The Resilience Roundup highlightsCIRCA's presence in the news; provides links to recent local, state, and national news articles related to resilience and adaptation; and announces resources, events, and funding opportunities. Learn more about CIRCA at circa.uconn.edu.
Environmental Protection Agency - Green Infrastructure and Climate Change: Collaborating to Improve Community Resiliency
As different parts of the country become drier, wetter or hotter, community leaders and citizens are looking to green infrastructure to improve their community's resiliency to the effects of climate change. In 2015, EPA convened charrettes, or intensive planning sessions, in four cities to demonstrate how this type of planning could be applied to communities dealing with a range of challenges. Each city's charrette focused on different issues based on the most pressing climate change impacts they were facing and their current level of green infrastructure implementation.
In each city, participants were selected from a variety of disciplines, including city decision makers, climate scientists, water resource specialists, city planners, and neighborhood and environmental groups, among others.
A talk by Thomas Worthley, Forestry Stewardship Educator, UConn Extension
Thursday September 29, 2016
11:00 am - 12:00 pm, Advanced Technology Laboratory building (UConn), room 106
Each year severe weather results in extended power outages and billions of dollars in property, infrastructure, and interior forest damage. Developing healthy, storm resistant forests requires adaptive management integration silvicultural and arboricultural practices across a continuum from the forest edge to the interior and from urban to rural locations that preserves aesthetic appeal, ecological function (services) and biodiversity.
The "Stormwise" initiative at UConn combines cutting edge research in tree biomechanics, remote sensing and social science, demonstrating of management techniques, and Extension outreach to diverse communities and stakeholders. Other CAHNR personnel involved include John Volin, Anita Morzillo, Robert Fahey, Jason Parent, and several graduate students. Dr. Jeffrey Ward from Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station is also a partner of Stormwise.
Stormwise promotes the positive potential of proactive forest management to create an age and species-diverse roadside forest of stout, wind-firm trees that is less susceptible to branch breakage and uprooting during severe weather, two of the principal causes of utility line damage, and transportation interruption.
Live stream is available. Contact Marilyn at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-486-3581 with questions.
Thursday September 29, 2016 4:30 pm, Old Lyme Town Hall
The Connecticut Audubon Society and its Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center are pleased to join forces with the Lower Connecticut River Council of Governments in bringing this lecture.
Sea-level rise poses a range of threats to natural and built environments: eroded coastlines, flooded infrastructure, inundated real estate, destroyed or damaged habitat for threatened and endangered species.
Impacts are expected to be widespread, including in New London and Middlesex Counties. But individual coastal areas will respond differently according to their physical features, geologic setting, ecology, and level of development.
Robert Thieler will discuss which coastal habitats are likely to be resilient, which are likely to be transformed, and which are likely to migrate inland. These key features are essential for preserving the coastal area's intrinsic values. He will also discuss practical actions we can take today to improve sustainability.
Dr. Thieler is a principal investigator for the USGS, Coastal and Marine Geology Program, Woods Hole, Massachusetts. The USGS team has demonstrated that nearly 70 percent of the U.S. Northeast coastal landscape has some capacity to respond dynamically to sea level rise. We are grateful to Dr. Thieler for enthusiastically agreeing to meet with area students as part of our Meet the Scientist program.
The question is not if the next big storm is coming. It's when. The Connecticut Association of Flood Managers (CAFM) has held two annual conferences, drawing professionals together to share their flood management experience and promote flood resiliency in Connecticut. This year, CAFM is planning an engaging program that will appeal to professionals working in coastal and riverine communities in various roles, whether they are planners, engineers, surveyors, or insurers.
The Connecticut Association of Flood Managers (CAFM) will convene its third Annual Conference and Meeting in West Haven, Connecticut on October 25, 2016. We invite you to share your experiences as municipal and state officials, industry leaders, consultants, and other interested parties to promote a more resilient Connecticut.
CAFM seeks a broad range of professionals to address the many issues and problems associated with managing flood risk, making communities more sustainable, and protecting floodplain and fragile natural resources. This conference will examine the challenges facing Connecticut, and share experiences and lessons learned as flood managers and municipal officials.
Last year, presenters covered a broad range of riverine and coastal topics, including dam operation, insurance requirements and changes, hazard and mitigation planning, and FEMA administrative processes for changing flood boundaries. We will be presenting a similar program with coastal and riverine topics this year, and will also host a workshop with FEMA on their new elevation certificate.
Webinar given by Nick Nigro, founder of
Atlas Public Policy. Nick is a nationally-known expert on alternative fuel vehicle financing, policy and technology, and will present the details of a report for the Connecticut Green Bank and DEEP assessing the market potential of various alternative transportation fuels. Nick has led the development of complex financial and policy analysis tools, managed a comprehensive analysis of greenhouse gas mitigation from U.S. transportation, and is a frequent public speaker on advanced vehicle technology and other transportation-related energy and environmental issues. Atlas Public Policy is a policy and technology firm that equips businesses and policymakers with data synthesis solutions for strategic, informed decisions.
EPA invites communities to apply for targeted technical assistance to help overcome barriers to implementing smart growth development approaches. Communities can choose from tools to help them make development more equitable, attract infill development, assess policies in small towns and rural areas, improve resilience to floods, or promote streets that are safe for all users and provide environmental benefits.
TheBuilding Blocks for Sustainable Communities Programprovides quick, targeted technical assistance to selected communities using a variety of tools that have demonstrated results and widespread application. EPA delivers the assistance using teams of experts who conduct one- to two-day workshops in the selected communities. After the workshop, the community gets a next-steps memo with specific actions it can take if it chooses to implement the ideas generated in the workshop.
Eligibility:The applicant can be a local, county, or tribal government, or a nonprofit organization that has the support of the local government on whose behalf they are applying.
Deadline: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on October 12, 2016.
How to apply:Submit a two-page letter of interest signed by a mayor, city manager, elected official, or other representative of the community (see theRequest for Letters of Interestfor details).
Tools offered: Tool 1: Creating Equitable Development. Tool 2: Planning for Infill Development. Tool 3: Sustainable Strategies for Small Cities and Rural Areas. Tool 4: Flood Resilience for Riverine and Coastal Communities. Tool 5: Green and Complete Streets.
Time frame: EPA expects to select 25 recipients by November 2016 and provide all technical assistance by July 2017.
CIRCA is excited to announce funding through its Municipal Resilience Grant Program! Up to $200,000 will be made available for projects that advance resilience and that emphasize implementation (including the creation of conceptual design, construction, or the design of resilience enhancing practices and policies). Municipal governments and councils of governments are eligible to apply. Proposals must review and consider integration of CIRCA's research products in the application. Information on CIRCA's research products will be made available on the grant program webpage. The minimum award will be $20,000; applicants are allowed to apply for the full $200,000. Project proposals should develop knowledge or experience that is transferable to multiple locations in Connecticut and have well-defined and measurable goals. Applications are due November 1, 2016.
Applicants are required to review a recording of the informational webinar, which was hosted on September 19, 2016.
September 25, 2016- Aquarium Receives Largest-Ever Federal Grant, CT Post
NORWALK - As climate change continues to shape Long Island Sound and the coastal communities of Connecticut, the Maritime Aquarium will help area residents better understand the evolving shoreline thanks to new federal funding from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.
The three-year, $485,000 grant is the largest federal award the aquarium has ever received, and will fund an initiative called "Sound Resilience - Get On Board!"
In the next three years, the aquarium will use the grant to involve nearly 2,000 middle- and high-school students in Greenwich, Stamford, New Canaan, Darien, Norwalk, Westport, Wilton, Weston, Fairfield and Bridgeport. The students will learn how severe storms, erosion and other environmental hazards threaten their communities, and how they can contribute to lessening the effects. The grant will also fund professional-development workshops for more than 150 teachers.
September 26, 2016- Exhibit on Coastline, Climate Change to Open
FAIRFIELD- A look at the history of the town's coastline as well as questions climate change poses for its future will be on view during the Fairfield Museum and History Center's new exhibition.
"Rising Tides," opening Sept. 29, will split focus between photographs and artifacts examining the past and present of Fairfield's shores with what the town may be faced with in the years to come, including sea level rise and weather pattern changes.
"We see the exhibit as a way to look at the past of Fairfield's relationship with the coastline as a jumping off point for talking about the future," Library Director Elizabeth Rose said. "Understanding that with climate change, there's already changes underway that people need to be aware of, how their communities are preparing to respond and adapt."
September 23, 2016- NWS 3-Month Outlook: Warmer Temps, Little Rain
Yes, we are going to get some chilly evening temperatures this weekend, but don't get used to it.
The National Weather Services says despite the brief cool down this weekend into early next week, the overall theme of above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation is expected to continue through early October.
It also says there is no relief from the drought in sight.
Looking farther down the road, it's three-month outlook - from October to December - calls for more of the same.
In its Sept. 30-Oct. 6 outlook, the National Oceanic and Atmopsheric Association puts Connecticut where there is a 70 percent chance that are temperatures will be above normal. Not a surprise because that's the way it has been all year.
NOAA also says most of the Northeast will likely have below normal rainfall.
September 17, 2016- As Connecticut's Drought Worsens, Officials Again Urge Water Conservation
NEW HAVEN >> Connecticut officials are again imploring residents to cut back their water usage as the state's drought situation took a turn for the worse.
The U.S. Drought Monitor said this week that all of Greater New Haven is in a "severe drought," a significant step up from the moderate drought the state had been mired in for several months.
October is typically one of the state's sunnier months, according to WTNH News 8 Chief Meteorologist Gil Simmons, which means the region likely won't get the rain it needs to start closing its worrying deficits.
"We're going into a dry time of year," Simmons said in an interview this week. "I can't see it getting a lot better in a hurry."
Some water providers, such as the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority, say their reservoir levels remain above drought levels in spite of the dry conditions.
But Simmons said the worsening drought could be problematic for people who depend on groundwater.
September 14, 2016- Warming Helping to Spread West Nile Virus
Regarding the first reported human case of West Nile virus this year in Connecticut [Aug. 31, Connecticut, "DPH Confirms First Human Case Of West Nile In 2016"]: As environmental conditions become more suitable for this virus to thrive, its transmission becomes more common. Global warming is the main culprit. We can prevent the worst impacts of global warming if we accelerate our shift to clean, renewable energy and stop polluting our environment.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy should strengthen the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to accelerate our progress in cleaning up carbon pollution from power plants, while increasing the amount of power we get from clean, renewable energy sources. We should build a zero-emission electricity system that does not put our climate or our communities at risk.
A new website powered by the White House and partners including Google
(MSFT-0.88%), aims to pull real-time climate data from NASA satellites and other sources for planners preparing for the effects of climate change, its founders said on Thursday.
It is the first partnership of its kind to gather in a single place climate projections and figures for decision-makers previously faced with a dearth of information, according to the World Resources Institute (WRI), one of the partners.
The website, PrepData, will process data from NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Department of Interior, among other sources.
Southern California was ready to burn. El Niño rains that topped off reservoirs in the north of the state barely drizzled down south, leaving the region in a worst-in-centuries drought. By June, tree die-off in state forests, accelerated by bark beetles feasting on dry pines, had more than doubled from 2015, topping 66 million. Record heat - 122 degrees in Palm Springs - pushed the extreme fire conditions typical of September and October into midsummer. So when sparks hit the ground in August, fires across the state literally exploded. "It's almost like the mountains are just doused in gasoline," said one fire captain.
In the mountains above San Bernardino, the Blue Cut Fire consumed 30,000 acres in a single day, jumping an eight-lane interstate, spawning fire tornadoes and erecting a wall of flame nearly 90 feet tall. "It moved with an intensity and a ferocity that veteran firefighters haven't seen before," said San Bernardino County fire chief Mark Hartwig. The inferno forced the evacuation of 82,000 residents in less than 12 hours, many riding out on fire engines. Before a merciful break in the winds allowed firefighters to gain the upper hand, the Blue Cut destroyed more than 300 homes and buildings. Up the coast, firefighters battled the 46,000-acre Chimney Fire, narrowly saving the Hearst Castle - the extravagant mansion that inspired Xanadu in Citizen Kane.
President Obama signed a presidential memorandum Wednesday establishing that climate-change impacts must be factored into the development of all national security-related doctrine, policies and plans. The move signals Obama's determination to exercise his executive authority during his final months in office to elevate the issue of climate in federal decision-making, even though it remains unclear whether his successor will embrace this approach.
Under the directive, 20 federal agencies and offices that work on climate science, intelligence and national security must "collaborate to ensure the best information on climate impacts is available to strengthen our national security" through the new Federal Climate and National Security Working Group. That group must release a climate change and national security action plan in 90 days. All the relevant agencies must then identify steps to implement it.
Speaking to reporters on a conference call, White House officials said this would spur a more specific and focused strategy when it comes to both identifying how different regions of the world would be affected by climate change and how to respond.
"Simply put, our agencies want to protect our nation against this threat," said Alice Hill, special assistant to the president and senior director for resilience policy at the National Security Council. She added that the memorandum establishes "a unified approach to identify the priorities for the federal government."
September 18, 2016- As Our Cities Grow Hotter, How Will We Adapt?
Katy Schneider, the former deputy mayor of Louisville, Kentucky, lives near Eastern Parkway, which forms one strand of her city's necklace of green. Spending time on the leafy boulevard can make Louisville seem deceptively lush and shady, even when midsummer heat bakes the downtown. But about five years ago, Schneider was surprised to learn that the city had a shortage of trees. In the spring of 2011, students at the University of Louisville surveyed the local canopy and found that it had about thirteen per cent fewer trees than the average for metropolitan areas in the region. Although Schneider was "not the original tree hugger," she told me, she was concerned enough to help persuade the mayor to form a tree commission, which she co-chaired. In early 2012, she met Brian Stone, a professor of city and regional planning at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and discovered an even more troubling fact. Stone had analyzed five decades of temperature data from fifty cities around the United States. He found that the majority were getting hotter than the rural areas around them, and the change was most profound in Louisville-an increase of about 1.7 degrees every decade since 1960. The city had quietly become the country's worst example of what meteorologists call the urban heat-island effect, in which dark, paved surfaces absorb solar radiation, raising the temperature of the air around them. As Louisville's trees died from age, neglect, drought, and a pest called the emerald ash borer-and more bare, black asphalt and concrete lay exposed to the sun-the crisis was getting worse.
September 17, 2016- Baker Orders New Rules to Reduce Greenhouse Emissions
Governor Charlie Baker signed an executive order Friday directing state officials to develop regulations for specific, annual reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by next summer.
The order comes on the heels of a court ruling that the state has not done enough to meet its obligations under the state's 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act, which requires Massachusetts to cut its greenhouse gases 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.
Baker also directed officials, in the order, to develop a statewide plan for "adaptation and resiliency" in the face of expected sea level rise and anticipated growth in wildfires and extreme weather events.
"From historic droughts . . . to the winter of 2015 . . . and coastal and inland flooding, climate change threatens our environment, our residents, our communities, and our economy," said Baker, a Republican, at a State House signing ceremony.
September 14, 2016- Climate Change 'significant and direct' Threat to U.S. Military- reports
WASHINGTON, Sept 14 (Reuters) - The effects of climate change endanger U.S. military operations and could increase the danger of international conflict, according to three new documents endorsed by retired top U.S. military officers and former national security officials.
"There are few easy answers, but one thing is clear: the current trajectory of climatic change presents a strategically-significant risk to U.S. national security, and inaction is not a viable option," said a statement published on Wednesday by the Center for Climate and Security, a Washington-based think tank.
It was signed by more than a dozen former senior military and national security officials, including retired General Anthony Zinni, former commander of the U.S. Central Command, and retired Admiral Samuel Locklear, head of the Pacific Command until last year.
They called on the next U.S. president to create a cabinet level position to deal with climate change and its impact on national security.
A separate report by a panel of retired military officials, also published on Wednesday by the Center for Climate and Security, said more frequent extreme weather is a threat to U.S. coastal military installations.
"The complex relationship between sea level rise, storm surge and global readiness and responsiveness must be explored down to the operational level, across the Services and Joint forces, and up to a strategic level as well," the report said.
Earlier this year, another report said faster sea level rises in the second half of this century could make tidal flooding a daily occurrence for some installations.
The Resilience Roundup highlightsCIRCA'spresence 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).