Category Archives: Ecosystems

Resilient Building Design: March 5, 2020

Resilient Building Design: March 5, 2020

A Presentation and Networking Event

Co-hosts: USGBC Virginia and Resilient Virginia

Thursday, March 5, 2020
4:00–6:00 PM

Rainwater Management Solutions
2550 Shenandoah Ave NW, Roanoke, VA 24017

Tickets: $10–$20

Speakers:

Steve Sunderman, RA, LEED AP BD+C, BPI, President, Terrazia PC: Defining a resilient high-performance (RHP) building, determining what are the most affordable strategies that create RHP buildings while maximizing return on investment, and how resilient design helps ensure sustainable and viable communities.

Alysson Blackwelder, Project Manager, Advocacy and Policy, U.S. Green Building Council: How USGBC tools and systems — LEED, SITES, PEER, and LEED for Cities — contribute to the resilience of a variety of projects, both in Virginia and regionally.

This event is the first of a four-part co-hosted series by Resilient Virginia and USGBC Virginia that explores the intersection of resiliency and green building.

Register Now

Resilient Virginia News: January 2020

What’s New

2010–2019: The Overheated Decade

According to independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), released in a January 15, 2020 press conference, the last decade was the hottest on record. In addition, 2019 was the second-hottest year on record, only after 2016, which continued the long-term warming trend and made the last five years the hottest on record. Additionally, 19 of the hottest years have been in the last two decades.

“The decade that just ended is clearly the warmest decade on record,” said NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) Director Gavin Schmidt. “Every decade since the 1960s clearly has been warmer than the one before.”

Since the 1880s, the average global surface temperature has risen and the average temperature is now more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit (a bit more than 1 degree Celsius) above that of the late 19th century. For reference, the last Ice Age was about 10 degrees Fahrenheit colder than pre-industrial temperatures.

Chart: Yearly temperature anomalies from 1880 to 2019This plot shows yearly temperature anomalies from 1880 to 2019, with respect to the 1951–1980 mean, as recorded by NASA, NOAA, and additional sources. All show rapid warming in the past few decades, and all show the past decade has been the warmest. Credits: NASA GISS/Gavin Schmidt

Using climate models and statistical analysis of global temperature data, scientists have concluded that this increase mostly has been driven by increased emissions into the atmosphere of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases produced by human activities.

“We crossed over into more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit warming territory in 2015 and we are unlikely to go back. This shows that what’s happening is persistent, not a fluke due to some weather phenomenon: we know that the long-term trends are being driven by the increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,” Schmidt said.

Weather dynamics often affect regional temperatures, so not every region on Earth experienced similar amounts of warming. NOAA found the 2019 annual mean temperature for the contiguous 48 United States was the 34th warmest on record, giving it a “warmer than average” classification. The Arctic region has warmed slightly more than three times faster than the rest of the world since 1970.

Rising temperatures in the atmosphere and ocean are contributing to the continued ice mass loss from Greenland and Antarctica, which will contribute to sea level rise, and to increases in some extreme events, such as heat waves, wildfires, intense precipitation.

Read the full press release here and view the slides from the press conference here.

In order to reverse these trends, rapid decarbonization will be required. How much and how soon is illustrated in this graphic.

Decarbonization required to reverse global warming trendSource: Robbie Andrew, CICERO Center for International Climate Research.

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Renewed Vision in 2020

By Annette Osso, Managing Director, Resilient Virginia

It’s increasingly important to keep focused on a way forward that allows us to take care of the environment that is the basis for our individual health and well-being, and for prosperity of communities of people, as well as other life on the planet. Resilient Virginia recommits in 2020 to its mission of accelerating resiliency planning in communities across Virginia. We recognize that changing climate, social, and economic conditions mean that old paradigms will not work, and that assessing increasing risks and forging adaptation strategies are critical to guide communities toward a vital future. We recognize that community well-being is not only tied to continued or renewed economic activity, but also the ability of all members of the community to have equitable access to education, to health, and to opportunity.

Resilient Virginia’s priorities for the next year follow below, as well as articles that we hope direct our readers toward a Renewed Vision in 2020. We ask that you consider supporting Resilient Virginia in the coming year as we recommit to supporting communities around the state.

Resilient Virginia’s 2020 Priorities

For the next year, Resilient Virginia is establishing a series of educational workshops, under the Resiliency Academy title, that focus on the resiliency planning process for local governments and communities, on building and infrastructure resiliency, and the role of ecosystem services in addressing greenhouse gas emissions. Look for announcements of our Resiliency Academy workshop series schedule, which will take place around the state, and for our jointly sponsored events with partner organizations such as the US Green Building Council-Virginia and Leaders in Energy.

Note: You can support the Resiliency Academy series development by becoming sponsor. View the sponsor information here or contact Annette Osso, Resilient Virginia Managing Director at osso@resilientvirginia.org.

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New Surveys Show Increased Understanding of Climate Crisis

Recent surveys indicate that nearly six in ten (58%) Americans are either “Alarmed” or “Concerned” about global warming, and that over the last five years the proportion of “Alarmed” nearly tripled. In addition, six in ten registered voters would support a President declaring a national emergency to act on global warming.

These findings are from the joint reports by the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication and the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

A survey report published in November 2019, Climate Change in the American Mind, is an update of the ongoing analysis of the “Six Americas” categorization of Americans, based on their climate change beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. The study indicates a dramatic shift toward percentages of the population most worried about global warming and most supportive of strong action to address carbon pollution reductions. This group now outnumbers people at the other end of the spectrum, the “Dismissives,” by three to one.

The report goes on to provide additional survey results, including whether people have perceived that they have been harmed by global warming and if they think that global warming made extreme weather events worse.

Many Americans think global warming made several extreme weather and related events worse in 2019Source: Climate Change in the American Mind, November 2019, Yale University and George Mason University. New Haven, CT: Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

A January 2020 survey report, Politics & Global Warming, shows that more than four in ten registered voters (45%) say a candidate’s position on global warming will be very important when they decide who they will vote for in the 2020 presidential election. While global warming is in the top 10 concerns for Democrats, this is not the case for Republicans.

Additional survey results indicate that majorities of registered voters support polices to reduce carbon pollution, such as a Revenue-Neutral Carbon Tax or a Fee and Dividend initiative. Also large majorities of registered voters support providing tax rebates for energy-efficient vehicle or solar panel purchases and funding more research into renewable energy sources.

Finally, more than half of registered voters would support a presidential declaration of a climate national emergency. These results include a majority of Democrats (85%) and Independents (57%) and about one-third of Republicans (35%).

Six in Ten Voters Would Support a President Declaring a National Emergency to Act on Global WarmingSource: Politics & Global Warming, November 2019. Yale University and George Mason University. New Haven, CT: Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

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Progress on Governor Northam’s Climate Related Executive Orders

By Tracy Garland, Director, Social Media and Events, Resilient Virginia

Activity at the state level to mitigate the effects of climate change is heating up. At the November 2019 Virginia Coastal Policy Center’s Conference, updates on the state’s progress was conveyed by the Governor’s resiliency team.

Rear Admiral (Ret.) Ann PhillipsIn 2018, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed Executive Order 24, “Increasing Virginia’s Resilience to Sea Level Rise and Natural Hazards.” Rear Admiral (Ret.) Ann Phillips, Special Assistant to the Governor for Coastal Adaptation and Protection, reported that the Governor’s office has been focused on implementing that order by setting statewide standards to reduce the vulnerability of state owned buildings; developing a coastal resilience master plan; and focusing on communication, coordination, and collaboration across state, federal, and local stakeholders. She announced that phase one of the master plan is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2020 and noted that four key priorities emerged in the planning process:

  • the use of natural and nature-based features as a first line of defense;
  • collaborative efforts across regions, localities and communities;
  • environmental equity;
  • and planning across federal agencies.

Rear Admiral Phillips explained that many of the coastal resilience issues being addressed now are statewide issues as well and identified the need for a statewide resilience plan, statewide predictive rainfall data, statewide predictive floodplain data, a statewide riverine and coastal gauge system, and consistent and dedicated funding to help localities address these issues. Finally, she identified four key elements that are common to states making progress in resiliency planning:

  • state funding and prioritization;
  • strong philanthropic support to fill in the gaps;
  • business community collaboration and sponsorship; and
  • a strong, centralized, state funded, and collaborative process that is authorized from the top down.

Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew J. StricklerAdditional comments by Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew J. Strickler further detailed a number of other critical steps directed by Executive Order 24 that have now been completed. These include developing a unified sea level rise standard projection and free board standard for state-owned buildings, and a review of Virginia’s compliance with flood protection and dam safety laws.

As a result of recommendations from that process, Governor Northam has signed Executive Order 45, creating the Virginia Flood Risk Management Standard. The standard is the first of its kind in the country and will ensure that state building projects are cited more thoughtfully and designed to handle current and projected future flooding events. In addition to the standard for new buildings, EO 45 requires the creation of a cabinet level working group to develop similar standards for other state-supported developments like transportation infrastructure. The standards also ensure that Virginia is in compliance with the National Flood Insurance Program and eligible for federal flood insurance and hazard mitigation grants. He announced that Virginia now has the strongest flooding elevation standard in the country, which will protect both assets and taxpayers by reducing damage from sea level rise, storm surge, and more intense precipitation events.

You can review these comments and slides from the complete agenda of the Virginia Coastal Policy Center’s 2019 Conference: The Three Ps of Resilience: Planning, Partnerships, and Paying for It AllClick here for links to the videos and slideshow presentations.

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State Legislature Takes on Clean Energy and Climate Resiliency

This year many Virginia General Assembly members are taking up the challenge of moving rapidly away from fossil fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Additional bills address guidelines for state and local governments to be aware of the impacts of climate change, supporting economic transitions to a clean energy economy, supporting farmers and local rural economies, and natural resource protection. All these aspects of resiliency are evident in some of the 100’s of related pieces of legislation moving through General Assembly committees at this time. A sampling of the legislation being considered include:

Virginia Clean Economy Act (HB 1526) — Senator Jennifer McClellan, Delegate Rip Sullivan, Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy and a broad and diverse coalition of advocacy groups and business voices unveiled the Virginia Clean Economy Act. The VCEA is expected to set a goal of a 100% carbon-free electricity supply by 2050 for the Commonwealth (through all of the state’s electric utilities). This 30-year goal would be achieved by jointly increasing Virginia’s energy efficiency levels and cleaning up its energy supply sources. It also ensures joining RGGI, a mandatory RPS (Renewable Portfolio Standard), and adds requirements for more effective energy efficiency programs by utilities.

Virginia’s Green New Deal Act (HB 77) — Delegate Sam Rasoul introduced the Green New Deal Act; Fossil Fuel Projects Moratorium, Clean Energy Mandates, Civil Penalties bill (or Virginia’s Green New Deal Act). The VA-GND would require that at least 80% of the electricity sold in calendar years 2028 through 2035 be generated from clean energy resources. In calendar year 2036 and every calendar year thereafter, 100% of the electricity sold is required to be generated from clean energy resources. The measure also requires the DMME to adopt a Climate Action Plan that addresses all aspects of climate change, including mitigation, adaptation, and resiliency. Additional aspects include job training especially for workers transitioning from fossil fuel jobs.

State, Regional, and Local Planning; Climate Change (HB672) — Introduced by Delegate Rodney Willett and others. This bill establishes a policy of the Commonwealth to prevent and to minimize actions that contribute to the detrimental effects of anthropogenic climate change in the Commonwealth. The bill requires any state agency to examine any new regulation or policy involving state action or funds in relation to its impact on climate change and its effects thereof prior to adopting or implementing such regulation or policy. The bill requires local and regional planning commissions to consider the impacts from and causes of climate change in adopting a comprehensive plan, regional strategic plan, or zoning ordinance.

Local Food and Farming Infrastructure Fund (HB1034) — Introduced by Delegate Sam Rasoul. Establishes the Local Food and Farming Infrastructure Fund and directs the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to establish a Local Food and Farming Infrastructure Grant Program for infrastructure development projects that support local food production and sustainable farming. The bill directs the Department to award grants for projects that include the establishment or maintenance of farmers markets; businesses or organizations that manage the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of food products primarily from local and regional producers; and primarily locally owned processing facilities. The Department is required to adopt project eligibility criteria that favor projects that create infrastructure in proximity to small-scale rural agricultural producers.

Resilience Hubs for Vulnerable Communities (HB 959) — Introduced by Delegate Jeffrey Bourne. This bill directs the Department of Emergency Management to establish a two-year resilience hub pilot program to assist vulnerable communities during emergency situations. The bill defines a “resilience hub” as a simple combination of solar panels and batteries that ensures continuous power to a publicly accessible building when severe weather events or other grid disruptions cause an electrical outage.

Food Production Challenges and Solutions

Food Production Challenges and Solutions

By Tracy Garland, Director Social Media and Events, Resilient Virginia

As the climate changes, so do the challenges facing farmers and ranchers. Agricultural producers have always had to handle weather-related risks, but climate change means that weather patterns have become more variable than ever and the attendant risks have increased. Prolonged and extreme droughts, warmer winters and longer growing seasons are causing increasing pest populations and more frequent crop failures. The challenges are further exacerbated in areas where competition for water is growing. Agricultural producers are now forced to adapt to a changing climate or potentially lose their businesses and livelihoods. The challenges are many and varied as are the solutions.

Fortunately, some of the best strategies for addressing climate change have been under development and testing, both formally and informally, by sustainable agriculture practitioners for decades. Key practices include a focus on healthy soils to help buffer against variability in precipitation; diversifying production systems to build soil health; pursuing diversified, high-value marketing to spread out risk; and adopting ecological design of systems to better adapt to the local climate and landscape.

21st Annual Virginia Biological Farming Conference

The topic of climate resilience was a prominent part the agenda at the 27th Annual Virginia Association of Biological Farmers (VABF) Conference, held in January 2020 in Roanoke. The event took a deep dive into resiliency in agriculture, with workshops ranging from ecologically based weed management to soil fertility. Brent Wills, President of the Board of Directors of VABF, commented that “climate resiliency is a growing concern in Virginia and will be a focus for the organization into the foreseeable future.”

For more information about climate resiliency in agriculture, here are several resources:

Cultivating Climate Resilience on Farms and Ranches (US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) This bulletin outlines the new challenges that changing weather patterns pose in agriculture throughout the United States, and ways to make farms more resilient.

Adaptation Resources for Agriculture: Responding to Climate Variability and Change in the Midwest and Northeast. (USDAClimate Hubs) This technical bulletin contains information and resources designed to help agricultural producers, service providers, and educators in the Midwest and Northeast regions of the United States integrate climate change considerations and action-oriented decisions into existing farm and conservation plans.

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Resilience Events Calendar

Here are some highlights of events happening this Winter.

February 10: Webinar — Communicating the Climate Crisis. 3:00 PM. Information and registration available here.

February 28: 6th Annual Clean Energy Extravaganza. Co-sponsored by Leaders in Energy and Association of Energy Engineers-National Capital Chapter. University of Maryland, College Park, MD. Click here for more information.

March 5: Resilient Building Design. Jointly hosted by Resilient Virginia and USGBC-Virginia. Speakers, Steve Sunderman, Terrazia, and Alysson Blackwelder, USGBC. Roanoke, VA.

April 18: Arlington Home Show. Sponsored by Arlington County and Resilient Virginia. Stay tuned for information of our “Flood-Ready” workshop at this event. Arlington, VA.

April 22: 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. Connect with the Virginia Earth Day events or add your own event at www.earthday.org You can contact the Virginia Campaign Manager, Terra Pascarosa, at pascarosa@earthday.org

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Membership

It’s Our Future — Sign Up today!

Support Resilient Virginia’s Goals

*Inform   *Educate   and   *Activate

Virginia communities and help them build resiliency to ensure continued prosperity, national security, and climate change adaptation.

Thanks for your support!

Annual Sponsor

Clark Nexsen

Members

Robert Baldwin

Jori Erdman

Josh Foster

Sena Magill

Neda Nazemi

Sobis Inc.

Thomas Jefferson PDC

Vestal Tutterow

With your support we can expand our resiliency information hub, carry out workshops and conferences, and offer communities tools they need to address climate change.

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-smileIf Amazon is your online shopping choice, go to Smile.Amazon.com and designate Resilient Virginia and we will receive a donation with every purchase.

goodshopFind lots of discounts and many participating stores for office supplies, general shopping, and special event gifts.

JOIN TODAY — IT’S OUR FUTURE!

Resilient Virginia News: October 2019

What’s New

Environment, Energy, Equity, Economics and More — Plenary Videos from 2019 Resilient Virginia Conference Now Available!

By Tracy Garland, Events and Social Media Director, Resilient Virginia

We are pleased to let you know that the Plenary Presentations from the 2019 Resilient Virginia Conference, held at the UVA Darden School of Business on July 17–18, are now available.

Plenary Session 1: Setting the Stage — Addressing Challenges and Finding Solutions


Guest Speakers:

Joshua Saks, the Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources for Virginia, gave an overview of resiliency challenges facing the Commonwealth and actions being taken at the state level. He explained that initiatives like the Resilient Virginia Conference, the creation of his Deputy Secretary position, and the Governor’s appointment of a new Special Assistant for Coastal Adaptation and Flooding Resilience will help in moving the Commonwealth forward. He also highlighted Governor Northam’s Executive Order 24: Increasing Virginia’s Resilience to Sea Level Rise and Natural Hazards.

Karen McGlathery, Ph.D., Director of the Environmental Resilience Institute (ERI) and Professor at UVA’s Department of Environmental Sciences, gave an overview of ERI’s work in resiliency, including supporting interdisciplinary research team projects, building partnerships that translate research to action, and training the next generation of leaders. She then detailed their work in three focus areas: climate resilience, water and energy futures, and environment and health.

Brad Townsend, Senior Solutions Fellow and Innovation Director for the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions outlined their organization’s Climate Innovation 2050 project, which works with more than two dozen large companies to examine potential pathways toward decarbonizing the U.S. economy. Principal outputs have included a policy brief of bipartisan solutions for the federal level; a report of three alternative scenarios for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, and a comprehensive strategy of high-priority policies and business actions to be released in late 2019.

Jane English, Program Manager of Environmental and Climate Justice at the NAACP, described the program’s three key objectives: reduction of harmful emissions; advancing clean and efficient energy, and strengthening community resilience and climate adaptation. The organization is working throughout the NAACP’s 2,200 branches in the US to create community Environment and Climate Justice Committees. She described how different populations are impacted differently by climate change, and how NAACP is working to help groups like people of color, the elderly, low income and LGBTQ, bring their voices to the decision-making tables, and to provide information to communities on how to survive the impacts of climate change.

And you can view these additional videos:

Plenary Session 2: Rural and Urban Resiliency — A Dialogue on Interdependence


Speakers:

Jonah Fogel, Program Manager, Environmental Resilience Institute, UVA (Moderator)
Hamilton Lombard, Research Specialist at UVAs Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service
Amy Thompson, AICP, LEED AP ND, Senior Planner, Perkins + Will
Jon Penndorf, FAIA, Sustainability Leader, Perkins + Will
Anthony Flaccavento, Founder and President of Sequestering Carbon, Accelerating Local Economies (SCALE)

Plenary Session 3: Moving Virginia Forward — Policy and Program


Speakers:

Jewel Bronaugh, Commissioner, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs
Chris Wiegard, Virginia Co-Coordinator, Citizens Climate Lobby
Karen Campblin, Co-Chair, Virginia’s Green New Deal
Karla Loeb, Chief Policy and Development Officer, Sigora Solar

Plenary Session 4: Resilience Progress — Virginia and the Region


Speakers:

Steve Walz, Environmental Program Director, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
Susan Elliott, Climate Protection Program Manager, City of Charlottesville
Andrea Trimble, CEM, LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Director, UVA’s Office of Sustainability
Narissa Turner, Climate Program Coordinator, Albemarle County
Ben McFarlane, AICP, CFM, Senior Regional Planner, Hampton Roads Planning District Commission

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Presentations available from the 2019 Virginia Clean Energy Summit

Highlights from the VA Clean Energy Summit

The Virginia Clean Energy Summit, held September 17 in Richmond, was a definitive success, not only by being the first clean energy conference in the state, but also because it brought together over 400 attendees. The conference highlighted current opportunities and directions needed to accelerate the use of more energy efficiency, solar, wind, storage, electric vehicles, and other clean energy solutions in the Commonwealth.

The conference was co-hosted by MDV-SEIA, Resilient Virginia, Virginia AEE, VAEEC, and VA-REA, with supporting roles from the JMU’s Office for the Advancement of Sustainable Energy, the VA DMME, and Viridiant.

Notably, the keynote address by Governor Ralph Northam featured the announcement of Executive Order 43, which supports his goals of reducing environmental impact, mitigating the impacts of climate change, and boosting the clean energy economy in Virginia.

From the press release: The Executive Order lays out Virginia’s objectives for statewide energy production, which includes the goal that by 2030, 30 percent of Virginia’s electric system will be powered by renewable energy resources and by 2050, 100 percent of Virginia’s electricity will be produced from carbon-free sources such as wind, solar and nuclear. The path forward includes ensuring at least 3,000 megawatts of solar and onshore wind are under development by 2022, and that up to 2,500 megawatts of offshore wind are fully developed on an accelerated timeline by 2026.

Breakout session speakers’ presentations on a range of timely topics are available on the conference website.

The conference also resulted in an Energy News Network article featuring Annette Osso, Resilient Virginia Managing Director, who shared comments on the conference’s positive results, along with the need for accelerated clean energy initiatives and resiliency planning throughout the state. Read the interview by journalist Elizabeth McGowan here.

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Resilience Funding Announcement

The National League of Cities 2020 Leadership in Community Resilience program is now accepting applications from cities seeking additional funding for resilience-related projects. Each city selected for the 2020 cohort will receive $10,000 in financial support, advisory services and a site visit from NLC staff, as well as an invitation to NLC’s annual resilience summit for the city’s mayor and a staff member. Apply hereThe deadline for applications is December 20, 2019.

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Welcome to Resilient Virginia’s 2019–2020 Board of Directors

NEW OFFICERS

Co-Chairmen
Andrew V. “Andy” Sorrell
Deputy Director, Virginia Tobacco Commission

Steve Sunderman, RA, LEED AP BD+C, BPI
President, Terrazia PC

Vice Chair
Ellen Graap Loth
Principal, Cardno, Inc.

Secretary
Jennie DeVeaux
Senior Executive Consultant for Resilience at Witt O’Brien’s

Treasurer
Vestal Tutterow, PE, CEM
Program Manager, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

DIRECTORS

William Bohn, Chief Operating Officer, SOBIS, Inc.
Lisa Jeffrey, PE, Senior Associate, Hazen
Rebecca Joyce, Community Program Manager, Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission
Erin Sutton, MS, CEM, PMP, Director, Office of Emergency ManagementCity of Virginia Beach

And “Thank You” to Departing Board Members
Nell Boyle, LEED AP, Sustainability Coordinator, City of Roanoke
Jerry Eastridge, LLA, BPI, Principal, GSPH LLC
Jane Frantz, AICP, PMP, CFM, Associate Vice President, Dewberry

Find more information about Resilient Virginia Board Members here.

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Reflections on Sea Level Rise and Climate-Induced Migration

Editor’s Note: Resilient Virginia invites Annual Sponsors to write guest articles for the newsletter and website. We thank Clark Nexsen, a Community Leader Annual Sponsor, for giving permission to reprint an article by Graduate Fellow, Zane Havens.

Design Thinking: How My Resiliency Fellowship Changed My Definition of a Resilient Future

by Zane Havens

When I began my one year resiliency fellowship, I expected to explore how innovative technologies could support a resilient future in coastal zones. Perhaps unavoidably, I approached my work initially with certain preconceived notions about how static structures, infrastructure, and other design methodologies could and would impact what our communities look like in 200 years.

Photograph by Aileen Devlin, courtesy of Virginia Sea Grant.

Photograph by Aileen Devlin, courtesy of Virginia Sea Grant. As part of Zane’s research, he visited communities impacted by coastal flooding, including this Princeville, NC church that was destroyed by hurricane flooding. From left to right: Tom Duckwall, Buoyant Foundation Project; Janice Bulluck, Radicue Primitive Baptist Association; Zane Havens; and Deacon William Taylor, Radicue Primitive Baptist Association.

Today, a year later, my resiliency journey has taken me to a very different place with different views on what a resilient future looks like. My understanding of how institutional resiliency — meaning the ability of our governing institutions to adapt to disturbance through policy and changes in management practices — impacts a sustainable coastal future has evolved significantly. That’s not to say I don’t have some innovative or potentially even radical ideas about resilient design in the coastal setting — I certainly do — but I have a new awareness of and appreciation for the fact that an inevitable change is coming for coastal communities.

The simple and painful reality is that one day in the future, a migration of the general population from current coastal areas to less flood-prone, inland environments will be forced upon us. It can be hard to effectively visualize what the future looks like when it won’t impact you personally — and perhaps won’t impact your children, grandchildren, or even great-grandchildren. However, while we may not know precisely how drastic sea level rise will be and when, the recurrent and increasingly frequent nature of coastal flooding is our first clue that in 100, 150, or 200 years, our coastal communities will look very different because we will have no choice but to live a different way.

The question I’m most compelled by is how to create a “pull” factor that can incentivize migration from high-risk coastal areas to safer, more sustainable communities, and achieving this in a way that utilizes the gradual development of opportunity in elevated locations, rather than sudden coastal catastrophe, as the driver for migration.

We need a dual approach — investing wisely in making the infrastructure we’ll need (ports, critical and emergency services, etc.) more resilient — while also communicating that protecting and preserving will not permanently stave off this change. We need a new way of living. My future white paper will explore this concept in greater detail, but for now I pose the central question outward — how do we form a pull driver compelling enough to draw our coastal population to safer, more resilient ground?

(This is an excerpt from the longer article which can be read here.)

Zane HavensZane Havens, Resiliency Graduate, has dedicated the last year to researching coastal resiliency through a fellowship sponsored by the Virginia Sea Grant and host organization Clark Nexsen. He holds a Bachelor’s in Earth Science from Albion College and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from the University of Virginia.


Clark Nexsen regularly collaborates with the Virginia Joint Subcommittee on Coastal Flooding, the ODU Center for Coastal Resilience (CCRFR), the Virginia Sea Grant and the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission’s (HRPDC) Coastal Resilience Subcommittee to analyze coastal flooding in Hampton Roads and advise on legislation, policy, and practice toward the planning and design of resilient infrastructure. Currently, Clark Nexsen is evaluating proposed building requirements for finished floor elevations for all state owned buildings to account for sea level rise. This was a result of Governor Ralph Northam’s Executive Order #24, “Increasing Virginia’s Resilience to Sea Level Rise and Natural Hazards,” which is scheduled to be released in the next few months.

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Report from Charlottesville: A Guest Article Featuring a Regional Climate Coalition

By Marcia Geyer, Vice-Chairperson, Cville100

Charlottesville breeds a seemingly endless variety of groups organized around any subject, including resistance to climate change. At the November 2017 meeting of 350 Central Virginia, we accepted Joanie Freeman’s challenge to get our movement out of silos, communicating and collaborating. Out of the outreach was born the Cville100 climate coalition (100 for a fossil free mission), originally with seven member organizations, now with 15, and growing rapidly again as the climate crisis becomes a hot topic.

Fairly soon after formally organizing, a second priority was added to communication and collaboration: becoming a conduit for our members to work with and support the City of Charlottesville and County of Albemarle on passing each of their commitments to GHG reduction goals that meet the minimums required to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

More recently, a third priority has emerged, that our local coalition is only at the beginning of fulfilling: to greatly expand the number of climate activists so that we become a critical mass that reaches a tipping point of leverage for making the many, sometimes difficult changes to avoid further escalating the climate crisis. Personally, as a movement person, I’ve been here before — as a college student and campus leader during the civil rights movement of the ’60s. To me it feels very like 1962, about 18 months before the August 1963 March on Washington that brought together a wide spectrum of organizations to become a powerful, unified movement. That’s where we are going and need to go. Together.


One outreach tool several of us created for Cville100 coalition members, and now share with you to use with relatively uninformed audiences, is an 18 minute video about the known health effects of climate change, focused as closely as data was available on Charlottesville. We invite you to view and share the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rh8oFecY6Y.

Like Cville 100 Facebook Page at facebook.com/cville100coalition/

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Volunteer Position Open!

CALENDAR EVENT VOLUNTEER” — Your important job is to keep the Resilient Virginia calendar up-to-date with the latest listings of Virginia and national resiliency events, and to alert people to the valuable webinars available that range from resilient building design to emergency management to carbon neutral cities to regenerative agriculture. Help us spread the word on these important resiliency issues and events. Contact Annette Osso (osso@resilientvirginia.org) if you would like to become the next “Calendar Event Volunteer.”


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Resilience Events Calendar

Here are some highlights of events happening this Fall.

November 14, 2019: VA Energy Efficiency Council Fall Forum. Register here.

November 15, 2019: The Three Ps of Resilience: Planning, Partnerships, and Paying for It All, William and Mary Virginia Coastal Policy Center 2019 Conference. Find out more and register here.

November 16, 2019: Fourth Annual Solar Congress, Solar United Neighbors. Find out more and register here.

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Membership

Turn Over a New Leaf — Join or renew today!

Support Resilient Virginia’s Goals

*Inform   *Educate   and   *Activate

Virginia communities and help them build resiliency to ensure continued prosperity, national security, and climate change adaptation.

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-smileIf Amazon is your online shopping choice, go to Smile.Amazon.com and designate Resilient Virginia and we will receive a donation with every purchase.

goodshopFind lots of discounts and many participating stores for office supplies, general shopping, and special event gifts.

JOIN TODAY — IT’S OUR FUTURE!

Jobs for a Low-Carbon Circular Economy

Jobs for a Low-Carbon, Circular Economy

The 6th Annual Green Jobs Forum, Jobs for a Low-Carbon Circular Economy, is set for August 22, 2019 at the Metropolitan Council of Governments, 777 North Capitol Street NE, Washington, DC.

This event is conducted by Leaders in Energy (LE) and hosted by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. The evening forum follows day-long workshops to help advance your career.

Find Out More

You will:

  • Learn about opportunities for green jobs in the Metropolitan DC Region.
  • Get tips from Leaders in Energy members who have landed or created green jobs.
  • Meet exhibitors from companies and organizations who are hiring and meet green tech/clean energy educational organizations offering training and certifications for continued career growth.
  • Connect with others working in the energy, sustainability, and environmental fields (or who are seeking to transition into these sectors) at one of our most popular events!
  • Advance YOUR Career by learning new skills and insights by attending our Green Career and Networking Workshops!

Green Jobs Forum Agenda
4:30 – 6:00 pm Exhibitors – including companies and educators
6:00 – 8:15 pm Panels
8:15 – 9:00 pm Exhibitors and Networking

Plus Workshops to Advance Your Career
8:30 – 11:30 am Green Career 1.0 Workshop
12:15 – 1:15 pm Networking Workshop–
1:30 – 4:30 pm Green Career 2.0 Workshop

Register online now at the Leaders in Energy website.

2019 Resilient Virginia Conference

Thanks for Attending the 2019 Resilient Virginia Conference

The 2019 Resilient Virginia Conference

Connecting Rural and Urban Communities for a Resilient Future

July 18–19, 2019  |  Charlottesville, Virginia

AGENDA & SPEAKERS     PARTNERS     EVENT PHOTOS     SPONSORS/EXHIBITORS     CONTACT

Read about our third statewide conference on resiliency!

Resilient Virginia held its 2019 Resilient Virginia Conference on July 18–19 at the Darden School of Business, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia. Event presentations, videos of four plenary sessions, and a photo gallery are now available in the Agenda section below.
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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.

Costs of Doing Nothing: Economic Consequences of Not Adapting to Sea Level Rise in the Hampton Roads Region

Costs of Doing NothingRecent studies have pointed out the economic costs of rising temperatures, increased sea levels, and extreme weather events — all factors associated with climate change impact in the Southeast United States.

Costs of Doing Nothing: Economic Consequences of Not Adapting to Sea Level Rise in the Hampton Roads Region, a 2016 report from Virginia Coastal Policy Center, College of William & Mary Law School, narrows down the data to the Hampton Roads area. This report looks at several scenarios for sea level rise and the economic consequences.

Read more

2017 Resilient Virginia Conference

Thanks for Coming!

The 2017 Resilient Virginia Conference

Connecting Communities, Business, and Educators for Resiliency Solutions

August 1–2, 2017  |  Richmond, Virginia

PARTNERS     AGENDA & SPEAKERS     SPONSORS/EXHIBITORS     CONTACT

Presentations Now Available!

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Climate Change in the American Mind: November 2016

Climate Change in the American Mind: November 2016Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication

In the wake of a contentious U.S. election and despite the election of a president who has publicly described global warming as a hoax, Americans are increasingly sure global warming is happening, according to this national survey conducted after the presidential election (November–December 2016). The report includes many other interesting results, including measures of public feelings of anger, fear, and hope about global warming and the frames by which Americans conceptualize the issue (e.g., as an environmental, scientific, political, moral, or religious issue).

View the report here.

Hear All About It! PrepareAthon Organizers on Richmond’s PBS Station (88.9 FM)

PrepareAthon 2016 took place August 27, 2016, and offered participants activities and information focused on emergency preparedness; sustainable lifestyle options such as energy saving homes, local food, healthy lifestyles, and stormwater; and adaptation strategies such as installing solar or wind systems. Local emergency responders, including Richmond Fire and Emergency Services and Red Cross representatives, were available, and hands-on workshops — for example, build your own emergency preparedness kit or rain barrel — and a variety of hands-on activities for children and adults were part of the event.

Read more

Climate Change: Cost of Inaction for Maryland’s Economy

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 10.59.24 AMThe Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) produced a report in November 2015 that expanded upon climate impacts addressed in the American Climate Prospectus. The report includes estimates on climate change’s effects on infrastructure, tourism, ecosystems, agriculture, water resources, and human health. Furthermore, the report speaks on the costs of inaction. The report concludes that risks and costs grow with increasing severity of climate change impacts and can be significantly reduced via immediate mitigation actions.

 

Risky Business: A Climate Risk Assessment For the United States

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 3.29.06 PMIn this climate risk assessment published in June 2014, co-chairs Michael Bloomberg, Henry Paulson Jr. and Thomas Steyer present the details and economic costs of inaction in the face of climate change. The Risky Business report cites the short-term climate threats presented in the U.S. and the specific economic risks they pose to differing regions and sectors. In the report, climate change is likened to “Nature’s Interest-Only Loan” in order to express the economic impact the changing global environment will have in the future. Bloomberg, Paulson and Steyer conclude the risk assessment report with risk management steps to be taken in order to reduce exposure to the economic risks from climate change.

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