Helping Communities Prepare for Climate Change

Georgetown Climate Center Launches Adaptation Clearinghouse 2.0

Georgetown Climate Center Launches Adaptation Clearinghouse 2.0

The Georgetown Climate Center recently launched the new and improved Adaptation Clearinghouse to help communities find the resources they need to prepare for climate change. The new system features an improved search interface, greater content curation, and new tools for partner organizations and websites. 

Working with Leaders to Implement Equitable Solutions that Make Communities More Resilient

Working with Leaders to Implement Equitable Solutions that Make Communities More Resilient

The Center works with cities, states, and neighborhood leaders to develop policies that help communities prepare for climate change impacts, such as sea-level rise, flooding, drought, and urban heat. The Center also works to ensure that solutions are applied in a fair and equitable manner.


With the planet warming and extreme weather becoming the new normal, states and communities are seeking out resources to help them anticipate climate impacts and protect residents, homes, businesses, and public infrastructure.  Now is the time to begin taking steps to build stronger and safer communities and prepare for rising seas, heat, drought, wildfires, extreme weather, and other climate impacts on the way.

See below for tools developed in conjunction with the Georgetown Climate Center to asssist communities in preparing for climate change.

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Developing and Maintaining the Adaptation Clearinghouse

The Adaptation Clearinghouse is an online database and networking site that seeks to assist state policymakers, resource managers, academics, and others who are working to help communities adapt to climate change. The Clearinghouse contains more than 2,000 resources. 

The Center regularly partners with organizations, such as the EPA, the Urban Sustainability Directors Netork, the American Society of Adaptation Professionals, and other organizations working on resilience and adaptation issues through the Clearinghouse.   

Supporting Adaptation that is Equitable and Just

Recognizing that vulnerability to climate change is social as much as it is physical, Georgetown Climate Center supports policy options that address social inequities and climate exposure together. The center is collecting resources that showcase and provide guidance on equitable adaptation in our Adaptation Clearinghouse and is partnering with U.S. cities to explore policy options, such as techniques to encourage more affordable resilient housing, targeting green infrastructure in low-income neighborhoods, and creating local hire programs to ensure resilience investments bring economic benefits.

Preparing for Urban Heat Impacts

The Georgetown Climate Center works with state and local governments to develop “heat-smart” communities that are well prepared to cope with rising temperatures — to both help them identify the adaptation choices available and navigate through the legal obstacles they may face in trying to implement different options. Learn more about the Center's law, policy, and on-the-ground work in this area.

Preparing for Sea-Level Rise and Flooding Impacts

Global sea levels could rise three to six feet over the next century. The Center is working with state and local governments to help them become “coast-smart” — that is, better prepared to cope with the threats posed by rising sea levels and higher storm surges. We convene dialogs between states, local governments, and federal agencies to ensure that lessons learned are shared widely to inform future policy actions.

Preparing for Climate Change Impacts in the Transportation Sector

Every year, taxpayers pay hundreds of billions of dollars for transportation and related infrastructure—infrastructure that is becoming increasingly vulnerable to flooding and damage from extreme heat as a result of climate change. The Georgetown Climate Center regularly works with communities, states, and the federal government to address climate change impacts in the transportation sector.

Working with Citites to Improve Green Infrastructure

In order to ensure effective adaptation, communities need help identifying and implementing the most appropriate policies. The Georgetown Climate Center is working with a group of local partners to identify the best green infrastructure practices that cities are beginning to experiment with and to translate these lessons into a toolkit in order to share the best practices with communities across the country.


Higher Standards: Opportunities for Enhancing Flood Resilience in the Eastern Shore of Maryland
May 22, 2019

This report was prepared by the Georgetown Climate Center for the Eastern Shore Climate Adaptation Partnership (ESCAP) to inform efforts to prepare for impacts of sea-level rise in communities on the Eastern Shore of Maryland as part of the "Mainstreaming Sea Level Rise Preparedness in Local Planning and Policy on Maryland's Eastern Shore" initiative. This report presents opportunities for enhancing flood resilience in Eastern Shore communities through local floodplain regulations, subdivision regulations, and other non-regulatory options including acquisitions, conservation easements, and public education and outreach programs. Case studies highlight how other jurisdictions have used similar approaches to enhance flood resilience and model regulatory language is provided to help jurisdictions implement these approaches. 


Convening an Equity Advisory Group on Climate Resilience and Sustainability in the District of Columbia
November 8, 2018

The Georgetown Climate Center (GCC) and the District Department of Environment (DOEE) developed a series of reports related to work facilitating a community-driven planning process in neighborhoods in Ward 7 to inform District climate resilience and sustainability initiatives. An Equity Advisory Group (EAG) of Ward 7 residents and community leaders was convened and the EAG developed a series of recommendations on strategies for addressing climate risks in ways that support community priorities. A Community Engagement Guide was also developed to help other District agencies learn from this process and apply similar approaches to community engagement. Finally, an evaluation was produced to help GCC and DOEE improve and refine on the EAG process.


A Guide to Community-Centered Engagement in the District of Columbia
November 8, 2018

This Guide to Community-Centered Engagement in the District of Columbia outlines some best practices for supporting equitable, community-driven planning processes and was developed as part of project that the Georgetown Climate Center led with the District Department of Energy and Environment to convene an Equity Advisory Group in neighborhoods facing disproportionate risks to climate impacts in neighborhoods in Washington DC's Ward 7 . The Guide draws on lessons from the Equity Advisory Group pilot project in which this model of community enagement was used to support neighborhood-scale climate and resilience planning. 


Building Gulf Coast Resilience: Opportunities After Deepwater Horizon
August 2, 2018

This Georgetown Climate Center report presents recommendations for enhancing Gulf Coast resilience as state and federal agencies implement projects to restore ecosystems affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The report draws lessons from three case studies of other large-scale infrastructure projects where state and federal agencies have overcome challenges and developed innovative approaches to coordination, permitting and environmental review.


CASE STUDY: Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program
August 1, 2018

This case study, Lessons from the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program, explores the Long-Term Experimental and Management Plan developed to inform operations and management of the Glen Canyon Dam, and is one of a series of case studies accompanying the Center's report on Building Gulf Coast Resilience: Opportunities After Deep Water Horizon.



CASE STUDY: Hurricane Sandy Recovery Coordinating Teams
August 1, 2018

This case study, Lessons from the Hurricane Sandy Recovery, explores coordinating teams that were established by federal agencies after Hurricane Sandy to improve and expedite disaster-recovery projects, and is one of a series of case studies accompanying the Center's report on Building Gulf Coast Resilience: Opportunities After Deep Water Horizon.



CASE STUDY: California WaterFix
August 1, 2018

This case study, Lessons from the California WaterFix, explores how early and frequent consultations among state and federal agencies helped the project designers address regulatory challenges and expedite environmental review. It also illustrates how environmental review was used to explore the project’s ability to enhance the region’s resilience to climate impacts, like increasing drought. This case study is one of a series of case studies accompanying the Center's eport, Building Gulf Coast Resilience: Opportunities After Deep Water Horizon.


Climate Adaptation in the Agricultural Sector: Lessons from Vermont
November 2, 2017

This report from the Georgetown Climate Center describes climate-smart agricultural practices and efforts states can take to help farms prepare for climate change impacts. The report also includes a case study of how the State of Vermont supported adaptation in the agricultural sector after Hurricane Irene in 2011, which may be helpful to states and communities recovering from recent storms. 



Opportunities for Equitable Adaptation in Cities
February 2, 2017

This workshop summary describes the conversations and discussions of participants during the first day of a two-day workshop in April 2016 that brought together nearly 50 thought leaders on equity and climate adaptation. The workshop focused on city-level actions that would support social justice goals and better prepare communities for the effects of climate change.


Adaptation Policy Considerations for the Maryland Commission on Climate Change
February 2, 2017

This memorandum was developed to help the State of Maryland document the important work it is already doing to prepare for the impacts of climate change and to provide ideas for additional steps that the state could take to enhance state efforts to prepare for the impacts of climate change. The report draws on best practice examples that other states have adopted to address climate impacts, including: establishing interagency committees, requiring consideration of climate impacts in state planning and investment decisions, developing tools and science to support decisionmaking, and supporting local action on climate change. In order to protect lives, health, property, economies, and natural systems, states need to adapt how they plan, regulate and make investments to incorporate projections of what future conditions will look like with a changing climate.


GCC's Vicki Arroyo testifies before U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
July 10, 2019

On Wednesday, July 10, 2019, GCC Executive Director Vicki Arroyo testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on the role of transportation in contributing to climate change and the...


Georgetown Climate Center at the 2019 National Adaptation Forum
April 16, 2019

The 4th National Adaptation Forum took place April 23 - 25 in Madison, WI. Georgetown Climate Center staff will be lead several sessions and networking opportunities throughout the conference. This article gives an overview of the events at which GCC staff moderated and presented.


Developing an Equitable Adaptation Legal and Policy Toolkit
April 1, 2019

About the Challenge: Equity and Climate Impacts Two of the biggest challenges facing the United States are the social inequalities that put the health and well-being of our poorest populations at risk, and climate...


GCC hosts interdisciplinary convening exploring managed retreat as a strategy for community adaptation
March 29, 2019

State, local, and federal representatives came together with the Georgetown Climate Center, Georgetown faculty, and other experts for a two-day workshop on managed retreat, hosted by GCC on March 28-29, 2019. Managed retreat — or relocating communities away from vulnerable coastal areas — is one strategy that state and local governments are considering to address the impacts of sea-level rise on coastal communities, residents, and ecosystems.


Developing a Managed Retreat Toolkit
March 26, 2019

Given the growing threat of sea-level rise and the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, coastal communities are increasingly confronting difficult questions regarding how to address risks to existing and future coastal development and how to protect and preserve important coastal ecosystems. To address these challenges, state and local governments are beginning to develop and implement responses to future sea-level rise — including consideration of managed retreat as one adaptation strategy.


New Adaptation Clearinghouse portal for ASAP members -- Link your Accounts!
March 12, 2019

The Georgetown Climate Center and the American Society of Adaptation Planners (ASAP) are pleased to announce the launch of new web-based features that link two of the leading online resource providers for climate adaptation professionals: the ASAP member website and GCC's Adaptation Clearinghouse.


GCC Exec. Director Vicki Arroyo testifies before House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
March 5, 2019

View GCC Executive Director Vicki Arroyo's full testimony to the full House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure for a hearing entitled "Examining How Federal Infrastructure Policy Could Help Mitigate and Adapt to Climate Change."


Georgetown Climate Center heads to Katowice, Poland for COP24
November 28, 2018

The Georgetown Climate Center will be taking part in the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP24), starting next week in Katowice, Poland. This year's

COP, running from December 3 through 14, represents a pivotal point in the follow-up to the 2015 Paris Agreement, with negotiators working to finalize the "Rulebook" that will govern how countries account for and report their emissions of climate-changing pollution.


Georgetown Climate Center receives 2018 Climate and Energy Leadership Award from Metropolitan Council of Governments
October 10, 2018

Georgetown Climate Center Awarded 2018 Climate and Energy Leadership Award for convening Ward 7 Equity Advisory Group


Ward 7 Equity Advisory Group presents community recommendations for climate action in the District of Columbia
September 13, 2018

On Saturday, Sept. 8, the Far Northeast Ward 7 Equity Advisory Group (EAG) gathered with community members to present recommendations for implementing DC's Climate Ready and Clean Energy Plans. Ward 7 includes neighborhoods in the District facing significant risks from climate change impacts.


Green Infrastructure Toolkit Launch
September 19, 2016

On September 14, the Georgetown Climate Center released an interactive toolkit that helps practitioners quickly find green infrastructure information, along with up-to-date, real-world examples. The Center also hosted...


Adaptation Clearinghouse 2.0 Launch Webinar
August 10, 2016

The Adaptation Clearinghouse was re-launched July 14 with a fresh makeover and new tools to assist state policymakers, resource managers, academics, and others who are working to help communities adapt to climate...


Sustainable Infrastructure in an Uncertain Climate
June 6, 2016

Vicki Arroyo delivered a TED-style talk at a March 31 event hosted by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to share perspectives on the science, risks, and opportunities for developing sustainable infrastructure as...


Threat-Multiplier: Exploring the National Security Law and Policy Implications of Climate Change
April 7, 2015

Leading national security experts recently engaged in a dialogue about national security threats posed by climate change at Georgetown Law. The March 20 event featured a keynote address by Alice Hill, senior director for...


Jessica Grannis Discusses the Center's State Adaptation Progress Tracker
November 7, 2014

Following the launch of the State Adaptation Progress Tracker, Jessica Grannis appeared on E&E TV to discuss the value of the new tool and the opportunity it represents to help states continue to make progress in...


Vicki Arroyo Joins DC Breakdown to Discuss Government Actions to Address Climate Change
June 5, 2014

In the lead up to the Obama Administration's rollout of its proposed rule to reduce carbon pollution from the power sector, Vicki Arroyo joins Angela Rae to discuss government action to help us prepare for and mitigate...


Vicki Arroyo Discusses Climate Change with DC Breakdown
June 5, 2014

Vicki Arroyo joins Angela Rae with Soul of the South's DC Breakdown to discuss escalating climate change impacts in the United States and what we can do to be part of the solution. 


Insights into the Making of Climate Policy
May 29, 2014

The Georgetown Climate Center recently hosted a conversation about state and federal climate policymaking with leading state officials and academic experts. This April 7 event was sponsored by the Center and the...


PopTech: The Need to Prepare for Climate Changes
November 7, 2012

Vicki Arroyo provides examples of local planning and progress taking place and underscores the urgent need for additional climate change preparations.


TED Talk: Let's Prepare for Our New Climate
November 7, 2012

In this recently released talk presented at TEDGlobal, Vicki Arroyo outlines the case for building resilience: providing examples of actions underway and explaining why the time is now to make changes in how we design...