Federal Resources for Nature-Based Solutions to Climate Change

In February 2020, the Environmental and Energy Study Initiative released the Federal Resources for Nature-Based Solutions to Climate Change fact sheet, which outlines programs that support nature-based solutions to increase human, ecosystem, and infrastructure resilience to the impacts of climate change. The fact sheet surveys a list of 13 different federal funding and technical assistance programs available to aid in implementing nature-based projects, including those that support: green infrastructure; natural infrastructure; urban focus; habitat restoration; flood prevention; water quality; pollution abatement; and disaster mitigation.

A chart lists the various funding opportunities that can support different categories of projects. Throughout the sheet, each program is detailed with a short description, a link to a relevant website page, levels of government or organization eligible for support, and an example of an executed nature-based project. These programs include: 

The EPA Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program, which aids communities in bolstering food resilience, developing green buildings, protecting water quality, and creating a green street strategy;

  • The EPA Clean Water Act Nonpoint Source Grants (Section 319), which awards grants to states, territories, or tribal agencies for projects that address water pollution issues, such as through wetland and river-bank restoration, infiltration basins, green roofs, and landscape swales;
  • The EPA Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF), which provides low-interest loans for the development of water infrastructure through habitat restoration, pollution management, and other nature-based solution projects;
  • The EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), which prioritizes nature based solutions, including wetland restoration and green stormwater infrastructure, and other projects to protect and restore the surrounding gene of the Great Lakes.
  • The EPA Greening America’s Communities Program, which provides design and technical assistance to cities and towns in the development of sustainable design projects and green infrastructure.
  • The EPA Superfund Redevelopment Initiative (SRIA), that, through providing useful tools and information resources, powers the cleanup and redevelopment of sites contaminated with hazardous waste.
  • The EPA Urban Waters Small Grants Program (UWSG), which works to fund individual projects that improve urban water quality while also engaging underserved communities and supplying additional community benefits.
  • The FEMA Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) Grant Programwhich dispenses resources for flood prevention and disaster resilience projects, such as stormwater management, wetland restoration or creation, and floodplain and stream restoration projects.
  • The FEMA Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Grant Program, that centers the development of resilient infrastructure in order to reduce the impact of natural disasters, directing resources for projects that prevent or reduce disaster impacts.
  • The HUD Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, which works to support state, city, and county projects that achieve community needs, such as green infrastructure which has the capacity to create jobs, mitigate flooding, and increase economic activities.
  • The NOAA Community-based Restoration Program, which funds coastal and marine habitat restoration projects that use a nature-based approach to protecting marine ecosystems.
  • The USDA Urban and Community Forestry (UCF) Program, which gives technical, financial, research and educational services to communities to conserve and enhance urban forestry, which can sequester carbon, moderate temperatures, and manage stormwater runoff.
  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Coastal Program, which financially and technically supports conservation and habitat restoration efforts on both private and public lands in coastal regions.

Publication Date: February 2020

Authors or Affiliated Users:

  • Savannah Bertrand
  • Katie Schneer

Related Organizations:

  • Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI)


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Funding program