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Equitable Recovery, Equitable Resilience

August 2020

This white paper from Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) describes the roles that community organizations play in responding to natural disasters, as well as the accomplishments and challenges relating to this work. With natural disasters related to climate change occuring at increasingly frequent rates, community organizations provide critical emergency aid and recovery services. Furthermore, these services can help reduce the recovery gap within communities, as underlying economic, social, and housing factors and public policy decisions create disparities which are exacerbated through natural disasters. Drawing on interviews with various organizations in California, Florida, Puerto Rico, and Texas, this paper reviews the different strategies that these groups use and puts forth some recommendations for policy changes that may be necessary to advance equity in recovery and resilience. 

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Building Community Resilience with Nature-Based Solutions: A Guide for Local Communities

August 2020

In 2020, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) published this guide to help communities identify the multiple benefits of nature-based solutions (NBS) and incorporate NBS into their efforts to build resilience to increasing climate change hazards. The guide includes a range of information about different types of NBS, determining their value, and implementing NBS to aid communities at different phases of the hazard mitigation process. Communities looking to build community and political support for NBS, to fund NBS, and to incorporate NBS into new and existing local plans and policies can all benefit from this guide.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Montana Climate Solutions Plan

August 2020

In August 2020, the Montana Climate Solutions Council released the state’s first adaptation plan as one part of Montana's overall climate change strategy, the Montana Climate Solutions Plan (“Plan”). Montana has been affected by climate change-related flooding events, drought, and wildfires. The state developed this climate strategy to mitigate and adapt to those effects in response to Executive Order 8-2019. The larger Plan also addresses reducing greenhouse gas emissions, advancing the research necessary to meet the state's climate goals, and meeting the economic and occupational needs of workers in industries transitioning away from the use of fossil fuels. 

 

Resource Category: Planning

 

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FEMA Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Grant Program

August 2020

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) grant program is designed to support state, territorial, and local governments and federally recognized tribes in their efforts to undertake hazard mitigation projects to reduce risks stemming from natural hazards and disasters. BRIC funding is available on an annual basis in states that have received a presidential disaster declaration in the past seven years from the date when FEMA issues a Notice of Funding Opportunity. The purpose of the BRIC grant program is to provide a consistent, sustainable source of federal pre-disaster funding to shift the focus away from post-disaster recovery spending by building community resilience before future hazards and disasters occur. The BRIC program replaced FEMA’s Pre-Disaster Mitigation grant program that served a similar purpose, but was administered differently and was not prescribed by Congress to be available on an annual basis. 

FEMA announced a new round of funding for the 2021 Fiscal Year totaling $1.6 billion. The application period for new funding opens on September 30, 2021 and closes on January 28, 2022 at 3:00 P.M. ET. Of note, eligible state and local grantees should check with their State Hazard Mitigation Offices or departments to inquire whether there are additional requirements or earlier deadlines for project proposals or applications set by their own states that may differ from the federal deadlines.

This round of funding aligns with the environmental justice mandates of federal Executive Order 14008 by incorporating metrics that prioritize assistance in disadvantaged communities. Economically disadvantaged rural areas are eligible for a higher federal cost share on projects (90 percent federal, instead of 25 percent), and projects can earn extra consideration for providing community-wide benefits to disadvantaged communities. 

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Louisiana Executive Order Number JBE 2020-19 on Coastal Resilience

August 19, 2020

In August 2020, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed Executive Order (EO) Number JBE 2020-19 to require all state agencies to pursue Louisiana's coastal protection and adaptation goals and incorporate resilience planning into every state agency's operations. To accomplish these goals, the governor established the position of Chief Resilience Officer and resilience leads in each state agency to coordinate actions with Louisiana's Coastal Master Plan to make the coast more resilient in the face of climate change.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Building a Just Climate Future for North Carolina

September 2020

Developed by the Center for American Progress, the report Building a Just Climate Future for North Carolina (report) provides state leadership in North Carolina with strategies to address the pressing public health and safety threats that stem from climate change. The authors recommend six actions for policymakers to take that -- alongside actions laid out in the state’s executive order (EO) 80 and EO 143, the state’s Clean Energy Plan, and Climate Risk Assessment and Resilience Plan -- they argue will help the state address climate change while advancing conomic, racial, and environmental justice.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Cathleen Kelly, Rita Cliffton

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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City of Evanston, Illinois Resolution to Support Environmental Justice

September 2020

The City Council of Evanston, Illinois adopted a resolution that acknowledges the harm that communities of color have experienced due to environmental injustices, and pledges to support environmental justice through initiatives such as creating a public engagement policy, incorporating environmental justice into City ordinances, policies, and processes, and developing a geographic information system (GIS) inventory of environmental justice areas in Evanston. By addressing the disproportionate impact that the climate crisis has on communities of color, the City of Evanston aims to foster a stronger and more climate resilient city.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Coastal Resilience Solutions for Downtown Boston and North End

September 2020

The “Coastal Resilience Solutions for Downtown Boston and the North End” is a $200 to $300 million dollar, 50-year plan to protect the Boston waterfront, including Downtown, the North End, and the eastern edge of the city’s West End. The plan aims to protect these neighborhoods from a hundred-year flood on top of a 40 inch rise in sea levels by late this century. The integrated plan relies on a combination of natural (green infrastructure) defenses, breakwaters, seawalls, harbor walks, and raised land to protect the waterfront and inland areas from increases in coastal flooding and sea level rise.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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American Flood Coalition - Flood Funding Finder Tool

September 2020

Launched by the American Flood Coalition, the Flood Funding Finder (FFF) helps small communities identify federal programs that fund flood resilience efforts including flood mitigation and risk reduction projects, planning efforts, and more. To create the FFF, the Coalition analyzed hundreds of funding programs across 26 federal agencies to identify the programs most likely to assist small community efforts related to flooding and sea-level rise. 

Resource Category: Funding

 

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How State Governments Can Help Communities Invest in Climate Resilience

September 2020

In 2020, the Innovation Network for Communities, Climate Resilience Consulting, and The Summit Foundation released a report, How State Governments Can Help Communities Invest in Climate Resilience. The report presents recommendations for how states can better support climate resilience efforts at the local level. The report includes a framework for how states are already adapting to climate change (e. g. , governance structures, state plans), outlines six key recommendations for developing a state-local resilience financial system, and offers a state assessment checklist to help states implement those recommendations.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Joyce E. Coffee, LEED AP, Peter Plastrik

Resource Category: Planning

 

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