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Climate Change and Environmental Justice: Considerations for Transportation Decision-making

June 2016

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) produced this overview describing how the impacts of climate change in the transportation sector can disproportionately affect environmental justice (EJ) communities.  The report recommends considerations for transportation providers to ensure that climate adaptation measures do not exacerbate these impacts. The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) policy statement on climate change previously specified that USDOT will address inequalities and EJ issues related to climate change and adaptation efforts.

Related Organizations: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

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FHWA Resilience Pilots

FHWA supported the work of state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) to develop and pilot approaches for assessing the vulnerability of transportation systems to climate change and develop strategies for building resilience in the transportation sector. Nineteen pilot projects were selected and the pilot jurisdictions worked with FHWA's Climate Change and Extreme Weather Vulnerability Assessment Framework. This FHWA website includes the individual pilot studies for the pilot projects funded in 2013-2015 and webinars of the pilot teams discussing their work and their findings.

Related Organizations: New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) , Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), Washington State Department of Transportation, Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization, Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO), Iowa Department of Transportation, Maryland State Highway Administration, North Central Texas Council of Governments, Tennessee Department of Transportation

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Climate Change and Transportation in Maine

October 14, 2009

This report reviews the best available science on observed and projected climate patterns in Maine, synthesizes the influence of climate change on Maine's transportation infrastructure, and lists the measures the state's Department of Transportation (Maine DOT) will take to address project climate impacts. The report is a preliminary summary of Maine’s proactive approach to transportation planning that addresses climate impacts, positioning Maine DOT to receive support from federal agencies.

Related Organizations: Maine Department of Transportation

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Minnesota DOT Flood Mitigation Program

The state of Minnesota created a $50 million Minnesota Department of Transportation (“MnDOT”) Flood Mitigation Program (“Program”) to increase the resilience of transportation system after severe spring floods in 2010 caused over $64 million in damages in the state. The Flood Mitigation Program will fund repairs, elevations, and realignments to road and bridges, as well as improvements to drainage structures. Although the program documents do not explicitly cite to climate change, MnDOT lists the Flood Mitigation Program as an adaptation action that the agency is taking to prepare for climate change.

Related Organizations: Minnesota Department of Transportation

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FDOT Rebuild of Highway A1A in Fort Lauderdale

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 impacts. The redesigned highway segment includes 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

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Connecting Biodiversity and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

2009

The Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) on Biodiversity and Climate Change was established under the Convention of Biological Diversity to inform and update the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on biodiversity-related information. This report of the second AHTEG provides scientific and technical assessments and advice on integrating biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of natural resources into climate change mitigation and adaptation activities.

Related Organizations: Convention on Biological Diversity, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

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Buy-in for Buyouts: The Case for Managed Retreat from Flood Zones

2016

In this report, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the Regional Plan Association present best practices for state and local governments to encourage residents and communities vulnerable to flooding to relocate from coastal and riverine areas through managed retreat. Based on the experiences of communities in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut following Hurricanes Sandy (2012) and Irene (2011), the report summarizes the political, social, and economic challenges of using buyouts and acquisitions as an adaptation strategy.

Related Organizations: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Regional Plan Association

Authors or Affiliated Users: Robert Freudenberg, Ellis Calvin, Laura Tolkoff, Dare Brawley

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The Value of Resilience for Distributed Energy Resources: An Overview of Current Analytical Practices

April 2019

This analysis from the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) evaluates existing practices of calculating the value of resilience in Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) installed within an energy distribution system. The report examines how the value of resilience was calculated and was applied in both regulatory decision-making and non-regulatory cost-benefit analyses, and provides state regulators with guidance for taking resilience into account when evaluating investments in DERs in the face of high-impact, low-probability extreme weather events.

Related Organizations: National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners

Authors or Affiliated Users: Wilson Rickerson, Marisa Bulkeley, Jonathan Gillis

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Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge Restoration and Relocation Efforts

October 2015

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, located at the southern tip of Assateague Island, depends on parking and road facilities that are vulnerable to flooding and erosion.   Refuge managers have been exploring alternatives for responding to these impacts that they anticipate will worsen with sea-level rise and climate change. The refuge is studying alternatives to relocate parking facilities and is using oyster reefs to protect transportation facilities. Parking facilities on the island are made of loose shells and sand so as not to disrupt the natural terrain.

Related Organizations: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), National Park Service (NPS)

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San Francisco Bay Shoreline Adaptation Atlas

April 2019

From the San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI) and the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), the San Francisco Bay Shoreline Adaptation Atlas offers nature-based coastal climate resilience strategies for the San Francisco Bay Area region of California. The Atlas presents a new view of the Bay area in a map divided into areas with common physical characteristics for which specific adaptation strategies can be developed to prepare for sea level rise. The report is intended to inform the regulatory community, regional governments, landscape designers, planners, developers, engineers, and other members of local communities in coordinating and planning for regional resilience - including flood control, transportation, parks, land use, and ecosystem restoration.

Related Organizations: San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI)

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