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USDA NRCS Conservation Easement and Restoration Funding Programs

The U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) offers financial incentives and technical support through multiple programs to public and private landowners aiming to conserve wetlands, agricultural lands, grasslands, and forests through long-term easements. NRCS provides funding opportunities to acquire land for conservation in both a post-disaster and pre-disaster context. All NRCS programs are voluntary and allow working lands owners to be compensated for conserving their lands. These programs and easements can increase local resilience to climate change by improving water quality, reducing soil erosion, and enhancing wildlife habitat. Most USDA conservation funding is allocated through the Commodity Credit Corporation and authorized in Farm Bills (about $5.3 billion in Fiscal Year 2018), while other conservation programs - offering mostly technical assistance - are funded by discretionary spending and annual appropriations (about $1 billion annually). 

Related Organizations: Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

Resource Category: Funding

 

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USDA NRCS Emergency Watershed Protection Program

The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) offers an Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program to provide both technical and financial assistance to help local communities and individual landowners recover from disaster events that impair a watershed. The EWP Program provides two assistance program options for Recovery and Floodplain Easements. All EWP Program funding is provided to NRCS through Congressional appropriations. EWP Program funding offers the benefit of providing potentially faster and greater geographic coverage support for disaster-impacted communities because while a disaster event is required for eligibility, a presidential disaster declaration is not.

Related Organizations: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Resource Category: Funding

 

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U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan Program

The U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was established as an independent agency in 1952 with a mission to help Americans start, build, and grow businesses. SBA offers a range of financing and other assistance in a post-disaster context. The SBA Disaster Loan Program supports businesses, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners, and renters located in declared disaster areas by providing affordable, timely, and accessible low-interest, long-term loans for losses not fully covered by insurance or other means.

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Catalyst Miami Disaster Matched Savings Account

The Catalyst Miami Disaster Matched Savings Account was established as a resource for low- and moderate-income individuals within Miami, Florida neighborhoods to help families build financial stability, and better withstand disaster events. The program helps households build assets and savings through the use of financial coaching, credit coaching, and lending circles. The program encourages savings behavior and offers a 1-to-1 match as an incentive. In addition, Catalyst Miami distributes disaster preparedness kits to those who partake in the Program by saving the full amount of the cost of the kit. It also provides important information about hurricane season, along with emergency preparedness resources available from local government and community partners both before and after storms. By supplying communities with these disaster preparedness kits, as well as with teaching participants how to bank and save responsibly, Catalyst Miami helps low-income, underserved communities better withstand the shocks – economic and otherwise – often associated with disaster events. 

Related Organizations: Catalyst Miami

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Duke Energy Progress Partners with RETI for Community Solar

Duke Energy Progress (DEP) worked with the nonprofit, Renewable Energy Transition Initiative (RETI), to increase access to renewable energy programs for lower-income residents. This program provides an example of how utilities can use equity considerations to inform the deployment of renewable energy programs and resources. RETI works to eliminate high energy costs and make renewable energy solutions more accessible through educational programs, community outreach, research, advocacy, and partnerships. RETI promotes income-based applications and brings awareness to this energy saving program through engaging with communities at local community events and churches. DEP and RETI also launched The Shared Solar program for its residential and non-residential customers to be able to share in the economic benefits from a single solar facility. The cost savings from this community solar program are allocated to low-income customers in the company’s territory.

 

Related Organizations: Duke Energy Progress, Renewable Energy Transition Initiative

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Virginia SB 320 Community Flood Preparedness Fund

April 22, 2020

In 2020, Virginia created the Virginia Community Flood Preparedness Fund (Virginia Code §§ 10. 1-603. 24 and 10. 1-603. 25). Through this law, the state established a low-interest revolving loan fund to help local governments and communities adapt to increasing coastal and inland flooding from multiple, different sources, including sea-level rise and precipitation. The purpose of the fund is to enhance the state’s overall coastal resilience by funding flood prevention and mitigation projects, prioritizing projects in low-income areas and that are designed with nature-based solutions.

Related Organizations: State of Virginia

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Chicago, Illinois Central Loop Tax Increment Financing

2020

Chicago, Illinois has established more than 120 Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts, and has leveraged its public investment to attract $6 billion in private capital investments in these districts. Revenue from Chicago’s Central Loop TIF has been used to fund the city’s Green Roof Improvement Fund, which incentivizes and provides partial reimbursement to commercial buildings that install green roofs to manage stormwater. Chicago’s TIFs currently fund a small array of adaptive and climate-related projects, such as green alleys and wastewater infrastructure, but all TIF-funded projects must meet sustainability standards. In February 2020, Chicago’s Mayor announced a series of reforms to promote transparency in the TIF system, including the creation of a supervisory TIF Investment Committee whose explicit goal is to center equity in its decision making.

Related Organizations: City of Chicago, Illinois

Resource Category: Funding

 

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PG&E Better Together Resilient Communities Grant Program

March 1, 2018

The Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) Better Together Resilient Communities grant program funds initiatives to help California communities better prepare for, withstand, and recover from extreme weather events and other risks related to climate change. PG&E is investing $2 million over five years in shareholder-funded grants.  In 2018, PG&E focused on projects to help communities prepare for increased frequency and severity of extreme heat events, and the 2019 Resilient Communities grant program focused on wildfire risk.

Related Organizations: Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Playbook 1.0: How Cities Are Paying for Climate Resilience

July 2019

From the Innovation Network for Communities, this report discusses eight strategies city governments have used to finance climate resilience projects. These strategies were found common to eight different U.S. cities blazing the trail to fund large-scale climate resilience, especially addressing sea level rise and flooding. Other cities can use this information to adopt and build off of these strategies as they seek to fund their own adaptation projects.

Related Organizations: Innovation Network for Communities

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Southeast Sustainable Communities Fund

April 20, 2017

The Southeast Sustainable Communities Fund (SSCF) supports local communities in the southeastern United States to advance climate adaptation and social equity in local government policy, plans or programs. Grants have been awarded to City and County governments and local partnerships to create socially equitable sustainable energy and/or water initiatives. The fund invested $1. 5 million in 2017 for six projects, and has allocated nearly $1. 8 million in 2018 in support of six more sustainability projects in the Southeast that are addressing climate change impacts, to be implemented across 2019 - 2020.

Related Organizations: Southeast Sustainability Directors’ Network

Resource Category: Funding

 

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