Climate Readiness and Model Adaptation Planning

Session Date & Time: 
May 5, 2012 - 10:00am
Session Length: 
90 minutes
Skill Level: 

Ben Chou, Natural Resources Defense Council

Fay Augustyn, American Rivers

Michael Garrity, American Rivers

Individuals who are interested in what cities and states are doing and have ideas on what they should be doing to address the water-related impacts of climate change should attend this workshop. In particular, individuals engaged in policy, emergency response, and water and climate issues may find this workshop to be especially relevant to their work. The workshop will begin with a presentation of what states are doing to adapt to climate change impacts on water resources (e.g., droughts, flooding, sea level rise, etc.) including those that are the most engaged (e.g., California, Maryland) to those that are largely not addressing climate change issues at all (e.g., West Virginia, Wyoming). In addition, there will also be a brief overview of what twelve cities across the U.S. (New York City, Boston, Norfolk, Miami, New Orleans, Chicago, St. Louis, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Homer, Alaska) are doing to address these same impacts. NRDC's upcoming Water Readiness Report (to be released this winter) and the current Thirsty for Answers report will form the basis for the first part of this workshop and also provide context for the interactive discussion in part two.

The second part of this workshop will include a presentation and seek input from participants on the joint efforts of American Rivers and NRDC to develop a model state adaptation plan for water resources to help states prepare and adapt to the water-related impacts of climate change. The model plan will comprehensively address impacts to water quantity and quality, drought and flood risks, coastal environments, and aquatic and marine species from warmer temperatures, changes in precipitation, and rising seas. This model adaptation plan will build upon adaptation strategies that cities and states are already pursuing as discussed during the first part of the workshop. The plan will also address the allocation of financial and staffing resources, which are critical components for the effective implementation of adaptation strategies. Attendees will be asked to provide input and feedback regarding the proposed components of the model adaptation plan in order to develop a robust, comprehensive, and relevant plan for states to adopt and implement. At the conclusion of this workshop, attendees should have a good understanding of what states and local communities are doing to prepare for climate change. They should also be enthusiastic about advocating for adaptation strategies that reduce vulnerability and build resilience to climate change impacts in their local communities, regions, and states.

Presenter Bio(s): 

Ben Chou is a Policy Analyst in the Water Program at NRDC. Ben joined NRDC's Washington, DC office in February 2011 and has worked on issues relating to climate change adaptation and water resources as part of the Water and Climate Team. Ben is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and Columbia University. Prior to joining NRDC, Ben spent three years working on drinking water regulatory issues at the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. He has also worked previously at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) at Columbia University and with the Climate and Air Program at the Environmental Defense Fund.

Fay Augustyn is the Conservation Associate for American Rivers. She provides support for the Conservation Department, while also contributing to American Rivers' climate adaptation policy work. Fay joined American Rivers in 2010. Prior to that she interned with Wisconsin State Representative Cory Mason, and was the Economic Research Assistant for Clean Wisconsin's water program. She earned a B.S. in Agriculture and Applied Economics and Environmental Studies from University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Darcy Nonemacher joined American Rivers in 2007. Darcy works on protecting rivers through designation under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and advancing river-friendly policies at the state level, including renewable energy incentives, climate change adaptation strategies, and water resource management issues. Prior to American Rivers, Darcy worked on a wide range of environmental and public health campaigns including reducing air pollution from coal fired power plants, climate change mitigation, and promoting sustainable agriculture and family farms. In addition, Darcy managed election campaigns in several states and worked with the AFL-CIO to create an affiliate organization for non-union households.

Fay_Augustyn-Climate_Readiness_Model_Adaptation-Rally2012.pptx10.98 MB