Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird on Thursday announced a new sustainability and resiliency initiative she said will lead to the development of a Climate Action Plan for Lincoln. 

Gaylor Baird will appoint a task force to work on the plan, which is slated to last one year. There will be two public forums and other chances for citizen input, the mayor said. 

"We no longer have to imagine how severe weather events might impact our safety and security, our health, our economy, our infrastructure, and our quality of life," Gaylor Baird said. 

Gaylor Baird cited current flooding in the central part of Nebraska and the historic flooding that ravaged the state in March as an impetus for the initiative. 

"We know the time to act is now," she said. 

Gaylor Baird said the new plan will build upon the city's existing Lincoln Environmental Action Plan (LEAP) to find ways to make the city more resilient. It will be led by a group that recently developed a similar plan for Spearfish, South Dakota. 

Officials said the first phase of the project will include gathering information about past sustainability work, climate hazards, demographics, emergency preparedness, and key indicators for Lincoln. The second phase will be an "interactive planning process" involving the public.