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National Infrastructure Advisory Council: Strengthening Regional Resilience - Final Report and Recommendations

November 21, 2013

The National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) resilience research examined the characteristics of a resilient region, increasing climate risks and infrastructure interdependencies, and how resiliency can be built into critical infrastructure sectors. The study focuses on the resilience of “lifeline sectors” (energy, communications, water, and transportation) within regions that have complex multi-state, multi-jurisdictional, and cross-sector interdependencies - and which would have large national impacts if they were to fail.

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National Drought Resilience Partnership

November 15, 2013

In November 2013 the Obama Administration announced a new partnership between seven Federal agencies to help communities better prepare for drought, through both drought assistance and preparedness planning. The interagency National Drought Resilience Partnership (NDRP) was established as part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.

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Seattle, Washington Department of Transportation (Seattle DOT) Elliott Bay Seawall Project

November 2013

The City of Seattle (City), through its Department of Transportation (SDOT), began a project to replace an aging seawall in Elliott Bay that protects and supports critical transportation infrastructure from coastal storms and shoreline erosion.   The original seawall was built between 1916 and 1934 atop timber piles and is at risk of failure in the event of an earthquake due to years of deterioration of the timber caused by waves and tidal forces. The updated seawall will have a minimum 75-year lifespan, provide protection for critical infrastructure (taking sea-level rise into consideration), meet current seismic standards, and improve natural habitat and salmon migration pathways.

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Rebuilding Minnesota Highway 210 near Jay Cooke State Park

November 2013

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) implemented several different solutions to address damage to Minnesota Highway 210 near Jay Cooke State Park to improve the future resilience of the highway. Measures include custom culvert design, soil stabilization, and replacing culverts with bridges. Multiple sections of Highway 210 remain closed while MnDOT conducts damage assessments and develops long-term plans.

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Boston Architectural College Green Alley Initiative

October 2013

The Boston Architectural College (BAC) installed a green alley demonstration project on its campus located in the Back Bay area of Boston along the Charles River.   The green alley used permeable pavement to allow stormwater to percolate through the road bed to recharge groundwater and filter pollutants.   The project was designed to be replicable and to help with public education on the benefits and design of green infrastructure. The purpose of the green alley is to reduce polluted runoff by filtering and redirecting rainfall to the groundwater table.

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Assessment of the Body of Knowledge on Incorporating Climate Change Adaptation Measures into Transportation Projects

December 2013

Prepared for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), this report presents climate change adaptation actions from transportation agencies across the country, and best practices for implementing adaptive solutions. The report also discusses strategies and provides examples for evaluating the costs and benefits of adaptation.

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New Jersey TransitGrid – Microgrid Project to Help Power NJ Transit

August 26, 2013

The New Jersey Governor’s Office of Recovery and Rebuilding, New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit), and the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) partnered to lead the design of NJ TransitGrid, an advanced electrical microgrid for the NJ Transit system in order to make the state’s transit infrastructure more resilient in the face of future extreme weather events and other disasters. NJ TransitGrid, which is being implemented also in partnership with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), will incorporate a natural gas-fired electric power generating plant as well as renewable energy and distributed generation.

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Overwhelming Risk: Rethinking Flood Insurance in a World of Rising Seas

August 13, 2013

In this report the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) reviews the risk of sea level rise as related to the coastal insurance market. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is described as essentially the only provider of flood insurance for homeowners and small businesses, and UCS analyzes the program’s capacity and limitations. Recommendations are made to address managing coastal flood insurance by the NFIP, and as related to FEMA’s overall role as well. 

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Building Resilience in Boston: Best Practices for Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience for Existing Buildings

August 7, 2013

This report was prepared for the Boston Society of Architects and the Boston Green Ribbon Commission Climate Preparedness Working Group, and discusses how to better incorporate climate change, preparedness, and resiliency into Boston’s building practices. The report addresses Boston’s population and built environment and, specifically, their vulnerabilities such as variations in the age and construction of the city’s building stock and the populous communities built on infill land and in other low-lying areas.

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Assateague Island National Seashore (AINS) Parking Lot Relocation

National Park Service (NPS) managers at Assateague Island National Seashore (AINS) have developed a plan to adapt roadways and parking areas to excessive erosion and overwashing from storm surges. This plan is in progress, and this case study will be updated accordingly. Two parking lots will be relocated away from the shoreline to reduce their vulnerability to erosion from future storms and help restore natural coastal processes. Additionally, they will be reconstructed from materials that are readily available on Assateague Island, such as clay and crushed clam shell, which will help reduce water flow rates over the parking lots and corresponding risk of erosion.

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