Shinnecock Indian Nation Climate Change Adaptation Plan

The Shinnecock Environmental Department and the Natural Resource Committee had begun researching climate change, and particularly the impacts on surface water and ocean acidification, because of tribal shellfish cultivation. The next large concern was the increasing shoreline erosion, which is contributing to the loss of trees. The staff began researching other climate change issues that were impacting the region as well. Climate change is included in the Shinnecock Nation’s strategic plan.

The Shinnecock Environmental Department will lead the effort to implement the plan. They will actively work with other tribal departments and committees, such as health, land management, education, governance, and emergency management, to review the plan and identify the key areas for which each department/committee is needed for implementation. The plan will be reviewed annually and revised as necessary. Each action item will be reviewed and delegated to the appropriate entity for implementation, including the seeking of outside consultants when deemed necessary. Reasonable timelines and target dates for these efforts are under development.

The State of Climate-­Informed Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning

Coastal and marine spatial planning (CMSP) is a science-based, collaborative process used to sustainably manage resources, interests, and activities among diverse coastal and ocean users and sectors. Climate change is affecting marine and coastal ecosystems throughout the world, manifesting in warming air and sea temperatures, increasing coastal storms, and rising sea levels. The existing and projected impacts of climate change and ocean acidification need to be incorporated into planning processes to ensure long-term success. Because CMSP is an emerging field, it is important to look to other coastal and marine planning and management frameworks to identify opportunities for climate-informed action.

With the support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, EcoAdapt created the Climate-Informed CMSP Initiative to examine the connections between climate change and coastal and marine planning. This included conducting a needs assessment survey to identify what practitioners need in order to integrate climate change into their planning efforts, as well as research into the state of climate-informed CMSP efforts with the intention of identifying case study examples of adaptation in action. Our key research questions included:

  1. How is climate change currently being integrated into CMSP-related efforts?
  2. How can climate-informed CMSP be done?
  3. What do practitioners need in order to integrate climate change into CMSP?

Climate Change in Colorado: A Synthesis to Support Water Resources Management and Adaptation: A Report for the Colorado Water Conservation Board

The scientific evidence is clear: the Earth’s climate is warming. Multiple independent measurements confirm widespread warming in the western United States; in Colorado, temperatures have increased by approximately 2°F between 1977 and 2006. Increasing temperatures are affecting the state’s water resources. (Sections 1, 2, 4, 5, 6)

This report is a synthesis of climate change science important for Colorado’s water supply. It focuses on observed trends, modeling, and projections of temperature, precipitation,snowmelt, and runoff. Climate projections are reported out to the mid-21st century, because this is a relevant time frame for development of adaptation strategies.

Although many published studies and datasets include information about Colorado, few climate studies focus only on the state. Consequently, many important scientific analyses for Colorado are lacking. This report summarizes Coloradospecific findings from peer-reviewed regional studies, and presents new graphics derived from existing datasets. The state is home to many experts in climate and hydrology, and this report also draws from ongoing work by these scientists.

A Three-Step Decision Support Framework for Climate Adaptation: Selecting Climate-Informed Conservation Goals and Strategies for Native Salmonids in the Northern U.S. Rockies

The impact of climate change on cold-water ecosystems—and the cold-adapted native salmonids present in these systems—is the subject of a substantial body of research.. Recently, scientists have developed a number of datasets and analyses that provide insight into projections of climate change e ects on native salmonid populations in the northern U.S. Rockies region. Alongside this research, a number of management options for helping native salmonids respond to the e ects of climate change—also known as ‘climate adaptation’ strategies and actions—have been identi ed by scientists and managers in the region. These analyses and climate adaptation options o er valuable information to managers charged with making di cult decisions about where and how to best conserve and restore the region’s native salmonids given the challenges posed by shifting climatic conditions. Yet managers in the region continue to identify challenges in applying available information on climate change impacts, particularly in determining forward-looking conservation goals and selecting appropriate actions from the long menu of available climate adaptation options.

 

To augment this research and compilation of climate-informed management options, we have developed a decision support framework aimed at helping managers think critically about how to apply climate information to their management decisions. Speci cally, our framework is meant to help managers:

1) articulate an appropriate conservation goal for cold-adapted native salmonid populations taking into account the impacts of climate change on habitat suitability, threats from non-native sh, and connectivity;

2) consider the climate adaptation strategies that might best support that goal; and

3) identify actions that are available to implement the chosen strategies.

Given the complexity and uncertainty of conserving cold-adapted species in an era of rapid climate change and the limited resources available for conservation, choices about where to invest conservation dollars require defensible and transparent decision making. The three-step decision framework we provide here is meant to be a starting point to help managers document how they have incorporated information on climate change into their management decisions and prioritization of limited resources. The process used to develop the framework for native salmonids can be used to tailor decision support for additional conservation targets of interest. Ultimately, managers can integrate this climate change thinking into existing conservation strategies and management plans, alongside the myriad other regulatory, social, economic and locally-driven factors and mandates that in uence management decisions.

Adaptation of Agriculture and the Food System to Climate Change: Policy Issues

One of the most important sectors of the economy, U.S. agriculture depends heavily on climate. Farms and ranches are also the largest group of owners and managers of land that impacts ecosystem services, such as greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation, water quality and quantity regulation, and wildlife habitat and biodiversity conservation. In addition, agriculture is playing an increasingly important role in the energy sector through biofuels production. Consequently, the impacts of climate change on agriculture, and agriculture’s ability to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change, are critical issues for agricultural households as well as the general public and public policy decisionmakers.

This policy brief summarizes the findings of a longer report on the potential impacts of climate change and the potential for the U.S. agricultural sector to adapt to climate change (Antle 2009), and then addresses the policy implications of these findings. 

Climate Change and the Delaware Estuary: Three Case Studies in Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Planning

The Delaware Estuary watershed and its natural resources will face a variety of challenges with climate change. Due to the many unique features of the Estuary, some aspects of changing climate may not be as severe here as in nearby watersheds and estuaries, whereas other changes may be more important. Since 2008, the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary has engaged experts from throughout the region to conduct an assessment of the vulnerabilities and adaptation options for three key resources of the Delaware Estuary: tidal wetlands, drinking water, and bivalve shellfish. These provide three case studies – a habitat case study, a human/water use case study, and a living resource case study – for looking at climate change impacts and how best to adapt to them here in the Delaware Estuary. These case studies represent the very first step in an adaptation planning process, the goal of which is to ensure the resiliency of this vast and valuable system as climate changes.

Adaptations to Sustain High‐Quality Freshwater Supplies in Response to Climate Change

As defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, adaptation includes a set of actions to moderate harm or exploit beneficial opportunities in response to climate change. To date, little research has addressed public policy options to frame the nation’s approach to adapt to a changing climate. In light of scientific evidence of extreme and unpredictable climate change, prudent policy requires consideration of what to do if markets and people fail to anticipate these changes, or are constrained in their ability to react. This issue brief is one in a series that results from the second phase of a domestic adaptation research project conducted by Resources for the Future. The briefs are primarily intended for use by decisionmakers in confronting the complex and difficult task of effectively adapting the United States to climate change impacts, but may also offer insight and value to scholars and the general public. This research was supported by a grant from the Smith‐Richardson Foundation.

Policy Recommendations

Scientists expect climate change to affect the availability and quality of freshwater in distinctive ways from those previously experienced. As a result, many current methods to provide sustainable water supplies during extreme droughts, floods, and hurricanes may not be effective. New approaches are needed to respond to these complexly linked, cumulative effects associated with extreme climatic changes. The following actions can help create a policy environment that encourages adaptive responses in times of hydrologic uncertainty.

  • To meet the increased demands for fresh water during periods of greater scarcity, regional adaptations will need to increase redundancy among natural and built systems to provide higher levels of functional resiliency. Planning will require frequent analyses of newly developed cooperative strategies to review both structural and non‐structural responses.
  • Organizations that now focus mostly on short‐term responses to hurricanes, floods, and droughts will need to increase their effectiveness by linking regional and national levels of coordinated data collection and modeling to improve long‐term forecasts and proactive, adaptive responses.
  • Additional coordination of federal and state agencies will enhance adaptive responses through long‐term strategic planning of shared solutions to water scarcity. These adaptations include new, properly located, deep storage reservoirs, optimal management of existing reservoirs, and shared information on the vulnerability of ecosystem services. Optimizing compatible land uses, floodplain protection, and urban design will increase groundwater recharge and storage during wet periods for use during dry periods.
  • Newly developed and updated natural and built infrastructure will slow runoff and reduce erosion during floods with protected floodplains, expanded construction of green roofs, water gardens, retention ponds, and widely distributed storage reservoirs.
  • Existing water‐storage and treatment infrastructure is aging and needs thorough evaluation and upgrading. Agencies will need to monitor reservoir storage capacities because larger and more frequent floods increase sediment transport and infilling.
  • Decoupling storm‐flow runoff from systems connected to sewage treatment plants in urban and suburban basins will increase downstream water quality during floods and integrate centralized and decentralized natural infrastructure (e.g., wetlands and floodplains).
  • Revision of the National Flood Insurance Program will need to consider the full, long‐term costs of floods, such as losses of ecosystem services in floodplains and coastal zones. Visualization of possible floods will enhance communication, resulting in more resilience insurance programs that include planning for protected river corridors and greenways.
  • Future forecasts based on observations from improved satellites and atmospheric modeling will provide longer lead times for effectively alerting the public to risks of extreme droughts, floods, and hurricanes and will enhance adaptive responses.   Improved forecasts will decrease losses and help to avoid rapidly increasing insurance premiums.
  • Engaging grassroots programs and diverse stakeholders working on responses to climate change will increase opportunities for teachers, students, and the general public to become more aware of regional and temporal variability in precipitation.
  • Learning from regional comparisons of adaptive responses to extreme variations in freshwater availability can provide exchanges of innovative policies. In addition, some adaptive responses will need to develop at the national level as more individuals, agencies, and organizations work together across traditional lines of communication to learn from past limitations. This framework can increase awareness and communication about options for responding to seasonal and inter‐annual variability of precipitation among participants across regions.  

Adapting California’s Water Management to Climate Change

California faces the prospect of significant water management challenges from climate change. The most certain changes are accelerated sea level rise and increased temperatures, which will reduce the Sierra Nevada snowpack and shift more runoff to winter months. These changes will likely cause major problems for flood control, for water supply reservoir operations, and for the maintenance of the present system of water exports through the fragile levee system of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Rising water temperatures also are likely to compromise habitat for some native aquatic species and pose challenges for reservoir operations, which must release cool water to support fish downstream. Although there is as yet little scientific consensus on the effects of climate change on overall precipitation levels, many expect precipitation variability to increase, with more extreme drought and flood events posing additional challenges to water managers.

Fortunately, California also possesses numerous assets – including adaptation tools and institutional capabilities – which can limit vulnerability of the state’s residents to changing conditions. Water supply managers have already begun using underground storage, water transfers, conservation, recycling, and desalination to expand their capacity to meet changing demands, and these same tools present cost-effective options for responding to a wide range of climate change scenarios. Many staples of flood management – including reservoir operations, levees, bypasses, insurance, and land-use regulation – are appropriate for the challenges posed by increasing flood flows.

Yet actions are also needed to improve response capacity in some areas. For water supply, a central issue is the management of the Delta, where new conveyance and habitat investments and new regulations are needed to sustain water supply reliability and ecosystem conditions. For flood management, studies to anticipate required changes have only begun, and institutional constraints limit the ability to change reservoir operations, raise funds for flood works, prevent development in flood-prone areas, and encourage use of flood insurance. Needed reforms include forward-looking reservoir operation planning and floodplain mapping, less restrictive rules for raising local flood assessments, and improved public information on flood risks. For water quality, an urgent priority is better science. Climate change is likely to have far-reaching implications for water regulations and management, but we remain at an embryonic state of knowledge about these future changes. We will have to make policy, planning, and operational decisions without perfect knowledge of how much the climate is changing.

Although local agencies are central players in all aspects of water management, adaptation will require strong-willed state leadership to shape institutions, incentives, and regulations capable of responding to change. Cooperation of federal agencies will be essential, given the important roles they play in flood management, environmental regulation, and water supply, particularly in the Delta.

Miami Beach Stormwater Master Plan

PUBLIC WORKS - STORM WATER

The Storm Water Utility Division manages and controls the amount of effluents which are discharged into the City's storm water system. This division is responsible for maintaining storm water lines; installing catchment filter basins to reduce and eliminate polluted storm water run-off; complying with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements; and relieving flooding conditions.

Storm Water Management Master Plan

The City is in the process of developing a new Citywide Storm Water Management Master Plan. On August 17, 2012, the City's consultant CDM Smith presented a summary of their findings and recommendations. Their sub-consultant Coastal Systems International, who developed the appendix on sea level rise, climate change and tidal boundary conditions also presented their findings and recommendations.

Gulf South Rising 2015 - Final Report

Gulf South Rising was a regional movement of coordinated actions and events to highlight the impact of the global climate crisis on the Gulf South region. Through collaborative events and actions around strategic dates in 2015, Gulf South Rising demanded a just transition away from extractive industries, discriminatory policies, and unjust practices that hinder equitable recovery from disaster and impede the development of sustainable communities.

This year-long initiative

  1. built regional movement infrastructure;
  2. connected and convened frontline communities around collective healing and ecological equity;
  3. advanced regional efforts of indigenous tribal and land sovereignty and
  4. shifted the regional narrative from resilience to resistance.

The Gulf South Rising (GSR) Strategy Document was created through a five-year community process anchored by the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy using People’s Movement Assemblies (PMAs) as the method for community-based issue mapping and agenda setting. The PMA process allowed frontline community members of the Gulf South to collectively identify their own problems and vision their own solutions. Notes and decisions from five years of these PMAs across the region were synthesized into the Gulf South Rising strategy document. The Gulf South Rising Strategy Document principles for moving together, defined broad goals and specific objectives for the initiative, and structured collective regional actions around the 2015 calendar year.

The year 2015 was a movement year for the Gulf South and the Nation. Important “Movement Dates” included 50 years since the Selma March, 10 years since Hurricane Katrina, 5 years since the BP Deepwater Horizon Explosion, 40 years since the end of the Vietnam War, 50 years since the Voting Rights Act, and many more. Through shared work around these “Movement Dates” the Gulf South Rising initiative aimed to amplify the good work continuously being done in the Gulf South and connect authentic community across the region.

While crafted around commemorations. The Gulf South Rising initiative was strategically more than the sum of its parts. A regional collective of residents developed and supported leadership on the ground through the shared work of many of these commemorations. The GSR initiative created a culture of engagement and decision-making rooted in true democracy, trained local advocates on the intersection of climate change and social justice, and ensured that stories were told authentically by the people of the Gulf South. Gulf South Rising collectivized the 2015 movement energy in the region to support self-determination at the grassroots level for Gulf South communities. Participants in this 12-month initiative have determined that the Gulf South is Rising.