CRF Re-grants Fund – 2017 Grants List

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.

Coordination 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.