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Climate Ready Communities - A Practical Guide to Building Climate Resilience

2018, Updated July 2019

The Climate Ready Communities guide outlines actions to support the development of a city, town, county or tribe climate adaptation plan. The guidance is built on the Geos Institute’s Whole Community Resilience Framework, and offers community level strategic planning for climate adaptation.  This “Do-It-Yourself” guide incorporates strategies for community engagement, social equity, and cross-sectoral integration - with detailed instructions for vulnerability assessments and plan development.

Related Organizations: Geos Institute

Authors or Affiliated Users: Tonya Graham, Marni Koopman

Resource Category: Planning

 

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From Community Engagement to Ownership: Tools for the Field with Case studies of Four Municipal Community-Driven Environmental and Racial Equity Committees

June 2018

Recognizing the importance of collaborative governance in reducing inequities as a result of climate vulnerability, the Urban Sustainability Directors Network gave the Innovation Fund Project grant to four municipal community-based committees for racial equity and environmental justice. They were funded to learn and evaluate the collaboration process between community-based committees and the local governments utilizing the spectrum of community engagement to ownership as a tool to analyze the case studies. The four case studies include the Equity Working Group in Portland, the Racial and Environmental Justice Committee in Providence, the Environmental Justice Committee in Seattle, and the Equity Advisory Group for Ward 7 in Washington DC. The four committees and groups contracted with Facilitating Power (FP), Movement Strategy Center (MSC), and the National Association of Climate Resilience Planners to establish an evaluation process of collaborative governance. After conducting surveys and in-person interviews, the research indicates that all four cases are still at level two (consult) on a scale of five on the spectrum. While some have shown the potential of moving toward level three (community involvement), none of these cases have arrived at level four (collaborative governance). Building on the findings and the spectrum, the project further suggests a learning and evaluation tool for assessing the process of collaborative governance.

 

Related Organizations: Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN), Facilitating Power, Movement Strategy Center, National Association of Climate Resilience Planners

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Rhode Island Shoreline Change Special Area Management Plan (Beach SAMP)

June 2018

In June 2018, the State of Rhode Island’s Coastal Resource Management Council (CRMC) adopted the Rhode Island Shoreline Change Special Area Management Plan (Beach SAMP) to help Rhode Island’s coastal communities better adapt to the impacts of climate and shoreline changes. The Beach SAMP includes various guidance and tools for policymakers and coastal managers. In Chapter 5, CRMC presents the Coastal Hazard Application Guidance” - a five-step risk assessment framework developed for applicants to address the coastal hazards from climate change in permit applications submitted to CRMC for new and substantially improved projects. The purpose of the Coastal Hazard Application Guidance is to ensure that: (1) permit applicants are aware of the coastal risks that could impact their projects; and (2) CRMC can approve projects that are better able to adapt and are more resilient to these risks to increase safety and other benefits for communities, the environment, and the state’s economy. Through a subsequent regulatory amendment, CRMC now requires (since July 2019) that permit applicants submit a Coastal Hazard Application worksheet with their applications to CRMC. Chapter 7 of the Beach SAMP outlines a suite of adaptation measures property owners and decisionmakers can consider, including protection, accommodation, and relocation or managed retreat. The Beach SAMP provides a useful example of innovative shoreline change planning, and serves as a policy model for other state agencies and local governments on how to ensure new development and redevelopment can better adapt and be more resilient to climate change and other coastal hazards.

Related Organizations: Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council

Resource Category: Planning

 

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The Northwest Climate Toolbox

The Northwest Climate Toolbox provides free online access to historic, current and future projections of weather and climate data tools, with an emphasis on the Pacific Northwest. Designed to aid decision-makers in agriculture, water resources and fire management, the tools transform raw climatological, meteorological and hydrological information into visualizations for climate adaptation planning. There are currently 17 tools available, most with data for the entire U. S. , some focused specifically on locations in the western and northwestern U.

Related Organizations: Pacific Northwest Climate Impacts Research Consortium (CIRC) - RISA

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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California Proposition 68 - Parks, Environment, and Water Bond

June 5, 2018

Proposition 68 is a $4 billion bond measure to protect California’s water, parks, and natural resources, while bolstering climate adaptation, resilience, and social equity statewide. This proposition allows the state to sell General Obligation bonds for various natural resources-related programs - including $443 million to be allocated for climate adaptation and resiliency projects throughout the state.  California Senate Bill 5 (De León), “California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018” put this bond measure on the June 5, 2018 ballot.

Related Organizations: State of California

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Foster City, California Measure P - Sea level rise abatement bond

June 5, 2018

Measure P is a $90 million bond measure approved by Foster City, San Francisco Bay area of California in June 2018, that will fund structural projects to reduce flood risks from sea level rise. Residential, office and commercial property owners will see an annual tax rate increase of approximately $40 per $100,000 of assessed property value.    

Related Organizations: Foster City, California

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Connecticut SB 7: An Act Concerning Climate Change Planning and Resiliency (Public Act 18-82)

June 6, 2018

SB 7 supports both climate change mitigation and adaptation measures for Connecticut, with directives that will help to prepare the state for climate impacts, primarily sea level rise. Connecticut’s statutory references to sea level rise will now reflect the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation’s (CIRCA) planning recommendation of nearly two feet by 2050. The legislation requires all state or federally-funded coastal infrastructure projects to take this new sea level rise projection into account when being planned and developed.

Related Organizations: State of Connecticut

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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NOAA 2017 State of U.S. High Tide Flooding with a 2018 Outlook

June 6, 2018

NOAA has produced this annual update of the state of coastal high tide flooding every year since 2014. This type of flooding occurs when water levels measured at NOAA tide gauges exceed heights based on the national flooding thresholds that are released in February by NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services. This report updates high tide flood frequencies during 2017 (based on the meteorological year: May 2017-April 2018) at 98 NOAA tide gauges, and provides a statistical outlook for 2018 (May 2018 - April 2019).

Related Organizations: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Extreme weather events: How hard lessons strengthen resilience against the next big event

June 11, 2018

Zurich Insurance Company used its Post-Event Review Capability (PERC) methodology to analyze major flood events in terms of disaster risk management. PERC studies were conducted on 12 flooding disasters worldwide between 2013 and 2018 including floods in Boulder, CO in 2013; Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina, 2015; and Houston in 2017. The report describes the various steps of the disaster risk management cycle, as well as the challenges and focal strategies for risk managers in preparing for and responding to disasters.

Related Organizations: Zurich Insurance Group Ltd.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Boston Planning and Development Agency - Smart Utilities Policy

June 14, 2018

The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Smart Utilities Policy has been launched as a two-year pilot program for resilient infrastructure planning in the City of Boston, Massachusetts. The policy adopts five “Smart Utility Technologies” (SUTs) that prepare Boston’s utility infrastructure for the impacts of climate change such as heat waves and flooding. A Microgrid, or centralized energy system, will be developed that can disconnect from the main electric utility grid during power outages.

Related Organizations: City of Boston, Massachusetts, Boston Planning and Development Agency

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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