Newsletters

Capital Region Climate News & Resources: July 12, 2019

Collaborative Update

The Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative is excited to welcome the Delta Stewardship Council as our newest member! The Delta Stewardship Council is an independent state agency created as a result of the Delta Reform Act of 2009. The Council is tasked with furthering the coequal goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. The Council also manages the Delta Science Program, tasked with providing the best possible unbiased scientific information to inform water and environmental management decisions for the Delta.
We also hope that you will join us at our quarterly meeting for a fascinating discussion on flood risks and resilience in the Capital Region, as well as presentations from our newest members!
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News

Atmospheric rivers could put Sacramento 30 feet underwater
In 1861, Northern California became the focal point for two consecutive atmospheric rivers that surged into the Sierra Nevada, melting snow at disastrous rates. By 1862, a catastrophic flood swept through the Central Valley, augmented by two rainstorms, creating an inland sea that was 300 miles long and 60 miles wide. No place was more affected than Sacramento. A new study shows that atmospheric rivers are getting stronger and wetter, and catastrophic events like the Great Flood of 1862 could happen again. (Sac Bee)

 

When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez met Greta Thunberg: ‘Hope is contagious’
One is America’s youngest-ever congresswoman, the other a Swedish schoolgirl. In the course of their conversation, Ocasio-Cortez and Thunberg discuss what it is like to be dismissed for their age, how depressed we should be about the future, and what tactics, as an activist, really work. They are, in some ways, as different as two campaigners can get – the politician working the system with Washington polish, and the teenager in her socks and leggings, working from her bedroom to reach the rest of the world. There is something very moving about the conversation between these young women, a sense of generational rise that, as we know from every precedent from the Renaissance onwards, has the power to ignite movements and change history. (Guardian)

 

Tree planting ‘has mind-blowing potential’ to tackle climate crisis
Planting billions of trees across the world is by far the biggest and cheapest way to tackle the climate crisis, according to scientists. New research estimates that a worldwide planting programme could remove two-thirds of all the emissions that have been pumped into the atmosphere by human activities, a figure the scientists describe as “mind-blowing”. The analysis found there are 1.7 billion hectares of treeless land on which 1.2 trillion native tree saplings would naturally grow. That area is about 11% of all land and equivalent to the size of the US and China combined. The scientists specifically excluded all fields used to grow crops and urban areas from their analysis. But they did include grazing land, on which the researchers say a few trees can also benefit sheep and cattle. Individuals could make a tangible impact by growing trees themselves, donating to forest restoration organisations and avoiding irresponsible companies. (Guardian)

 

The terrifying unknowns of an exotic invasive tick
We haven’t paid as much attention to ticks as we have to other insects that carry diseases. We have a long way to go to catch up—just as changes in weather patterns have ticks on the move too. It’s a truism among tick researchers that their work is underfunded compared with other insect vectors. The Entomological Society of America warned four years ago that the US needs comprehensive anti-tick strategies, but only a few states, such as New York in 2018 and Connecticut this year, have even created tick surveillance and control programs. There’s good reason to do that: Ticks and the diseases they transmit—Lyme disease, babesiosis, erlichiosis, anaplasmosis, and others—represent a huge public health problem. Last year, the CDC reported that cases of disease carried by insects tripled between 2004 and 2016; three-fourths of those cases were caused by ticks. During that study, the CDC identified seven diseases that ticks pass to humans, several of them fatal, that were either brand-new, or new to the US. (Wired) Photo: Ed Reschke/Getty Images

 

Climate change is scary; ‘rat explosion’ is scarier
As the climate warms, rats in New York, Philadelphia and Boston are breeding faster — and experts warn of a population explosion. Warmer winters will continue to dial up rat fecundity. As rat expert Bobby Corrigan of Purdue has told various media outlets, rats have a gestation period of 21 days. The babies can start reproducing after a month. That means that in one year, one pregnant rat can result in 15,000 to 18,000 new rats. (Bloomberg) Photo: Moment RF/Getty Images

 

We’re still on track to exceed 1.5C
An exhaustive new analysis of the world’s existing fossil fuel infrastructure finds that humans are already on track to exceed the 1.5 C benchmark established by the Paris Climate Agreement. If existing sources of fossil fuel emissions simply continue to operate for the duration of their expected lifetime, the world will emit more than 650 billion tons of CO2, according to the study in Nature. That’s 78 billion tons more than the maximum that can be emitted to have a reasonable chance of not exceeding 1.5 C. Around the world, there are still plenty of new or developing fossil fuel projects in place: Crude shale oil production in the U.S. is at an all-time high; India, despite recent investment in renewables, is still burning and investing in more coal; and China’s Belt & Road Initiative recently invested in new fossil fuel projects in several other countries. (Grist)

 

Energy equity: Bringing solar power to low-income communities
Millions of Americans lack access to solar energy because they cannot afford the steep upfront costs. Now, more than a dozen states are adopting “community solar” programs that are bringing solar power and lower energy bills to low-income households from New York to California. A dozen states and the District of Columbia have developed, or are developing, mandates, financial incentives, and pilot programs to make it easier for low-income participants to access shared solar. Nonprofit developers are also trying new approaches, such as eliminating income and credit score checks for low-income customers, and offering short-term contracts for renters. (Yale 360) Photo: Cooperative Energy Futures

 

Launch of U.S. Call to Action and Policy Action Agenda to address climate emergency, health, and equity
Over 70 health and medical groups recently launched the Call to Action on Climate, Health, and Equity: A Policy Action Agenda to protect the safety and health of all people in the U.S. The Policy Action Agenda calls for climate actions that can significantly improve public health and advance equity. Learn more about the Call to Action here.
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Tools and Resources

Final Report of the Commission on Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery
Last September, in the midst of the worst wildfire season in California’s history, the legislature passed and then-Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 901. Among other things, the bill created a Commission on Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery to provide recommendations to the governor and legislature on how to manage the long-term costs and liabilities associated with utility-caused wildfires. The commission recommendations are drawn from three workpapers, each developed by two-member workgroups and supported by public testimony. (OPR)

 

Presentations and Recording from California Climate Action Team – Public Health Workgroup Meeting on Wildfires
This meeting on June 10 featured presentations from speakers representing federal, state, regional, and local agencies and Tribal perspectives working to address the public health impacts of wildfires and wildfire smoke in a changing climate. Topics covered include an overview of health impacts of wildfires and wildfire smoke, guidance for local health departments and public health partners, emergency regulation to protect workers from wildfire smoke, landscape fuels management and prescribed fires that align ecological and public health goals, working with tribal communities, syndromic surveillance, and equitable community recovery from fires. View the meeting recording or presentations here.
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Upcoming Opportunities

Job Opening – Energy Manager, UC Davis Medical Center
UC Davis Medical Center is hiring for an energy manager to assist in the overall management and development of UC Davis Health energy activities and related policies and proposals, and plan, regulate, and monitor energy use throughout the organization to provide leadership and guidance in developing and implementing energy efficiency action plans. (Glassdoor)

 

Job opportunity: Campaign Manager & Field Coordinators at Cool Davis
Cool Davis is developing and implementing cutting-edge programming to encourage rapid reduction of GHG emissions at the household and neighborhood level in Davis. Cool Davis is hiring a Campaign Manager and two Campaign Field Coordinators to direct and implement the Cool Homes and Cool Solutions Campaigns to reduce GHG emissions in the areas of Transportation, Home Energy, and Consumption (consumer choices). The Campaign Manager is responsible for the overall development, planning, and implementation of campaign strategy, as well as the activities of Field Coordinators and their volunteers. The Campaign Field Coordinator will help implement the campaigns using community-based social marketing principles and community engagement strategies. (Cool Davis)

 

Help shape California’s water future
State agencies are asking Californians to help shape a roadmap for meeting future water needs and ensuring environmental and economic resilience through the 21st century. The effort seeks to broaden California’s approach on water in the face of a range of existing challenges. Public input will help state agencies craft recommendations to Governor Gavin Newsom to fulfill his April 29 executive order calling for a suite of actions to build a climate-resilient water system and ensure healthy waterways. The input will help determine priorities and identify complementary actions to ensure safe and dependable water supplies, flood protection and healthy waterways for the state’s communities, economy and environment. (Water Resilience)

 

Receive CivicSpark support for your climate and resilience projects
CivicSpark is a Governor’s Initiative AmeriCorps program dedicated to building capacity for local agencies to address community resilience to environmental and socioeconomic challenges such as climate change, water resource management, affordable housing, and mobility. CivicSpark Fellows are AmeriCorp Members that serve at public agencies for 11 months, supporting resiliency-focused research, planning, and implementation projects such as climate action planning, climate risk assessments, waste reduction, stormwater resource planning, housing equity programs, shared mobility, and more. Applications will be accepted in waves. (CivicSpark)

 

Launch your social purpose career with CivicSpark!
CivicSpark, a Governor’s Initiative AmeriCorps program, is currently recruiting 90 Fellows who are interested in serving with local governments in California to address a broad range of resiliency issues. Fellows implement local projects on topics including sustainable transportation, energy efficiency, climate action planning, water conservation, drought response, affordable housing, and rural-broadband. Fellows gain exceptional career experience and training to become future leaders in California’s response to emerging environmental and social equity challenges. CivicSpark is looking for upcoming/recent college graduates who want to gain real-world experience, launch a social purpose career, and make a lasting impact! (Link)

 

SMUD’s Shine Award: Projects to improve and revitalize neighborhoods
Do you have an idea for a project that will improve and revitalize our local neighborhoods? We’re inviting you to submit your project for consideration. Our Shine awards range from $5,000 to $100,000 and the selection process is highly competitive. While SMUD will consider a broad variety of potential projects, it is primarily interested in proposals wthin the following areas: neighborhood revitalization or clean up; STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math); environmental, energy efficiency, energy conservation or greenhouse gas reduction; and general beautification. Any nonprofit organization 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) within SMUD service territory is eligible to apply. Deadline: July 15. (SMUD)

 

Request for Proposals: Partnership for Resilient Communities
The Institute for Sustainable Communities’ Partnership for Resilient Communities (PRC) planning grant supports community-based organizations to lead climate resilience-building initiatives that elevate the voices, priorities, and assets of the communities they represent. PRC partner organizations are led by people of color and serve historic, urban communities of color throughout the US. Partner organizations receive strategic, technical, and financial assistance; participate in peer-learning workshops; and engage in networking opportunities that connect them with the broader urban climate resilience field. Deadline: July 19, 5pm PDT. (ISC)
Partners for Places Grant Opportunity
The Funders’ Network (TFN), in partnership with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, has announced the opening of Round 15 of the Partners for Places grant program. A successful matching grant program, Partners for Places creates opportunities for cities and counties to improve communities by building partnerships between local government sustainability offices and place-based foundations. The grant program will provide partnership investments between $25,000 and $75,000 for one year projects, or $50,000 and $100,000 for two year projects, with a 1:1 match required by one or more local foundations. Deadline: July 30. (TFN)

 

Department of Conservation: Grants for land trusts and local and regional planning
The Department of Conservation (DOC) has released for public comment the draft Proposition 68 Working Lands and Riparian Corridors Program Guidelines and the first two solicitations. The land trust capacity and project development grant solicitation will build land trust and other agricultural non-profit capacity for agricultural land conservation activities. The local and regional planning grants will support the integration of natural and working lands, specifically agricultural lands, into local and regional planning documents. Grant applications are due July 31. (DOC)

 

Groundwork USA Announces Call for Letters of Interest
The Groundwork Program of the National Park Service (NPS) builds community capacity to improve the environmental, economic and social conditions in communities impacted by brownfields and derelict lands. Groundwork USA, in partnership with the NPS and US EPA, is now accepting Letters of Interest from communities wishing to begin the process of applying for Groundwork USA funding and technical assistance and to join the Groundwork Network. For details on the application process, including eligibility requirements, submission details, and evaluation criteria, download the Call for Letters of Interest. Deadline: July 31. (Link)

 

California Statewide Park Program
The Statewide Park Program competitive grants will create new parks and recreation opportunities in critically underserved communities across California. The current round of funding offers $254,942,000. Types of target projects include creating a new park, or expanding or renovating an existing park. Eligible entities include cities, counties, districts, join powers authorities, and 501(c)3 nonprofits. Postmarked or hand-deliver applications by August 5th. (SPP)

 

American Geophysical Union (AGU): Thriving Earth Exchange
The Thriving Earth Exchange is seeking several US communities interested in advancing their priorities through collaborative science. The American Geophysical Union is an Earth and space science membership society of over 60,000 members who study everything from the center of the Earth to the surface of the Sun and everything in between. Communities who have worked with our scientists have vetted a 350ppm GHG emissions target; developed a drought vulnerability assessment; assessed flood vulnerability of a food distribution center, and saved millions in unnecessary remediation costs when creating a recreational park. Join over 98 communities that are advancing their priorities in climate resilience, pollution, natural resource management, or natural hazards! Learn more about our program here. Applications for the September cohort will be considered on a rolling basis until 16 August 2019. We are also considering applications on a rolling basis for a December cohort until 15 November 2019. (Thriving Earth Exchange)

 

Multifamily Housing Program (MHP) – Notice of Funding Availability
The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has $178 million in funds for the Multifamily Housing Program (MHP) to assist the new construction, rehabilitation and preservation of permanent and transitional rental housing for lower income households. Deadline: August 20. (HCD)

 

Sacramento County offers $1 million in grants to local non-profits
The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors will provide $1 million through the 2019 Transient Occupancy Tax Grant Program to support nonprofit organizations located in Sacramento County that carry out community-based programs and/or services in the areas of economic and workforce development, arts and culture, community development, or health and human services. There will be two grant workshops held on July 24, 5.30-7pm, and July 26, 11.30am-1pm. Applications will be accepted online from July 26 to August 26, 2019. (Sacramento County)

 

Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program Easement and Planning Grants
The Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program makes strategic investments to protect agricultural lands from conversion to more GHG-intensive uses. Easement grants have no maximum limit and aim to protect important agricultural lands under threat of conversion through the acquisition of voluntary, permanent agricultural conservation easements. Planning grants provide up to $250,000 to local and regional governments to work closely with local stakeholders to develop local and regional land use policies and implementation activities that integrate agricultural land conservation in a way that reduces or avoids GHG emissions, supports job creation, and benefits AB 1550 populations. Final deadline: Friday, September 13. (SGC)

 

USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative – Sustainable Agricultural Systems Grant
Applications must focus on approaches that promote transformational changes in the U.S. food and agriculture system within the next 25 years. The program seeks creative and visionary applications that take a systems approach, and that will significantly improve the supply of abundant, affordable, safe, nutritious, and accessible food, while providing sustainable opportunities for expansion of the bioeconomy. These approaches must demonstrate current and future social, behavioral, economic, health, and environmental impacts. Deadline: Sept. 26. (USDA)

 

SB 2: $123 million available for Housing Planning Grants
The Department of Housing and Community Development has $123 million available under the SB2 Planning Grants Program (PGP). The PGP will help local governments prepare, adopt, and implement plans that accelerate housing production; streamline the approval of housing development affordable to owner and renter households at all income levels; facilitate housing affordability, particularly for lower- and moderate-income households; and promote development consistent with the State Planning Priorities. This a is a non-competitive, over-the-counter grant program that can fund a range of projects including targeted general plan updates, community plans and specific plans, zoning updates and by-right zoning for housing, streamlined environmental analyses, and process updates to streamline zoning. Applications will be accepted until November 30, 2019. (HCD)

 

Ford Foundation: Challenge Inequality Grant Program
The Ford Foundation is currently accepting brief pitches for ideas and projects that challenge inequality in their seven program areas – one of which is Natural Resources and Climate Change. Past projects have included communications assistance to promote community land and forestry rights as effective climate change solutions, and promoting learning exchanges on forestry and climate change. Project ideas can be submitted on a rolling basis. (Ford Foundation)
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