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L.A.'s Green New Deal

April 2019

In April 2019, Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti, unveiled the L. A. Green New Deal, a vision for building a sustainable future through protecting the environment, improving community resilience, expanding access to healthy food and open space, and promoting justice. The Green New Deal is the first four-year update to the “2015 pLAn” and evokes ambitious goals for combating climate change and purveying environmental equity. The report is structured around 13 chapters, which contain coordinating visions for L.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Yankeetown, Florida Natural Resource Adaptation Action Area

The Town of Yankeetown, Florida is utilizing a state authorized land-use planning tool  called Adaptation Action Areas  to mitigate the impacts of sea-level rise on local ecosystems. Specifically, Yankeetown is experiencing coastal inundation due to sea-level rise that is causing large swaths of coastal forests to rapidly decline and salt marshes to migrate inland, creating a phenomenon known as “ghost forests.” Yankeetown has taken a unique approach to planning for coastal change by utilizing Adaptation Action Areas. Adaptation Action Areas are overlay districts local governments can utilize to increase management attention and oversight over defined areas within their municipality with the goal of increasing resilience to sea-level rise impacts. Yankeetown amended its local comprehensive plan to create a “Natural Resource Adaptation Action Area,” which is the first instance of a locality in Florida using this tool for the purpose of natural resource management rather than solely infrastructure protection. The tool is helping Yankeetown shape future growth and development to conserve and protect its natural resources in the face of rising seas. Local governments could consider adopting overlay districts like Adaptation Action Areas or other zoning, land-use, or planning tools to reduce or limit development in wetland and forest migration pathways as a part of comprehensive retreat strategies. 

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Broward County Florida Resiliency Standards for Flood Protection: Broward County Code of Ordinances Article XXV, Chapter 39.

February 13, 2020

Adopted by the Broward County Board of Commissioners in early 2020, Broward County’s new flood protection standards establish, and account for sea-level rise in, baseline elevation and maintenance standards for coastal and shoreline flood mitigation infrastructure for tidally-affected communities in the County. Broward County adopted a new policy (2. 21. 7) in the County Land Use Plan requiring tidally-influenced municipalities to adopt a local ordinance consistent with the regional standards, which were incorporated into county code as a model ordinance.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Annexing Higher Ground and Preparing Receiving Areas in Hamilton, Washington

June 2021

In 2019, after decades of repetitive flooding, the town of Hamilton in Skagit County, Washington partnered with Forterra, a local land conservancy nonprofit, to annex a 48-acre parcel of land located outside of the town’s 100-year floodplain. Annexing this land will provide Hamilton with a higher, drier ground area where town residents could voluntarily relocate to new homes. Forterra is developing plans for the annexed parcel to build affordable, environmentally conscious homes for Hamilton residents. Hamilton provides an example for other municipalities and local governments either in a pre- or post-disaster context for revitalizing a community challenged by frequent flooding through adaptation actions. As done in Hamilton, local governments may consider possibilities for providing relocation options to residents within a floodplain, including by annexing new land, particularly where sufficient higher ground land within existing municipal boundaries is not available. Annexation can allow local governments to maintain local communities, tax bases, and economies.

 

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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ICF International

A global consulting firm, ICF International helps public- and private-sector clients worldwide develop climate change policy, interpret and comply with regulations, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, evaluate risks, and identify opportunities. Climate specialists assist federal, regional, and international agencies with the development of climate change policy.