California Resilience Challenge Announces Statewide Request for Proposals for Climate Adaptation Projects
Grants of up to $200,000 available to help protect under-resourced communities against wildfire, drought, flood, and extreme heat events
San Francisco—The Bay Area Council Foundation today (August 1st) launched the official request for proposals for the California Resilience Challenge 2023 Grant Program, a statewide initiative to support innovative climate adaptation planning projects that strengthen local resilience to wildfire, drought, flood, and extreme heat events in under-resourced communities. Recipients will receive grant awards of up to $200,000 to advance climate adaptation planning projects.
The California Resilience Challenge 2022 Grant Program will provide resources to local communities throughout the state, including community-based organizations, cities, counties, California Native American tribes, special districts, and other local and regional jurisdictions representing under-resourced communities. By emphasizing local solutions to the global problem of climate change, communities can create scalable plans and infrastructure to meet their immediate and long-term climate adaptation needs.
“California’s climate whiplash is on full display this year” said Jim Wunderman, President, and CEO of the Bay Area Council. “The California Resilience Challenge is using the state’s extraordinary social and geographic diversity to create some of the most innovative and inspiring climate adaptation projects in the world. We’re immensely proud and grateful for the visionary leadership of our partners in making the California Resilience Challenge 2023 Grant Program happen, and we’re excited to see what this year’s competition brings.”
The launch comes as California emerges from a historic drought following unprecedented precipitation and flooding. Over the past decade, California has endured two statewide drought emergencies; six of the 10 largest wildfires in state history; the hottest month in state history; the wettest year on record; and the largest snowpack on record. Furthermore, sea levels at the Golden Gate Bridge are projected to rise more than one foot by 2050.
Since 2020, the California Resilience Challenge has awarded over $5 million in climate resilience grants to 32 communities across the state—a success made possible by the Challenge’s unique collaboration between businesses, utilities, non-profits, tribal entities, community-based organizations, and the Governor’s Office of Planning & Research.
The California Resilience Challenge is an initiative of the Bay Area Council Foundation. The 2023 Steering Committee includes representatives from Valley Water, PG&E, and Southern California Edison. Additional funders include JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wareham Development.
What Leaders Are Saying
“Communities across California face growing risks from a changing climate,” said Chris Benjamin, Director of Corporate Sustainability at PG&E. “As part of our triple bottom line approach to sustainability, PG&E is actively working to build climate resilience into our planning and operations, while also supporting our hometowns in their resilience plans. We encourage communities throughout the state to apply to the California Resilience Challenge and help build a more sustainable future.”
“The threat of wildfire, exacerbated by drought and high-heat events, poses increasing challenges to the communities Southern California Edison serves,” said Andrew Baldonado, the company’s Vice President of State Public Affairs. “Advancing innovative projects through the California Resilience Challenge, in conjunction with ongoing efforts to harden the electrical grid, are essential to our work to combat climate change and protect our communities from the risks it presents. SCE is proud to continue our support for the CRC to help underserved communities develop and implement resiliency solutions.”
“Making smart investments in water infrastructure and technology that are resilient to climate change remains the most cost-efficient way to ensure all of our state’s communities have a reliable supply of safe, clean water,” said Rick L. Callender, Chief Executive Officer of Valley Water. “As a steadfast champion of the California Resilience Challenge, Valley Water recognizes these grants will help fund innovative, local projects that protect communities from the impacts of climate change. We must create a resilient California for everyone, especially disadvantaged communities who are too often left behind.”
Communities in Need Proposals are due by 5:00pm PST, September 29, 2023.