Author Archives: ResilientVirginia

Resilient Virginia News: June 2018

Resilient Virginia

What’s New

Resilient Virginia: Priorities and Approaches for the Next Four Years

Resilient Virginia’s Board of Directors has set a path for the organization’s next four years that will focus on a number of resiliency topics deemed priorities at our February “Virginia’s Sustainable Future Meeting.” The organization views these priorities — that include energy and food security, water management and infrastructure adaptation, health and economic stability, and ecosystem valuation — through the lens of rural and urban communities’ interdependencies as they all address a growing range of climate-driven and national security challenges. Below is a graphic representation of the shared issues and as well as resiliency topics more focused on the rural or urban areas.

Urban-Rural Interdependence

Resilient Virginia is moving ahead to “Inform, Educate, and Activate” community members, governments, and businesses about these priority areas by implementing actions that include the following:

  • For 2018 and beyond: Resilient Virginia is partnering with like-minded organizations to co-host or participate in educational events. This Spring we co-hosted events with the US Green Building Council, Science Museum of Virginia, and Arlington Home Show. In addition, Annette Osso, Resilient Virginia’s Managing Director, participated as the NGO member of the National Capital Region Team invited to the Building Resilient Communities Leadership Academy, a 3-day workshop hosted by the Institute for Sustainable Communities. This summer Resilient Virginia’s Annette Osso will be speaking at the Leaders in Energy’s “Green Leaders for Local Impact Retreat” on June 8 (see article below), and again co-hosting presentations with the USGBC Virginia (see article below).
  • Resilient Virginia will organize an October 2018 Rural Resiliency Roundtable Forum to focus on issues of special importance to rural and agricultural communities. You are invited to participate in the Planning Committee for this event by contacting Annette Osso (osso@resilientvirginia.org).
  • Our next statewide Resilient Virginia Conference will take place in the Spring of 2019. Planning for this event will begin in September 2018. Contact Annette Osso (osso@resilientvirginia.org) to be included on the Planning Committee.

You are invited to our July 19th Annual Meeting to hear more details about upcoming Resilient Virginia activities, to meet our Board and Advisory members, and to add your voice on local communities’ and state agencies’ resiliency priorities. We will share more details about this upcoming event in the near future!
Resilient Virginia invites your active support for these new initiatives by:


Resiliency Explained: Annette Osso, Managing Director, Resilient Virginia Interviewed by Virginia Delegate Ken Plum

Resiliency Explained: Annette Osso, Managing Director, Resilient Virginia Interviewed by Virginia Delegate Ken Plum

We want to thank State Delegate Ken Plum for inviting Annette Osso, Resilient Virginia’s Managing Director, to provide an informative interview about the past, present, and future of resiliency planning in Virginia.

This appeared on his weekly broadcast on the Reston Comcast Channel May 8 and 9.

You can view the program here and on the Resilient Virginia YouTube Channel.


Global Cooperation for a Better World: Taking Action at the City and Local Level

By Janine Finnell, NCAC-USAEE Member and Executive Director, Leaders in Energy

Leaders in Energy(Editor’s Note: Janine Finnell’s Leaders in Energy organization has been a Resilient Virginia Annual Sponsor and event partner for two years. Annette Osso, Resilient Virginia’s Managing Director, will again be involved with this organization as one of the speakers at their June 8 event, “Green Leaders for Local Impact.” We provide this background article by Janine Finnell on linking the UN Sustainable Development Goals to local actions.)

Our planet and its inhabitants face numerous challenges ranging from people not having enough to eat, threats to biodiversity, growing inequality, and pollution that is changing our planet’s capacity to provide sustainable livelihoods due to climate change. This is a tall order of concerns.

Suppose there was an “Innovation Jam” where everyone in the world got together to see what could be done about these issues. In 2015, the United Nations did something along these lines. It conducted a consultation among 5 million people from across 88 countries in all the world’s regions asking for their shared vision for the world in 2030. The result is the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals

The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals

Three U.S. cities have been at the forefront in working to operationalize these goals into their urban planning programs. These include Baltimore, New York, and San Jose. In addition, a recent report titled “The U.S. Cities Sustainable Development Goals Index 2017: Achieving a Sustainable Urban America” examined progress being made towards sustainable development in the 100 most populous U.S. cities.

A fun quiz called “Which Goals Are You?” helps those who are new to the UN SDGs to identify the ones that that most resonate with their own personal interests.

Communities in the greater Washington area can also benefit from the SDGs, while also making our world a better place.

In that spirit, a “Green Leaders for Local Impact Retreat” will be held in Arlington, VA hosted by Leaders in Energy on June 8th, from 1–5 pm. The retreat will examine several UN SDGs, including #7 on clean energy, to explore actionable solutions to create more sustainable LOCAL communities in the DMV region. Won’t you join us in seeking to make a Green LOCAL impact with local SDGs?


USGBC Virginia and Resilient Virginia Offer Resiliency Education Series

The series will share tools and strategies for building practitioners, community leaders and resiliency advocates.

Published on April 25, 2018 at https://www.usgbc.org/

USGBC-VirginiaBy Cindy Zork, Director, Community — Virginia & Tennessee, U.S. Green Building Council

(Editor’s Note: Resilient Virginia and USGBC Virginia have embarked on a joint resiliency education series of presentations. This article by Cindy Zork provides some information on the USGBC resiliency activities at the national policy level and in Virginia.)

In accordance with the 2014 industry statement on resilience released by the U.S. design and construction industry, USGBC recognizes that “natural and manmade hazards pose an increasing threat to the safety of the public and the vitality of our nation.” Addressing issues of community resilience are critical to better preparing and recovering from these hazards.

The USGBC Virginia community is partnering with Resilient Virginia to provide education focused on improving the resilience of buildings, infrastructure and communities in the Commonwealth. Preparing for harmful events with sustainable planning and policy can save money and accelerate recovery.

Join us for our 2018 Resiliency Education series to learn more about tools and strategies available to building practitioners, community leaders and resiliency advocates. Our first session, held in Roanoke in March, focused on the city’s use of the Envision Rating System for Sustainable Infrastructure.

Future events are listed below. USGBC community members and Resilient Virginia members receive a discounted rate to attend. One hour of GBCI CE credit will be offered where applicable.

Resiliency Education Series Dates

When: June 12, 12 noon–1:00 pm
What: Shaken, Not Stirred: Community and Building Resilience—The Means to It and Its Measures
Presented by Dan Slone, Vertical Vision PLC
Where: Charlottesville, VA
Register for the June session.
Read more about the new RELi design standards.

When: July 17, 12 noon–1:30pm
What: Collaboratory: University/Government/Industry Collaborations on Flooding Adaptation
Presented by Skip Stiles, Wetlands Watch.
Where: Hampton Roads, location TBD
Register for the July session.

Dates for additional events in Richmond and Northern Virginia will be announced soon.


GoGreen Virginia: Your Local Government’s Guidepost to Sustainability and Resiliency

Go Green VirginiaGo Green Virginia is celebrating its 10th year as a pathway to sustainability and energy savings for cities, towns, and counties around the Commonwealth. The program, working with the Virginia Municipal League (VML) and Virginia Association of Counties (VACO), provides a guide to communities and sets up an annual friendly competition known as the Green Government Challenge. The “Challenge” is designed to encourage implementation of specific environmental policies and practical actions that not only reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainability initiatives, but can save local governments money.

Resilient Virginia is pleased to have been actively involved on the Advisory Committee over the past three years. In 2016 we were invited to add the newly created “Resiliency Checklist” to the GoGreen Virginia document. For the 2018 GoGreen Challenge, we are happy to report that resiliency is highlighted in several ways throughout the Challenge. For example, Item One provides points to communities that “Adopt a resolution focused on environmental stewardship, sustainability, or resiliency.” In addition, key resiliency aspects for local government planning and actions are highlighted in the Resiliency Section (Items 85–93).

We encourage local governments to weigh in on the Resiliency Section this year, since Virginia communities are facing increasingly more frequent weather and environmental challenges. These include extreme weather events and intermittent drought conditions, and well as the increased occurrence of extreme heat events, periodic flooding, sea level rise, and new health risks.

Resilient communities are better able to bounce back from disasters and disruptions in a sustainable way, while maintaining a vibrant quality of life for community members. In the long term, they are better prepared for uncertainties and able to adapt to changing conditions.

The Go Green Challenge for local governments opened May 15; check out the details at http://www.gogreenva.org/. Local governments can garner points by taking specific actions and be recognized as certified, silver, gold or platinum green governments.

Important dates for cities, towns, and counties that want to enter the Green Government Challenge:

VML Green Government Challenge deadline: September 3, 2018.

VACO Green Government Challenge deadline: October 5, 2018.


Thanks to Our 2017–2018 Annual Sponsors


Platinum Sponsor

logo-marionenterprisesCommunity Leader Sponsor

logo-facility-engineering-assoc
Lifeboat Sponsors

Hazen and Sawyer
Village Sponsors

2RW: Energy By Design

logo-leaders-in-energy


Resilience Events Calendar

Summer 2018 Event Highlights — Add these special events co-hosted by Resilient Virginia to your calendar

June 8, 1:00–5:00pm: Green Leaders for Local Impact Retreat. Presented by Leaders in Energy Event, Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA. Click here for details.

June 12, 12 Noon–1:00pm: Daniel Slone, Vertical Vision, PLC, Shaken, Not Stirred: Community and Building Resilience. Co-hosted by USGBC Virginia and Resilient Virginia, City Space, Charlottesville, VA. Click here for details.

July 17, 12 Noon–1:30pm: Skip Stiles, Wetland Watch, Collaborations on Flooding Adaptation, Hampton Roads. Co-hosted by USGBC Virginia and Resilient Virginia, Location TBD. Click here for details.

July 19: Resilient Virginia Annual Meeting. Members, supporters, and partners are invited to participate and learn more about the Resilient Virginia new Strategic Plan, network, and add your voice to resiliency planning. Look for more details and registration information coming soon!

Check our Resilient Events Calendar on a regular basis to find out what is happening in Virginia, around the nation, and virtually through webinars.


Be Resilient and Stay Cool This Summer — Join Today!Membership — Be Resilient and Stay Cool This Summer — Join Today!

Resilient Virginia is on a mission to

*Inform   *Educate   and   *Activate

Virginia communities to build resiliency in the face of challenges to community prosperity, national security, and changing climate.

You can help by:

Becoming a Member
Signing on as an Annual Sponsor

Continue your support throughout the year by using one or both of these online shopping sites that contribute to Resilient Virginia:

amazon-smile

goodshop

JOIN TODAY — IT’S OUR FUTURE!

RELi: USGBC’s New Resilient Design Rating System

RELi, the U.S. Green Building Council’s new standard for projects designed to endure and recover from extreme weather, is a national consensus standard. It was developed through an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) process, and focuses on creating resilient buildings and communities.

RELi handbookRELi (pronounced ‘rely’) is a comprehensive response to the urgent need for resilience in design and planning. Maintaining a reasonable level of safety and quality in our day-to-day lives now requires that we collectively respond to weather extremes, economic disruptions, and resource depletions — all of which are becoming commonplace globally, regionally, and locally. Resilience involves interactive social, economic, and environmental elements that respond to both acute short-term and systemic long-term topics related to the well-being of our society and planet.

USGBC and GBCI have now adopted the RELI standard. GBCI and the RELi resilience standard will work together to develop buildings and communities that offer greater adaptability and resilience to weather and natural disasters.

RELi’s development was led foundationally by the global architecture firm of Perkins+Will, with Eaton Corporation, Deloitte Consulting, and Impact Infrastructure providing vital content expertise and critical assessment.

For more information on RELi, click here to view the RELi handbook online, or click here for information on a Resiliency Education Series event featuring Dan Slone.

Resilient Virginia Supports These Summer Resiliency Events

Resilient Virginia is teaming with groups around the Commonwealth to offer the following events:

July 17: Collaborations on Flooding Adaptation
Tuesday, July 17 • 12 noon–1:30pm • Hampton Roads, location TBD

Skip Stiles from Wetlands Watch will present on the Collaborative Laboratory on Sea Level Rise and Flooding Adaptation — “Collaboratory” — a program to bring university programs with a community-based learning component (senior design/practicum/capstone studio, etc.) into the tidal localities in Virginia to work on practical approaches to adapting to increased flooding from rain and tides.

The effort is a partnership between Virginia Sea Grant, the U.S. Green Building Council, and Wetlands Watch (a Norfolk-based environmental organization) and has been running for three years. The goal is to help localities find solutions while students gain real-world expertise in the growing area of practice around climate change/sea level rise. Past projects have generated many millions of dollars in implementation funding and participating students are gaining employment.

Register Now

July 19: Resilient Virginia Annual Meeting

You are invited to Resilient Virginia’s July 19th Annual Meeting to hear more details about upcoming Resilient Virginia activities, to meet our Board and Advisory members, and to add your voice on local communities’ and state agencies’ resiliency priorities.

We will share more details about this upcoming event in the near future!

Resilient Virginia invites your active support for these new initiatives by:
▪ Volunteering (contact Annette Osso to join a Planning Committee or contribute to our newsletters),
▪ Becoming a Member or Annual Sponsor.

August 25: PrepareAthonPrepareAthon 2018
Saturday, August 25 • Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond

Celebrate preparedness during PrepareAthon, a free festival that teaches the community how to be more resilient when disaster strikes! Uncover life-saving information to protect your family during an emergency and learn more about resiliency. Local experts will discuss the impacts of climate change on human health, the environment and the Chesapeake Bay. Explore resiliency-themed climate change activities in the Museum, including NOAA Science on a Sphere® demonstrations, hands-on experiments in Eco Lab and beyond.

Find Out More

Resilient Virginia Co-hosts Three Early Spring Events

Our organization has teamed with groups around the Commonwealth to offer the following events:

USGBC VirginiaComing up soon!

The Envision Rating System for Sustainable Infrastructure and the City of Roanoke

Monday, March 19: Noon–1:00 pm

Co-hosted with the US Green Building Council Virginia

About Envision     Register Now

The USGBC Virginia Community is partnering with Resilient Virginia to provide a Resiliency Education Series focused on improving the resilience of buildings, infrastructure, and communities in the Commonwealth. The USGBC Virginia Community has embarked on this series in recognition of the 2014 industry statement on resilience released by America’s design and construction industry. That statement recognizes that “natural and manmade hazards pose an increasing threat to the safety of the public and the vitality of our nation.” Addressing issues of community resilience are critical to better prepare and recover from these hazards.

Join us for our first event this coming Monday, March 19 in Roanoke to learn more about tools and strategies available to building practitioners, community leaders, and resiliency advocates. USGBC Community members and Resilient Virginia members receive a discounted rate to attend. One hour of GBCI CE credit will be offered where applicable.

We are pleased to feature the following speakers at this presentation:

  • Danielle B. Bishop, PE, Stormwater Division, City of Roanoke
  • Dwayne D’Ardenne, Stormwater Utility Manager, City of Roanoke

Science Museum of VirginiaYour Home: Cool, Dry, and Green

Tuesday, April 3: 6:00–8:00 pm

Co-hosted with the Science Museum of Virginia

Register Now

Find out how you can take home a free tree and register here.

Have you ever wanted to know the steps you can take today to make your house more resilient to storms and summer heat while saving money on your bills? This workshop, sponsored by the Science Museum of Virginia and Resilient Virginia, will connect you with local options for stormwater and heat-reducing green infrastructure at your own home. Local experts will discuss diverse topics such as the role of trees in stormwater management and managing water in your yard using rain gardens, permeable pavers, and rain barrels. The workshop is free and participants can take home a shade tree or bush provided by the TreeLab to plant in your yard.


We are pleased to feature these speakers at the workshop:

  • Chris McCormick, Natural Resource Specialist, Green Infrastructure Center: The Role of Trees in Stormwater Management and Richmond’s Green Infrastructure Assessment
  • Jeremy Hoffman, SMV Climate Scientist: Demonstration of Stormwater Management with the Ready Row House
  • Amy Hagerdon, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay: Managing Water in Your Yard: Rain Gardens, Permeable Pavers, and Rain Barrels
  • Richmond Stormwater Utility Speaker (Invited): The City’s Incentive Program for Installing Rain Gardens in Your Yard
  • Aaron McFarland, TreeLab Manager: Information on Trees and Plants That Help Your Home Stay Cool, Dry, and Green


Arlington Homeshow and Garden ExpoThe 12th Annual Arlington Home Show and Garden Expo

Saturday, April 14: 10:00am–4:00 pm

Co-hosted with Arlington County

Find Out More

Save the date to find out about sustainable and resilient home design, repair, and products; how to make your home “storm-ready”; and talk to representatives from businesses and organizations that can help you with energy efficiency, stormwater management, urban gardens, and solar systems for your home. Watch for announcements on special guests who will be speaking about making your home “storm-ready” at the Arlington Home Show on Saturday, April 14.

Resilient Virginia News: March 2018

Resilient Virginia

What’s New

Resilient Virginia’s First Three Years and a Look Ahead

Virginia Sustainable Future MeetingThree years have gone by rapidly since Resilient Virginia set out on its mission to accelerate resiliency planning in communities across the Commonwealth. We had an opportunity to give an overview of Resilient Virginia’s accomplishments at our February 2nd Virginia Sustainable Future Meeting. We appreciate the time and ideas that our expert guests contributed. We especially appreciate that Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring and Secretary of Natural Resources Matt Strickler participated in the event.

Priorities for the future highlighted at the meeting include:

  1. The need for a state-level resiliency framework under which to organize state, regional, and local policy and programs;
  2. The need for education and coalition building to foster the positive public will to support action on resiliency policies and programs;
  3. Investigating innovative financing mechanisms for infrastructure adaptation strategies;
  4. Establishing commonly accepted models for risk assessment and consistent standards for resiliency;
  5. Creating a clear business case for resiliency actions;
  6. Building an understanding of rural and urban interdependence;
  7. Fostering an understanding of the role of clean energy and resilient building design in providing solutions;
  8. Highlighting the role of healthy communities and attention to vulnerable populations as components of resilient communities.

Resilient Virginia will take these priorities into consideration as it creates its workplan for the next four years. We will explore expanded ways to assist communities in both urban and rural areas with understanding the need for resiliency planning and to help them access tools for adopting action plans.

You can assist Resilient Virginia in formulating and carrying out our third Resilient Virginia Conference and other new initiatives by becoming a member or sponsorand by joining our working committees. Contact Annette Osso, Managing Director, at osso@resilientvirginia.org.


Sea Level Rise Preparedness: An Intergovernmental Pilot Project as a Blueprint for Community Resiliency

Sea Level Rise Preparedness

Editor’s note: In 2014, a Hampton Roads initiative to learn more about and create solutions to sea level rise and flooding was initiated by public, private, and academic leaders in that community. We will share an overview of this initiative, along with the final report. In subsequent newsletters, we will focus attention on other parts of the state where community leaders are starting down the path toward resiliency. The author of this article, Rear Admiral Ann C. Phillips, US Navy (Retired), chaired the Infrastructure Working Group for the Hampton Roads Intergovernmental Pilot Project from 2014–2016. See highlights of the article in this newsletter and the complete article here.

Sea Level Rise PreparednessThe Hampton Roads Sea Level Rise Preparedness and Resilience Intergovernmental Pilot Project (IPP) (convened by Old Dominion University and launched in June 2014) was one of four National Security Council pilots and three Department of Defense pilots established to prepare the United States for the impacts of a changing climate.

Hampton Roads localities (including Norfolk, Hampton, Newport News, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach), four Cabinet Departments of Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, 11 Federal Agencies (including DOD, Army, Navy, Air Force), DHS (U.S. Coast Guard), DOT, DOE, Port of Virginia, VDOT, HRPDC, HRTPO, HRSD, and a variety of private businesses and non-profits worked together over two years to develop recommendations and strategies for cooperative resilience planning. Throughout the process, more than 200 regional professionals participated in voluntary working groups, committees, and stakeholder events.

Storm surge map courtesy of chesapeakeclimate.org

Storm surge map courtesy of chesapeakeclimate.org

The IPP’s stated mission was that upon completion of the two-year effort, Hampton Roads would have a path to establish a regional Whole of Government and Whole of Community organizational framework, along with recommended procedures to effectively coordinate sea level rise preparedness and resilience planning for the region. Further, the IPP’s vision and the National Security Council’s objective included the development of this regional framework for Hampton Roads as a template that could be used for other regions.

Desired Outcomes: The Pilot Project identified five key desired outcomes to help Hampton Roads move forward in adapting to this challenge, shown here as synthesized from case studies and findings across the committees and working groups, and including lessons learned from South Florida, New Orleans, and the Netherlands. They are as follows:

  • Develop and implement common Regional Planning Standards — including, but not limited to common first floor elevation/building codes/GIS attributes/sea level planning scenarios — to facilitate effective regional planning and execution of adaptation efforts.
  • Establish support from a Consortium of Universities — ensure the best possible science, data, and engineering expertise from a non-partisan trusted agent.
  • Establish a Regional Data Center — ensure an independent, centralized ability to collect, analyze, distribute, and respond to regional data needs.
  • Ensure collaborative, prioritized planning and execution — create formalized relationships between Federal/State/Cities/Municipalities/Businesses/Non-profits and Citizens
  • Identify funding strategies and create funding instruments for regional program needs — bring together and prioritize opportunities from multiple sources including federal, state, local government, private industry and non-profits.

Community members learn about sea level riseCommunity members learn about sea level rise from Michelle Covi, Assistant Professor of Practice, Ocean, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Old Dominion University.

The Future: While there are actions and activities underway across the region at every level, the need for the regional collaboration and oversight entity identified by the IPP grows as water levels continue to rise and the land subsides. The IPP showed the tremendous value of regional partnerships working in collaboration across the whole of government and community. Now, it is up to Hampton Roads to seize this opportunity to take the lead in developing collaborative adaptation and mitigation strategies and actions to address to this existential threat — and we have no time to lose!

To view the entire IPP final report and case studies on line, visit ODU Digital Commons.

About the author: Rear Admiral Ann C. Phillips, US Navy (Retired) chaired the Infrastructure Working Group for the Hampton Roads Intergovernmental Pilot Project from 2014-2016. She is now a member of the Advisory Board for the Center for Climate and Security. The opinions expressed are her own.


Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global WarmingDrawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming

Paul Hawken, Executive Director of Project Drawdown and one of the fathers of the sustainability movement, presented an overview of a major new publication at the Champions of Change Sustainability Symposium, held January 8, 2018. The book, Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, is the product of work conducted with over two hundred scholars, students, scientists, researchers, and activists who analyzed extensive data gathered from around the world. They produced what they consider the one hundred most substantive solutions than can cumulatively reverse global warming by reducing and sequestering greenhouse gases.

By “doing the math” and focusing on technological, ecological, and behavioral solutions, the research team produced their results. Top categories of solutions include those associated with food (changing production methods, reducing food waste, switching to plant-rich diets), electricity generation (ramping up wind and solar production), and land (including proper land management and reforestation).

Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global WarmingThanks to GreenBuilder Media, the conference hosts, I am sharing both an article by CEO Sara Gutterman and Paul Hawken’s presentation here and on the Resilient Virginia YouTube channel.

Farm photo courtesy of regenerationinternational.org; renewable energy photo courtesy of Financial Tribune.


KidWind ChallengeKidWind Challenge: The Best Program You’ve Probably Never Heard Of!

Kids from middle and high schools around Virginia will be showing off their knowledge about designing and building wind turbines again this year during March events that make up the 2018 KidWind Challenges. This program, hosted by the James Madison University Center for Wind Energy, has been an opportunity for children to “learn by doing” since 2012, and has involved over 1,300 students, coaches, judges, and volunteers and 170 schools.

The students are judged in three areas: 1) turbine performance, 2) turbine design quality and process, and 3) knowledge of the wind industry. The CWE hosts three regional qualifying KidWind Challenges:

  • March 5 at the Science Museum of Western Virginia In Roanoke
  • March 16 at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly
  • March 23 at the Nauticus in Norfolk

The top three teams in each Middle and High School division from each regional Challenge will be invited to compete in the National KidWind Challenge in Chicago, IL at the American Wind Energy Association Windpower Conference in May 2018.
See what Virginia students think about wind energy on our Clean Energy video playlist.

Kids from middle and high schools around Virginia will be showing off their knowledge about designing and building wind turbines again this year during March events that make up the 2018 KidWind Challenges.


Backup Power From Your Electric Car Don’t Just Talk About Backup Power From Your Electric Car — Make It Happen!

You may be considering how to make sure you have backup power in the event of some extreme weather, like 60 mile-per-hour winds that knock out power lines, as happened recently in the Commonwealth. A colleague, Charlie Behrens, whom I met at the Champions of Change Symposium, shared how he utilized the “big battery” in his driveway, i.e. his Nissan Leaf. He used some do-it-yourself expertise to successfully provide emergency power for his Orlando home during recent hurricane-induced power outages. Key ingredients, besides the car, were a 3000W Pure Sine Wave Inverter by Power Tech-On, a circuit breaker to prevent damage to the car’s system, and power cables.

Read the full account here.

— Annette Osso, Editor


Thanks to Our 2017–2018 Annual Sponsors


Platinum Sponsor

logo-marionenterprisesCommunity Leader Sponsor

logo-facility-engineering-assoc
Lifeboat Sponsors

Hazen and Sawyer
Village Sponsors

2RW: Energy By Design

logo-leaders-in-energy


Resilience Events Calendar

Add these special events co-hosted by Resilient Virginia to your calendar

March 19: City of Roanoke and the Envision Standard for Sustainable Infrastructure, 12:00 noon–1:00 pm, Cohosted with USGBC Virginia Community. Location: Co-Lab, 1327 Grandin Road SW, Roanoke, VA 24015. Register today for this special event here.

April 3: Your Home: Cool, Dry and Green, 6:00–8:00 pm, cohosted with Science Museum of Virginia, 2500 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23220. This FREE workshop features Chris McCormick, Green Infrastructure Center; Jeremy Hoffman, SMV Climate Scientist; and Amy Hagerdon, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, with information on keeping your home cooler and dryer with green infrastructure. FREE to participants — you will take home a tree or shrub from TreeLab, a Richmond-based non-profit working to improve the urban environment. You must reserve your seat at this event here.

April 14: Arlington Home Show and Garden Expo, 10:00 am–4:00 pm, co-hosted with Arlington County Housing Division. Held at Kenmore Middle School, 200 South Carlin Springs Road, Arlington, VA 22204. Featuring businesses and county programs with information on home energy efficiency and solar systems, remodeling to age in place, sustainable landscape designs, managing stormwater, financing renovations, and preparing your home and family for extreme storms. Look for more information coming soon on special resiliency workshops.

Check our Resilient Events Calendar on a regular basis to find out what is happening in Virginia, around the nation, and virtually through webinars.


Membership — Always in Season!

Resilient Virginia is on a mission to

*Inform   *Educate   and   *Activate

Virginia communities to build resiliency in the face of challenges to community prosperity, national security, and changing climate.

You can help by:

Becoming a Member
Signing on as an Annual Sponsor

Continue your support throughout the year by using one or both of these online shopping sites that contribute to Resilient Virginia:

amazon-smile

goodshop

JOIN TODAY — IT’S OUR FUTURE!

Sea Level Rise Preparedness: An Intergovernmental Pilot Project as a Blueprint for Community Resiliency

by Rear Admiral Ann C. Phillips, US Navy (Retired)

Storm surge map courtesy of chesapeakeclimate.org

Storm surge map courtesy of chesapeakeclimate.org

The Hampton Roads Sea Level Rise Preparedness and Resilience Intergovernmental Pilot Project (IPP) (convened by Old Dominion University and launched in June 2014) was one of four National Security Council pilots and three Department of Defense pilots established to prepare the United States for the impacts of a changing climate.

Hampton Roads localities (including Norfolk, Hampton, Newport News, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach), four Cabinet Departments of Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, 11 Federal Agencies (including DOD, Army, Navy, and Air Force), DHS (U.S. Coast Guard), DOT, DOE, Port of Virginia, VDOT, HRPDC, HRTPO, HRSD, and a variety of private businesses and non-profits worked together over two years to develop recommendations and strategies for cooperative resilience planning. Throughout the process, more than 200 regional professionals participated in voluntary working groups, committees, and stakeholder events.

Sea Level Rise Preparedness: An Intergovernmental Pilot Project as a Blueprint for Community Resiliency

Norfolk Naval Station, Hurricane ISABEL 2003. US Navy file photo.

The IPP’s stated mission was that upon completion of the two year effort, Hampton Roads would have a path to establish a regional Whole of Government and Whole of Community organizational framework, along with recommended procedures to effectively coordinate sea level rise preparedness and resilience planning for the region. Further, the IPP’s vision and the National Security Council’s objective included the development of this regional framework for Hampton Roads as a template that could be used for other regions.

Best Practices: The IPP validated a number of successful practices that could transfer to any region addressing similar challenges.

  1. First and foremost — it started with an established Charter, Mission, and Vision statement. This helped guide committees and working groups throughout the process, and allowed them to continue their work at an independent pace.
  2. The IPP was fortunate to solicit whole of government and community involvement early in the process, including participation at the federal, state, and local level. This attribute was hailed as one of the key discriminators in overall value to participants, and to the success of the outcome.
  3. The use of a university as the convening authority also added merit to the process, serving as a trusted agent, facilitating work in a non-partisan environment, and with the ability to match and support research and curriculum with the project’s efforts and outcomes.
  4. The initial construction of the charter included proposed working group and committee membership, by organization or agency, expertise, and in some cases, by name. This created a much simpler path to establishing group membership for working group and committee chairs, and also added an additional level of focus and understanding of the anticipated level of experience.
  5. The IPP also established, as a part of its recommendations, a process to consider future outcomes and to recommend additional work — including studies, pilots, test projects, and suggested funding sources.
  6. The task of identifying funding sources to support the IPP’s activities proved the most challenging aspect of the effort from the start, and was called out as an item for resolution as early as possible in any similar process.
Sea Level Rise Preparedness: An Intergovernmental Pilot Project as a Blueprint for Community Resiliency

Photo Courtesy of Dr Larry Atkinson, ODU. Larchmont Neighborhood, Norfolk, VA. 2016

Desired Outcomes: The Pilot Project identified five key desired outcomes to help Hampton Roads move forward in adapting to this challenge, shown here as synthesized from case studies and findings across the committees and working groups, and including lessons learned from South Florida, New Orleans, and the Netherlands. They are as follows:

  • Develop and implement common Regional Planning Standards — including, but not limited to common first floor elevation/building codes/GIS attributes/sea level planning scenarios — to facilitate effective regional planning and execution of adaptation efforts.
  • Establish support from a Consortium of Universities — ensure the best possible science, data, and engineering expertise from a non-partisan trusted agent.
  • Establish a Regional Data Center — ensure an independent, centralized ability to collect, analyze, distribute, and respond to regional data needs.
  • Ensure collaborative, prioritized planning and execution — create formalized relationships between Federal/State/Cities/Municipalities/ Businesses/Non-profits and Citizens
  • Identify funding strategies and create funding instruments for regional program needs — bring together and prioritize opportunities from multiple sources including federal, state, local government, private industry, and non-profits.

Sea Level Rise Preparedness: An Intergovernmental Pilot Project as a Blueprint for Community ResiliencyNext Steps: The Pilot Project identified the establishment of a regional planning and execution entity as a key factor to enable whole of government and community adaption efforts. Designation as a “special service district authority” or “the joint exercise of local government powers by agreement” would allow this regional entity to identify, facilitate, and prioritize those adaptation efforts based on identified regional needs that collaborative oversight and funding. As a recommended first series of actions, this entity could undertake a regional identification and evaluation of critical (as defined by the region) public and private infrastructure that are vulnerable to sea level rise. It could then prioritize impacted infrastructure needs, and evaluate region-wide dependencies and interdependencies of that infrastructure. Once regional vulnerabilities are understood, the next consideration could be to conduct a regional watershed vulnerability study and from that, develop a regional urban water plan.

Ongoing Work: While this regional planning and execution entity has yet to be created, there are tremendous ongoing individual efforts by cities and municipalities, including, but not limited to:

  • Norfolk’s Vision 2100 Plan,
  • Coastal Storm Risk Management Study (with USACE),
  • National Disaster Resilience Competition Grant award for the ongoing Ohio Creek Watershed Transformation,
  • Virginia Beach’s ongoing Comprehensive Sea Level Rise and Recurrent Flooding Analysis and Planning Study, and
  • Hampton’s ongoing Coastal Resilience and Urban Water Planning efforts.

Hampton Roads Sea Level Rise Preparedness and Resilience Intergovernmental Pilot ProjectMore broadly across the region, the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission hosts a Coastal Resiliency Policy Advisory Committee and Working Group, and is overseeing Joint Land Use Studies evaluating Norfolk/Virginia Beach 2017–2018, with a Chesapeake-Portsmouth study planned to start later in 2018. These studies, funded by the Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment, will evaluate sea level and recurrent flooding impact on federal military infrastructure, and make recommendations for adaptation measures.

Other ongoing activities:

  • The Commonwealth Center for Recurrent Flooding Resiliency (CCRFR), established in 2016, partners Old Dominion University (ODU) with William and Mary’s Virginia Coastal Policy Center and Virginia Institute of Marine Science to address statewide recurrent flooding challenges.
  • ODU sponsors the Resilience Collaborative, a professorial consortium of subject matter experts, collaborating on sea level and climate impact research.
  • Further, RISE Coastal Resilience Laboratory, established through the NDRC grant competition award, is focused on creating incentives for strategic regional resilience through accelerating innovation related to adaptation measures.

Finally, there are two ongoing studies that evolved from the IPP:

  • The Department of Transportation working with Virginia Maritime Association, Port of Virginia, HRPDC, and ODU on a regional transportation Economic Impact Quantification Study, and
  • Members of the Resiliency Collaborative, NDRC Grant Project Team, and the IPP teamed on a Cross Municipality Watershed Study with the cities of Chesapeake and Portsmouth.

While there are actions and activities underway across the region at every level, the need for the regional collaboration and oversight entity identified by the IPP grows as water levels continue to rise and the land subsides. The IPP showed the tremendous value of regional partnerships working in collaboration across the whole of government and community. Now, it is up to Hampton Roads to seize this opportunity to take the lead in developing collaborative adaptation and mitigation strategies and actions to address to this existential threat — and we have no time to lose!

To view the IPP final report and case studies on line, go to: ODU Digital Commons

About the author: Rear Admiral Ann C. Phillips, US Navy (Retired) chaired the Infrastructure Working Group for the Hampton Roads Intergovernmental Pilot Project from 2014–2016. She is now a member of the Advisory Board for the Center for Climate and Security. The opinions expressed are her own.

Hampton Roads Sea Level Rise Preparedness and Resilience Intergovernmental Pilot Project

Hampton Roads Sea Level Rise Preparedness and Resilience Intergovernmental Pilot ProjectAfter two years, the Hampton Roads Sea level Rise and Resilience Intergovernmental Planning Pilot Project (Intergovernmental Pilot Project or IPP), convened at Old Dominion University, has come to a successful close. Although the conclusion of the project is different than originally imagined by the drafters of the IPP Charter, the process in and of itself brought hundreds of stakeholders together, built lasting and ongoing relationships, and produced many workable recommendations for the region that can be accomplished by a variety of partnerships. The key deliverables include a whole of government mitigation and adaptation planning process and an integrated regional recommendation, both which can serve as a template for other regions. Additionally the IPP demonstrated a new role for an urban campus to act as a community convener, matching focused research and curriculum development with public service across the university and the region.

Initiated in June 2014, the IPP was an effort to use the knowledge, skills and expertise of all regional stakeholders to create a framework or template for intergovernmental strategic planning that could be used outside the region; and, to implement that integrated strategy in Hampton Roads, Virginia, creating an effective and efficient method for planning holistically for sea level rise and recurrent flooding. This “Whole of Government and Community” effort would not have been successful without the hundreds of stakeholders and volunteer leaders from across all levels of government, academia, and the community who participated out of a sense of duty to their community and commitment to the collaboration.

Knowing water knows no jurisdictional bounds, a high level of intergovernmental collaboration is necessary to develop integrated regional solutions and implement effective sea level rise preparedness and resilience strategies. Additionally, the wider community in Hampton Roads recognizes that they too will be affected by not only sea level rise itself, but also the adaptation strategies implemented in preparation. Executive Summary Phase 2 Report: Recommendations, Accomplishments and Lessons Learned Executive Summary 11 Phase 1 of the project, from June 2014 through June 2015, saw the drafting and signing of a Charter, the recruitment of a steering committee, a host of events, and the development of working group and advisory committees comprised of subject matter experts. Phase 2, from June 2015 through June 2016, included heavy discussion with regard to ongoing strategies for intergovernmental collaboration as well as research, a number of case studies carried out by committees and working groups, and the careful development of recommendations for the region.

The IPP concludes successfully with a series of recommendations from each working group and committee as well as a final resolution drafted by the Legal Working Group and containing the consensus views of steering committee members. Though the recommendations vary in specificity and subject area, a few themes are clear. In order to move forward regionally, local stakeholders need to maintain, institutionalize and build relationships with each other in order to facilitate effective collaboration and information sharing. Institutionalizing these relationships and partnerships is key, as people shift positions throughout their careers. Additionally, while more data is needed, the methods by which that data is integrated and shared are equally important. Further, some form of the Whole of Government and Community approach that focuses on the watershed as opposed to jurisdictional boundaries is essential to accomplishing the recommendations set forth in this report.

The IPP has been a success because of the dedicated volunteers committed to a resilient Hampton Roads. During the last two years, this project advanced regional adaptation through the evaluation and recommendation of a future governance structure, the development of working group and committee recommendations, building public awareness, building awareness of the need for federal agency involvement locally and building relationships among numerous organizations involved in the Pilot Project. All of this work, which in pieces may be specific only to a unique circumstance or area, when taken as a whole, brings foundational change. It builds on previous work accomplished by other leaders in the Hampton Roads region and should be leveraged in the future to accelerate regional adaptation.

Click here for the full report.

Resilient Virginia News: November 2017

Resilient Virginia

What’s New

2017 National Climate Assessment, COP 23, and Stateside Commitments

Climate Science Special ReportNational Climate Assessment

The 2017 National Climate Assessment (NCA) Climate Science Special Report (Volume 1) was released on November 3. The National Climate Assessment summarizes the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future.

A team of more than 300 experts guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee produced the report, which was extensively reviewed by the public and experts, including federal agencies and a panel of the National Academy of Sciences. Volume II, Climate Change Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States (NCA4 Vol. II), will be published in early 2018.

The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) was mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act (GCRA) of 1990. Its mandate is to develop and coordinate “a comprehensive and integrated United States research program which will assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.”

droughtEvery four years a new report, developed through extensive input from the latest scientific research, is published and submitted to the President and Congress and to the public. This report assesses the effects of global climate change, both human-induced and natural, on the natural environment, agriculture, energy production and use, land and water resources, transportation, human health and welfare, human social systems, and biological diversity.

A summary of the findings include the following:

  • The report confirms the well-established science behind climate change: it is real, it is human-caused, it is happening faster than predicted, and it poses a tremendous threat to America and the rest of the world.
  • Warming graphThis is now the warmest period in the history of modern civilization. Global annually averaged surface air temperature, and the annually averaged temperature in the U.S., has increased by about 1.8 degrees F (1 degree C) over the last 115 years (1901–2016), with Alaska warming twice as much. Last year was the third year in a row, following 2015 and 2014, to set a new global record for the warmest year. (Click graph for larger image: The last five decades have seen a progressive rise in the Earth’s average surface temperature. Bars show the difference between each decade’s average temperature and the overall average for 1901-2000. (Figure source: NOAA NCDC).)
  • Based on extensive evidence, there is no convincing alternative explanation that anything other than human activity is the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th Century. The global warming of the past 50 years is primarily due to human activities, predominantly the burning of fossil fuels.
  • Global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have now passed 400 parts per million (ppm), a level that last occurred about 3 million years ago, when both global average temperature and sea level were significantly higher than today. Continued growth in these emissions over this century and beyond would lead to an atmospheric concentration not experienced in tens to hundreds of millions of years.
  • floodingHuman-caused climate change has made a substantial contribution to the observed 7–8 inches of global average sea level rise since 1900, the greatest rate of rise in at least 2,800 years. Global average sea level is expected to continue to rise by at least several inches in the next 15 years, and by 1–4 feet by 2100. A rise of as much as 8 feet by 2100 cannot be ruled out.
  • The report also focuses on regions within the US and for the Southeast region, and details the following threats: 1) Sea level rise poses widespread and continuing threats to the region’s economy and environment. 2) Extreme heat will affect health, energy, agriculture, and more. 3) Decreased water availability will have economic and environmental impact.

(Source: World Resources Institute, 11/7/2017)

United Nations COP23 Meeting

The United Nations Climate Change Conference, the 23rd annual “Conference of Parties” (or COP23) took place in Bonn, Germany, November 6–17, 2017. A brief summary at the closing of the meetings indicates that:

1. The 195 countries signing the Paris Agreement remain committed to a collective framework on international climate action. Nicaragua and Syria, the only two countries that had not signed the original Paris Agreement in 2015, indicated their support, while the U.S. government indicated it might consider re-commitment at a later date.

2. The international community has yet to send a strong signal that it is committed to transitioning away from fossil fuels. However, an alliance of 19 countries, headed by the United Kingdom (UK) and Canada, committed to phase-out coal production. In the UK, electricity produced by coal has fallen from 40 percent to 2 percent since 2012.

3. Little progress was made defining specific emissions-cutting guidelines. Activists call for a “robust set of rules,” but that rulebook remains woefully thin. A U.S. government presentation about the necessity of fossil fuels sparked one of the conference’s biggest protests.

(Source: Environmental Health News, November 18, 2017)

America's Pledge reportStateside Commitments

On November 11, 2017, the COP 23 Special Advisor for States and Regions California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and Michael R. Bloomberg, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, released the America’s Pledge report at the U.S. Climate Action Pavilion, a purpose-built exhibition space sponsored by U.S. non-federal leaders at the COP23 meeting.

The report is the first communication to the international community specifically addressing the scope and scale of non-federal climate action in the United States following the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. It captures and quantifies the outpouring of public support for the agreement since the withdrawal announcement, finding that cities, states, and businesses representing more than half the U.S. economy and population have declared their support for the Paris Agreement, including more than 2,300 signatories to the “We Are Still In” declaration.

America's PledgeA total of 20 U.S. states, 110 U.S. cities, and over 1,400 businesses with U.S. operations representing USD $25 trillion in market capitalization and nearly 1.0 gigatons of GHG emissions per year have adopted quantified emissions reduction targets.

“The group of American cities, states, and businesses who remain committed to the Paris Agreement represents a bigger economy than any nation outside the U.S. and China,” said Bloomberg. “Together they are helping deliver on the promise of the agreement and ensuring the U.S. remains a global leader in the fight against climate change.” (Source: Press Release, America’s Pledge, 11/11/2017)

Climate Change in the American MindAnd finally, the latest survey from George Mason University’s Center for Climate Communication reveals that the number of Americans “very worried” about global warming has reached a record high since first measured in 2008. A majority of Americans (63%) say they are “very” or “somewhat” worried about the issue. Likewise, Americans increasingly view global warming as a threat. Since Spring 2015, more Americans think it will harm them personally, their own family, people in the U.S., people in developing countries, and future generations. You can read the full survey report here.

Note: Find out more about the NCA report and COP23 at the November 30 Webinar: The Fourth National Climate Assessment and Outcomes from the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn — COP 23. 1:15–2:45 pm EST. Register at securityandsustainabilityforum.org.


New Videos: You’ll Want to See These Microgrid Presentations

microgrids event oct 2017Resilient Virginia teamed with Leaders In Energy on October 19, 2017, to bring together an exceptional group of national and regional speakers on microgrids, with emphasis on this distributed energy technology as a means to significantly increase energy resiliency.

This evening event, attended by over 100 people, featured speakers from the US Department of Energy, the military, Edison Electric Institute, USGBC’s PEER certification program, and regional microgrid projects.

We are pleased to be able to share with readers the following video presentations in order of appearance:

National Perspective
John Caldwell, Director of Economics, Edison Electric Institute
J.E. Surash, P.E., Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Energy and Sustainability
Robert Hughes, Executive Director of the Office of Energy Assurance, U.S. Air Force
Dan Ton, Program Manager for Smart Grid R&D, U.S. Department of Energy

Regional Market Development
Michael Yambrach, Capital Projects Manager, Montgomery County
Bracken Hendricks, CEO and Founder, Urban Ingenuity, LLC
Brendan Owens, Chief of Engineering, PEER, U.S. Green Building Council

You can also read an in-depth review of the presentations provided by Leaders in Energy.

Above:Janine Finnell, Executive Director of Leaders in Energy, opens an event on microgrids opens an event on microgrids in this video from October 19, 2017. Other presentations from this event are available here.


Four Generations of Leaders in Clean Energy & Sustainable Solutions Awards and Holiday EventThe Urgency of Now: A Timely Event Honoring Cross-Generational Sustainability

Resilient Virginia is helping to promote a timely event — Leaders in Energy’s 4th Annual “Four Generations of Leaders in Clean Energy & Sustainable Solutions Awards and Holiday Event” on December 1, 2017, 6:00–9:00 pm. The event will recognize people across four generations who are raising awareness and developing clean energy and sustainable solutions, with a visible sense of urgency.

This year there will also be a Lifetime Achievement Award given to S. David Freeman, eco-pioneer and author. Freeman has provided progressive leadership to major public utilities coast to coast. Under President Jimmy Carter, he shaped an efficiency-based energy policy as head of the Tennessee Valley Authority. His most recent books include “All Electric America: A Climate Solution and the Hopeful Future.”


On November 28 you can be part of a national movement to celebrate giving to worthwhile causes.

Support our work to make your community more resilient!

Resiliency has many meanings:

  • being prepared for a storm that might damage your house,
  • bringing new businesses to your community,
  • making sure your family has access to healthy food,
  • preparing for flooding from hurricanes and high tides,
  • keeping the lights and heat on in your home or business,
  • having safe drinking water free from harmful substances,
  • protecting your trees and other natural resources,
  • buying fresh produce from local farmers,
  • supporting cleaner energy sources for your home and car.

Resilient Virginia  supports community resiliency by giving you the resources to move ahead with being more prepared for the future. Support our organization on #Giving Tuesday and help us continue to Inform, Educate, and Activate!


Thanks to Our 2017 Annual Sponsors


Platinum Sponsor

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Lifeboat Sponsors

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Village Sponsor

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Resilience Events Calendar

Fall 2017 Event Highlights

Check our Resilient Events Calendar on a regular basis to find out what is happening in Virginia, around the nation, and virtually through webinars.


Membership — Always in Season!

Resilient Virginia is on a mission to

*Inform   *Educate   and   *Activate

Virginia communities to build resiliency in the face of challenges to community prosperity, national security, and changing climate.

You can help by:

Becoming a Member
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JOIN TODAY — IT’S OUR FUTURE!

Climate Change in the American Mind

Climate Change in the American MindThe latest survey from George Mason University’s Center for Climate Communication reveals that the number of Americans “very worried” about global warming has reached a record high since first measured in 2008.

A majority of Americans (63%) say they are “very” or “somewhat” worried about the issue. Likewise, Americans increasingly view global warming as a threat. Since Spring 2015, more Americans think it will harm them personally, their own family, people in the U.S., people in developing countries, and future generations.

You can read the full survey report here.

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