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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. 

Related Organizations: Harris County, Texas, Houston Parks Board

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Yankeetown, Florida Natural Resource Adaptation Action Area

The Town of Yankeetown, Florida is utilizing a state authorized land-use planning tool - called Adaptation Action Areas - to mitigate the impacts of sea-level rise on local ecosystems. Specifically, Yankeetown is experiencing coastal inundation due to sea-level rise that is causing large swaths of coastal forests to rapidly decline and salt marshes to migrate inland, creating a phenomenon known as “ghost forests.” Yankeetown has taken a unique approach to planning for coastal change by utilizing Adaptation Action Areas. Adaptation Action Areas are overlay districts local governments can utilize to increase management attention and oversight over defined areas within their municipality with the goal of increasing resilience to sea-level rise impacts. Yankeetown amended its local comprehensive plan to create a “Natural Resource Adaptation Action Area,” which is the first instance of a locality in Florida using this tool for the purpose of natural resource management rather than solely infrastructure protection. The tool is helping Yankeetown shape future growth and development to conserve and protect its natural resources in the face of rising seas. Local governments could consider adopting overlay districts like Adaptation Action Areas or other zoning, land-use, or planning tools to reduce or limit development in wetland and forest migration pathways as a part of comprehensive retreat strategies. 

Related Organizations: Town of Yankeetown, Florida

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Prioritizing Local Climate Adaptation through Regional Collaboration on Maryland's Eastern Shore

July 2017

Focused on the Eastern Shore region of Maryland, this white paper makes the case that preparing for and adapting to climate change impacts should be a priority for local governments. The paper also describes the benefits of regional collaboration and the consequences of inaction, and offers recommendations on how to prioritize local adaptation. This report was prepared for the Eastern Shore Climate Adaptation Partnership (ESCAP) by the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy.   

Related Organizations: Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, Eastern Shore Land Conservancy

Author or Affiliated User: Brian Ambrette

Resource Category: Planning

 

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The Nature Conservancy Resilient Coastal Sites for Conservation in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic

2017

In 2017, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) released a report and interactive web map that identify priority sites in the northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions that have the ability to maximize both biodiversity and natural services in response to increasing threats of sea level rise. TNC, in partnership with a variety of stakeholders and scientists from other nonprofit organizations, universities, and state and federal agencies, conducted a two-year study to evaluate more than 10,000 individual sites throughout the region.

Related Organizations: The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Massachusetts Audubon Mapping and Prioritizing Parcels for Resilience Tool

2018

Massachusetts Audubon Society (Mass Audubon), the largest non-profit in the state protecting over 38,000 acres of land and habitats, partnered with The Nature Conservancy and LandVest in 2016 to create the Mapping and Prioritizing Parcels for Resilience (MAPPR) Tool. MAPPR includes mapping layers that can help policymakers and conservationists select specific geographic areas (e. g. , town, county, watershed) within the state and identify parcels of land that, if protected, would maximize environmental and community benefits.

Related Organizations: Massachusetts Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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USDN Guide to Developing Resilience Hubs

October 2019

The Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) is supporting the development of Resilience Hubs, which are described as community-serving facilities that aid and educate residents, and coordinate resource distribution and services before, during or after a natural hazard event. The USDN Resilience Hub guidance document is a living framework designed to assist communities in planning for, implementing and operating a community Resilience Hub - geared towards local governments, community-based organizations, and other practitioners.

Related Organizations: Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN)

Author or Affiliated User: Kristin Baja

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Louisiana Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments (LA SAFE) Adaptation Strategies

May 2019

Louisiana Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments (LA SAFE) is a community-based planning and capital investment process that will help the state fund and implement several projects, including for managed retreat, to make its coasts more resilient. In 2016, Louisiana’s Office for Community Development–Disaster Recovery Unit received a nearly $40 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the National Disaster Resilience Competition and additional state and nongovernmental funds to implement LA SAFE. The grant will support the design and implementation of ten resilience projects to address impacts in six coastal parishes that were affected by Hurricane Isaac in 2012 (Jefferson, Lafourche, Plaquemines, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, and Terrebonne). Building on LA SAFE’s community-driven framework for adaptation and the ten state-funded projects, the state is continuing to work with the six parishes to mainstream and institutionalize adaptation and resilience at both the regional and parish levels. In May 2019, the state released a regional adaptation strategy and six parish-level strategies to support long-term adaptation planning. Each strategy follows LA SAFE’s framework for identifying projects to meet different adaptation and development goals based on flood risk to ensure that future regional and local projects are similarly designed to advance comprehensive approaches. These strategies will assist the parishes to develop and invest in additional projects that will be more resilient to coastal impacts over the state's 50-year planning horizon and achieve multiple benefits for communities. These strategies can serve as an example for other state, regional, and local jurisdictions considering long-term, comprehensive planning for adaptation and managed retreat. 

 

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Fort Lauderdale, Florida - Highway A1A Redesign Project

December 2015

After Hurricane Sandy washed out a segment of the state highway, the Florida Department of Transportation (“FDOT”) and the City of Fort Lauderdale rebuilt a portion of the A1A highway (“A1A”) to be more resilient to future coastal hazards. The redesigned highway segment incorporates several different features that will increase the highway’s resilience to future flooding and erosion and will also make the city more walkable and bikeable:

Related Organizations: Florida Department of Transportation, City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative’s (BARHII) Climate Change Quick Guides

June 2014

To build the capacity of local health departments, the Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative (BARHII) Built Environment Committee (BEC) developed five short (2 page) Climate Change Quick Guides that summarize the intersections between and importance of action on climate change, public health and equity. The guides help readers understand how climate change will affect public health, the environmental and public health benefits of climate change actions, how public health departments can participate in climate action planning, and action items that public health departments can take to support climate adaptation efforts at all levels of government.

Related Organizations: Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative (BARHII)

Resource Category: Education and Outreach

 

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Elevating Roads in Norfolk, Virginia

February 2014

The Norfolk, Virginia Department of Public Works invested $2. 4 million in 2013-2014 to improve two waterfront streets, Brambleton and Colley Avenues, and reduce flood impacts.   To reduce tidal flooding of the roadway the city elevated and widened a section of Brambleton Avenue and rebuilt the intersection of Brambleton and Colley Avenues. Brambleton Avenue is a principal artery in downtown Norfolk that runs along the Elizabeth River and crosses over an inlet called the Hague.   The project was implemented to address recurrent flooding that was already occurring in the area, which had caused frequent road closures.

Related Organizations: City of Norfolk, Virginia

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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