September 2020 Project Updates

September 11, 2020

Zones of Shared Risk Map Dataset.

“Zones of Shared Risk” are regions that face common challenges currently or expected as a result of climate change. These risks are shared among or between groups of people that may have different perspectives and priorities for coastal resilience. UConn Plant Science and Landscape Architecture Department’s Professor Peter Miniutti and his team prepared Zones of Shared Risk maps for the 14 towns in the Resilient Connecticut region. The maps include built infrastructure, hydrological, ecological, social, and institutional elements that contribute to the functioning of a place. Explore the dataset at our website
 

Identifying Heat Vulnerability and Land-use Influence

CIRCA partner and UConn Plant Science and Landscape Architecture department’s Assistant Professor Mariana Fragomeni and her team are advancing climate change research. The objective of their study will be to map and identify areas vulnerable to heat and cold, areas of extreme climate conditions, and the contribution of the changes in heat to vulnerability. For this purpose, CIRCA deployed 20 temperature and humidity sensors in various landscape and demographic typologies in the city of New Haven. CIRCA would like to thank the City of New Haven for their collaboration and help in selecting the locations for the sensors. The information on this project will be updated at our website.

August 2020 Project Updates

August 24, 2020

The ongoing health crisis has been a challenge for us all. While most of CIRCA’s work, transitioned to virtual formats this past spring, the hard work and efforts of everyone at UConn, CIRCA, and our partners allowed us to keep the Resilient Connecticut project on track, and we thank everyone for their efforts during this difficult time. Phase II of Resilient Connecticut is underway, led by a planning team of Milone & MacBroom, Dewberry, West COG, Metro COG, Naugatuck Valley COG, South Central Regional COG, and the CIRCA research team.

The major tasks in Phase II include inventorying and mapping previous hazard mitigation and resilience projects and data, developing a comprehensive vulnerability assessment of regional climate challenges in Fairfield and New Haven Counties, and developing adaptation scenarios that address these challenges that are implementable.

Input and engagement with a broad range of stakeholders is a fundamental ingredient needed for developing a long term vision for how the region can adapt to climate challenges. For at least the remainder of 2020, in person engagement activities will be limited. However, we’ll be moving to virtual engagement, starting with a “mini” webinar series focused on climate and public health (described below). Other engagement activities will include regional virtual workshops in the project area. And, of course, be sure to save the date annual Resilient Connecticut Climate Adaptation Summit on Friday November 20th. Look for more details on the agenda and registration links very soon.

Advancing Connecticut’s Climate GIS Capacities

Decisions need data and good decisions need good data. In addition to our Sea Level Rise viewer and Coastal Vulnerability Index, we have been working with a number of partners to advance the GIS science for resiliency decision making in Connecticut.

CIRCA has been meeting with COG GIS staff in the Resilient Connecticut project area to coordinate layers that are critical to understanding regional vulnerabilities and, eventually, resiliency opportunities. COGs conduct economic development, transportation, and environmental planning across their towns and produce important GIS layers to communicate information and to identify key intersections of the underlying topics. Each meeting we discuss existing data, creating data from regional planning processes, and aligning attributes and symbology in the data for consistency across the regions. The data will be further developed into the data and plans created by our consultants.

In addition, CIRCA has participated in several meetings about the production of an Environmental Justice mapping tool for the state of Connecticut. This tool is one of the draft suite of actions established by the Equity and Environmental Justice working group of the Governor’s Council on Climate Change. The proposed tool would integrate environmental, social, and economic GIS layers to identify vulnerable populations.

To learn more, please contact our Assistant Director of Research, Dr. Yaprak Onat at yaprak.onat@uconn.edu.

Climate Change & Public Health: Mini-Webinar Series

As we are vividly seeing with the coronavirus pandemic, public health is a foundational piece of a resilient community. Throughout the month of September, hear about Climate Change and Public Health in our mini-webinar series. Focused on topic and condensed on time, enjoy 1,2, or all 6 of our free webinars!

Each webinar will be 45 minutes with about 30 minutes of presentation and 10-15 minutes for questions or interactive exercises. Hear from our incredible line-up of speakers from partners across the region, including Save the Sound, Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies, Yale Center on Climate Change and Health, the Connecticut Department of Public Health, Save the Sound, the city of Norwalk, and, of course, UConn researchers.

Registration will open soon. More information may be found here.

July 2020 Project Updates

August 20, 2020

CIRCA Selects Contractors

Following the release of a Request for Qualifications earlier in 2020, a team led by Milone & MacBroom and Dewberry was selected to assist the Resilient Connecticut Team with the Phase II regional vulnerability assessment and planning process. The Phase II planning team, which also includes Western CT, Naugatuck Valley, Metro, and South Central Regional Councils of Governments, will now begin gathering and updating previous data from recent hazard mitigation, resilience, transportation, and other regional plans; identifying data gaps; and engaging stakeholders in Fairfield and New Haven Counties around regional zones of shared risk. Thank you to all of the contractors that submitted proposal. We appreciate your interest and consideration.

CT Department of Public Health and CIRCA Collaborate on a Sheltering Survey

Dr. Laura Hayes of the CT Department of Public Health, supported by Yale School of Public Health student, Nicholas Elton, collaborated with Dr. Joanna Wozniak-Brown of CIRCA to create a survey on cooling station and emergency sheltering practices throughout the state. We’ll be inviting emergency management directors, health departments/districts, and chief elected officials to complete the survey. The sheltering information will help inform policies, programs, and plans to assist in the coordination of emergency and climate change planning. For the Resilient Connecticut project, the location and shelter practices will directly inform our climate vulnerability assessment and resiliency planning. We thank you in advance for your participation.

Estimating the Annual Exceedance Probability of Water Levels and Wave Heights from High Resolution Coupled Wave-Circulation Models in Long Island Sound

Understanding and assessing the risk posed by extreme storm events and floods is crucial for the successful resilience planning of coastal communities. There is limited tide gauge, buoy, and storm sensor data in Long Island Sound to project the extreme sea level statistics to determine the level of risk along the Connecticut coastline accurately.

To better assess risk, CIRCA reproduced the highest 44 storms between 1950 and 2018 using a coupled circulation and wave model. The modeled events are fit to a probability distribution to statistically estimate the annual exceedance probabilities and return periods for expected storms. The results presented here are to highlight the storm surge water levels and significant wave heights, which may contribute to a better understanding of extreme storms and guide decision-makers.

Upcoming Events

The annual Resilient Connecticut Summit will still take place on November 20 but, instead of hosted by our friends at the UConn Law School campus, the event will be virtual. We’re considering various formats that make virtual events successful. Feel free to email us at circa@uconn.edu if you have suggestions or have seen any great tools and presentations.
Similarly, we’ll be hosting a public health and climate mini-webinar series on different topics throughout September. Stay tuned for more details on these events!

June 2020 Project Updates

July 20, 2020

Connecticut Coastal Towns Storm Annual Exceedance Probability & Return Interval

The CIRCA team reproduced the highest 44 storms between 1950-2018 using a coupled circulation and wave model. The modeled events are fit to a probability distribution to statistically estimate the annual exceedance probabilities (AEP) and return periods for expected storms. The results presented here are to highlight the storm surge water levels and significant wave heights, which may contribute to a better understanding of extreme storms and guide decision-makers. Check out the Return Interval Viewer here and the datasets here.

Coastal Vulnerability Index

The CIRCA team has developed a GIS supported index-based approach to analyze multiple scales and criteria interactively and to express an overlapped one-dimensional risk index. This coastal vulnerability index demonstrates the vulnerable regions to coastal flooding using both biophysical and socio-economic data.
Explore our Story Map about the Index and check out our dataset.

Resilient Connecticut Tools: Exploring CIRCA’s Latest Products

May 11, 2020

Resilient Connecticut
Webinar Series

Exploring CIRCA’s Latest Products
May 26, 2020
10:00 – 11:00 am

Webinar Overview

Through the Resilient Connecticut project, CIRCA has been working on a number of new tools and datasets to bring you the latest information on climate impacts. This type of information is critical as municipal, regional, and state planners identify priority conservation and development areas, site new infrastructure, and make long-term investments.

Webinar Description

Join us on this webinar to hear, learn, and explore:

  • Coastal Vulnerability Index, an interactive online mapping visualization of the impact of coastal flooding and sea-level rise in Connecticut coastal towns
  • Storm Return Interval Estimates and Town Data packages, ​annual exceedance probability of storm surge water levels and significant wave height for each Connecticut coastal towns and planning guidance package for towns
  • Sea Level Rise GIS layers, 10, 30, 100 and 500-year flood maps from the new modeling results with 2050 sea-level rise estimates
  • What to expect in the coming months

Webinar Presenters & Moderator

  • Yaprak Onat, PhD, Assistant Director of Research, UConn CIRCA
  • Joanna Wozniak-Brown, Senior Resilience Planner at UConn CIRCA

Webinar Slides

Check out the Webinar Presentation here.

Webinar Video


Stay in Touch

This webinar is part of a regular series hosted by CIRCA and involving different partners & organizations. These webinars will be available to watch live with opportunity for Q&A and a recording will be posted shortly following the event.

To receive notification about upcoming webinars, please sign up for the Resilience Roundup e-newsletter and CIRCA Announcements.

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Funding for this webinar presentation is provided by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development through the Community Block Grant National Disaster Recovery Program, as administered by the State of Connecticut, Department of Housing.

May 2020 Project Updates

Successful RFQ Response

Earlier this year, CIRCA issued an RFQ for Engagement, Planning, Design, Architectural, and Engineering services for the Resilient Connecticut project. We had a wonderful response from a variety of talented teams.  After a thorough and difficult review process, we’ve selected a team for the Phase II regional planning phase. We’re currently negotiating the final scope of work and will announce the team in our next Roundup. Stay tuned!

May Webinar Explores Resilient Connecticut Products

Join our May 26 webinar at 10am to explore the latest updates to our technical tools and data. Check out the Coastal Vulnerability Index, Storm Return Interval Estimates and Town Data Packages, and Sea Level Rise GIS layers. You’ll also hear about exciting data and tools in the works! Please join us and register here.

CIRCA Recommended for Renewal as an Institute

Institutes at the University of Connecticut must submit reviews every five years to the UConn Academic Centers and Institutes Review Committee. As CIRCA approaches it’s 6th birthday, we’re excited to share the good news that the Office of the Provost is going to recommend to the Board of Trustees that CIRCA should be approved as an Institute of the University for another 5 years. 
Congratulations to the team!

April 2020 Project Updates

Save the Date!
Resilient Connecticut Climate Adaptation Summit
November 20, 2020

CIRCA’s second annual Resilient Connecticut Summit will take place on November 20th. The Summit is a wonderful way to network with people working on climate resilience in a variety of sectors and to hear the latest advancements in the Resilient Connecticut project.

At the first Summit, participants:

  • Heard about the structure and progress for the Resilient Connecticut project;
  • Learned about innovative resilience planning through regional case studies and a keynote speaker, and;
  • Provided feedback on key planning and technical elements of the project.

Further details for this year’s event will be available soon.

Stay tuned for more information. As plans are developed, we’ll share information via the Resilience Roundup and our November 2020 Summit webpage. Please share with anyone you think would be interested. The materials for the 2019 Summit are available here.

CIRCA COVID-19 Update

In accordance with public health guidelines and Governor Lamont’s Executive order, all CIRCA staff will be working from home until at least April 30. If you wish to get in contact with a staff member, a list of contact information may be found at this link . We are checking our office voicemails.
We hope that everyone is remaining safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we look forward to physically meeting with you all again.

Global Adaptation Month

We are pleased to announce that CIRCA will be participating in this year’s Global Adaptation Month . Throughout April, we will be sharing great climate-related info and projects. If you would like your organization’s work highlighted, please fill out the form linked below, and be sure to look into all of the great projects highlighted all month long!

CIRCA Staff Participates in “Soak Up the Rain” New England Webinar Series

March 30, 2020

Living Shorelines: Slowing Coastal Erosion and Saving Connecticut Habitats

April 9, 2020
10:30 – 12:00 pm

Webinar Overview

Coastal storm events and severe weather damage homes, businesses, infrastructure, and natural resources in New England communities. Creative strategies for shoreline stabilization and coastal stormwater management must build resilience, protect habitats, and reduce erosion and flooding. One solution is “living shorelines” – nature-based coastal infrastructure that addresses public health and safety concerns and preserves and restores coastal habitats. A recent project in Stratford, Connecticut provided 900 feet of coastal erosion control, added 30 acres of coastal habitat, and documented the ecological benefits of living shorelines through monitoring.

Our second living shorelines webinar of 2020 features speakers from Sacred Heart University and the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) on the environmental benefits of implementing living shoreline projects. The presentation will feature Connecticut case studies and recommendations for regulators, planners, practitioners, coastal property owners, and members of the public on successfully implementing nature-based coastal infrastructure projects.

Presenters:

• Kim Bradley, CIRCA, University of Connecticut

• Dr. Jennifer Mattei, Sacred Heart University

Register Here


Stay in Touch

To receive notification about upcoming webinars, please sign up for the Resilience Roundup e-newsletter and CIRCA Announcements.

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Climate Vulnerability Mapping for Municipalities

March 23, 2020

Resilient Connecticut
Webinar Series

Climate Vulnerability Mapping for Municipalities
March 12, 2020
10:00 – 11:00 am

Webinar Overview

During this webinar, participants learned about:

  • How mapping helps a community understand its vulnerabilities;
  • Mapping resources currently or soon to be available; and,
  • How Resilient Connecticut is advancing climate vulnerability assessments for municipalities.

Webinar Description

Understanding climate vulnerabilities can be a complex undertaking. GIS mapping can help visualize the relationship between particular climate vulnerabilities like sea level rise, climate amplifiers such as socio-economic and existing infrastructure, and existing adaptive capacity indicators like flood controls. These maps will assist municipalities, Councils of Governments, and the state incorporate climate vulnerabilities into their regular planning activities and conduct resiliency-specific planning. Yaprak Onat described the Resilient Connecticut climate vulnerability maps prepared to date and the mapping indices used to create them. Alex Felson introduced the “zones of shared risk” concept, followed by Peter Minutti, who explored the methodology used to map the zones of shared risk.

 

Webinar Presenters & Moderator

  • Yaprak Onat, PhD, Assistant Director of Research, UConn CIRCA Presentation
  • Alex Felson, RLA PhD, Director of Resilience Design, Deputy Executive Director, UConn CIRCA
  • Peter Minutti, ASLA, Director of Community Research and Design Collaborative, UConn Presentation
  • Joanna Wozniak-Brown, Senior Resilience Planner at UConn CIRCA

 


Stay in Touch

This webinar is part of a regular series hosted by CIRCA and involving different partners & organizations. These webinars will be available to watch live with opportunity for Q&A and a recording will be posted shortly following the event.

To receive notification about upcoming webinars, please sign up for the Resilience Roundup e-newsletter and CIRCA Announcements.

Resilient Roundup banner art


Funding for this webinar presentation is provided by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development through the Community Block Grant National Disaster Recovery Program, as administered by the State of Connecticut, Department of Housing.