Georgetown Climate Center Announces Support for Nine Adaptation Projects

April 10, 2014

More than 30 states, localities, and NGOs from across the country recently submitted requests to the Georgetown Climate Center for legal and policy support to assist them with projects to prepare their communities for the impacts of climate change. The important work demonstrated in these applications is inspiring, and we commend all of the applicants for their commitment.  

After careful consideration, the Georgetown Climate Center chose to support nine projects. We will work with:

  • The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to devise strategies for eliminating a barrier in state law that prohibits municipalities from enacting more restrictive building code standards.  This barrier prevents municipalities from using building codes to require that structures be designed in a manner that reduces vulnerabilities to flooding and increased temperatures.
  • The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority to help them implement local land-use measures recommended in the 2012 Coastal Master Plan.
  • Vermont Agency of Natural Resources to examine strategies for them to assume floodplain mapping at the state-level and map riverine erosion hazards.  
  • Chester, PA to develop a model ordinance to implement measures to reduce impacts from coastal and riverine flooding.
  • The Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation (an Alliance of four regional collaboratives in California, including regions in San Diego, the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Sacramento) to develop methods for forming regional collaboratives in a way that will maximize their ability to seek assistance from federal agencies, take in funding, and align local implementation of policy recommendations.
  • The District of Columbia Department of the Environment to help them identify and implement strategies for adapting to increased flooding while reducing flood insurance rates for DC residents through the Community Rating System.
  • The Western Adaptation Alliance (a regional collaborative of 13 municipalities in five western states (CO, AZ, NM, NV, UT) collectively working on strategies to respond to water scarcity) to identify best practices for adapting to drought at a municipal level.
  • The Oregon Public Health Authority to assist with a climate toolkit for local health departments and a statewide public health adaptation plan.
  • A number of applicants to develop a Toolkit for managing stormwater with green infrastructure solutions in the face of climate change.  We received applications requesting assistance identifying best practices for managing stormwater in the face of climate change from the National Association of County and City Health Officials (representing local health departments around the country), the Western Adaptation Alliance (described above), Smart Growth America, the city of Cambridge, MA, Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, and the Michigan Green Communities Network.  We are exploring the possibility of working with several of these networks and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network to create a stormwater/green infrastructure toolkit that will be useful for a variety of communities.

The strength of the more than 30 applications submitted and the importance of the issues under consideration made our selection process particularly difficult.  Although we regret that we do not have the capacity to assist all of the communities that applied for Georgetown Climate Center services, we are excited to be undertaking the important projects above with such a diverse group of adaptation leaders. 

We strongly commend all of the communities that applied for our services and will continue to monitor their progress.  We also commit to sharing the lessons learned from these projects over the next two years in hopes that this work will inform broader adaptation efforts across the country. 

The Georgetown Climate Center issued its request for applications for adaptation legal and policy support in the fall of 2013.