Topic: Georgetown Articles

Karuk Tribe Climate Adaptation Plan

Karuk have lived in the Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains in the mid-Klamath River region of northern California beyond documented history, and now face severe climate change impacts to their territory and way of life. The Karuk Climate Adaptation Plan details climate impacts and adaptation strategies for the Karuk tribe and culture, local species and habitats, human health, critical infrastructure, tribal programs, tribal sovereignty and management authority. The climate adaptations evaluated have combined western science and Karuk traditional knowledge, and are recommended based on 22 focal species cultural indicators “for human responsibilities and necessary human actions” across seven habitat management zones.

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PG&E Better Together Resilient Communities Grant Program

The Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) Better Together Resilient Communities grant program funds initiatives to help California communities better prepare for, withstand, and recover from extreme weather events and other risks related to climate change. PG&E is investing $2 million over five years in shareholder-funded grants.  In 2018, PG&E focused on projects to help communities prepare for increased frequency and severity of extreme heat events, and the 2019 Resilient Communities grant program will focus on wildfire risk.

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Regional Resilience Toolkit: 5 Steps to Build Large Scale Resilience to Natural Disasters

Developed by EPA and FEMA in partnership with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Association of Bay Area Governments in California, this toolkit provides a stepwise process for individual communities or coalitions of communities across a region to engage in partnership-building, planning, and other activities to build regional resilience. The goal of the toolkit is to facilitate the integration of various local planning processes, including hazard mitigation, climate adaptation, sustainability, and equity, into one overarching action plan for resilience that can result in improved implementation, funding, and measurement efforts for multiple hazards.

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Killer Heat in the United States

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has evaluated how climate change will contribute to increasing incidence of dangerous high heat days across the U. S. This includes an analysis of the growing number of high heat days across various regions of the country, described under three climate change scenarios. The report also details the public health consequences of extreme heat and the populations that are particularly vulnerable to these threats. Policy recommendations are offered with adaptation measures that can be implemented at all levels of government to address rising temperatures.

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Miami, Florida Resilient 305 Strategy

This climate resilience plan was created collaboratively by Greater Miami and the Beaches (GM&B) – a unique partnership between Miami-Dade County, the City of Miami, and the City of Miami Beach. The unified adaptation strategy integrates climate change planning and preparedness for the low-lying coastal communities in southeast Florida (which share area code 305). The Resilient305 Strategy offers 59 action items that will help municipalities to better prepare for and respond to increasing occurrences of hurricanes, sunny day flooding, and sea level rise, as well as social and economic inequities.

An Equitable Water Future: Louisville, Kentucky

An Equitable Water Future: Louisville focuses on building equity in the infrastructure workforce, primarily the water sector, in Louisville, Kentucky.  Local factors that influence water equity are described, including concentrated vulnerable communities that are disproportionality experiencing aging infrastructure, flooding and climate impacts, and barriers to participating in the local infrastructure workforce. The report outlines recommendations to address these issues that Louisville and other municipalities can take to advance sustainable and equitable utility management.

An Act to Promote Clean Energy Jobs and to Establish the Maine Climate Council

In June 2019, Maine Governor Janet Mills signed into law “An Act to Promote Clean Energy Jobs and to Establish the Maine Climate Council. ” The act states that the impacts of climate change have created an “emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine” and find that the law is “immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety. ” To address the state’s climate emergency, the act includes multiple provisions related to climate adaptation and resilience.

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Norfolk Special Service District Policy for Flood Protection

In June 2019, the Norfolk City Council adopted a policy authorizing the creation of Special Service Districts (SSD) to support implementation of local flood risk reduction and water quality improvement projects in the City of Norfolk, Virginia. SSDs enable a group of residents to agree to pay a tax to finance additional services in a particular neighborhood. The Norfolk policy allows SSD funding to be used to pay for flood mitigation, dredging, water quality improvements, and coastal protection projects.

Clean Air Centers in Seattle, Washington

The City of Seattle, Washington is establishing five new facilities that will provide clean air for its most at-risk residents during hazardous conditions brought on by wildfires. As the climate warms, Seattle is experiencing a major uptick in the number of wildfires, and consequently more days with unhealthy air quality from particulate matter. This issue is especially significant for Seattle, as the majority of the city’s residents do not have air conditioning, and mostly open windows to circulate air from outside to cool homes.

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Ola Oahu Resilience Strategy

The O‘ahu Resilience Strategy, developed by the City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii is focused on adapting to shocks and stresses on the island – primarily increased cost of living and climate change impacts in Honolulu. The Strategy offers 44 Actions across four focal areas or Resilience “Pillars” of Long-term Affordability (local economy), Disaster Preparedness, Climate Security, and Community Cohesion for the island and communities of O’ahu. The Strategy is critical for planning on O’ahu’s social, economic and environmental sustainability as, according to the report, “45% of O‘ahu residents live in a household where someone is contemplating leaving, and 78% of residents believe that climate change is going to impact them personally.

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