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Honolulu, Hawaii Ordinance 20-47 - Office of Resilience

December 23, 2020

In December 2020, the Mayor of Honolulu signed Ordinance 20-47 (Ordinance), which formally codifies the responsibilities of the previously-established City of Honolulu Office of Resilience (Resilience Office), which include coordinating a coastal and water program, a climate resilience and equity program, and a food sustainability program. The Ordinance is meant to address climate change concerns by building on previous ordinances, and implements a ‘one water’ policy for the city. 

Related Organizations: City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas — State of Hawaii: Assessing the Feasibility and Implications of Managed Retreat Strategies for Vulnerable Coastal Areas in Hawaii

February 2019

In February 2019, the State of Hawaii Office of Planning, Coastal Zone Management Program (CZMP), published a report: Assessing the Feasibility and Implications of Managed Retreat Strategies for Vulnerable Coastal Areas in Hawaii (report). CZMP drafted the report in response to a request for the state to evaluate the potential for a managed retreat program in Hawaii. In developing the report, CZMP designed and implemented a three-phased approach that consisted of conducting background research; evaluating how retreat could apply in four different area typologies; and convening an interdisciplinary symposium to engage experts and stakeholders. As a result, CZMP concluded that it is not currently possible for Hawaii to develop a step-by-step plan to implement managed retreat for areas in the state threatened by sea-level rise and other coastal hazards; however, the report contains recommendations for potential next steps, including assembling an interdisciplinary committee to work towards achieving a statewide consensus about a managed retreat vision and efforts to formulate a retreat strategy. Both Hawaii’s three-phased approach and the final report provide helpful examples of how one state designed and implemented a comprehensive process led by its CZMP to evaluate the potential for retreat. This case study is one of 17 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas: Lessons and Tools from 17 Case Studies.

 

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Hawaii Microgrid Tariff

Hawaii is the first state to begin a utility commission proceeding to create a tariff to pay microgrid owners and streamline the interconnection processes. The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission opened a docket and proceeding to “Investigate Establishment of a Microgrid Services Tariff” in response to the passage of Act 200, which directed the Public Utilities Commission to study the establishment of the potential tariff. The Act was passed after extreme weather and volcanic activity on Hawaii Island threatened to cut off several communities or make access extremely difficult. The Act acknowledges that Hawaii is more vulnerable than other states to disruptions in its energy systems due to extreme weather events, and notes that microgrid solutions could provide community-scale power on an emergency basis without connection to the island-wide grid. A microgrid tariff would allow for easier development of customer-sited, islandable systems. Hawaii has existing microgrids on several of its islands that are already helping to make the state’s electric grid more resilient and reliable.  In the wake of Kilauea’s recent eruptions on the island of Hawaii – where transmission lines and distribution equipment have been destroyed by lava – Hawaii Electric Light (HELCo) has also started planning a small microgrid to serve isolated communities and vacation areas threatened by lava encroaching on residential subdivisions.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii Multi-Hazard Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan

2019

In 2019, the City and County of Honolulu on the Hawaiian island of Oahu adopted an updated Multi-Hazard Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The dual purposes of the plan are to protect people and structures from damage, and to minimize the city and county’s disaster response and recovery costs. The plan, prepared by the Department of Emergency Management, addresses the relationship among various types of hazards, evaluates the effects of climate change, and prioritizes mitigation policies, actions, and projects.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Ola Oahu Resilience Strategy

May 31, 2019

The O‘ahu Resilience Strategy, developed by the City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii is focused on adapting to shocks and stresses on the island - primarily increased cost of living and climate change impacts in Honolulu. The Strategy offers 44 Actions across four focal areas or Resilience “Pillars” of Long-term Affordability (local economy), Disaster Preparedness, Climate Security, and Community Cohesion for the island and communities of O’ahu. The Strategy is critical for planning on O’ahu’s social, economic and environmental sustainability as, according to the report, “45% of O‘ahu residents live in a household where someone is contemplating leaving, and 78% of residents believe that climate change is going to impact them personally.

Related Organizations: City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Building Resilience to Coastal Hazards and Climate Change in Hawaii

April 2019

From May 2016 until April 2019, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Office of Planning partnered with the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program to create three tools that support adaptation at the local level: an interactive data mapthe Hawaii Sea-Level Rise Viewer, and two guidance documentsIntegrating Coastal Hazards and Sea-Level Rise Resilience in Community Planning and Guidance for Disaster Recovery Preparedness in Hawaii. Much of Hawaii’s population and development exist on low-lying coastal plains that are vulnerable to erosion, flooding, and inundation. Building on the state’s 2017 Hawaii Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report, the complementary tools are aimed at helping communities better prepare for future sea-level rise and other climate change impacts.

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.

Related Organizations: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI)

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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Hawaiian Islands Climate Vulnerability and Adaptation Synthesis

January 28, 2018

The Pacific Islands Climate Change Cooperative (PICCC) developed the Hawaiian Islands Climate Synthesis in 2014, and partnered with EcoAdapt on the project in 2015. The goal of the project was to develop a synthesis of current and projected climate impacts as well as adaptation strategies and planning options for natural resources and ecosystems of the main Hawaiian Islands. The Synthesis presents the results of a climate impacts assessment, numerous vulnerability assessments, and adaptation strategies for every ecosystem in Hawaii.

Related Organizations: Pacific Islands Climate Change Cooperative (PICCC), EcoAdapt

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Hawaii Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report

December 29, 2017

Hawaii’s Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report was initially mandated by the Hawaii Climate Change Adaptation Initiative (Act 83, 2014, and expanded by Act 32, 2017). This report represents the first state-wide vulnerability assessment for sea level rise (SLR) coastal hazards in Hawaii.  Statewide and island specific adaptation recommendations are given to help reduce Hawaii’s exposure to sea level rise and increase coastal hazard resilience.

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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HI SB 559: Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission

June 1, 2017

The Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission will lead the state’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve resiliency in line with goals set out in the Paris Agreement. (Notably the bill states: “Regardless of federal action, the legislature supports the goals of the Paris Agreement to combat climate change and its effects on environments, economies, and communities around the world. ”) The Commission will assess vulnerability to sea level rise as well as other climate impacts on sectors across the state, and assess the ability for Hawaii to meet their adaptation goals.

Related Organizations: State of Hawaii

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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