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Killer Heat in the United States

July 2019

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has evaluated how climate change will contribute to increasing incidence of dangerous high heat days across the U. S. This includes an analysis of the growing number of high heat days across various regions of the country, described under three climate change scenarios. The report also details the public health consequences of extreme heat and the populations that are particularly vulnerable to these threats. Policy recommendations are offered with adaptation measures that can be implemented at all levels of government to address rising temperatures.

Related Organizations: Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS)

Authors or Affiliated Users: Kristina Dahl, Erika Spanger-Siegfried, Rachel Licker, Astrid Caldas, John Abatzoglou, Nicholas Mailloux, Rachel Cleetus, Shana Udvardy, Juan Declet-Barreto, Pamela Worth

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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State of Montana Executive Order 8-2019: Creating the Montana Climate Solutions Council and Joining the State of Montana to the U.S. Climate Alliance

July 1, 2019

On July 1, 2019, Montana Governor Steve Bullock signed Executive Order 8-2019, establishing the Montana Climate Solutions Council and committing the state to the U. S. Climate Alliance. The Executive Order directs the Council to work with state agencies to incorporate climate adaptation and resilience strategies into state plans and operations, and to put forth recommendations for reducing the Montana’s contributions to greenhouse gas emissions. Notably, the EO requires that future state planning efforts include adaptation strategies and considerations for better preparing the state for climate-related risks and disasters, and that, where necessary, agencies prepare a Supplemental Climate Plan on adaptation and resilience for current and future state plans.

Related Organizations: State of Montana

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Miami, Florida Resilient 305 Strategy

July 2019

This climate resilience plan was created collaboratively by Greater Miami and the Beaches (GM&B) - a unique partnership between Miami-Dade County, the City of Miami, and the City of Miami Beach. The unified adaptation strategy integrates climate change planning and preparedness for the low-lying coastal communities in southeast Florida (which share area code 305). The Resilient305 Strategy offers 59 action items that will help municipalities to better prepare for and respond to increasing occurrences of hurricanes, sunny day flooding, and sea level rise, as well as social and economic inequities.

Related Organizations: City of Miami Beach, Florida, Miami-Dade County, Florida

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Playbook 1.0: How Cities Are Paying for Climate Resilience

July 2019

From the Innovation Network for Communities, this report discusses eight strategies city governments have used to finance climate resilience projects. These strategies were found common to eight different U.S. cities blazing the trail to fund large-scale climate resilience, especially addressing sea level rise and flooding. Other cities can use this information to adopt and build off of these strategies as they seek to fund their own adaptation projects.

Related Organizations: Innovation Network for Communities

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Hudson River Sustainable Shorelines Project

2019

The Hudson River Sustainable Shorelines Project developed science-based recommendations for shore zone management along the Hudson River in eastern New York. The Project and recommendations are focused on natural and nature-based shoreline protection against storm surge and sea level rise. Landowners, land managers, engineers, and other decision-makers can find guidance on permitting, natural shoreline engineering and design, and best management practices to meet adaptation needs (eg. flooding and erosion protection) while enhancing ecological functions of the Hudson’s shorelines.

Related Organizations: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Community Heat Relief Plan

July 2019

The City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania addresses extreme heat and social disparities in its Beat the Heat Hunting Park Community Heat Relief Plan. The plan provides a roadmap of how to conduct an inclusive climate planning process through a community-based approach to combat urban heat emergencies. Beat the Heat was released in July 2019 by Philadelphia’s Office of Sustainability (OOS), in response to increased heat being identified as one of the main climate change threats in the city. OOS found that communities, where low-income residents and residents of color reside, are also most vulnerable to the heat. To cope with the heat disparities, OOS initiated the Beat the Heat pilot project in Hunting Park, which was identified as the most heat vulnerable neighborhood. The purpose of the project is to learn the causes of heat disparities and utilize a community-driven decision-making process to generate possible solutions for staying cool in the future. The plan is a collaborative work effort of city agencies, Hunting park organizations, residents, and community groups. Through the community engagement process, three priority areas were identified: 1. Staying cool and safe at home, 2. Staying cool and safe in public spaces, and 3. Greening and tree planting. The plan also provides a step-by-step Beat the Heat Toolkit for other urban communities to reduce social inequities and build climate resiliency.   



Related Organizations: City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Resource Category: Planning

 

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An Equitable Water Future: Louisville, Kentucky

June 26, 2019

An Equitable Water Future: Louisville focuses on building equity in the infrastructure workforce, primarily the water sector, in Louisville, Kentucky.  Local factors that influence water equity are described, including concentrated vulnerable communities that are disproportionality experiencing aging infrastructure, flooding and climate impacts, and barriers to participating in the local infrastructure workforce. The report outlines recommendations to address these issues that Louisville and other municipalities can take to advance sustainable and equitable utility management.

Related Organizations: U.S. Water Alliance, City of Louisville, Kentucky, Louisville/Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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An Act to Promote Clean Energy Jobs and to Establish the Maine Climate Council

June 26, 2019

In June 2019, Maine Governor Janet Mills signed into law "An Act to Promote Clean Energy Jobs and to Establish the Maine Climate Council. " The act states that the impacts of climate change have created an "emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine" and find that the law is "immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety. " To address the state's climate emergency, the act includes multiple provisions related to climate adaptation and resilience.

Related Organizations: State of Maine

Author or Affiliated User: Nathan Robbins

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Norfolk Special Service District Policy for Flood Protection

June 11, 2019

In June 2019, the Norfolk City Council adopted a policy authorizing the creation of Special Service Districts (SSD) to support implementation of local flood risk reduction and water quality improvement projects in the City of Norfolk, Virginia. SSDs enable a group of residents to agree to pay a tax to finance additional services in a particular neighborhood. The Norfolk policy allows SSD funding to be used to pay for flood mitigation, dredging, water quality improvements, and coastal protection projects.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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2018 State of U.S. High Tide Flooding with a 2019 Outlook

June 2019

NOAA's fifth annual update of the State of Coastal High Tide Flooding (HTF) provides HTF projections to inform adaptation and decision-making for the following year, and over the longer term. High tide flooding (aka ‘sunny day’ or ‘nuisance’ flooding) occurs when water levels measured at NOAA tide gauges exceed heights based on the minor-flood thresholds set by NOAA’s National Weather Service. This report updates high tide flood frequencies during 2018 (based on the meteorological year: May 2018-April 2019) at 98 NOAA tide gauge locations, and provides a statistical outlook for 2019 (May 2019 - April 2020).

Related Organizations: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Authors or Affiliated Users: William Sweet, Greg Dusek, Doug Marcy, Greg Carbin, John Marra

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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