D.C. Silver Jackets recognized as climate change leader by Cities100

Published Nov. 20, 2015

The DC Silver Jackets partnership has been selected to be highlighted in the global publication, Cities100, published on November 19, 2015.

The Cities100 publication is developed by Sustainia in collaboration with C40—a network of the cities around the world taking action on climate change—and the philanthropic association Realdania. It names 100 concrete city programs to address climate change that can be scaled and replicated across the world. These solutions have been chosen after reviewing more than 216 submissions from 94 cities across all regions in the world. These included varied concepts ranging from a program in Johannesburg, South Africa involving green bonds to finance climate mitigation project to an initiative in Yokohama, Japan that teaches manufacturers to use recycled and recyclable materials during production.

The DC Silver Jackets was established in 2014 to improve coordination and collaboration amongst the many stakeholders involved in flood risk management in the District. As an interagency team comprised of regional, federal and District of Columbia government agencies, as well as academia, the DC Silver Jackets leverage resources to implement integrated solutions for reducing flood risk in Washington, DC.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the National Park Service insert post and panels to test the 17th Street closure, Washington, D.C., Oct. 31, 2014. (U.S. Army Photo by Brittany Bangert)

"Being at sea level and along the Potomac River our Nation's capital city has significant flood risks,” said Mark Baker, DC Silver Jackets co-leader from the National Park Service. “Our DC Silver Jackets is helping all entities to understand and mitigate their risks."

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District and the National Park Service are the co-federal leads for the DC Silver Jackets program and DC’s Department of Energy and Environment serves as the local lead for the District of Columbia as the DC floodplain administrator.

“We’re extremely proud that the important work of the DC Silver Jackets program is being recognized with this Cities100 honor,” said Phetmano Phannavong, DC Silver Jackets co-leader from the District's Department of Energy and Environment. “The District is committed to addressing the local effects of climate change and this program plays a pivotal role in mitigating negative impacts on city infrastructure.”

The DC Silver Jackets provides a platform for representatives from regional, federal and District of Columbia government agencies and academia to meet periodically and advance joint initiatives to better prepare for, respond to, and recover from flood events. Team members are working collaboratively to develop and implement integrated solutions to reduce flood risks by combining agency financial and technical resources. 

“In a complex jurisdiction like Washington, DC, managing coastal, river and surface flooding hazards and building climate resilience require coordination across multiple levels of government and with private stakeholders,” said U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Silver Jackets Coordinator Stacey Underwood. “That’s why an organization like the DC Silver Jackets is so important and beneficial, it really helps to get all the players involved in flood risk management in sync.”

The team has formally established five task groups to develop a flood inundation mapping tool; update DC’s flood emergency plan; assess interior and surface flooding risks; complete a levee certification; and build public awareness of flood risks.

Most recently, the DC Silver Jackets hosted representatives of various local and federal agencies that would be involved in flood risk management for a day-long tabletop exercise to work through potential issues and required actions associated with theoretical flooding scenarios.

For more information on the District of Columbia Silver Jackets and a list of additional participating agencies, visit, http://silverjackets.nfrmp.us/State-Teams/Washington-DC

Those interested can access the entire Cities100 publication, including more information about the DC Silver Jackets, for free at www.sustainia.me/cities