A new federal infrastructure package presents a critical opportunity to strengthen America’s infrastructure against the growing risks posed by extreme weather and other impacts of climate change. Enhancing the climate resilience of the nation’s infrastructure can substantially reduce future losses, benefiting public health, safety, quality of life, and prosperity. This policy brief outlines the benefits of climate-resilient infrastructure and criteria that should inform infrastructure planning and investment to enhance climate resilience. It identifies the types of infrastructure projects that can promote resilience while simultaneously achieving other climate and energy goals and recommends changes to existing federal policies and programs to ensure ongoing improvement to the climate resilience of America’s infrastructure.
Increasing rates of sea level rise caused by global warming are expected to lead to permanent inundation, episodic flooding, beach erosion and saline intrusion in low-lying coastal areas. Sea level rise is a significant and growing threat to the coastal region of New Jersey, USA and this study presents a comprehensive assessment of the expected impacts. We project future sea level rise based on historical measurements and global scenarios, and apply them to digital elevation models to illustrate the extent to which the New Jersey coast is vulnerable. We estimate that 1 to 3 % of New Jersey’s land area will be affected by inundation and 6.5 to over 9 % by episodic coastal flooding over the next century. We also characterize potential impacts on the socioeconomic and natural systems of the New Jersey coast focusing on Cape May Point for illustrative purposes. We then suggest a range of potential adaptation and mitigation opportunities for managing coastal areas in response to sea level rise. Our findings suggest that where possible a gradual withdrawal of development from some areas of the New Jersey coast may be the optimum management strategy for protecting natural ecosystems.
The Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan is a 50-year plan that proposes to use water system upgrades and urban design projects to reduce flood risk and improve stormwater, surface water, and groundwater management in New Orleans, Louisiana. By creating an integrated living water system, the plan will enhance the quality of life for New Orleans residents, help create viable wildlife habitat, and enhance the resilience of the city in the face of climate change. The plan was developed by a diverse project team, and incorporates ideas from Dutch frameworks for water management.
In response to combined sewer overflows, stormwater quality issues, and regional flooding in Louisville, Kentucky, the Louisville and Jefferson County Municipal Sewer District (MSD) has implemented a variety of green infrastructure projects to help capture and infiltrate stormwater. Projects include 19 green infrastructure demonstration projects, two combined sewer overflow drainage area projects, and a green infrastructure financial incentives program.
Sierra CAMP is a public-private, cross-sector partnership working to promote climate adaptation and mitigation strategies across the Sierra Nevada region.