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Regional Impacts of Climate Change and Issues for Stormwater Management

October 30, 2015

This report describes the stormwater management challenges that Southern Florida faces due to climate change and offers several recommendations for how these issues can be addressed. It discusses three basin scale strategies: Everglades restoration, adjusting regional water control practices, and small scale adaptation efforts. Local governments can also play a pivotal role by investing in green infrastructure and implementing financing strategies for stormwater management. This guidance document is one in a series of publications designed to assist county and municipal policymakers, administrators and program staff with implementation of the 110 recommendations contained within the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact’s 2012 Regional Climate Action Plan.

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GAO Report - A National System Could Help Federal, State, Local, and Private Sector Decision Makers Use Climate Information

November 2015

The U. S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) promotes a national system to provide climate information to U. S. decision makers in this report to Congress. The report examines the extent to which federal efforts meet the climate information needs of decision makers; how federal efforts could be improved; and the strengths and limitations of different systems to provide climate information. GAO reviewed government funded climate data sharing programs in three other countries - Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom - and describes their key characteristics.

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Recovering Stronger: A Federal Policy Blueprint - US Water Alliance

January 2021

The U. S. Water Alliance’s report “Recovering Stronger: A Federal Policy Blueprint” was released in early 2021 and addresses the acute needs of the nation’s municipal water infrastructure resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as long-term underfunding of water resources infrastructure and inequities in access to clean water. The report makes recommendations for how the federal government could make funding for municipal water resources more stable; make water supplies safer; improve access to safe drinking water and wastewater treatment in low-income communities, communities of color, and rural communities; modernize the water sector; improve resilience to climate change; and take a whole-of-government approach to managing the nation’s water resources.

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Community Land = Community Resilience: How Community Land Trusts Can Support Urban Affordable Housing and Climate Initiatives

January 2021

Housing insecurity and the impacts of climate change are two interrelated issues increasingly affecting cities across the United States. This report provides an overview of how community land trusts (CLTs) can present a solution to help cities mitigate both of these challenges by promoting community ownership and decisionmaking and providing permanently affordable and resilient housing. CLTs are nonprofit organizations with community-led governing structures that hold land in trust for the benefit of the community, often providing and preserving affordable housing, stewarding community amenities like parks and greenspace, and providing low-cost commercial properties that can support small businesses and economic resilience.

Author or Affiliated User: Jessica Grannis

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State of Oregon Climate Equity Blueprint

January 2021

Released in December 2020, the State of Oregon Climate Equity Blueprint is a living document which identifies best practices on how to prioritize equity in the formation of state policies, processes, and programs aimed at addressing climate change. Four “Climate Equity Blueprint Tools” are used to guide programmatic staff and officials across Oregon’s state agencies in the integration of equity into climate progress: best practices; guiding questions; case studies; and resources. These tools are employed to cover key areas for advancing climate and racial equity: building internal capacity; embedding equity and accountability into design; leading meaningful community engagement; and improving data collection and use.

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A Resilient Future for Coastal Communities: Federal Policy Recommendations from Solutions in Practice

October 2020

The Energy and Environmental Study Institute’s (EESI) October 2020 report contains 30 actionable recommendations, guided by 6 principles, on how the federal government can better support coastal resilience. The report emphasizes throughout the importance of consultation with local communities in designing programs and policies related to adaptation and resilience to ensure their specific needs are met. It also describes how the policy recommendations can be implemented, including identifying Congressional Committees with relevant jurisdiction.

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Annexing Higher Ground and Preparing Receiving Areas in Hamilton, Washington

June 2021

In 2019, after decades of repetitive flooding, the town of Hamilton in Skagit County, Washington partnered with Forterra, a local land conservancy nonprofit, to annex a 48-acre parcel of land located outside of the town’s 100-year floodplain. Annexing this land will provide Hamilton with a higher, drier ground area where town residents could voluntarily relocate to new homes. Forterra is developing plans for the annexed parcel to build affordable, environmentally conscious homes for Hamilton residents. Hamilton provides an example for other municipalities and local governments either in a pre- or post-disaster context for revitalizing a community challenged by frequent flooding through adaptation actions. As done in Hamilton, local governments may consider possibilities for providing relocation options to residents within a floodplain, including by annexing new land, particularly where sufficient higher ground land within existing municipal boundaries is not available. Annexation can allow local governments to maintain local communities, tax bases, and economies.

 

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New Orleans, Louisiana Project Home Again Land Swaps

2013

The New Orleans Project Home Again (PHA) in Louisiana involved a land swap and redevelopment program implemented post-Hurricane Katrina that can serve as an example for how public-private partnerships can help people retreat away from flood-prone coastal areas. Through this project, PHA aimed to concentrate redevelopment at higher elevations away from low-elevation floodplains and expand relocation options for impacted homeowners. The hurricane-damaged homes on participants’ original properties were demolished and converted to climate resilient open space for flood retention, environmental, and community benefits. Specifically, PHA used a land swap program that enabled low- and middle-income homeowners to relocate to less vulnerable areas with new affordable, clustered housing. The PHA program demonstrates how land swaps can offer a tool for planners and policymakers to effectively guide redevelopment in disaster recovery settings and expand affordable and resilient housing opportunities. A similar land swap model could also be considered in a pre-disaster context and phased over time, if community consensus, vacant or developable land, and funding for housing construction exists. 

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Exploring Transfer of Development Rights as a Possible Climate Adaptation Strategy - Urban Land Institute Resilience Panel Focus Group with Miami-Dade County

November 2017

In November 2017, the Urban Land Institute’s Southeast Florida/Caribbean District Council (ULI) published a report in partnership with Miami-Dade County's Office of Resilience exploring the possibility of creating a Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) program in the County of Miami-Dade, Florida as a possible climate adaptation strategy. The report was the result of the work of a ULI Resilience Panel Focus Group - established by ULI and the Office of Resilience - to assess the feasibility of a TDR program and whether one could facilitate the voluntary retreat of people and vulnerable development away from flood-prone areas at the county or municipal level.

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From Newtok to Mertarvik: A Native Alaskan Tribal Village Relocation

Several tribal villages in Alaska are facing impending community-wide climate impacts of permafrost degradation, sea level rise, erosion, and flooding  which require immediate adaptation measures, including the potential of managed retreat. However, only one, the Village of Newtok, is in the process of actively relocating to a new site, Mertarvik, which was conveyed to Newtok through a federal land grant. The Newtok team  composed of federal, state, and local tribal representatives  is prioritizing the development of housing, roads, energy, and an evacuation center in the near-term. The project goal is to relocate everyone in Newtok to Mertarvik by 2023. The Newtok relocation has been funded by a patchwork of federal and state agencies for over 20 years. This case study can highlight one approach and ongoing lessons learned for state and local jurisdictions confronting larger-scale questions about managed retreat, and the process of transitioning entire communities to higher ground. 

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