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Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas — Harris County, Texas: Flood Control District Local Buyout Program

July 15, 2020

Harris County, Texas established a voluntary home buyout program through the regional government agency, the Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD), that can serve as an example for other local jurisdictions considering retreat from coastal and riverine flood-prone areas. The buyout program is focused on risk reduction and flood mitigation best practices, where once bought out, properties are returned to open space uses to restore their natural beneficial flood retention functions. HCFCD has developed an effective communication and outreach strategy to educate the public and encourage program participation. Historically, properties have been acquired with grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance program, Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program, and local funding from a dedicated ad valorem property tax (i.e., a tax based on a property’s assessed value). Other state, regional, and local jurisdictions considering managed retreat could implement a similar comprehensive buyout model that operates in both a pre- and post-disaster context to reduce flood risks and engages the community throughout the entire process. 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: Solutions

 

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Dallas, Texas Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan

April 2020

The Dallas Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan (CECAP) is a roadmap developed by the City of Dallas, Texas, and community stakeholders that outlines steps the city can take to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while enhancing climate resilience. The plan provides an overview of the environmental and climate challenges that Dallas faces, recommends actions to improve the environmental quality of the city, build resilience, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and identifies funding and partnership opportunities to support plan implementation.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Texas Infrastructure Resiliency Fund

June 13, 2019

In June 2019, the State of Texas established the Texas Infrastructure Resiliency Fund (TIRF), a new special fund in the state treasury for the purpose of financing flood mitigation and protection projects and related planning efforts. The TIRF is administered by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) and includes four separate accounts: a Federal Matching Account, a Floodplain Management Account, a Flood Implementation Account, and a Hurricane Harvey Account.

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Austin Climate Resilience Action Plan - for City Assets and Operations

April 20, 2018

The Climate Resilience Action Plan for Austin, Texas outlines climate change adaptation and resilience strategies for the city’s operations, asset management, and long-range planning. This report provides an overview of climate projections for Austin, an assessment of potential extreme weather impacts to city-owned assets and operations, and strategies to address those impacts.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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San Antonio Tomorrow - City of San Antonio, Texas Sustainability Plan

August 11, 2016

The Sustainability Plan for San Antonio, Texas (SA Tomorrow) addresses the three pillars of sustainability - economic, environmental, and social -  and offers a roadmap for both the community and the municipal government to achieving sustainability in San Antonio. SA Tomorrow includes seven “Focus Areas” that were assessed for current conditions and vulnerabilities: Energy, Food System, Green Buildings and Infrastructure, Land Use and Transportation, Natural Resources, Public Health, and Solid Waste Resources.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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FHWA Resilience Pilots

FHWA supported the work of state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) to develop and pilot approaches for assessing the vulnerability of transportation systems to climate change and develop strategies for building resilience in the transportation sector. Nineteen pilot projects were selected and the pilot jurisdictions worked with FHWA's Climate Change and Extreme Weather Vulnerability Assessment Framework. This FHWA website includes the individual pilot studies for the pilot projects funded in 2013-2015 and webinars of the pilot teams discussing their work and their findings.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Gulf of Mexico Alliance - Governors’ Action Plan III For Healthy and Resilient Coasts (2016-2021)

June 2016

The Governors’ Action Plan III for Healthy and Resilient Coasts is the third report in a series of action plans from the Gulf of Mexico Alliance that addresses issues common to all Gulf States. This report is a five-year plan for six regional priorities including Coastal Resilience, Data and Monitoring, Education and Engagement, Habitat Resources, Water Resources, and Wildlife and Fisheries. The Gulf of Mexico Alliance is a cooperative partnership of the five U. S. Gulf States (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas), federal agencies, academic organizations, businesses, and other non-governmental organizations.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Under 1 Roof Initiative, San Antonio, Texas

2016

The Under 1 Roof Initiative is an example of local funding programs that create incentives for residents to retrofit vulnerable homes to prepare for climate change impacts like urban heat. In 2016, San Antonio launched the Under 1 Roof Initiative to replace old roofs with free, energy-efficient cool roofs. Under 1 Roof distributes funds through the city’s Neighborhood Housing Service (NHS) to replace the roofs of qualifying applicants, including the elderly, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and low-income residents. Under a partnership between the municipal utility and the city, households that do not qualify for direct funding from the NHS remain eligible to receive rebates for self-installed cool roofs. In 2018, San Antonio’s city council approved a $2.25 million budget to expand the Under 1 Roof Initiative to five other districts in the city.

Resource Category: Funding

 

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The Bottom Line on Climate Change - Come Heat and High Water: Climate Risk in the Southeastern U.S. and Texas

July 30, 2015

This report was developed by the Risky Business Project, whose mission is to quantify the economic risks to the U.S. from unmitigated climate change. This report focuses on the Southeast and Texas and offers a first step toward defining the range of potential economic consequences to this region based on current climate projections through 2100.

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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The Texas Title Project

2013

The Texas Title Project was a two-year program that began in 2013 after Hurricanes Dolly and Ike devastated Texas, and critically impacted lower-income communities. The purpose of the program was to help low-income families whose homes were destroyed during the hurricanes to acquire clear title to their property so that they could be eligible for government funding. In clearing any issues relating to these titles, homeowners then became eligible for federal government rebuilding assistance. The project's threefold mission was to: clear titles for those homeowners and families that participated in the program; develop a general model for providing these types of legal services that could be implemented in the future, when another disaster occurred; and to study the barriers that existed that prevented low-income homeowners from having a clear title, especially in areas that are disproportionately affected by disasters. In the two years it was operational, the Texas Title Project provided services for more than 350 families seeking disaster recovery assistance in East Texas and the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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