The American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Center for Scientific Evidence in Public Issues (EPI Center), the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Water (EPA OW) hosted a panel discussion with state agencies, decision-makers, and their associations working on green infrastructure and nature-based solutions.
Panelists were invited to share their experiences accessing and utilizing federal resources for green infrastructure and nature-based solutions as part of state agencies, programs, and other authorities. Additionally, panelists shared opportunities, challenges, barriers, and lessons-learned from the design and planning to implementation to operations and maintenance of green infrastructure and nature-based solutions. This event was the second part in a series, the first event highlighted NGO and community experiences and perspectives. This virtual event was open to federal employees and contractors, state agency staff, municipalities, practitioners, and decision-makers working on research, programs, and policies relevant to green infrastructure and nature-based solutions and interested community members.
The 90-minute event mapped the critical, science-based issues and decisions state officials are contending with regarding green infrastructure and nature-based solutions and the extent to which existing federal support for those installations is accessible and useful, and where it is inaccessible and why. The state discussion focused on the following topics: Leveraging Evidence, Expertise, and Tools for Advancing Resiliency, Accessing and Utilizing Federal Funding Sources, and Centering Equity and the Needs of Frontline Communities.
- Lori Beary was the Community Development Director and State Revolving Fund Coordinator for the Iowa Finance Authority for over 20 years where she served as the primary administrator of the Iowa State Revolving Funds for Clean Water and Drinking Water. In that role she was responsible for the financial management of a $2 billion loan portfolio financing both traditional water and wastewater infrastructure as well as non-traditional nonpoint source water quality projects. She was instrumental in developing different structures for SRF financing including direct loans, linked deposits, loan participations, water resource restoration sponsored projects and investments. She earned a B.A. from Grinnell College and a M.S. in Economics from Iowa State University.
- Felicia Marcus is the William C. Landreth Visiting Fellow at Stanford University's Water in the West Program, is the Founding Member of the Water Policy Group and is an elected Fellow at National Academy of Public Administration. Felicia is an attorney who has served in leadership and management positions in the government and non-profit sectors. Felicia was most recently Chair of the California State Water Resources Control Board after having served as Regional Administrator of the U.S. EPA Region IX and as head of the Los Angeles Department of Public Works in addition to leadership in national non-governmental organizations and experience as a private and public interest sector attorney. She is also a member of the Water Policy Group, an international network of former and current high level water officials dedicated to assisting developing nations. She is also one of the three US members of the Joint Public Advisory Committee of the North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation.
- Tancred Miller is the Policy & Planning Section Chief of Coastal Management and the division's lead on resilience and adaptation in the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Coastal Management. Tancred leads the division’s work building local government capacity for climate hazards resilience. In 2020, he led a team that created the NC Resilient Coastal Communities Program, which provides funds to local governments for resilience planning and implementation. He manages the division’s strategic planning section, and the land use planning program that provides support to local governments, as well as grant funding for public beach and waterfront access.
- Dr. Bhaskaran Subramanian is the Program Manager (AdSci) at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and was the former Chief of Shoreline Conservation Service at Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Dr. Subramanian is currently involved in active and accessible research programing with and for communities to incorporate changing climate with broader social goals to ensure equitable outcomes. Until December 2021, Dr. Subramanian was the Chief of Shoreline Conservation Service for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. In this position, he worked closely with various federal, state, local governments, private sector, and citizens and provided technical assistance to design and implement innovative habitat creation and restoration projects that promote resilience. Dr. Subramanian also administered Maryland’s zero-interest loan program to implement shoreline restoration projects for private and public projects and assisted the Maryland Department of the Environment (Maryland’s regulatory authority) in implementing the state’s Living Shorelines Law. Dr. Subramanian holds a B.S. in Chemistry from The New College and a M.S. in Environmental Chemistry from the University of Madras. He completed his Ph.D. in the Marine-Estuarine-Environmental Sciences (MEES) program at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
- Mackenzie Todd is the Coastal Resilience Specialist at the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Coastal Management where she works on the new North Carolina Resilient Coastal Communities Program. She received her Master’s in Coastal and Ocean Policy from UNC-Wilmington in 2018 and previously worked as the town planner for Morehead City, NC.
Please direct questions to the AAAS EPI Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webpage photo credit: Keith Hanson, NOAA Fisheries, Greater Atlantic Region