern" from residents, Hill said.
April 12, 2018- Nature-based Solutions Can Prevent $50 Billion in Gulf Coast Flood Damages
Published April 11 in PLOS ONE, the study compares the cost effectiveness of nature-based and artificial solutions for flood reduction across the Gulf of Mexico. The results clearly demonstrate the value of nature-based solutions such as marsh and oyster-reef restoration. Overall, wetland and reef restoration can yield benefit-to-cost ratios greater than seven to one, meaning more than $7 in direct flood-reduction benefits for every $1 spent on restoration.
Many artificial solutions (such as levees and home elevation) have benefit-to-cost ratios near or below one-to-one; their benefits can be high, but they are expensive to implement at scale.
The study was led by researchers at UC Santa Cruz, the Nature Conservancy, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology at ETH Zurich. It applied the Economics of Climate Adaptation (ECA) approach, which was developed by reinsurance company Swiss Re and partners to understand what drives coastal risk and to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of adaptation options.
The devastating 2017 hurricane season offered a harsh reminder of the destructive power and economic impacts of coastal storms. The U.S. Gulf Coast faces intense hurricanes, as well as land subsidence and rising sea level, and climate change is increasing the risks of coastal flooding.
The new study quantified the flood risks to people and property for the entire U.S. coast of the Gulf of Mexico under current and future climate scenarios and economic growth projections. It showed that future flood risks from coastal hazards will grow, and that the major driver of risk in the Gulf is coastal development, particularly for the most extreme and costly events: the more people and property exposed to coastal hazards, the greater the flooding risk. Climate change, however, will result in more frequent losses. Events causing $100 billion in damages may become approximately three times more frequent in the future, the study found.
April 2, 2018- Coastal Flooding on the East Coast is Worsening, Causing Roadways to Suffer, Report Says, Boston Globe
This month's string of nor'easters pounded the coast and flooded roads, particularly when high tides coincided with seas whipped up by the storms. But increasingly, researchers say, it will only take a high tide to clog traffic.
Tidal flooding jeopardizes more than 7,500 miles of roads along the East Coast, including more than 400 miles of interstate highway, and already causes more than 100 million hours of vehicle delays every year, according to a University of New Hampshire
published March 13 in the journal Transportation Research Record.
By 2060, the vehicle delays could total an astonishing 1.2 billion hours per year, the study warned.
"We looked at which roads are most vulnerable, and talked about potentially raising those roads or protecting those roads," said Jennifer Jacobs, a UNH professor of civil and environmental engineering and lead author of the study. "But raising roads is not an easy solution because they're connected to people's driveways and to existing bridges, so there's a systematic impact."
The flooding-induced traffic congestion varies widely from state to state, the study said.
North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida account for more than 60 percent of the flood-prone roadways. New Jersey would also be hard hit, the study said.
Researchers concluded that the roads in New England coastal states would be generally less affected, although they'll still see some effects. Of the five coastal New England states - Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts - Connecticut has the most at-risk roads, the study said.
"Mean sea level is projected to rise locally in the Northeast anywhere between 1 and 1.5 feet by 2050, which will cause all types of coastal flooding to get worse," said William Sweet, a NOAA oceanographer and another author of the study, in an e-mail.
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).