What President Obamas new climate initiatives mean for you

by Sivan Sherriffe

July 17, 2014

On Wednesday, President Obama announced a series of climate change initiatives that would help communities in the U.S. become better prepared for climate-related issues such as rising sea levels, droughts and flooding. The series of actions are in response to the State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, which had been meeting since November to discuss how Federal agencies can proactively aid communities that are affected by the harsh climate change.

Here is a list of some of the Whats, Whos and What-This-Means-For-Yous:

What: An advanced 3-D mapping system

Who: United States Geological Survey What this means for you: Your local government will be able to utilize data to better plan for flooding, coastal erosion, storm surges and possible landslides.

What: Climate-related health hazards assessment guide

Who: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention What this means for you:These assessments will help inform possible climate-related health risks such as asthma, infectious diseases and heat stroke.

What: Green Infrastructure Collaborative

Who: The Environmental Protection Agency What this means for you: This will provide funding in at least 25 communities across the U.S. for green infrastructure projects such as implementing urban forests and rooftop gardens. This initiative will also provide technical assistance for stormwater management, award programs for their projects, and increase affordability and efficiency for these projects.

What: Funding for 8 states to improve electric infrastructure in rural areas; funding for rural areas affected by droughts

Who: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) What this means for you: This initiative will introduce a more modern electric system and bring more jobs to rural areas. USDA will also fund communities that struggle with a decline in quantity and quality of drinking water due to droughts.

What: A climate change training program

Who: The Department of the Interiors Bureau of Indian Affairs What this means for you: There will be programs that will train you in climate preparedness, providing you with data/info, as well as pushing for more Federal collaboration on climate-related efforts.

What: Mitigation Integration Task Force and guidance for hazard mitigation

Who: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) What this means for you: The task force will implement a program that will help communities prepare for and minimize the impact of future disasters. Also, you will have guidance for multi-hazard mitigation planning to both prepare states in advance of disasters and ensure sustainable recovery.

What: Program guidance for coastal management

Who: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration What this means for you: This initiative will improve coastal management programs of states and tribes. It will ensure climate change preparedness for coastal hazards such as rising sea levels, storm surges and eroding beaches.

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