• Resources for Small Communities

Organizations Working with Rural and Small Communities

Organizations supporting adaptation efforts in rural and small communities are listed below.

Organizations are automatically presented by title. Apply additional filters to narrow this list by state, region, or organization type.



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Arid Lands Institute

The Arid Land Institute (ALI) is established on “design innovation at the nexus of water, energy and climate change.” ALI provides educational and research opportunities in the Los Angeles, California region - to train designers and citizens to innovate in response to hydrologic variability brought on by climate change, in any region.




California Climate Change Center (CCCC)

The California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program established the California Climate Change Center (CCCC) in 2003 to document climate change research relevant to the state. The Center was the first state-funded climate change research program in the nation. Its goal was to enhance national and international studies, generating new information that can be used to shape California’s climate change policy. This center operated as a virtual organization with core research activities at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the University of California, San Diego, complemented by efforts at other research institutions.




California State Coastal Conservancy

The California State Coastal Conservancy, established in 1976, is a state agency that uses entrepreneurial techniques to purchase, protect, restore, and enhance coastal resources, and to provide access to the shore - working in partnership with local governments, other public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private landowners. To date, the Conservancy has undertaken more than 1,800 projects along the 1,100 mile California coastline and around San Francisco Bay.




Compact of Mayors

The Compact of Mayors is a global coalition of mayors and city officials committing to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions, enhance resilience to climate change and track their progress publicly. It is an agreement by city networks - and then by their members - to fight climate change in a consistent and complimentary manner to national efforts.




Eastern Shore Land Conservancy

The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) in Maryland has been an active partner in helping rural communities on the Eastern Shore of Maryland adapt to rising sea levels and more intense heavy rainfall events. Maryland’s Eastern Shore along the Chesapeake Bay is one of the most vulnerable regions in the country to future sea-level rise. ESLC is supporting sea-level rise adaptation through strategic land acquisitions to conserve wetlands and natural flood buffers that protect development and agriculture.




High Plains Regional Climate Center

The High Plains Regional Climate Center is one of six regional climate centers in the U. S. managed by NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). The mission of NOAA's High Plains Regional Climate Center (HPRCC) is to increase the use and availability of climate data in the High Plains region. HPRCC personnel work closely with scientists from other regional and federal climate centers on climate services and programs and provide a regional structure for climate applications. The long-term objectives of the HPRCC are to carry out applied climate studies, develop improved climate information products, and provide climate services in the High Plains region.




ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability

ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability is a membership association of more than 600 U.S. local governments committed to climate protection and sustainability. ICLEI's Climate Resilient Communities (CRC) helps local governments prepare for the impacts of climate change through vulnerability assessments and policy development, as well as investment and development decisions.




Local Government Commission (LGC)

The Local Government Commission (LGC) is a nonprofit organization with a 35-year long history of connecting cutting-edge leaders from across the nation to advance transformative policies and implement innovative solutions for sustainable communities. With roots in California and a national reputation, LGC works to build livable communities and local leadership by connecting leaders via innovative programs and network opportunities, advancing policies through participation at the local and state level, and implementing solutions as a technical assistance provider and advisor to local jurisdictions.




Midwestern Regional Climate Center

The Midwestern Regional Climate Center (MRCC) is one of six regional climate centers in the U. S. managed by NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). The MRCC is a cooperative program between NCDC and the Illinois State Water Survey - a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.   The MRCC serves the nine-state Midwest region (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin). MRCC research helps explain climate and its impacts on the Midwest, and provide practical solutions to specific climate problems.




Model Forest Policy Program

Composed of natural resource experts, the Model Forest Policy Program (MFPP) is a national nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to forest stewardship and sustainable forestry practices by private forestland owners. The MFPP is designed to train and support rural communities across the nation to build climate adaptation strategies via an online learning platform and live coaching.