September Resiliency Conversation: Extreme Heat

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September Resiliency Conversation: Extreme Heat 

Extreme heat is the single largest cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S. over the last three decades. The CRO has partnered with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to convene an Interagency State Extreme Heat Working Group, as well as local stakeholders interested in preparing for, mitigating, and adapting to increasing extreme heat. Local governments can now review local data and related resources on the CDPHE Extreme Heat-Related Dashboard as well as statewide health guidance on the Heat and Health website. Federal resources also provide tools to understand current and projected increases in extreme heat and “cooling degree days” that will impact the energy grid.

Did you know? 

Energy grid reliability and resiliency is a focus of the partnership between the CRO, Colorado Energy Office, and the Department of Regulatory Affairs. In addition to leveraging federal grid resilience funds, the State is also developing a Microgrids Roadmap, and the CRO launched the Microgrids for Community Resilience Program earlier this year, awarding eight planning grants to rural utilities. 

Dive Deeper: Trees as Climate Infrastructure

Trees provide not only shade during times of extreme heat, but also cooling benefits from evapotranspiration, flood mitigation, soil stabilization, and other ecosystem services. Earlier this year, the Colorado State Forest Service was awarded $4.875M in Inflation Reduction Act funding to expand the Urban and Community Forestry program. See the article Urban Canopies Are Growing as Key Climate Infrastructure to hear how the City of Boulder has led nationally in expanding urban tree canopies.

  • A local Denver-based nonprofit, The Park People, who we highlighted in our August 2022 Newsletter, has a community forester program which creates a cohort of urban forestry leaders who are dedicated to promoting and volunteering to create a more dense urban canopy and its associated benefits. You can sign up to receive notifications about the Spring 2024 Community Forester cohort begins! Scholarships available. 

To learn more about how state agencies are working together to strengthen resiliency across Colorado, and how the Colorado Resiliency Office is facilitating strategic action, please visit the Colorado Resiliency Office's website.