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Climate Change Adaption Planning & MA Policy Updates

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Climate Change Adaption Planning & MA Policy Updates

  1. 1. Climate Change Adaptation Planning & Massachusetts Policy Updates MassachusettsAssociation of Planning Directors AnnualConference, Amherst, MA June5, 2014 E. Heidi Ricci, Mass Audubon
  2. 2. Shapingthe Future of Your Community Program Working in the state’s fastest developing regions to provide community leaders and concerned citizens with tools and support to chart a more sustainable future www.massaudubon.org/shapingthefuture
  3. 3. ClimateChange and Adaptation Planning for Community Resiliency • Climate Changes in the Northeast – Impacts • Landscape-level Planning for Resiliency • Infrastructure – Opportunities to Improve Resiliency • Building More Sustainably – Conservation Design, LID
  4. 4. PredictedNortheast Climate Change Impacts
  5. 5. 2014 National Climate Assessment • Climate change is already affecting the American people in far-reaching ways… extreme weather events … have become more frequent and/or intense, including prolonged periods of heat, heavy downpours,and, in some regions, floods and droughts…These and other aspects of climate change are disrupting people’s lives and damaging some sectors of our economy.
  6. 6. Impacts of Climate Change • Natural Resources and Habitat – Forestsstressed by drought, insects, diseases; loss of fish, increase in pollutionandtoxic algal blooms • HumanHealth and Welfare: – Heat, air quality,mosquito-borne disease, flooding • Key Infrastructure – Roads,water and wastewater plantsvulnerable to flooding • Local Economy (including Government, Land Use) – Costsof constantrebuilding, choices in land use • CoastalZone and Oceans – Barrier beaches and salt marshes inundated, lobsterand other cold water fisheries impacted
  7. 7. Adaptation • ADAPTATION means increasing resiliency and reducing vulnerability of our natural and built systems, and better preparing our response capabilities Bill S.2028 An Act providing for the establishment of a comprehensiveadaptation managementplan [CAMP] in response to climate change
  8. 8. Urban Climate Change Governance Survey 350 cities participated in the survey 73%are conducting both adaptation and mitigationplanning 75%report that climate change is being mainstreamedinto planning across their local government 56%have mitigation targets and actions address community as well as local governmentemissions 21%- mitigation efforts have significantly contributed to other local developmentpriorities Key barriers: • Insufficient funding for implementationor staff • Difficulty mainstreaming climate change and coordinating collaborative action across silos • Lack of informationonlocal impacts and responses ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability www.urbanclimatesurvey.com
  9. 9. Imagecredit: U.S. Global ChangeResearch Program (www.globalchange.gov).
  10. 10. Climate Change Paradox More Floods More Droughts Mass Rivers Alliance 2009 Westfield RiverHousatonic River
  11. 11. Resiliency “A Resilient City is one that has developed capacities to help absorb future shocks and stresses to its social, economic, and technical systems and infrastructures so as to still be able to maintain essentially the same functions, structures, systems, and identity.” Source: ResilientCity.org
  12. 12. Land Use and Resiliency • Natural landscapes provide free protective services – “nature’s defenses” • Forests and wetlands: absorb water, decrease flooding and recharge our drinking water. • Coastal and inland upland buffers reduce storm impacts • Compact development and land conservation keeps forested and natural (carbon absorbing) lands intact • Massachusetts’ forests are sequestering 12% of our annual carbon emissions. An acre of forest holds 85 tons of carbon • Trees provide shade, reduce urban heat islands. LID/bioretention in built areas – multiple benefits
  13. 13. Landscape Planning • Protect highly resilient lands • Concentrate development away from vulnerable areas • Align local plans and zoning • Look beyond parcel and municipal boundaries TNC Resilient Lands (Losing Ground 2014
  14. 14. Prioritize Protection: Important habitat and Green Infrastructure Prioritize Development: Concentrate near infrastructure and away from important natural resources Planning Ahead for Growth and Development RegionalPlans – Toolkitfor Implementing • Priority Protection Areas • Priority DevelopmentAreas
  15. 15. Resiliencyand the Built Environment
  16. 16. 10 years 10 years 10 years 10 years 10 + years Estimate for Stream Crossing Span: Cost of Two Replacements in 6 years: $130k $300-400k Comparison of Estimated Crossing Lifespan and Costs River process slides courtesy Carrie Banks, MA Division of Ecological Restoration
  17. 17. Remove Obsolete, Hazardous Dams Whittenton Dam, Taunton - DER Taunton River after dam removal – H. Ricci
  18. 18. Benefits of Green Infrastructure and LID • Environmental • Aesthetics and market value • Avoided costs • Meeting regulatory requirements • Adapting to Climate Change Gap in water infrastructure funding over next 20 years, Water Infrastructure Finance Commission, 2012. Slide by Martin Pillsbury, MAPC
  19. 19. Mosquitoesand Stormwater Stormwatercatch basins and detention ponds are prime mosquitobreeding habitat Low Impact Development does not harbor mosquitoes
  20. 20. • Lower infrastructure costs – less roads, stormwater management • Reduced clearing and grading • Protect water supplies • Prevent flood damage, protect wetland buffers and floodplains • Protect forests and farmlands • Provide open space and trails for people and nature • Support high quality of life and property values Benefits of Reducing Sprawl & Protecting Natural Green Infrastructure
  21. 21. http://www.apa-ma.org/resources/publications/nrb-guidebook Subdivision Regulations – Low Impact Development
  22. 22. LIDAR mapping, other technical support Regulatory incentives e.g. Water Management Act Division of Ecological Restoration Pending Legislation: Comprehensive Adaptation and Management Plan Environmental Bond Water Infrastructure Finance bill State Support for Adaptation Planning and Green Infrastructure
  23. 23. www.massaudubon.org/shapingthefuture Heidi Ricci hricci@massaudubon.org 781-259-2172