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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

White House Climate Resilience Task Force

March 30, 2014

On behalf of Governor Jay Inslee I am writing to invite your input to help to advance policies to improve climate change resilience through the efforts of the President’s State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, on which the Governor is serving. The Task Force is working under an accelerated schedule to produce a draft report by May 2014. In order to meet Task Force deadlines, your input, via the attached surveys, is requested by Wednesday, March 26, 2014.

As you may be aware, on November 1, 2013, President Obama signed Executive Order 13653, Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Changewhich established the Task Force to advise the Administration on how the federal government can best respond to the needs of communities nationwide that are dealing with the impacts of climate change. The Task Force is charged with developing and submitting recommendations to the President for how the federal government can:

  • Remove barriers, create incentives, and otherwise modernize Federal programs to encourage investments, practices, and partnerships that facilitate increased resilience to climate impacts
  • Provide information and tools to better serve communities
  • Otherwise support State, local, and tribal preparedness for and resilience to climate change

Emphasis is being placed on actions that can be advanced in the short term, and particularly through executive order and existing federal agency authorities. Recommendations can be specific to a federal agency, cross-agency, or specific to a region, state, and or local community. And Task Force members are particularly interested in recommendations that support the dual important goals of improving climate resilience and reducing the greenhouse gas pollution that is driving climate change.

In order to provide a framework for developing recommendations, the Task Force established four subgroups covering different broad thematic areas (listed below). Governor Inslee is serving on the Built Systems and the Natural Resources & Agriculture Subgroups.

  1. Disaster Recovery and Resilience. The purpose of the Disaster Recovery and Resilience Subgroup is to address the outcomes above by considering integrating climate preparedness into catastrophic and non-catastrophic hazards and the overall cycle of disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.
  2. Built Systems: Transportation, Water, Energy, and Facilities Infrastructure. The purpose of the Built Systems Subgroup is to address the outcomes above for programs and plans related to built systems, especially transportation, water, infrastructure for energy production and use, and public and private facilities.
  3. Natural Resources and Agriculture. The purpose of the Natural Resources and Agriculture subgroup is to address the outcomes above by considering climate change impacts on water resources, agriculture, forests, ecosystems, biodiversity, and ecosystem services, as well as opportunities for natural resources to play a role in reducing human vulnerabilities in the face of climate change.
  4. Communities: Human Health and Community Development. The purpose of the Communities Subgroup is to address the outcomes above by considering how programs related to public health, poverty alleviation, social development, and environmental justice can better integrate climate change-related impacts and risks.

The Built Systems Subgroup is addressing the following issues:

  1. Energy Infrastructure – generation, distribution, efficiency, financing, etc.
  2. Transportation Infrastructure – vulnerabilities, resilient design, alternative fuels, etc.
  3. Water infrastructure – treatment systems, sources, drought management, stormwater, etc.
  4. Facilities Infrastructure – smart growth, resilient/efficient design, natural infrastructure
  5. Coastal Infrastructure – erosion/beach management, storm surge, ports/ harbors, natural systems, etc.
    1. Program and Agency Administration – grant language, technical assistance, coordination, etc.

The Natural Resources and Agriculture Subgroup is addressing the following issues:

  1. Ocean and coastal resources (i.e. sea-level rise, loss/restoration of coastal wetlands, coastal erosion, coral reefs, ocean acidification, marine fisheries and other ecosystem/subsistence-based food supplies, marine invasive plant species, tourism)
  2. Agriculture (i.e. food security, sustainable agriculture, urban agriculture, farmland  preservation, pollinators, pests, invasive species, livestock health (i.e. cooling needs, disease))
  3. Forest, grassland, and other terrestrial resources (i.e. conversion of forestland/natural lands to other uses, wildlife habitat, tourism, cooperative management of neighboring public lands, ecosystem/subsistence-based food supplies, wildfire, riparian habitat/lands, urban green space)
  4. Freshwater resources (i.e. droughts, flooding, rivers, lakes, freshwater wetlands, blue-green algae, tourism, clean water (i.e. forests to faucets connection), fisheries and other ecosystem/subsistence-based food supplies, reclaimed/recycled water, riparian habitat/land)
  5. The use of traditional knowledge in natural resource management – availability of ecosystem/subsistence-based food supplies and other subsistence resources, food security, and related American Indian issues (i.e. access to/use of cultural resources)
  6. Biodiversity and overall ecosystem health – wildlife (terrestrial and/or aquatic, freshwater and/or marine) and associated habitat(s)
    1. Other/Additional Topic Area(s)

I hope that you will assist in this unique opportunity to influence federal policy and practice, and aid our communities in preparing for a changing climate. Please use the attached surveys to format your input for proposed recommendations to the Built System & Infrastructure and Natural Resources & Agriculture Subgroups, by submitting a separate survey for each recommendation.

For input related to the other subgroups (Disaster Recovery and Resilience, and Communities: Human Health and Community Development), please answer the following questions for each proposed recommendation:

  • Description of a challenge you have encountered or an opportunity you have identified relating to climate preparedness planning and efforts to build resilience within the areas of built systems, and/or agriculture and/or natural resource management.
  • Specific actions that can be taken at the federal level to address this challenge/ opportunity. Specific benefits to be gained by implementing the action.
  • Example(s) where this action has been successfully implemented, which could serve as a model for broader implementation.

Please return your survey responses by March 26, 2014, by sending to me ( and Brian Lynn,  WA Dept of Ecology Coastal/Shorelands Section Manager (, and Amy Snover, Director of the Univ. Of Washington Climate Impacts Group ( Both are CC’d.

You may have already received similar requests for input from other quarters. Because the Task Force is strongly interested in obtaining input from local governments, communities, and tribal entities, Task Force members have also been working with various associations to collect additional input. You are also encouraged to submit your proposed recommendations directly to the full Task Force and its organizers at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, via this webform. And feel free to share this invitation for input with others who may be interested.

Please consider sending us your input to help inform the priorities that Governor Inslee will put forward for Washington state.

Thank you in advance!


Sam Ricketts

Director, Washington, DC Office  |  Office of Governor Jay Inslee (WA)

444 North Capitol St. NW, Suite 372

Washington, DC 20001

(202) 624-3691 (O)   |   (360) 584-6362 (C)

Built Systems Subgroup survey-1

Natural Resources Subgroup survey-1