8. Engage and build partnerships with the state & federal agencies


All states, regardless of their outlook on climate change, have programs and agencies dedicated to the different ways in which climate change affects regions. Whether they relate to emergency management, public health, or the environment, each state has people and programs with which to engage to build relationships, as well as to be a resource for helping them advance their work.

For anyone thinking about doing regional adaptation and resilience work, I can’t over emphasize the value of building a relationship with your state agencies. The State can’t talk with everyone working on this issue in the state, so it’s great to have a regional network to connect with that can help inform our perspective, policy and approach.
– Michael McCormick, Senior Planner and Advisor, California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research

Changes to state policy can directly benefit regions. Also, state recognition can benefit a regional collaborative. In states without a strong regulatory framework, a regional adaptation collaborative could identify key state partners and determine how best to move these partners to act. For example, in the Bay Area, adaptation stakeholders work with the California Coastal Commission, Cal-OES, NOAA, U.S. EPA and other state and federal agencies on key climate issues.

As the federal government engages with aspects of climate change, a regional collaborative can be a strong partner and it makes good sense to engage with appropriate federal agencies (see list below). Engagement with federal agencies can help a regional adaptation collaborative establish trust and legitimacy.

Tools & Resources

State and Local Adaptation Plans
The State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience
Potential Federal Agency Partners
California State Resources
US Dept of Housing and Urban Development
US Dept of Agriculture
US Dept of Interior
US Dept of Transportation
State and Local Adaptation Plans

The Georgetown Climate Center has compiled a database of states and local adaptation plans from around the country. It is shared as a map that highlights the status of state adaptation efforts. You can click on a state to view a summary of its progress to date and to access its full profile page. State profile pages include a detailed breakdown of each state’s adaptation work and links to local adaptation plans and resources. Please move the map to view Alaska and Hawaii.

The State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience

As part of his Climate Action Plan, President Obama signed an Executive Order on November 1st, 2013 establishing a State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force to advise the Administration on how the Federal Government can respond to the needs of communities nationwide that are dealing with the impacts of climate change.

Potential Federal Agency Partners

Department of Energy

The mission of the Energy Department is to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.

Environmental Protection Agency

The mission of Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human health and the environment.  One of the EPA’s priorities is to work in partnership with other agencies to heed the President’s call to action on climate change.

White House Council on Environmental Quality

“Our mission is to promote the health and well-being of our Country – for both current and future generations – by curbing the carbon pollution that is causing climate change and threatening our children’s health, promoting clean energy and energy security, protecting the pristine places and natural resources that help shape our National identity and fuel our economy, and leading by example in the Federal Government.”

United States Global Change Research Program

The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) was established by Presidential Initiative in 1989 and mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act (GCRA) of 1990 to “assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.”

National Security Council

The National Security Council (NSC) is the President’s principal forum for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and cabinet officials. Since its inception under President Truman, the Council’s function has been to advise and assist the President on national security and foreign policies. The Council also serves as the President’s principal arm for coordinating these policies among various government agencies.

White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

The mission of the Office of Science and Technology Policy is threefold; first, to provide the President and his senior staff with accurate, relevant, and timely scientific and technical advice on all matters of consequence; second, to ensure that the policies of the Executive Branch are informed by sound science; and third, to ensure that the scientific and technical work of the Executive Branch is properly coordinated so as to provide the greatest benefit to society.

Department of Homeland Security

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency – FEMA’s mission is to support citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
  • Department of Defense – The DOD’s mission is to provide the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country.
  • Customs and Border Control – CBP takes a comprehensive approach to border management and control, combining customs, immigration, border security, and agricultural protection into one coordinated and supportive activity.

National Aeronautical Space Administration

NASA is a leading force in scientific research and in stimulating public interest in aerospace exploration, as well as science and technology in general.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

  • National Ocean Service – The National Ocean Service translates science, tools and services into action, to address threats to coastal areas such as climate change, population growth, port congestion, and contaminants in the environment, all working towards healthy coasts and healthy economies.
  • Coastal Climate Adaptation – This website is meant to be a community of practice for state and local officials working on adaptation. Users can contribute resources to the website, share thoughts on the website blog, and post upcoming climate-related events in the website calendar.
California State Resources

California Change Climate Portal
The State of California provides information on resources as well as actions you can take to address climate change adaptation through its California Climate Portal.

California Air Resources Board
The Air Resources Board provides information on implementing California’s Scoping Plan, a central requirement of Assembly Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act, requiring California to develop regulations that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

California Energy Commission
Since 1988, the California Energy Commission has engaged in combating and adapting to climate change.

US Dept of Housing and Urban Development

HUD offers The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, a flexible program that provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs.

US Dept of Agriculture

A USDA fact sheet listing US government and non-government entities that provide funding for research activities related to sustainable agriculture.

US Dept of Interior

DOI is taking the lead in protecting US resources from climate impacts and in managing US public lands to mitigate the effects of climate change.

US Dept of Transportation

DOT is active around adaptation.  They recently released Transportation Climate Adaptation Plan 2014: Ensuring Transportation Infrastructure and System Resilience.  DOT also houses The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER Discretionary Grant program, which provides a unique opportunity for the DOT to invest in road, rail, transit and port projects that promise to achieve critical national objectives.