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Washington, DC Flood Levee System Improvements

December 2014

To prevent water from the Potomac and Anacostia rivers from flooding downtown Washington, D. C. , the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is improving the levee system along the north side of the National Mall, running from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument.   A levee system was originally erected to protect the District in 1939, following a major flood event in 1936.   This project will improve the levee system through a series of upgrades: a permanent closure at 23rd Street and Fort McNair, and the installation of a more robust removable wall, which will provide flood protection but also allow for traffic flow on 17th street between flood events.

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A RainReady Nation: Protecting American Homes and Businesses in a Changing Climate

January 2015

With more intense storm and rain events putting stress on inadequate drainage systems in the U. S. , this report assesses urban flooding risks and describes why current efforts to respond are inadequate. It also outlines a climate change resilience strategy for addressing flood risks designed by The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) called RainReady. Urban flooding is defined as “the inundation of property in a built environment, particularly in more densely populated areas, caused by rain overwhelming the capacity of drainage systems, such as storm sewers.

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Use of Natural and Nature-Based Features for Coastal Resilience

January 2015

This US Army Corps of Engineers report describes different coastal resilience measures that can be implemented to reduce risks from flooding and erosion.  It is designed to help policymakers use natural and nature-based features (NNBF) to enhance coastal resilience while minimizing impacts to the coastal environment. The report fills knowledge gaps about how NNBF can be used to reduce flooding and erosion risk and provides relevant information and studies to inform implementation of NNBF projects.

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Primary Care: Enhancing Health Care Resilience for a Changing Climate (HHS)

December 15, 2014

Primary Care: Enhancing Health Care Resilience for a Changing Climate, from the U. S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS), assesses the current climate and weather related risks for health care infrastructure, and proposes some best practices for building resilience to climate change. The HHS climate resilience guide is intended to address a wide range of health care facility vulnerabilities. It spans risks related to buildings, utilities and infrastructure, including IT infrastructure, supply chain issues, the needs of staff, and the role of the healthcare facility in the broader community.

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The Great American Adaptation Roadtrip: Lessons learned about how hometowns across the United States are building their resilience to climate change

January 2015

After visiting more than 30 communities across the U.S. that are preparing for climate change, two enterprising young authors identify six big lessons from ongoing adaptation work in this report released by the Georgetown Climate Center.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Allie Goldstein, Kirsten Howard

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Pathways to Resilience: Transforming Cities in a Changing Climate

January 2015

From the Kresge Foundation, this report explores the strategies and policies for climate resiliency in urban areas, with a focus on social equity. The report distills a vision developed through interviews and independent research through the Pathways to Resilience (P2R) Initiative. The vision of climate resilience is grounded in the perspectives of low-income communities and communities of color - and comprised of the following core elements, including:

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The Challenge of Mitigating Virginia’s Flooding and Sea Level Rise Impacts

November 2014

This report outlines potential flood risk within Hampton Roads, Virginia, finding nearly $431,000,000 in pending costs to fix flood-damaged structures. The study also found that, at current rates of hazard mitigation payments from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), it would take between 78-188 years to clear a backlog of flood-damaged property needs. Given this situation, Wetlands Watch suggests using revolving loan funds to meet the sea level rise adaptation needs in coastal Virginia.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Skip Stiles, Shareen Hughes, Mary-Carson Stiff, Shannon Hulst

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Encroaching Tides: How Sea Level Rise and Tidal Flooding Threaten U.S. East and Gulf Coast Communities over the Next 30 Years

October 2014

This report from the Union of Concerned Scientists describes the threat of tidal flooding in the East Coast and Gulf regions and offers steps that communities can take to adapt. The report makes the case that tidal flooding, currently just considered a nuisance, could become a daily or weekly occurrence, redefining how and where people along the coast “live, work, play, and move through their daily lives. " Data was collected in 52 locations to provide projections for sea level rise and tidal flooding in the region until 2045.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Erika Spanger-Siegfried, Melanie Fitzpatrick, Kristina Dahl

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Retrofitting Buildings for Flood Risk (New York City)

October 8, 2014

‘Retrofitting Buildings for Flood Risk,’ from the New York City Department of City Planning, is a comprehensive guide for New York City homeowners living in new and existing flood zones. Along with a thorough assessment of applicable federal, state and city regulations relating to flood risk, the report provides retrofitting strategies that will enable property owners to adapt buildings for flood resiliency. 

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Caltrans Water Conservation Measures in Highway Landscaping

2014

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) began using a variety of new materials and techniques to address drought conditions by reducing or eliminating water use on roadside landscaping following the onset of multi-year severe drought conditions in 2011.   New roadside landscaping projects began utilizing recycled water, native grasses and plants that require little or no watering, innovative water collection techniques, and smart irrigation controls. Caltrans’ water conservation efforts are designed to help meet or exceed state water use reduction goals and address growing water scarcity.

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