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Softening Our Shorelines: Policy and Practice for Living Shorelines Along the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts

March 2020

In collaboration with the Coastal States Organization, the National Wildlife Federation assessed living shorelines policies, permitting and projects of all 18 U. S. Atlantic and Gulf coastal states. The study and resulting policy recommendations promote the use of living shorelines to reduce coastal vulnerabilities and manage the intensifying coastal impacts of climate change - such as sea level rise, coastal storms, and erosion. The report offers best practices, state and federal policy recommendations to support living shorelines implementation, and detailed summaries of permitting processes by state.

Related Organizations: National Wildlife Federation, Coastal States Organization (CSO)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Florida Senate Bill 178: An Act Relating to Public Financing of Construction Projects

March 11, 2020 (effective July 1, 2021)

On March 11, 2020, the Florida Legislature passed Senate Bill 178 (Florida Statute § 161. 551) that establishes new rules and enforcement mechanisms for state-financed coastal construction projects. According to the law, “state-financed constructors” are public entities that manage or commission “a construction project using funds appropriated from the state. ” The purpose of the law is to ensure that (1) projects funded by public monies can better withstand coastal flooding and will not exacerbate flooding impacts on surrounding communities; and (2) project managers consider all design options and alternatives in the face of sea-level rise.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Chicago, Illinois Central Loop Tax Increment Financing

2020

Chicago, Illinois has established more than 120 Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts, and has leveraged its public investment to attract $6 billion in private capital investments in these districts. Revenue from Chicago’s Central Loop TIF has been used to fund the city’s Green Roof Improvement Fund, which incentivizes and provides partial reimbursement to commercial buildings that install green roofs to manage stormwater. Chicago’s TIFs currently fund a small array of adaptive and climate-related projects, such as green alleys and wastewater infrastructure, but all TIF-funded projects must meet sustainability standards. In February 2020, Chicago’s Mayor announced a series of reforms to promote transparency in the TIF system, including the creation of a supervisory TIF Investment Committee whose explicit goal is to center equity in its decision making.

Related Organizations: City of Chicago, Illinois

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Climate Ready Missoula: Building Resiliency in Missoula County

February 22, 2020

Climate Ready Missoula is an adaptation-focused plan that identifies the greatest climate risks that Missoula County, Montana faces and the potential steps the community can take to address these risks. Formed in collaboration with community organizations and individuals, the plan includes a discussion of climate change projections and scenarios, vulnerability assessments of Missoula County, climate adaptation goals and strategies, and next steps for implementation of the plan. The plan also outlines 12 guiding principles to help focus implementation efforts going forward; the principles emphasize the importance of equity, cultural values, collaboration, science-informed and proactive decisionmaking, ecosystem valuation and cost-benefit analysis, and innovation.

Related Organizations: Missoula County, Montana, City of Missoula, Montana, Climate Smart Missoula

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Resilient Houston - City of Houston, Texas Resilience Strategy

February 2020

Related Organizations: City of Houston, Texas, 100 Resilient Cities

Resource Category: Planning

 

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New Jersey EO 100: Protecting Against Climate Threats (PACT); land use regulations and permitting

January 27, 2020

New Jersey Governor Murphy’s Executive Order No. 100, also known as PACT, is designed to help New Jersey both mitigate greenhouse gases, and adapt to climate change. The order directs the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to make regulatory reforms for permitting development or construction at risk of the impacts of climate change. New projects will be required to take into account how climate change could impact the project, and the project's related GHG emissions. The rules would also apply to the construction of state-funded projects.

Related Organizations: State of New Jersey

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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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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