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Maine Prepares for Climate Change: 2019 Update

January 2019

The 2019 update report from the Maine Interagency Climate Adaptation Work Group (MICA), a collaboration of eight state agencies, provides an inventory and status update of climate adaptation and mitigation activities by the state and is the second update to the original 2014 Maine Prepares for Climate Change report. This report was developed for the leadership of the departments, agencies, and offices participating in MICA, aiming to increase awareness of adaptation actions taken by the state, improve communication between agencies, and provide recommendations on future work.

Author or Affiliated User: Nathan Robbins

Resource Category: Monitoring and Reporting

 

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Maryland Environmental Justice Screen Tool (MD EJSCREEN)

January 2019

The Maryland Environmental Justice Screen Tool (MD EJSCREEN) assesses environmental justice risks among census tracts in the state of Maryland. Developed by the Community Engagement, Environmental Justice, and Health Laboratory at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, this tool combines the average pollution burden of a community with the average population demographic characteristics to produce an Environmental Justice (EJ) score. Stakeholders advocacy resulted in the inclusion of six indicators of EJ risk specific to Maryland: asthma, emergency room discharges, percent non-White, proximity to treatment, storage and disposal facilities, myocardial infarction discharges, low birth weight infants, and particulate matter. Through this tool, Maryland residents can be better informed of disparities in EJ risk among different communities and their associated health impacts.

 

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Maryland Park Equity Mapper

2019

The Maryland Park Equity Mapper combines layers of demographic and environmental data in order to determine the park equity of different census tracts in Maryland, allowing users to visualize disparities in park access and quality across the state. The tool was developed by the Community Engagement, Environmental Justice, and Health (CEEJH) Laboratory at the University of Maryland School of Public Health in partnership with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR) and University of Maryland Center for Geospatial Information Science (CGIS). This tool can be used by residents and policymakers in order to identify underserved communities that are in need of new park infrastructure and green space.

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Munich RE NatCatSERVICE Tool

Munich RE’s NatCatSERVICE online tool provides interactive access to one of the world’s most comprehensive databases for analyzing natural catastrophe losses. This archive provides direct access to updated information on insured, economic, and human losses from over 40,000 natural disasters dating back to 1980. Information obtained from this tool can be used in risk assessments for financial and climate change planning and preparedness.

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Community Rating System (CRS) Green Guide for Community Resilience

This guide is an online resource highlighting 25 “green” activities or elements from FEMA’s 2017 Community Rating System (CRS) Coordinator’s Manual. FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)’s CRS is a voluntary insurance rating program that recognizes communities for implementing floodplain management practices that exceed the Federal minimum requirements of NFIP. In exchange for flood risk reduction practices, policyholders can receive reduced flood insurance premiums. The guide was designed to give local planners and floodplain managers information to support more participation in CRS and to increase flood resilience by protecting and strengthening natural ecosystems.

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Rigorously Valuing the Role of U.S. Coral Reefs in Coastal Hazard Risk Reduction

2019

This report issued by the U. S. Geological Survey and the U. S. Department of the Interior quantifies the value of U. S. coral reefs in protecting people and infrastructure from coastal hazards that will be exacerbated by climate change and sea-level rise including extreme weather events, flooding, and erosion. The report is intended to inform stakeholders and decision-makers of the value of coral reefs in reducing risk from coastal hazards, and to provide quantitative data that can be used to consider the role coral reefs should play in adaptation and risk mitigation planning.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Curt Storlazzi, Borja Reguero, Aaron Cole, Erik Lowe, James Shope, Ann Gibbs, Barry Nickel, Robert McCall, Ap R. van Dongeren, Michael Beck

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Chicago Participatory Budgeting Project and Rulebook

In 2009, the Chicago 49th Ward Alderman, Joe Moore launched the first participatory budgeting process in the United States in the City of Chicago, Illinois. When participatory budgeting was first introduced in the City, Alderman Moore used the process to engage with his constituents regarding how the community would spend its $1.3 million in discretionary capital funds. Since this initial introduction, the participatory budgeting process in Chicago has proved a rousing success. In 2012, the Great Cities Institute partnered with the Participatory Budgeting Project and community-leaders from the area to launch PB Chicago to spread the budgeting process throughout the city. PB Chicago has now engaged with over 13,000 residents in 12 different communities, allocating over $18 million in funding to community-chosen projects varying from tree planting to establishing bike lanes. By focusing a majority of their outreach on marginalized and underserved communities, PB Chicago ensures not only that policymakers and city officials hear these residents’ voices, but that these same voices have the opportunity to effectuate change within their own communities as well. 

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Resilient Affordable Housing Grant Program - Boston, Massachusetts

2019

Boston’s Resilient Affordable Housing Grant Program illustrates how cities can use Section 4 Capacity Building Program grants to fund resilience investments in affordable housing. Despite having one of the narrowest housing affordability gaps in the country, Boston nevertheless faces pressures from increasing population growth. Like many urban areas across the country, Boston also faces increased incidences of climate impacts like extreme heat, coastal and riverine flooding, and more frequent stormwater flooding. In 2019, the Boston chapter of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) issued an RFP for Section 4 funding (up to $9,000) to assist community development corporations (CDCs) and community housing development organizations (CDHOs) with preparing the city’s affordable housing stock for extreme weather, sea-level rise, and other impacts of climate change. Specifically, the Resilient Affordable Housing Grant program provided funding to conduct resiliency assessments for vulnerable properties (located in the floodplain or at-risk for extreme heat), as well as for creating emergency management and training plans.

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Union Square Neighborhood Council, Somerville, Massachusetts

2019

In 2019, the Union Square Neighborhood Council (USNC) negotiated and ratified a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with the developer Union Square Station Associates LLC (US2), following approximately a year of weekly meetings with the negotiating committee. The CBA set forth terms on a number of issues, including housing, workforce development, and environmental sustainability. Specifically, under the CBA, US2 committed to developing 90 permanently affordable units in the Union Square neighborhood (out of a total of 1,000 new affordable and market rate units).

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Wetlands Restoration for California Greenhouse Gas Reduction Grant Program

Administered by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, this grant program offers funds for wetland restoration or enhancement projects that result in a net reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Wetland restoration is both a climate change mitigation and adaptation strategy. Wetlands sequester carbon at high rates, while providing protection from flooding, sea level rise, coastal storm surge, and coastal erosion, as well as offer drought mitigation through groundwater recharge.

Resource Category: Funding

 

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