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Building Community Resilience with Nature-Based Solutions: A Guide for Local Communities

August 2020

In 2020, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) published this guide to help communities identify the multiple benefits of nature-based solutions (NBS) and incorporate NBS into their efforts to build resilience to increasing climate change hazards. The guide includes a range of information about different types of NBS, determining their value, and implementing NBS to aid communities at different phases of the hazard mitigation process. Communities looking to build community and political support for NBS, to fund NBS, and to incorporate NBS into new and existing local plans and policies can all benefit from this guide.

Related Organizations: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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FEMA Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Grant Program

August 2020

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) grant program is designed to support state, territorial, and local governments and federally recognized tribes in their efforts to undertake hazard mitigation projects to reduce risks stemming from natural hazards and disasters. BRIC funding is available on an annual basis in states that have received a presidential disaster declaration in the past seven years from the date when FEMA issues a Notice of Funding Opportunity. The purpose of the BRIC grant program is to provide a consistent, sustainable source of federal pre-disaster funding to shift the focus away from post-disaster recovery spending by building community resilience before future hazards and disasters occur. The BRIC program replaced FEMA’s Pre-Disaster Mitigation grant program that served a similar purpose, but was administered differently and was not prescribed by Congress to be available on an annual basis. 

 

Related Organizations: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Montana Climate Solutions Plan

August 2020

In August 2020, the Montana Climate Solutions Council released the state’s first adaptation plan as one part of Montana's overall climate change strategy, the Montana Climate Solutions Plan (“Plan”). Montana has been affected by climate change-related flooding events, drought, and wildfires. The state developed this climate strategy to mitigate and adapt to those effects in response to Executive Order 8-2019. The larger Plan also addresses reducing greenhouse gas emissions, advancing the research necessary to meet the state's climate goals, and meeting the economic and occupational needs of workers in industries transitioning away from the use of fossil fuels. 

 

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Oakland 2030 Equitable Climate Action Plan - Oakland, California

July 2020

In July 2020, the City of Oakland’s Department of Public Works released Oakland 2030: Equitable Climate Action Plan (ECAP). ECAP is a cross-sectional, citywide plan that establishes 40 specific actions that City agencies and its partners must take by 2050 to reduce Oakland’s climate emissions and improve resiliency in an equitable manner. With a strong focus on equity throughout, the ECAP authors have broken down its recommendations and policy actions into seven distinct sectors: transportation and land use, buildings, material consumption and waste, adaptation, carbon removal, City leadership, and the Port of Oakland.

Related Organizations: City of Oakland, California

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Communities of Oakland Respond to Emergencies - Oakland, California

July 29, 2020

Oakland, California’s Communities of Oakland Respond to Emergencies (CORE) program is a free educational and training program offered by the Oakland Fire Department that promotes the creation of emergency preparedness in the face of a disaster event. Offered mainly to individuals, neighborhood groups, and community-based organizations, CORE training focuses on teaching its students how to become more self-sufficient during emergency events for a period of up to 10 days following a disaster. Outreach to attract participants has focused on reaching lower-income communities, multilingual individuals, disabled residents, and other groups or people with access and functional needs. The overall purpose of the CORE program is to not only improve access to disaster response training, materials, and services, but also to reduce risks associated with current and future climate events. Since its founding, CORE has reached over 20,000 people throughout the Oakland community.

Related Organizations: Oakland, California Fire Department

Resource Category: Education and Outreach

 

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Tehama, California Elevating Homes

The City of Tehama, California is working to protect vulnerable residents from flooding through elevation of their homes. Tehama is adjacent to the Sacramento River in the northern Central Valley and has endured several floods over the years. As climate change is anticipated to increase the potential for flooding in this area, residents are at a greater risk of losing their homes to flooding. Many of the residents are unable to pay for the cost of elevating their homes, prompting the city to patch together non-municipal funding sources to substantially reduce residents’ costs. The majority of the cost was covered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) through Section 205 of the Flood Control Act of 1948, and the Central Valley Flood Protection Board. The remaining 10% of the cost could be covered by funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CBDG) program for low income residents. 

Related Organizations: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), City of Tehama, California

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Seattle Public Utilities - Utility Discount Program

2020

In recent years, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), which is the city’s water utility and provides drinking water and wastewater treatment, has strongly emphasized community engagement and equity issues through the creation of a variety of organizations and programs. One organization, Connect Capital, which is comprised of SPU staff and members of a community foundation and a community organization, advises SPU on how to ensure that the benefits of future  investments are equitable and address climate threats to those at risk of displacement. One result of Connect Capital’s encouragement is SPU’s investment in infrastructure in frontline communities, such as the South Park Neighborhood. Another equitable initiative under SPU is the Utility Discount Program, under which seniors, persons with disabilities, and low-income customers receive a reduction in their water and electricity bills. Households with incomes at or below 70% of state median income pay only 50% of their SPU bill. Further still, SPU’s Environmental Justice and Service Equity Division aims to promote inclusive community engagement and collaboration.

Related Organizations: Seattle Public Utilities

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Equitable Adaptation Legal and Policy Toolkit - Georgetown Climate Center

July 29, 2020

The impacts of climate change disproportionately affect overburdened and low-income individuals and communities of color that already face significant economic and social challenges. The cumulative impacts of pollution, racism, and political and economic disenfranchisement make it difficult for these communities to withstand and recover from extreme heat, flooding, and other climate impacts. To help communities address the challenges of climate resilience and social inequality, the Georgetown Climate Center (GCC) partnered with leading experts and practitioners to develop the Equitable Adaptation Legal & Policy Toolkit, a comprehensive online resource to help state and local governments work with communities on climate adaptation solutions that put frontline communities first.

Related Organizations: Georgetown Climate Center

Authors or Affiliated Users: Georgetown Climate Center, Tiffany Ganthier, Lisa Hamilton, Annie Bennett, Katherine McCormick, Anne Perrault, Sara Hoverter, Sara Hoverter, Jennifer Li, Joel B. Smith, Joel B. Smith

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Case Study: Homestead Community Land Trust - King County, Washington

July 26, 2020

In Seattle and King County, Washington, the Homestead Community Land Trust (Homestead CLT) is helping to preserve existing and build new affordable housing that incorporates green design features. The CLT currently stewards 13 acres of land with more than 200 homes for low- and middle-income homeowners earning 80 percent or less of area median income (AMI). Recent projects have incorporated green design features to increase the sustainability of land trust homes. The CLT is currently building twelve “net-zero” energy townhomes in area Renton, WA near transit, which will reduce both energy and transit costs for homeowners and help the region meet greenhouse gas reduction goals.

Related Organizations: Homestead Community Land Trust

Author or Affiliated User: Jessica Grannis

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Case Study: Irvine Community Land Trust - Irvine, California

July 26, 2020

The Irvine Community Land Trust (Irvine CLT) presents an example of a city-established CLT designed to support infill development of sustainable, permanently affordable housing. The CLT’s developments meet the City’s green housing standards by incorporating green design features (like energy and water saving utilities, low-energy lighting, renewable energy power). Housing developments also incorporate other community amenities like parks, community space, and community gardens. Additionally, Irvine CLT is building housing to provide services to residents with special needs; for example, its Doria housing project reserved 10 percent of homes for people with a history of homelessness, including veterans and people with mental illnesses.

Related Organizations: Irvine Community Land Trust

Author or Affiliated User: Jessica Grannis

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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