The United States Department of Commerce today unveiled its first-ever Climate Resilience Regional Challenge, which will allocate $575 million through President Biden's Investing in America initiative to support coastal and Great Lakes communities, including tribal communities in those regions, to become more resilient to extreme weather and other effects of the climate crisis. The $2.6 billion climate resilience framework that the Department introduced earlier this month features The Challenge as its first and largest funding opportunity. Following President Biden's recent visit to East Palo Alto, California, where he witnessed firsthand the effects of climate change and highlighted historic financing to boost climate resilience in communities across the nation, the announcement was made.
"The Biden-Harris Administration is ensuring that communities across the country, especially underserved communities, have the resources they need to prepare for the growing impacts of the climate crisis," said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. "This first-ever regional approach to strengthening climate resilience." The Climate Resilience Regional Challenge, which is a cornerstone of President Biden's Investing in America program, "will assist communities that share common challenges work together to develop innovative solutions while providing them with necessary resources to build a climate-ready future."
Two distinct paths for funding comprehensive, coordinated strategies for coastal resilience at regional scales are available through this competitive grant program. Track One will provide $25 million in funding for Regional Collaborative Building and Strategy Development, with an emphasis on establishing the foundation for upcoming resilience initiatives. To deliver transformational climate adaptation initiatives, Track Two will assist in the implementation of resilience and adaptation actions ($550 million).
Coastal and Great Lakes populations, particularly aboriginal groups and those who are marginalized, disadvantaged, and underserved, will benefit from these initiatives. The Climate Resilience Regional Challenge is distinct in its focus on developing long-lasting capacity inside and across regional networks and its holistic approach to climate resilience, even though these historic new investments will complement current efforts in coastal resilience. This cross-regional cooperation and coordination will aid coastal communities in preparing for climate change, lowering risks, and addressing vulnerabilities with the technical support and assistance of NOAA.
Every coastal community is affected by climate change, yet many lack the infrastructure and resources necessary to adapt, according to NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. In areas where the foundation has already been laid, NOAA is prepared to assist communities in taking action. "Thanks to President Biden's commitment to bolstering climate resilience, we are helping more coastal communities move towards action on climate resiliency efforts, which is an important first step. With this multifaceted strategy, we can meet people where they are and advance efforts to strengthen regional resilience.”
There are three program priorities for the two competition tracks (Regional Collaborative Building and Strategy Development and Implementation of Resilience and Adaptation Actions):
· Mitigation of climate risk.
· Inclusion and equity.
· Long-Term Capacity.
The following initiatives, including assistance with: are intended to be supported by the Regional Collaborative Building and Strategy Development grant.
· Establishing and growing regional alliances.
· Collaborating and cooperating with tribes and disadvantaged, underserved, and marginalized communities.
· Evaluating vulnerability and risk.
· Preparing adaptive and resilience methods.
· Enhancing worker and community capacity for climate adaptation initiatives.
The Implementation of Resilience and Adaptation Actions Fund is intended to provide funding for important regional initiatives like:
· Acquiring land that is at risk.
· Construction of natural infrastructure.
· Enhancing the resilience of the public infrastructure.
· Enhancing or defending the general public's accessibility to coastal natural resources.
· Enhancing regional capability for continuing initiatives that boost resilience.
· Organising and preparing for a relocation led by the community.
· Updating regional and municipal laws and regulations.
Nicole LeBoeuf, director of NOAA's National Ocean Service, stated that "The Challenge provides an unprecedented opportunity to work hand-in-hand with communities to develop tailored solutions that reduce risk and address coastal climate-related hazards." With a focus on access for underprivileged communities, this investment will assist coordinate resources at the federal, state, tribal, and regional levels, ensuring that all Americans profit from this innovative strategy for fostering resilience.
This announcement is a component of President Biden's Investing in America agenda, which aims to strengthen the American economy from the middle out and the bottom up. This includes rebuilding our nation's infrastructure, encouraging over $470 billion in private sector manufacturing and clean energy investments in the country, creating well-paying jobs, and developing a clean energy economy that will fight climate change and strengthen our communities.
The following are eligible to apply: state and municipal governments, nonprofit organizations, higher education institutions, and tribes and tribal organizations. Follow all of NOAA's Inflation Reduction Act updates and find out more about the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge funding opportunity and how to apply.
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