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Policy Platform of the Healthy Headwaters Alliance - Federal Policy Opportunities

February 2016

This Policy Platform outlines actionable strategies for federal agencies that can be implemented immediately to protect and restore the watersheds of the western U. S. The policy recommendations were developed by Carpe Diem West’s Healthy Headwaters Alliance, offering near-term policy solutions for the long-term resilience of forested headwaters for water supply. Forested watershed and source water protection is critical for climate resiliency. Watersheds filter pollutants, control erosion, regulate temperature, attenuate floods, and buffer human activities from drinking water resources.

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Clean Energy Works Portland, Oregon

June 1, 2009

The City of Portland, Oregon Bureau of Planning and Sustainability pilot program - Clean Energy Works Portland - provides solar panel installation and energy efficiency upgrades to members of the Portland community. Clean Energy Works Portland’s primary focus is on employing workers coming from frontline populations, including people of color and women. This focus is enforced through a legally binding “Community Workforce Agreement” (CWA), requiring that of the hours worked in completion of the Program, at least 30% must have been completed by individuals that have historically been disadvantaged or underrepresented in the workforce, which includes people of color, women, and low-income individuals.

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Gulf of Mexico Climate Change Adaptation Inventory

June 24, 2011

The Climate Change Adaptation Inventory is a compilation of climate adaptation activities and research initiatives taking place at the federal, state, and local levels in communities adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico. The inventory focuses specifically on those projects and efforts that address climate change or sea level rise. Research activities captured by the inventory are limited to those projects that have applications to coastal communities, particularly planning and development, land management, and socioeconomic initiatives.

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San Francisquito Creek Sea Level Rise Case Study

2011

Communities along the San Francisquito creek, along with many others in the Bay Area of California, are facing increased flood risk from sea level rise, while existing flood protection challenges are projected to be exacerbated. The San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority (SFCJPA), covering a 30,000 acre watershed, has sought to address these challenges by working to simultaneously improve flood protection, recreational opportunities and habitat benefits to multiple communities. The SFCJPA San Francisco Bay to Highway 101 flood protection project is designed to protect against a 100-year San Franciscquito creek flow event happening at the same time as a 100-year high tide event that is marked by a sea level rise of 26 inches.

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Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas — Queens, New York: Resilient Edgemere Community Plan

July 15, 2020

After Hurricane Sandy, New York City (NYC) engaged in a community-driven planning process and implemented multiple voluntary relocation projects in the Edgemere neighborhood of Queens to reduce flood risks and move people out of harm’s way after Hurricane Sandy. The NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) launched the Resilient Edgemere Community Planning Initiative in October 2015 as a collaboration between city agencies, community members, elected officials, and local organizations. The Resilient Edgemere Community Plan lays out a long-term vision for achieving a more resilient neighborhood with improved housing, transportation access, and neighborhood amenities. One of the 65 distinct projects included in the plan was a “land swap” pilot project to provide buyout and relocation assistance to residents within a “Hazard Mitigation Zone” (HMZ), an area of Edgemere at risk of destructive wave action during storms. Through the land swap pilot project, Edgemere residents within a HMZ were eligible to receive a newly built, elevated home on safer ground. In exchange, residents would transfer title of their damaged, original homes to the city. The plan is notable for being developed through an 18-month public engagement process that placed residents, who best understand their community, at the center of an open and transparent neighborhood planning process. Resilient Edgemere can provide an example of how local governments can transition affected residents away from vulnerable areas by helping people relocate nearby and simultaneously build community resilience and help to maintain community cohesion and local tax bases. This case study is one of 17 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas: Lessons and Tools from 17 Case Studies.

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Greauxing Resilience at Home — Miami-Dade County, Florida: Little River Adaptation Action Area Plan

June 16, 2022

The Little River Adaptation Action Area (AAA) plan was released in January 2022 as part of the process to implement the Miami-Dade County Sea Level Rise Strategy. Adaptation Action Areas are locations that are especially prone to climate impacts like coastal flooding so that they can be prioritized for funding and planning purposes. The Little River AAA is made up of parts of the City of Miami, as well as the Village of El Portal and two unincorporated areas. Identified as one of the communities in that area most susceptible to climate impacts, Miami-Dade County’s Office of Resilience, in collaboration with Florida’s Department of the Department of Environmental Protection and private partners like Savino-Miller Design, developed the adaptation plan to address existing conditions across five sectors by offering distinct adaptation tools that can help mitigate the impacts of climate within each sector. From this plan, local policymakers and planners can take the generalized idea behind AAA — and the practice of making adaptation plans more specific to localities — as well as the specific projects and programs recommended within the document and implement them in their own communities. This case study is one of 24 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Greauxing Resilience at Home: A Collection of Lessons and Case Studies from Louisiana and Beyond.

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Greauxing Resilience at Home — Mecklenburg County, North Carolina: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services, Risk Assessment/Risk Reduction (RARR) Tool

June 16, 2022

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services (CMSWS) is a joint municipal–county stormwater utility that manages and maintains the regulated floodplains within Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, including the City of Charlotte. CMSWS has developed a system for assessing community flood risk through the Mecklenburg County Risk Assessment/Risk Reduction (RARR) Tool for comprehensive mapping, impact analysis, and county-wide floodplain management. This map-based application allows the agency to collect and analyze flood risk data to help identify and reduce flood risk at the parcel level and regionally. RARR is a data-driven framework and set of tools that dynamically assess, evaluate, and ultimately prioritize flood mitigation strategies. The flood risk analysis processes supported by the RARR tool, along with the resulting solutions that CMSWS offers as described in this case study and a companion report, can guide other local jurisdictions in flood resilience planning, and promote climate adaptive policies. This case study is one of 24 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Greauxing Resilience at Home: A Collection of Lessons and Case Studies from Louisiana and Beyond.

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Greauxing Resilience at Home — City of New Orleans, Louisiana: Gentilly Resilience District Projects

June 16, 2022

In 2015, the City of New Orleans released its Resilient New Orleans strategy outlining the city’s vision and plan for building a more equitable, adaptable, and prosperous New Orleans. The strategy outlines various recommendations, which all go towards one of three main goals: adapting to thrive, connecting to opportunity, and transforming city systems. One project featured in Resilient New Orleans is the Mirabeau Water Gardens project. Informed by the design and stormwater management features outlined in the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan, the Mirabeau Water Gardens project, once completed, will serve as a recreational, environmentally friendly amenity for the community that also reduces flood risk. Specifically, a former convent will be converted into a public green space. This project is part of an overall plan to create the Gentilly Resilience District — a 12-project program designed to make a small neighborhood in New Orleans more resilient to the impacts of climate change and future disaster and flood events. Additional projects a part of the Gentilly Resilience District include the Pontilly Neighborhood Stormwater and the Blue and Green Corridors projects. Throughout the development of the plans and programs relating to the Gentilly Resilience District, local policymakers offered numerous opportunities for community input. Most of the projects not only increase community resilience, but also offer new spaces for the community to gather, educate residents on the benefits associated with green infrastructure, and incorporate safe walking and biking paths throughout the neighborhood. This case study is one of 24 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Greauxing Resilience at Home: A Collection of Lessons and Case Studies from Louisiana and Beyond.

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Greauxing Resilience at Home — City of North Miami, Florida: Good Neighbor Stormwater Park and Repetitive Loss Master Plan

June 16, 2022

The City of North Miami, Florida Good Neighbor Stormwater Park is a public open space with the capacity for local flood prevention, doubling as a stormwater reservoir. A repurposed vacant lot within North Miami’s residential neighborhood of Sunny Acres, this adaptive stormwater green infrastructure is vegetated with an array of native trees and plants, while also acting as a communal space with walking paths and artistic structures that educate the public on flooding hazards. The project was funded in part through the Van Alen Institute’s Keeping Current: Repetitive Loss Properties Grant design competition, won by the City of North Miami, and the landscape architecture firm Dept. for implementation. The Stormwater Park was once considered a repetitive loss property by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), due to repetitive flooding from stormwater and sea-level rise — common across South Florida neighborhoods. As a part of the project, the landscape architects selected to design the park were also asked to put together a plan that could support the replication of this pilot project across the region in the most flood vulnerable communities. Dept. developed a Repetitive Loss Master Plan, which illustrates priority strategies for flood risk reduction and resilient design. Other local decisionmakers of flood-prone communities with vacant, abandoned, deteriorated, or repetitive loss lots can look to North Miami’s example for green infrastructure public space design planning that goes beyond capturing stormwater, and integrates the community’s well-being — such as access to green space — for greater long-term resilience. This case study is one of 24 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Greauxing Resilience at Home: A Collection of Lessons and Case Studies from Louisiana and Beyond.

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Greauxing Resilience at Home — City of Houston, Texas: Resilient Houston and Affordable Housing and Nature-Based Efforts

June 16, 2022

Houston has been battered by six federally declared flooding disasters in five years, including the record-setting Hurricane Harvey in 2017. A significant amount of Houston’s existing development is located in vulnerable floodplains. These land use patterns, combined with recurrent disasters, have served as the impetus for Houston to undertake several related efforts to increase local resilience. The city has thus begun to plan to increase its resilience against future storms. In 2018, the city responded by adding structural elevation requirements in the 500-year floodplain and increasing them for the 100-year floodplain. In addition, the city developed the Resilient Houston plan. If implemented, the proposed recommendations in Resilient Houston will promote affordable housing with access to job centers, improve community resilience through green space preservation, and enhance stormwater management through the promotion of green stormwater infrastructure. Other local governments facing similar threats from disaster events and pressures to develop in floodplains could evaluate and consider adopting some of Houston’s planning and land-use actions. This case study is one of 24 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Greauxing Resilience at Home: A Collection of Lessons and Case Studies from Louisiana and Beyond.

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