Metro-Boston Regional Climate Change Adaptation Strategy

The primary purpose of this Strategy is to outline specific sub-strategies and recommendations to fulfill the stated adaptation goal and associated objectives (explained in Section 2). The overarching public purpose of the Strategy is to reduce the impacts of climate change through effective risk management. The Strategy is intended as a proactive approach in response to the findings of the vulnerability assessment conducted for the Metro-Boston Region. A primary planning recommendation of the Strategy is the integration of information about emerging climate change risks into current disaster planning systems and arrangements at the community and/or regional level, as appropriate. Such a strategy is urgently needed because any increase in the number or intensity of disasters due to climate change will adversely impact quality of life and economic development in the region. Ideally, the Strategy can significantly limit the adverse effect of climatic hazards on public health and safety, critical infrastructure and the built environment, and the region’s natural resources and ecosystems. This in turn will reduce the disruption of the local economy and lessen the costs of post-disaster response.

Email Address: 
Position Title: 
Senior Environmental Planner

Our world is in peril. Global warming, climate change, and alterations to land, water and air all threaten human and environmental welfare. The problems are urgent and solutions are needed now. At the Environmental Change Initiative (ND-ECI), over 50 researchers have come together from almost every discipline to find these solutions. We work hand-in-hand with partners to do research that matters to society, answering the most critical environmental questions of our time:

We call it “Science Serving Society”

Mississippi River Basin / Gulf Hypoxia Initiative

Location

US Fish & Wildlife Service
620 S. Walker St
47403 Bloomington , IN
United States
39° 9' 38.6784" N, 86° 32' 45.9132" W
Indiana US
Summary: 

The Midwest and the Mississippi Alluvial Valley currently contribute the greatest nutrient load to the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone. Modifying the design or shifting the location of conservation practices can provide benefits for wildlife, water quality, energy and agriculture, making program dollars go farther and appeal to more land managers.

Still Creek, Metro Vancouver: Low Carbon Resilience and Transboundary Ecosystem Management

Location

Still Creek Vancouver/Burnaby , BC
Canada
49° 14' 55.7124" N, 122° 58' 49.836" W
British Columbia CA
Summary: 

This year-long research project from ACT (the Adaptation to Climate Change Team) at Simon Fraser University’s Pacific Water Research Centre focused on the Still Creek watershed, which is shared between the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby. One of only two daylit creeks (i.e. creeks free of culverts and paved channels) remaining in Vancouver, Still Creek underwent significant environmental degradation as a result of urbanization.

Email Address: 
Position Title: 
Research associate and M&E

Evaluating a decision analytic approach to climate change adaptation of cultural resources along the Atlantic Coast of the United States​

Climate change poses some of the most significant risks for the preservation of coastal cultural resources or cultural heritage. As a result, more research is needed to facilitate the design and implementation of feasible and transparent adaptation strategies for cultural resources under changing climate conditions. In this paper, we begin to explore the challenges and opportunities that face cultural resource managers as they begin to grapple with climate change adaptation planning in dynamic coastal environments. Specifically, we provide an overview of a value-focused, decision-analytic approach that was applied in a pilot test of climate adaptation planning for buildings within designated historic districts on the barrier islands of Cape Lookout National Seashore, North Carolina. We provide descriptions of the challenges that are uniquely facing cultural resource managers and initial evidence of the utility of this type of approach for informing judgments by presenting pre- and post-workshop survey data. Although additional research is critical to offer planning and policy guidance, we found that structured deliberations about cultural resource adaptation planning not only influenced participants’ opinions but also provided a necessary space to better understand the complexities of climate and budget uncertainties. Our evaluation is a first step at documenting the difficult and value-laden decisions that must be addressed by cultural resource managers as fiscal constraints and impending climate impacts threaten the traditional approach of preservation in perpetuity.

 

 

NIST Community Resilience Economic Decision Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems

This Economic Guide provides a standard economic methodology for evaluating investment decisions aimed to improve the ability of communities to adapt to, withstand, and quickly recover from disruptive events. The Economic Guide is designed for use in conjunction with the NIST Community Resilience Planning Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems, which provides a methodology for communities to develop long-term plans by engaging stakeholders, establishing performance goals for buildings and infrastructure systems, and developing an implementation strategy, by providing a mechanism to prioritize and determine the efficiency of resilience actions. The methodology described in this report frames the economic decision process by identifying and comparing the relevant present and future streams of costs and benefits—the latter realized through cost savings and damage loss avoidance—associated with new capital investment into resilience to those future streams generated by the status-quo. Topics related to non-market values and uncertainty are also explored. This report provides context for increasing resilience capacity through focusing on those investments that target key social goals and objectives, and providing selection criteria that ensure reduction of risks as well as increases in resilience. Furthermore, the methodological approach aims to enable the built environment to be utilized more efficiently in terms of loss reduction during recovery and to enable faster and more efficient recovery in the face of future disasters.

Climate Change and the U.S. Energy Sector: Regional Vulnerabilities and Resilience Solutions

Changes in climate create diverse challenges across the U.S. energy system. Some energy infrastructure assets have already suffered damage or disruption in services from a variety of climate-related impacts, such as higher temperatures, rising sea levels, and more severe weather events. In the absence of concerted action to improve resilience, energy system vulnerabilities pose a threat to America’s national security, energy security, economic well- being, and quality of life.

Building climate change resilience into our energy infrastructure planning is a challenging and complex undertaking. Planning horizons can span several decades (the typical service life of most energy assets), associated investments can extend into the billions of dollars, and relevant technologies can change rapidly. Some climate change impacts may trigger cascading effects on natural resources, energy demand, and supply chains. Challenges are compounded when addressing climate risks at the regional or local level, where climate change projections are subject to less certainty than at the national scale.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has proactively launched numerous initiatives to support and facilitate energy sector climate preparedness and resilience at national, regional, and local levels. In addition to enhancing resilience to climate change, these actions may also have co-benefits that accommodate non-climate resilience needs (e.g., aging infrastructure, cybersecurity, physical attacks, geomagnetic storms). To assist infrastructure owners and utility planners, DOE has compiled this report on region- specific energy vulnerabilities to climate change (see Figure ES-1) and current resilience solutions.

President's State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience

At state, local, tribal, and territorial levels, leaders are making bold decisions on ways to invest in more resilient infrastructure, revise land use, update building codes, and adjust natural resource management and other practices to improve the resilience of their communities to climate impacts. The Federal Government has a critical role to play in supporting these efforts by ensuring that Federal policies and programs incorporate climate change, incentivize and remove barriers to community resilience, and provide the information and assistance communities need to understand and prepare for climate risks. The Federal Government also has a responsibility to protect its own investments, such as military installations and space launch facilities, and ensure that the lands and resources it holds in the public trust are managed for a changing climate.

In order to better support communities across the country as they prepare for the impacts of climate change, the Task Force proposes that the Administration advance actions across the Federal Government that align with the following overarching principles:

Require consideration of climate-related risks and vulnerabilities in the design, revision, and implementation of all Federal policies, practices, investments, regulations, and other programs.

  • Maximize opportunities to take actions that have dual-benefits of increasing community resilience and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Strengthen coordination and partnerships among Federal agencies, and across Federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial jurisdictions as well as economic sectors.
  •  Provide actionable data and information on climate change impacts and related tools and assistance to support decision-making at all levels.
  • Consult and cooperate with Tribes and indigenous communities on all aspects of Federal climate preparedness and resilience efforts, and encourage states and local communities to do the same.