Because the District of Columbia is a federal district and not technically a state, DC supports progress at the neighborhood- and Ward-level and by collaborating with neighboring jurisdictions. These pages highlight efforts being taken throughout DC to address climate impacts at different scales.
Through several rounds of competitive application processes, the Mayor has provided “innovation grants” to District agencies to pilot new innovative projects or plan for longer-term projects that advance sustainability goals. In carrying out these projects, agencies have worked with community partners to leverage local stakeholders’ expertise. Grants have been awarded for projects in six categories: air, climate and energy; built environment; education; food and urban agriculture; governance; and nature and recreation.
The District Department of Energy and Environment and the Georgetown Climate Center also convened a community committee in Ward 7 of Washington, D.C. (called the “Equity Advisory Group” or “EAG”) to advise the District on implementation of its two climate plans: Clean Energy DC and Climate Ready DC plans. Community representatives included residents and community leaders in the far Northeast neighborhoods of Ward 7, an area facing disproportionate climate risk based upon the District’s climate vulnerability analysis. The EAG met from December 2017 to June 2018 and released recommendations to the District through a public meeting in September 2018. Recommendations included calls for community resilience hubs and workforce development and educational program to prepare Ward 7 residents and youth for jobs in the resilience economy.
Also in Ward 7, the District is working through the DC Silver Jackets program, a collaboration between the District, the Army Corps of Engineers and other federal agencies and partners (such as the Georgetown Climate Center), to study flood risks and identify flood resilience strategies for neighborhoods along the Watts Branch tributary to the Anacostia River through the Watts Branch Flood Risk Management Study.
At a regional level, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ (MWCOG) has also engaged the District and other cities and counties in the greater Metropolitan DC region on climate vulnerabilities and adaptation actions. In June 2013, MWCOG published a report, Summary of Potential Climate Change Impacts, Vulnerabilities, and Adaptation Strategies in the Metropolitan Washington Region, to identify potential climate impacts in the region and encourage local adaptation planning. This report was prepared as part of a project with the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Sustainable Communities. MWCOG is an independent, nonprofit association that brings area leaders together to address major regional issues in the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland, and Northern Virginia.
(Research last updated: September 10, 2018).