The State of Climate Adaptation in Water Resources Management: Southeastern United States and U.S. Caribbean

The intent of this report is to provide a brief overview of key climate change impacts and a review of the prevalent work occurring on climate change adaptation in the Southeastern United States and U.S. Caribbean, especially focusing on activities as they relate to water resources. The Southeastern United States includes Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Arkansas, and Florida. Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) comprise the U.S. Caribbean region. This report presents the results of EcoAdapt’s efforts to survey, inventory, and, where possible, assess climate-informed water resources action in the region.

The synthesis includes:

  • A summary of key regional climate change impacts and discussion on how the aforementioned issues combine to influence water supply, demand and use, quality, and delivery;
  • The results of a survey sent to federal, tribal, state, and other practitioners to identify challenges, needs, and opportunities for climate-informed water resources management;
  • Examples of adaptation initiatives from the region, focusing on activities in the natural and built environments as they relate to water resources;
  • Eighteen full-length case studies, detailing how adaptation is taking shape; and
  • A guide to the current suite of tools available to support adaptation action in water resources management, planning, and conservation.

Integrating Climate Risks into Local Planning in Alameda County, California

Location

Alameda County, California CA
United States
37° 45' 53.9892" N, 122° 13' 20.9532" W
California US
Organization: 
Four Twenty Seven
Organization: 
Summary: 

Cities across the United States face the challenge of integrating climate change considerations into their planning. Climate data is complex and fragmented, and often presented in a format and scale that are not aligned with planners’ needs. To support the integration of climate change adaptation into relevant plans such as local hazard mitigation plans, Four Twenty Seven, a California-based climate risk consulting firm, worked with the Alameda County waste authority to develop:

Maryland Coastal Resiliency Assessment

Location

Maryland Department of Natural Resources
580 Taylor Ave
21401 Annapolis , MD
United States
38° 58' 59.178" N, 76° 30' 18.8424" W
Maryland US
Summary: 

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources recognizes that the presence of natural features such as marshes and coastal forests can reduce the impact of inundation and erosion on the state’s coastal communities. These habitats dampen waves, stabilize sediment, and absorb water, thereby providing residents with more time to select and implement other adaptation strategies. To better understand the resiliency benefits of existing natural features, the Department partnered with The Nature Conservancy to conduct a Coastal Resiliency Assessment.

Climate Change and Resilience within Remediation: Environmental Agencies’ Perspectives

Overview:

Please join us for the second in a webinar series co-hosted by EcoAdapt and the Sustainable Remediation Forum (SURF) examining climate change and resilience within remediation of contaminated lands. This webinar will feature highlights of the programs being implemented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the State Of Massachusetts. We will also discuss progress in SURF’s 2016 research initiative on this timely topic.

Presenters:

Carlos Pachon, USEPA

Carlos is an Environmental Protection Specialist, based at the USEPA headquarters in Washington, DC. He leads a cross-agency effort to advance the USEPA’s "Principles for Green Remediation" and climate change adaptation practices in cleanup programs. To this end, Carlos is privileged to collaborate with the 10 USEPA regions and work with all of the people implementing cleanups in Superfund and other programs. Carlos has been with the USEPA for 18 years and holds a B.S. in Watershed Sciences, a M.S. in Environmental Management, and a MBA.

 

Anne Dailey, USEPA

Anne Dailey is a Senior Environmental Scientist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation. Among other duties, Anne co-led development of EPA’s recently issued series of Superfund climate change adaptation technical fact sheets. In addition to climate change adaptation, Anne also works on groundwater issues and is the Superfund Completions Coordinator and Superfund Tribal Coordinator. Prior to joining EPA Headquarters four years ago, Anne worked for more than 20 years in EPA Region 10 (Seattle) in both the Superfund and Water programs. Anne has a Bachelor of Science in Geology and a Master’s of Science in Oceanography from the University of Washington.

 

Thomas M. Potter, Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection

With over twenty-four years of experience in the field of waste site cleanup, Thomas currently serves as the Statewide Clean Energy Development Coordinator for the Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). Thomas previously served on the MassDEP’s Commissioner’s Office Environmental Innovations Team to help expand energy-environmental coordination across MassDEP programs and regions. Thomas also served for ten years as the Statewide Audit Coordinator for MassDEP’s Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup Audit Program. Prior to joining the MassDEP, Thomas worked throughout New England as an environmental consultant, concentrating primarily on sites regulated under the Massachusetts waste site cleanup program. Mr. Potter has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography from Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.

 

Barbara Maco, Vice President, Sustainable Remediation Forum (SURF) US Board of Trustees

Barbara supports private and public sector clients with projects focused on sustainable remediation, redevelopment, and renewable energy generation on impaired lands. At the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, she served as a Senior Remedial Project Manager and Greener Cleanup Coordinator, and facilitated the first EPA Memorandums of Understanding with a military service. Her projects have included international and U.S. federal and state Superfund sites, brownfields, and military munitions response sites. Barbara served on the scientific committees for both the Third and Fourth International Sustainable Remediation Forums. Barbara holds a BA in Ecological Systems and a Masters in Business Administration in Sustainable Management. Barbara co-leads SURFs technical initiative researching Climate Change and Resilience within Sustainable Remediation.

Climate Change And Resilience Within Sustainable Remediation

This webinar is offered as part of the National Adaptation Forum Webinar series and hosted by U.S. Sustainable Remediation Forum (http://www.sustainableremediation.org/), EcoAdapt, and the Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange (CAKEx.org). It will feature highlights of the recent Sustainable Remediation Forum (SURF) conference on Climate Change and Resilience within Remediation, including a comprehensive overview of challenges and opportunities, with a focus on the legal and insurance implications. We will also introduce the new SURF US Technical Initiative that will evaluate the necessary planning, research and activities to ensure the long term sustainability of site remediation, and examine the benefits of rehabilitated land to strengthen community and ecosystem resilience.

Holistic Adaptation and Equity Approaches that Engage Communities

Local, regional, state and national planning and implementation efforts could better use equity approaches that benefit the diverse needs of low-income and the most vulnerable communities. While we plan for the National Adaptation Forum and other forums, how do we better include equity perspectives, strategies and leaders to further advance the climate adaptation field? What are some of the strategies and practices that city planners, CBO’s, funders and others are doing to build a more diverse and equitable climate adaptation field?

Climate Change Preparedness Plan for the North Olympic Peninsula

It is increasingly apparent that the global climate is rapidly changing and that these changes will affect the people, ecosystems, economy, and culture of the North Olympic Peninsula. The most noticeable impacts will likely include:

  • A diminishing snowpack lowering the region’s summer river flow and extending the summer drought season;
  • Shifts in the timing and type of precipitation, creating rain on snow events and unseasonably high stream flows that scour river bottoms and flood low-land areas;
  • Ongoing sea level rise driving coastal flooding, saltwater inundation, and enhanced shoreline erosion;
  • Extended warm temperatures which result in increased river water temperatures, enhanced wildfire risk, decreased soil moisture, and stressed forests through disease and insect outbreaks; and
  • Increasingly corrosive ocean waters (i.e. ocean acidification) from the ongoing absorption of human emissions of CO2.

These changes will affect the natural resources and livelihoods of the people of the North Olympic Peninsula, as well as the entire regional economy.

Climate change exerts its influence on human lives both directly (from extreme weather events) and indirectly (through ecosystem shifts and associated impacts to the natural and built environment). This Plan utilizes a regional planning perspective to understand and prepare for Climate Change’s impact to Ecosystems, Water Supplies, and Critical Infrastructure on the North Olympic Peninsula.

Climate Compatible Development in the ‘Land of a Thousand Hills’ – Lessons from Rwanda

This working paper is a product of a study in 2013-14 on “Lesson Learning from National Climate Compatible Development Planning.” The governments of Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya and Mozambique participated in the study, which aimed to capture and share institutional memory and experiences related to climate compatible development, and reflect on recommendations to support future decisions. The study was funded by CDKN and facilitated by the Centre for International Development and Training (CIDT) at the University of Wolverhampton.

Rwanda’s national learning study involved a literature review and semi-structured interview and questionnaire process with more than 30 stakeholders. A stakeholder workshop was held in Kigali, Rwanda, in February 2014 to validate the key lessons and results. Discussions explored key drivers, challenges, opportunities and lessons that could be shared within Rwanda and with other interested countries. The working paper highlights some of the conclusions on how  governance, institutional arrangements, laws and policies, planning, financing and knowledge sharing can all support more climate-compatible development.

Supporting Ambitious Intended Nationally Determined Contributions: Lessons Learned from Developing Countries

CDKN has been working with a range of expert organisations to provide technical assistance to nine developing countries as they prepare their INDCs for submission to the UNFCCC by October 2015. This Working Paper summarises some of the key learning points that have emerged from this diverse experience. This Working Paper should be seen as a companion volume to CDKN’s ‘Guide to INDCs’ (2015), which provides a practical example of how an INDC could be structured and potential key elements and content. Each section cross-references the relevant text from the Lima Call to Climate Action and other relevant guidance, suggests data sources and provides illustrative examples of the type of content and narrative that Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States might include. 

Developing countries are placing a high priority on preparing their INDCs. INDCs present a real opportunity for developing countries to showcase the practical steps they have taken in recent years to mainstream climate change into their development strategies.

The authors conducted a series of interviews with people preparing INDCs in Bangladesh, Colombia, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Kenya, Pakistan, Peru, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Uganda. This Working Paper sets out the five principal conclusions that emerge from these interviews:

  1. Consider INDCs as statements of political ambition, both domestically and internationally.
  2. Have a clear vision for the structure and content from the outset.
  3. Build on existing policies, with targeted use of new analysis to fill knowledge gaps.
  4. Build broad-based support across economic sectors through innovative approaches to consultation.
  5. Make plans for effective implementation now, and consider how international support, finance and other mechanisms may adjust ambitions after 2015.