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Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project

The Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project (SERCAP) was established through funding from the U.S. Government’s Office of Economic Opportunity in the 1960s. The Project helps low-income rural communities in the mid-Atlantic and the Southeastern U.S. obtain water and wastewater infrastructure for running water, indoor plumbing, and wastewater treatment. Water utilities in these rural areas often lack funding to provide such infrastructure. Households that are not supplied with drinking water tend to rely on wells and septic tanks, which can get contaminated by pollution from agricultural activity and the lack of suitable wastewater treatment. SERCAP assists both individuals and municipalities, and its services include installing infrastructure, providing financing and loans, and offering technical support. In addition to providing services related to water, SERCAP also provides support on housing issues.

Resource Category: Organizations

 

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The Energy Democracy Scorecard and Flipbook

January 2020

According to the Energy Democracy Scorecard and Flipbook from the Emerald Cities Collaborative, “Energy Democracy” is defined as an ideal scenario where a frontline community “shifts completely away from an extractive economy, energy, and governance system to one that is regenerative, provides reparations, transforms the power structures, and creates new governance and ownership practices. ” The Energy Democracy Flipbook is designed to help frontline communities, such as low-income people of color, who are vulnerable to climate change to self-evaluate their communities’ energy economy condition.

Related Organizations: Emerald Cities Collaborative

Authors or Affiliated Users: Anthony Giancatarino, Donna House

Resource Category: Education and Outreach

 

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Baltimore Shines - Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore Shines is a Baltimore City initiative that helps low-income residents access solar energy through either rooftop installations or community solar projects in Baltimore, Maryland. The program also expands workforce development opportunities in the solar installation industry. Baltimore Shines pilot projects were used to learn about barriers preventing solar installation in low-income communities and to inform the development of a sustainable financing model to increase access to solar energy. As the initial step to teaching energy affordability awareness, Baltimore Shines had community residents’ homes retrofitted by its close affiliate, Civic Works, which installed energy and water conservation equipment in homes. This program was not income restricted and is open to any Baltimore City homeowner or tenant residing in a house or apartment. Baltimore Shines also incorporated the development of workforce opportunities for underemployed and unemployed Baltimore residents through job-training and job placement. Additionally, Baltimore Shines leveraged a state funding program - the Maryland Community Solar Pilot program - that supported investments in renewable energy projects benefiting low- and moderate- income customers and encouraged private investment in the state’s solar industry with incentives for the investors. The program ultimately lowered bills, increased wages for some of the City’s low-income, under-employed or unemployed residents, and enhanced access to solar for many throughout the city. 

Related Organizations: City of Baltimore, Maryland

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Buffalo, New York Medical Microgrid - NY Prize

Microgrid projects selected for funding through the NYSERDA NY Prize competition, including a project serving the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, demonstrate how states can fund microgrid pilot projects and evaluate the resilience benefits delivered by these types of projects. The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) secured $1 million in funding from the New York Energy and Research Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) NY Prize to deploy a microgrid project to serve vital medical facilities in Buffalo, New York. The project covers nine health care, life science research, and education facilities including New York’s only freestanding pediatric health facility. The project also serves portions of the adjacent Fruit Belt low income residential neighborhood, which shares common electric infrastructure with the medical campus. BNMC’s proposal emphasized the importance of enabling the health and cancer research facilities to maintain 100 percent service quality during extended power interruptions. The proposal also stressed engaging with surrounding communities to identify priority investment areas, building on existing neighborhood assets by planning a multipurpose community center, advancing a collaborative workforce development strategy, and establishing a land bank program for example. The proposal used the Industrial Economics, Inc. (IEc) model to evaluate the costs and benefits of the microgrid project for critical services. The state of New York created the competition  to spur microgrid development in light of climate change impacts, and called for a variety for microgrid designs involving Combined Heat and Power (CHP), renewables, energy storage, alternative fuel/generation, and controllable loads. The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus microgrid project was selected for funding as part of an initiative to upgrade and redevelop the campus and its surrounding neighborhoods. 

Related Organizations: New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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FDOT Resilience Quick Guide: Incorporating Resilience in the MPO Long Range Transportation Plan

January 2020

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) produced this Resilience Quick Guide (guide) in January 2020 to provide concise guidance to metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) on best practices for integrating resilience into long-range transportation plans. The guide notes that Florida's regions are challenged by extreme events and changing conditions including inland flooding, sea-level rise, more frequent and severe storm events, worsening drought, fires, and more - all of which can affect transportation facilities and systems and result in other social and economic impacts.

Related Organizations: Florida Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Maryland Plan to Adapt to Saltwater Intrusion and Salinization

December 2019

The Maryland Department of Planning developed the first state-level plan to address saltwater intrusion and salinization of freshwater resources in Maryland’s coastal areas. Saltwater intrusion in the region is expected to worsen over time due to climate change, and the report describes which of the state’s resources are at greatest risk, adaptation measures that are currently in use and recommended, and what additional research is needed for adequate adaptation and resilience. The plan offers adaptation strategies specifically for Aquifers, Surface Water, Agriculture, Coastal Wetlands, Coastal Forests, and Infrastructure.

Related Organizations: Maryland Department of Planning

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Resilient Infrastructure for New York State

December 19, 2019

This report from Rebuild By Design describes a proposal to create a Resilient Infrastructure Fund to support green and grey infrastructure projects that reduce flooding, coupled with a buy-out program, to improve the physical, social, and ecological resilience of New York State. It proposes a transparent, inclusive, and equitable approach to finance climate adaptation planning and implementation throughout the state. Though designed for New York, the recommendations are applicable to and can serve as a model for other states.

Related Organizations: Rebuild by Design

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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The Kresge Foundation Climate Resilience and Urban Opportunity Initiative: Evaluation Report

December 10, 2019

The Kresge Foundation established the Climate Resilience and Urban Opportunity (CRUO) initiative in 2014 to advance climate resilience by building capacity within low-income urban communities. Kresge believes that climate resilience requires a comprehensive approach which incorporates climate change mitigation, adaptation, and social cohesion. CROU offered $29 million over 5 years to 15 community-based nonprofit organizations (CBOs) across the U. S. to advance equitable climate resilience. This report reviews the impact of the initiative, outcomes and lessons learned from across the funded projects.

Related Organizations: The Kresge Foundation

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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MN EO 19-37: Establishing the Climate Change Subcabinet and the Governor's Advisory Council on Climate Change to Promote Coordinated Climate Change Mitigation and Resilience Strategies in the State of Minnesota

December 2, 2019

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s Executive Order 19-37 establishes a Climate Change Subcabinet to be comprised of leaders from across 15 state departments and agencies. The Subcabinet will identify state policies and strategies to build climate resilience, and to significantly mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. The order acknowledges the disparities facing vulnerable populations, and commits Minnesota to develop climate adaptation strategies with and for frontline communities. 

Related Organizations: State of Minnesota

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Virginia Beach Sea Level Rise Policy Response Report

December 2019

In 2019, the City of Virginia Beach, Virginia released its Sea Level Rise Policy Response Report which identifies climate adaptation strategies, objectives, and potential legal and policy actions it could adopt to reduce Virginia Beach’s short- and long-term flood risk. The flood issues in Virginia Beach are multifaceted and the City is considering a range of adaptation responses - from engineering and planning to regulations and market-based tools - with the aim of pursuing a long-term, comprehensive approach.

Related Organizations: City of Virginia Beach, Virginia, Georgetown Climate Center

Resource Category: Planning

 

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