CRF 2018 Grants
2018 Coordination and Collaboration Grants
The goal of CRF’s Coordination and Collaboration in the Resilience Ecosystem grants Is to build upon, interconnect, and increase access to existing resources that support climate change adaptation and resilience activities and outcomes for communities and regions in the U.S. Applicants were introduced to this idea during the Resilience Ecosystem Workshop (REW) that CRF co-sponsored with NOAA in January 2018. The REW focused on building our collective capacity for climate services starting with resources that are already in place.
CRF funded each collaboration with a flat $25K grant that was matched with $25K contract from Harmonic International, Inc., made possible by a cooperative arrangement with the NOAA Climate Program Office Division of Communication, Education, and Engagement. Grantees were selected by an expert review committee that evaluated over 40 applications received in response to the RFP that CRF released in February 2018.
Each grantee represents a partnership among 3 or more organizations that will work together for the next year. Ultimately, these grants will enable collaborations between more than 20 individual organizations, helping them to work together to build better access, utility, and interoperability into existing climate adaptation and resilience services and resources.
Grants List and Project Summaries
American Society of Adaptation Professionals
Enhancing the Interoperability of Climate Knowledge Brokers and Online Resources for Adaptation Practitioners
Project Partners: EcoAdapt, Georgetown Climate Center, UNC Asheville’s National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
To ensure a climate-resilient future, effective decision making is needed in every sector and at every scale. The foundation of effective decision making is actionable, relevant, and appropriate information. EcoAdapt’s Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange (CAKE), Georgetown Climate Center’s (GCC) Adaptation Clearinghouse, and the federal government’s Climate Resilience Toolkit (CRT) are the adaptation field’s key knowledge brokers. These web portals act as toolboxes for members of the Resilience Ecosystem by providing curated access to a wide range of resources and information. This project aims to examine these three platforms to identify key similarities and differences, build collaboration, and develop a plan for platform interoperability. The key objectives of the project include (1) helping users recognize when to use which tool in the toolbox, and (2) preparing the field’s knowledge brokers for further integration and collaboration. Deliverables include enhanced site linkages and connections among the three platforms where overlap exists and identification of complementary content for possible cross-platform synthesis.
The Resilience Navigator Project
Project Partners: NOAA Climate Program Office, Bellwether Collaboratory, American Association of Adaptation Professionals, Science to Action Community
The Resilience Navigator is aimed at scaling adaptation/resilience services by developing a dynamic web-based landscape analysis tool for identifying key actors in the Resilience Ecosystem based on roles, functions, and relationships. The Navigator will allow service providers and end users to gain insights as to how skill sets and services fit together, provide a better understanding of what is happening on the ground, and to identify gaps and opportunities for implementing climate adaptation strategies in their communities. This effort will consolidate data from a landscape analysis and member surveys of service organizations and use this as the basis for the map that will update dynamically as other actors in the Resilience Ecosystem add themselves to the database via a publicly accessible web app. The project will establish a foundation for ongoing coordination among service providers as the organizations involved will determine how to better connect their assets together in the landscape so end users find it easier to navigate the adaptation/resilience field, will pilot a process for sharing proprietary information with each other, and using this data to foster collaboration.
The Climate Adaptation Registry
Project Partners: American Society of Adaptation Professionals, Geos Institute, Adaptation Service Bureau
Managers and planners from communities and organizations of all sizes are in need of guidance as they seek to make climate-informed decisions. EcoAdapt and its partners are creating a new online open-access Registry that will help to connect local decision-makers with vetted climate services providers.The rapidly growing Resilience Ecosystem contains many accomplished service providers and adaptation resource organizations. This product will help decision-makers quickly find the expertise they need to plan for, implement and evaluate climate resilience actions in their communities. The Registry will promote a common understanding of good practice and create a new system of service provider accountability. While other efforts are underway to identify, map, and create better access to adaptation organizations, there are currently no means available to locate and connect individual service providers with those in need of their services. In an emergent field that lacks certification standards, the Registry will provide local leaders with an efficient way to contract with service providers with relevant experience and proven perfomance.
Decision Analysis for the Resilience Ecosystem
Project Partners: Sky Island Alliance, Adaptation/Insight, EcoAdapt, American Society of Adaptation Professionals
By bringing the concept of decision analysis into the Resilience Ecosystem, this project will help to increase use of analytic tools and concepts for communities making decisions on climate adaptation strategies.The partnership will develop a series of case studies illustrating how the tools of decision analysis have been applied to climate-related decision making and implement two pilot trainings: one to guide city decision-makers and community members to evaluate tradeoffs and options to upgrade infrastructure and build resilience; and another to support a diverse team of stakeholders developing a climate-smart conservation plan for the desert Southwest.
Improving tools that allow decision-makers to better utilize compelling visual data in resilience analyses
Project Partners: FernLeaf Interactive, World Resources Institute, Vizzuality
Local planners and decision-makers are facing tough questions in a changing climate. Should city officials update building codes to climate-proof infrastructure against storm surges from monster hurricanes like Maria or move to higher ground? Should farmers in drought-prone regions adopt more efficient irrigation systems or switch to climate-resilient seeds? A barrier to answering these questions is the lack of access to useful and timely climate data and information. Existing resources, such as the Climate Explorer and the Partnership for Resilience and Preparedness (PREP), have made strides in increasing the usability and accessibility of data for the resilience ecosystem. The Climate Explorer has improved the accesibility of climate information in decision making by building several data visualization modules with historic and projected climate and high tide flooding data. The newly developed open-source PREPdata platform is desgined to help users to find relevant data for climate adaptation and resilience planning. With support from CRF, Future Earth will improve user visualizaitons in Climate Explorer and incorporate them into PREPdata, allowing the modules to be included on PREPdata dashboards. This project will benefit the resilience ecosystem by increasing practiitioner’s ability to incorporate and translate critical climate data into local decision making. http://futureearth.org
The Model Forest Policy Program
Bringing climate services to underserved rural communities
Project Partners: International City/County Management Association, EcoAdapt, Geos Institute, NOAA
An impressive collaborative effort of the Model Forest Policy Program (MFPP), the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), the Geos Institute, EcoAdapt, and the NOAA Climate Program Office, this team will work to accelerate climate resilience action in small, rural communities by co-producing and beta-testing a rural climate resilience training module, building sustainable funding support for adaptation service providers, and catalyzing action for adaptation strategies in communities where climate resources and guidance remain scarce.
CRF 2017 Grants
2017 Capacity Building Grants
The 2017 CRF Capacity Building Grants Competition targeted eligible “boundary” organizations along the mid- and south-Atlantic coast of the U.S. As the title implies, the initial goal of these grants is to contribute to the expansion of capacity of our grantees, specifically to deliver climate services to their respective target communities and regions. The ultimate goal is to leverage these investments in organizational capacity to increase climate resilience for coastal communities and regions where climate impacts are emergent and growing.
The 2017 competition commenced in August with the release of a Request for Proposals and continued through a two-part review process where applicants were evaluated by CRF’s advisory committee and staff using evaluation criteria developed for the competition (click here for a summary list of the criteria used by the committee). Organizations that scored highest were awarded 2-year general support grants that will allow them to expand and extend the work that they are doing to increase climate resilience across their communities and regions of focus.
Resources for this competition were modest, limiting the pool of successful grantees to three $100,000-$150,000 awards. However, the program seeks to leverage the impact of CRF dollars by requiring that each organization matches grants with at least 50% in funding and 50% in in-kind contributions.
A brief overview of the grant recipients and their work appears below.
Eastern Shore Land Conservancy – Coastal Resilience Program
Mainstreaming Sea Level Rise Preparedness in Local Planning and Policy on Maryland’s Eastern Shore
CRF Grant: $123,245 over two years
The Eastern Shore of Maryland is one of the nation’s most vulnerable regions to sea-level rise impacts (only a handful of regions, including south Florida and coastal Louisiana are considered more at-risk). Maryland’s coastal region has fewer resources available to address these vulnerabilities. Led by the climate resilience team at the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC), The Eastern Shore Climate Adaptation Partnership has been established as a multi-jurisdictional collaborative workgroup to build local capacity for shared resilience priorities across the region.
Support from the Climate Resilience Fund will help the ESLC provide vulnerability analyses, planning tools, coordination, and collaborative learning opportunities to help communities prepare for climate impacts through science-driven resilience planning and nature-based adaptation solutions like open space plans, hazard mitigation plans, stormwater ordinances, and green infrastructure improvements. Over the next two years, ESLC will host facilitated “Game of Floods” simulations and participatory workshops to help planners and decision-makers to: 1) translate the sea-level rise science and modeling scenarios so that they can assess the impacts to their communities; 2) understand the range of possible flood mitigation and sea-level rise adaptation strategies available to them; and 3) identify effective strategies and policy changes for adoption in their communities.
The Nature Conservancy New Jersey Chapter
Building Local Capacity for Nature-Based Solutions along New Jersey’s Coastline
CRF Grant: $118,422 over two years
Current research shows that New Jersey is likely to experience additional sea-level rise between 3-6 feet by the end of this century. Sea-level rise is not the only threat to the region. Concurrent increases in the frequency and intensity of precipitation events will coincide with expected increases in storm surge, nuisance flooding, and coastal erosion. These impacts, in combination with human development patterns including a predisposition by coastal communities to harden shorelines, will combine to put New Jersey’s extensive and rich coastal habitats at risk. These coastal ecosystems – tidal wetlands, salt marshes and sand dunes – buffer communities from impacts of flooding and storm surge that can cause millions of dollars in damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure.
With support from the Climate Resilience Fund, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) will work to transform management of the coastline by enabling and encouraging partner communities to integrate the use of nature-based solutions into community and state response to climate-related hazards. Through engagement with stakeholders and a broad range of partners in 25 local communities, TNC will use its Coastal Resilience Took Kit to help assess flood risk, identify solutions, inform climate resilience planning, and implement proof of concept projects to demonstrate how restoration of coastal wetland habitats can protect both human communities and wildlife while mitigating the impacts of sea-level rise. TNC will also create a “Small Grant Living Shorelines Fund” to provide financial incentives and technical assistance for municipalities implementing their own nature-based shoreline resilience projects.
University of Virginia Institute for Environmental Negotiation
The Resilience Adaptation Feasibility Tool (RAFT): Building Regional Capacity for Coastal Resilience
CRF Grant: $110,000 over two years
Virginia’s coastal communities are also among the most vulnerable in the US to the impacts of sea-level rise. In fact, Hampton Roads is facing the highest rates of sea level rise along the entire east coast. These rival New Orleans and the Mississippi Delta as the country’s most at risk for the effects of coastal flooding. Unfortunately, as is the case elsewhere, it is the most disadvantaged Virginians who are most impacted and least equipped to plan for and respond to coastal hazards. The University of Virginia (UVA) and a consortium of partners including the Virginia Coastal Policy Center at William & Mary Law School and the Old Dominion University Climate Adaptation and Resilience Program have designed the RAFT: Resilience Adaptation Feasibility Tool and the RAFT Scorecard assessment, a project aimed at building the capacity of people and towns in Virginia’s coastal regions to understand and adapt to the impact of sea level rise. The RAFT Scorecard provides a comprehensive assessment of a locality’s current resilience to flooding and other coastal hazards, issues of social equity, and potential impacts to economic and social viability.
With support from the Climate Resilience Fund, UVA and its partners will conduct a RAFT Scorecard assessment of seven localities on Virginia’s Eastern Shore that are already vulnerable to flooding. Scorecard results will be shared with community leaders through participatory discussions around their own towns’ challenges for effective climate change adaptation. UVA will assist communities in creating and implementing Resilience Action Checklists that prioritize their greatest opportunities for increasing local resilience. Prioritized actions may range from increasing local environmental regulations, to applying nature-based solutions such as green infrastructure installations, and improved land and water management practices. The collaboration will also facilitate a regional planning meeting to bring participants from across Virginia’s Eastern Shore into a regional dialogue around shared challenges, resources, and opportunities for region-wide collaboration on climate adaptation and resilience.
2017 Coordination and Collaboration Grants
Geos Institute – Adaptation Service Bureau development project: $70,000
Support for the Designing a Nation-wide Climate Adaptation Service Delivery System project, a collaborative effort involving more than a dozen institutions focused on increasing the visibility of, access to, and utilization of climate adaptation tools and resources for local and regional practitioners across the country. The Service Bureau collaboration is working to design and create an effective climate services delivery system to make existing and newly developed resources more visible, transparent, and usable. Funds will be distributed among a core group of organizational leaders who will take on key research and planning elements, and to provide travel and convening support for the working group which is comprised of representatives from nearly 30 organizations.
Resources Legacy Fund* (fiscal agent) – Science to Action Community: $25,000
Support for the Science to Action Community (S2AC), a nascent network of networks and organizations from the public, private NGO and academic sectors that are working together to coordinate and support climate action, environmental protections, and the production and use of science. S2AC formed in early 2017 on the heels of a meeting of more than 50 organizational leaders from the nonprofit community, academic institutions, federal agencies, and many practitioner networks in Washington DC. The group has organized to meet the challenges posed by the new political environment in DC. Funds will be used to provide staff support focused on the coordination of ten standing committees; development of a long-term coordination plan and a communications plan for the (now 80-plus members in the) S2A Community; and organization of the S2A Community meeting at the National Adaptation Forum in May 2017.
*RLF served as fiscal agent and provided a $25,000 match for CRF’s grant.
EcoAdapt – Resilience Ecosystem Workshop: $25,000
Support for a three-day workshop that will be co-hosted by NOAA, EcoAdapt, and CRF. The goal of the event, planned for January 2018, is to facilitate the forging of an “ecosystem” of public and private collaborators committed to sustaining and evolving science-based tools, information, and expertise that can help communities and businesses build resilience to climate change impacts and extreme events. Core elements of this meeting include identifying how to fill the gaps in the Resilience Ecosystem but, how to sustain those current resources upon which everyone already relies. Funds will be used to provide travel support for key participants, as well as staff time for organizers. NOAA has provided a $25,000 match to support the workshop.