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San Antonio, Texas Climate Action and Adaptation Plan - SA Climate Ready

October 17, 2019

San Antonio Climate Ready is a Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) that provides a roadmap to achieve equitable climate mitigation and resilience goals for San Antonio, Texas - one of the largest and fastest growing cities in the U. S. The City of San Antonio aims to be carbon neutral by 2050 and the CAAP identifies mitigation strategies intended to advance that goal, inclusive of adaptive ecosystem restoration and social equity strategies. As temperature and extreme heat events increase while annual precipitation decreases across the region, the plan also identifies 45 adaptation strategies to address these climate impacts and many more.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Land Acquisition and Restoration Projects in the Greens Bayou Watershed in Harris County, Texas: Greens WetBank and Bayou Greenways 2020

In Texas, Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) and other local partners, including the nonprofit Houston Parks Board, are implementing different land acquisition, restoration, and conservation projects in the Greens Bayou watershed in Harris County and the City of Houston. Two programs and initiatives include the Greens Bayou Mitigation Bank (Greens WetBank) and Bayou Greenways 2020. The Greens WetBank is a wetland mitigation bank on nearly 1,000 acres of land in Harris County, where HCFCD restores wetlands and generates revenue by selling “wetland credits” to developers who need to offset wetland losses at locations outside the Greens WetBank’s land in Harris County. In addition, Bayou Greenways 2020 is a large-scale, public-private initiative led by Houston Parks Board to create 150 miles of greenways and trails and an additional 3,000 acres of public greenspace along Houston’s major bayous through land acquisition and conservation efforts. Bayou Greenways 2020 has been the result of an extensive community engagement campaign and funding leveraged from federal, state, local, and private sources to create local parks and open spaces in Houston. Greens WetBank and Bayou Greenways 2020 are examples of how comprehensive land acquisition, restoration, and conservation actions can increase local resilience in a specific watershed by mitigating future flood risks, enhancing the environment, and creating community assets. Other jurisdictions could consider a similar model to coordinate future land uses in a watershed with climate adaptation, including managed retreat strategies, hazard reduction, and natural resource and open space management. 

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas — City of Austin, Texas: Flood Risk Reduction Buyout Projects

July 15, 2020

The City of Austin, Texas has adopted a model to provide consistent relocation benefits for voluntary home buyouts in the city’s floodplains as a part of its “flood risk reduction projects.” In addition to the cost of a person’s original home, the city will provide homeowners with moving and closing costs, and a replacement housing payment if the cost of a new comparable home (located outside of the city’s 100-year floodplain) is more than the original home. This policy encourages owner participation in the buyout program and helps to minimize the economic and social costs of relocation. The city’s Watershed Protection Department prioritizes buyouts in accordance with a Watershed Protection Master Plan that strategically guides related city actions, including potential buyouts, to reduce the risks associated with erosion, flooding, and poor water quality. A mix of municipal bonds, federal grants, and local funds (primarily through a drainage fee paid by owners of properties based upon impervious surface cover) have been used to fund the buyouts. Austin’s example is noteworthy for its emphasis on implementing buyouts in accordance with a comprehensive flood mitigation program and facilitating transitions for people located in floodplains through relocation assistance. Other jurisdictions considering managed retreat could implement an interdisciplinary buyout approach across different sectors and government agencies (e.g., floodplain and emergency management and housing and community development). .

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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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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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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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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USGS Texas Water Science Center

The USGS Texas Water Science Center provides current real time data on streamflow, ground water, water quality, precipitation, and lakes and reservoirs from sites throughout Texas. The center has historical data on streamflow, ground water, water quality, and other water-related information. The center also has numerous publications, data sheets, projects, and scientific reports on a range of hydrological topics. The USGS operates the most extensive satellite network of stream-gaging stations in the State, many of which form the backbone of flood-warning systems.

 

 

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Adaptation to Climate Change in the Houston-Galveston Area: Perceptions and Prospects

May 2009

The objectives of this Capstone project and report from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University were to address the impacts of climate change in the Houston-Galveston area of Texas, as well as the utility of adaptation as a solution to climate impacts. The Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) created a panel (the 'Foresight Panel') that examined the impacts of climate change in the Houston-Galveston region. In 2008, this panel produced a report which made recommendations to local governments regarding climate change adaptation strategies - which was utilized as an initial basis for this research.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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The Socio-Economic Impact of Sea Level Rise in the Galveston Bay Region

June 2009

This report seeks to illustrate the impact that climate change can have on communities in the Galveston Bay region. It focuses on two scenarios of sea-level rise,. 69 meters and 1. 5 meters, and the associated socio-economic impact on the Galveston Bay area for the next 100 years. For each of the model scenarios estimates are given for the impact on displaced populations; the number of buildings impacted and building-related economic losses; industrial, hazardous, superfund, solid waste sites; and water treatment plants.

Authors or Affiliated Users: David W. Yoskowitz, James Gibeaut, Ali McKenzie

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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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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