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Take action in your community. For ideas and resources, check out the Fair Climate Project's Solutions Guide: "Guide to Accessing Federal Funding for Our Communities."

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The Fair Climate Connection

December 2, 2010

Greetings, Fair Climate Advocate!
Welcome to the Fair Climate Connection!

We'll be using this newsletter as a means to communicate news, events, and upcoming opportunities related to fair climate solutions. If you have any items you'd like to share in an upcoming issue of this newsletter, please email FairClimateProject@nwf.org.

We are working to revamp our newsletter, and we want your input to guide the improvements. Please take the time to answer the questions in this 2-5 minute survey. We really appreciate your help! Click here to take the survey.
In this issue...
Happy birthday, Clean Air Act!
Miami partners with ICLEI to take on climate adaptation
Success! Moratorium on "Fracking" in New York
Google Earth tour of Human Side of Climate Change
EPA announces 2010 National Awards for Smart Growth Achievement
Funding Opportunities

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About Us

The goal of NWF's Fair Climate Project is to build and engage a national network of leaders representing underserved communities to advance equitable and just solutions to climate change. We work to forge connections between community leaders and decision makers to jumpstart local projects and national initiatives that promote green communities, clean energy, and green jobs.

Clean air, clean water and abundant wildlife sustain Americans from all walks of life. We all have a shared responsibility to protect these resources for our children's future.  At NWF, we are working to bring together diverse voices to affect decisions that will create safe and healthy communities for all.

Follow-up Links
Environmental Justice Community Conference Call: Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS)
December 9, 2010 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EST
In response to community requests to share information about EPA's air programs, the Agency has begun to host bi-monthly conference calls to foster dialogue between EPA and interested community groups. To register for the call, click here.

EPA Grants Award Process Webinar
December 8th @ 2pm EST
EPA's Office of Grants and Debarment is hosting a webinar for the EPA grants community.
The webinar will cover grants management topics, including: how to find and apply for grant opportunities; new Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) reporting requirements; and preparing a proper budget detail. To register, click here.
Following the session all questions and answers will be posted here.
Happy birthday, Clean Air Act!
This month, America celebrates the 40th anniversary
EPA logo
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson answers NWF members' questions
of the signing of the Clean Air Act and the founding of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  To commemorate the occasion, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson offered to answer questions from NWF members.

Undoubtedly the Clean Air Act and EPA have delivered on environmental and public health benefits across the United States. It all started four decades ago on December 31, 1970, when President Richard Nixon signed the law to foster the growth of a strong American economy and industry while improving human health and the environment.

In her interview with NWF, Ms. Jackson makes clear she stands ready to defend the Clean Air Act from attacks that are likely to come from Congress in the coming year. 

"Forty years ago, Americans came together and demanded change. That action led to the creation of the EPA and laws like the Clean Air Act. We need the public to come together again today and use the power of their own voices to make sure everyone knows how important the Clean Air Act is to our health and our economy. If our leaders know the people they serve want a strong Clean Air Act, they will work to strengthen it."

NWF will stand with her to defend clean air that's so vital to people and wildlife. Will you heed Lisa Jackson's call to action? Ask President Obama, your Senators, and your Representatives to keep the Clean Air Act strong by signing this petition.

Miami Climate changeMiami, FL prepares for climate change impacts  

Miami, Florida faces a greater economic threat from global warming than any other city on earth.  Much of the city is just a few feet above sea level and even 3-4 foot rise in sea levels - well within the projections of what could happen over the next century - could inundate Miami Beach and downtown Miami. 

Thankfully, Miami's citizens and local government are well aware of their own vulnerability, and have signed on to be  the first participant in ICLEI's "Climate Resilient Communities" program, which is geared to help cities prepare for, and even thrive in, a warmer - and in Miami's case, wetter - world.  ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability) is an organization that helps cities become more sustainable.  They have done fantastic work in helping cities reduce their carbon footprint, but have recognized that simply reducing emissions is not enough to prepare for climate change, a city must also prepare for the inevitable (and in many cases, already occurring) impacts of climate change.

You can find out more about ICLEI's work on preparing for climate impacts (often called "climate adaptation") at www.icleiusa.org/adaptation.  They have resources for local governments and city planners who want to prepare for climate change in their governing and planning.
Take action: Protect all of our nation's waters from hydraulic fracturing
 Success: Moratorium on "Fracking" in New York
The New York State Assembly votes to protect drinking water from dangerous hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking"

Environmental, good government, community and public health organizations applauded the State Assembly today for voting to protect New York's drinking water by passing legislation that will enact a timeout on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. By passing the bill, A.11443B, sponsored by Assembly Member Robert Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst), the Assembly demonstrated that it recognizes the potential dangers of the environmentally dangerous practice of hydraulic fracturing, often called "fracking." In states such as Pennsylvania, Colorado and Wyoming gas development using fracking has contaminated drinking and groundwater sources.

The bill would suspend the issuance of permits to hydraulically fracture wells in New York State until May 15, 2011. In addition to providing the incoming governor and his administration an opportunity to take a fresh look at the issues surrounding gas development, the suspension would also provide the State Legislature with the chance to make necessary changes to New York's oil and gas permitting program. In an interview with WAMC Public Radio last week, Governor David Paterson said that New York State should put public safety and water quality concerns ahead of the potential profits to be made by natural gas exploration.

New York is a battleground in the national debate about natural gas drilling and fracking, an environmentally dangerous technique for extracting gas from underground shale deposits. Drilling-related accidents across the country have contaminated drinking water, created air quality hazards and violations, and polluted stream.

In order to protect all of our nation's waters from hydraulic fracturing, take action by contacting your decision-maker here.

To learn more, go here.
Google Earth tour of Human Side of Climate Change
Kofi Annan
Former UN Secretary Kofi Annan on the human side of climate change

Former UN Secretary Common Kofi Annan narrates an interactive Google Earth tour on the human side of climate change around the world. Included in this tour are data and tools to explore the topic in more depth. The tour also features some of the people who are actively working on managing the risks of climate variability and alteration.

This is the latest in Google Earth for Educators Community's series of climate alteration tours released leading up to the global U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Alter (COP16) talks in Cancun, Mexico this week. To take the tour, or to check out other climate tours, click here.

NYC's PlaNYC won top honors as the 2010 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement
EPA Recognizes Sustainable Communities with Smart Growth Awards
New York City's own PlaNYC 2030 snagged the top award when the EPA recognized communities with Smart Growth Awards this week. Cities and towns that are actively promoting sustainability and "livability" are eligible for the  National Awards for Smart Growth Achievement from the EPA.

PlaNYC 2030 was actually launched in 2007, but won this year.  In a statement, the EPA noted:

"New York City's blueprint for planning future growth provided the inspiration for multi-agency coordination on innovative policies and projects to improve the quality of life in the city. PlaNYC prepares for more population while adding small public spaces throughout the city, improving air and water quality, and improving public health with better access to fresh food and more options for walking and biking."

Additionally, PlaNYC has incorporated efforts to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, which they call - you guessed it! - GreeNYC. Between New York City's efforts on climate, sustainability, and planning for the future, including increased population, a different climate, and a new sea level, they are also one of the leading cities in becoming climate resilient.

You can find the award winner's profiles here.
Funding Opportunities
NOAA K-12 Environmental Literacy Grants - $8 million envr education
Application Due: January 12, 2011envr ed
Eligible Entities: Institutions of higher education; other non-profits; K-12 public and independent schools and school systems; and state, local, and Indian tribal governments in the United States

The U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA, request proposals for Environmental Literacy Grants for Formal K-12 Education. This RFP will support K-12 education projects that advance inquiry-based Earth System Science learning and stewardship directly tied to the school curriculum, with a particular interest in increasing climate literacy. $8 million is expected to be available for up to 10 awardees. For more information, contact Carrie McDougall at oed.grants@noaa.gov.

USDA Rural Community Development Initiative - $6.3 million
Application Due: December 22, 2010
Eligible Entities: State governments, local governments, Indian tribes, non-profit organizations, and others

The U.S. Department of Agriculture requests proposals for the Rural Community Development Initiative. RCDI supports organization capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development in rural area. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to, programs that support micro-enterprise and sustainable development, and programs to assist recipients in completing pre-development requirements for housing, community facilities, or community and economic development projects by providing resources for professional services, e.g., architectural, engineering, or legal.

HUD HOPE VI Revitalization Grants Program - $124 million
Application Due: November 22, 2010
Eligible Entities: Public Housing Authorities

HOPE VI Revitalization grants assist Public Housing Authorities in areas including but not limited to improving the living environment for public housing residents of severely distressed public housing projects through the demolition, rehabilitation, reconfiguration, or replacement of obsolete public housing projects; and building sustainable communities. HUD encourages development that increases resource efficiency, promotes green development, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and promotes healthy living environments for residents. Approximately $124 million is expected to be available for up to 5 awardees. For more information, contact Leigh van Rij at leigh_e._van_rij@hud.gov.

Currently, the Fair Climate Project is working to create an online resource for funding updates. Stay tuned on this development!