USGCRP & Partners Honored for DC-Area Climate Resilience Project
USGCRP and partners have received an American Planning Association (APA) award in recognition of leadership and support for the project “Building a Climate Resilient National Capital Region.” The project was a collaborative effort involving the National Capital Planning Commission, NASA, the General Services Administration, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, the Smithsonian Institution, and USGCRP.
America’s capital is already experiencing the effects of climate change, including more frequent extreme weather events, rising temperatures, and recurrent flooding. As these impacts intensify, they will affect the region’s unique concentration of Federal buildings, cultural and historic resources, nationally significant monuments and landscapes, and diverse communities. No single entity can address all of its climate risks working alone; rather, stewardship of the region in the face of climate change requires coordination of policy, tools, information, and expertise among governing bodies. The award-winning project grew from the realization that Federal, regional, and local organizations in the area have a shared opportunity to build networks and partnerships for collaborative approaches to climate adaptation.
The project included two series of webinars and workshops—focused respectively on 1) built systems and 2) workforce, communities, and natural systems—that brought together DC-area community leaders, managers, and technical specialists in the public and private sectors to facilitate adaptation planning and improve regional coordination.
“During our April workshop last year, the region experienced record rainfall, flooding roadways and creating unsafe driving conditions. On the same day, a tornado warning was issued for the area. Given that events like these are becoming the ‘new normal,’ people get that climate change and extreme weather events pose a serious threat to the critical lifelines and systems upon which the National Capital Region relies,” said Emily Seyller, lead for adaptation science and decision support at USGCRP’s National Coordination Office. “USGCRP’s involvement in this effort allowed for the integration of our reliable scientific information about current and future changes into the conversations about response options to create a more prepared and resilient region.”
The APA Federal Planning Division recognized the project as an outstanding example of collaboration among organizations “to improve planning and coordination, reduce costs, avoid duplication of effort, foster a productive working relationship, and provide for coordinated emergency response actions and disaster preparedness plans."