Communities use a variety of sources to fund capital projects, pay for operations and maintenance costs and sustain programs. The same is true for communities locating funding for investments in climate resilience and and adaptation. No single source of funding can pay for all climate resilience investments across the nation.
Funding and Technical Assistance for Climate Resilience and Adaptation
Opportunities from the USEPA and Other Federal Agencies
The U.S. and Environmental Protection Agency and a number of other federal government entities offer financial and technical resources to advance local adaptation efforts. Below, the expandable accordions highlight USEPA funding opportunities that encourage climate adaptation, general USEPA and other federal funding and information on technical assistance.
US EPA Funding that Supports Climate Adaptation
USEPA has modernized the financial assistance programs below to encourage climate-resilient investments. Each of these programs incorporates specific criteria, allows for adaptation planning or otherwise encourages communities to anticipate, plan for and adapt to the changing climate.
Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund and Cleanup Alternatives
- Analysis of Brownfield Cleanup Alternatives Checklist – 2014
USEPA developed this checklist to ensure that cleanups remain effective as the climate changes.
Environmental Justice Small Grants Program
- The Environmental Justice Small Grants Program helps communities with localized strategies to avoid, lessen or delay the risks and impacts associated with the changing climate. Environmental Justice Small Grants fund projects up to $30,000, depending on the availability of funds in a given year. All projects are associated with at least one qualified environmental statute. Governmental entities are not eligible to apply as the lead applicant, but can serve as a partner organization. Submission deadline for the 2019 solicitation is March, 8, 2019.
- View some of the FY2015 grantees and a brief description of their proposals.
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
- Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan II
Action Plan II commits federal agencies to develop and incorporate climate resilience criteria into project selection processes.
State Revolving Fund
- The State Revolving Fund Sustainability Conversation Guide – 2014 (PDF) (15 pp, 2 MB)
This document contains the State Revolving Fund Annual Review Checklist which also guides discussion between USEPA regions and states about climate adaptation.
Tribal General Assistance Program
- General Assistance Program Guidance
This Guidance provides a consistent national framework for building tribal environmental program capacity and strengthening management of General Assistance Program resources. The Guidance allows Tribes to use General Assistance Program funds to support development of climate change adaptation plans.
All USEPA and Federal Funding Resources
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grants remain a chief tool in the advancement of human health and the environment. USEPA and a number of other federal government entities offer financial and technical resources to advance local adaptation efforts. Below are links to general USEPA and other federal grant resources that may be helpful.
USEPA Grant and Funding Resources
- Understanding, Managing and Applying for USEPA Grants
This resources provides best practices for writing and submitting grants to the USEPA.
- USEPA Grant Competition Forecast
This is the calendar of upcoming USEPA competitive grant opportunities.
- USEPA Smart Growth Grants
This website occasionally offers grants to support activities that improve the quality of development and protect human health and the environment. Announcements vary in eligibility, grant amount, frequency of grant, and deadline.
Other Federal Funding Resources
- US Climate Resilience Toolkit – Funding Opportunities
This website offers links to a range of government, private and international funding opportunities.
Grants.gov is your one-stop place to find and apply for all federal grants. It is the required website used by federal agencies to post discretionary funding opportunities and for grantees to check their eligibility, register and apply.
In addition to financial assistance, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also provides technical assistance to help communities anticipate, plan and prepare for the changing climate. Below are some of the most relevant technical assistance opportunities.
- Creating Resilient Water Utilities
Provides water utility managers with tools, training and technical assistance needed to adapt to climate change. Additionally, they provide a clear understanding of climate science and adaptation options for the water sector.
- Brownfields Technical Assistance
This Technical Assistance to Brownfields program provides technical assistance and resources to help small, rural, environmental justice and other community stakeholders with the necessary technical assistance to aid in the assessment and cleanup of brownfield properties.
- Smart Growth Technical Assistance Programs
These programs offer technical assistance to help communities learn about and implement smart growth approaches, some of which can be used to adapt to the changing climate. Programs offer assistance for expanding broadband, developing local food action plans, and more.
- Tools and Resources for Sustainable Communities
Partnership agencies periodically offer funding opportunities that work to coordinate federal housing, transportation, water, and other infrastructure investments to make neighborhoods more prosperous, allow people to live closer to jobs, save households time and money and reduce pollution.
- Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities
This technical assistance program delivers quick, targeted assistance to give communities tools to implement smart growth approaches.
- College/Underserved Community Partnership Program
This program provides technical assistance to small underserved communities from local colleges and universities at no cost to the communities.
Other Sources of Funding and Technical Assistance
- Community Crossings Matching Grant
Community Crossings Matching Grant Program provides funding to cities, towns, and counties across Indiana to make improvements to local roads and bridges. Community Crossings is a partnership between INDOT and Hoosier communities, both urban and rural, to invest in infrastructure projects that catalyze economic development, create jobs, and strengthen local transportation networks. Eligible projects could include road resurfacing and preservation, bridge rehabilitation or replacement, road reconstruction with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance in connection with a road project. Material costs for chip sealing and crack filing operations are also eligible for funding. The call for projects in 2019 will begin January 7, 2019 and close Friday, February 1, 2019 at 5 PM Eastern Standard Time. Call for projects are issued every January and July. Local governments are capped at $1 million per calendar year.
- DieselWise Indiana
This Indiana Department of Environmental Management's (IDEMprogram works on projects that reduce harmful tailpipe emissions from diesel-powered vehicles. Through DieselWise Indiana, IDEM works with schools, municipal and public entities, and the private sector. DieselWise Indiana grant opportunities are offered annually, usually in the fall. Visit the DieselWise Indiana website for an extensive list of strategies for minimizing diesel emissions.
- Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) Grant Program
HMEP grants are awarded to Local Emergency Planning Committees and are used to develop, improve, and implement emergency plans; train employees to respond to accidents and incidents involving hazardous materials in transportation; determine flow patterns of hazardous materials; and determine the need within a state for regional hazardous materials emergency response teams. Applicants can submit requests for up to $10,000 and a 20% match is required.
- IDEM Clean Water Act Section 319(h) Grants
These grants are for projects that reduce documented non-point source water quality impairments. Funds may be available to develop and implement Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) and watershed management plans, provide technical assistance, demonstrate new technology, conduct assessments, and provide education and outreach. Local, state, and federal government agencies, nonprofits, and universities are eligible to apply.
- IDEM Clean Water Act Section 205(j) Grants
These grants are for water quality management planning to determine the nature, extent, and causes of point and non-point source pollution problems, as well as develop plans to resolve these problems. Municipal governments, county governments, regional planning commissions, and other public organizations are eligible to apply.
- Indiana Brownfields Financial Assistance Program
This revolving loan fund is meant to facilitate the public or private redevelopment of brownfield sites throughout the state primarily by making low-cost funding available to eligible public and private borrowers through low-to-zero interest loans with flexible terms to finance environmental cleanups.
- Indiana Community Development Block Grants
These grants are available to rural communities to assist with projects that include sewer and water systems, community centers, health and safety programs, main street revitalization, stormwater improvements, and more. 2019 Round 1 materials open on March 25, 2019.
- Indiana Community Focus Fund
This program supports infrastructure improvement (water, sewer, and storm drainage), fire protection, downtown revitalization, community centers, day care centers, senior centers, historic preservation, and infrastructure in support of housing. The purpose is to benefit low-to-moderate income residents or eliminate blight in communities. Small cities that do not receive block grant funds directly from HUD, and incorporated towns and counties are eligible to apply. Up to $500,000 can be distributed to individual projects and a 10% local match of project costs is required.
- Indiana Emergency Management Performance Grants (EMPG)
These grants are available to local, state, territorial, and tribal governments and can be used for preparation for all hazards. Individual entitites can apply for a maximum of $30,000 and collaborations can apply for a maximum of $50,000. A match is required and is determined through the application process.
- Indiana Recycling Market Development Program
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management's Recycling Market Development Program helps communities better manage solid waste by developing markets for recycling. Reuse, reduction and recycling grants are offered annually, usually with a June application deadline. Indiana municipalities, nonprofits, and public and private businesses are typically eligible. The 2018 funding cycle offered grants ranging from $1,000 to $500,000, with a 50% match required.
- Indiana Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Program
Later in 2019, this program will be announcing grant opportunities for clean air projects that will significantly reduce diesel emissions across Indiana. These funds can be used to repower or replace eligible diesel-powered vehicles with new diesel, alternative fuel, hybrid, or all-electric vehicles. Indiana anticipates awarding grants ranging from $50,000-$2,000,000. Some government-owned fleets will be eligible.
- View the Indiana Volswagen Mitigation Trust Program RFP Overview from South Shore Clean Citites, Inc.
- State Revolving Loan Fund Loan Programs
The State Revolving Fund Loan Programs offer low-interest loans for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure improvements that benefit the public health and environment. The program is provided by the Indiana Finance Authority and is available to cities, towns, counties, regional sewer/water districts, conservancy districts, water authorities, private, and nonprofit organizations.
- Michigan Agriculture Grants and Funding Opportunities
This program administers grants, including the federal Specialty Crop Block Grant and the state-funded Value-Added Grant and Rural Development Fund Grants. The purpose of the grants is to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops, promote expansion of value-added agriculture production within the state, and support infrastructure in rural communities. Opportunities vary in amount, frequency, and deadlines.
- Minnesota Environmental Assistance Grants and Loans
The Pollution Control Agency regularly provides rolling funding opportunities, time-sensitive grants, and environmental assistance loans for the development of environmentally sustainable practices in Minnesota through voluntary partnerships and economically driven approaches to pollution prevention and resource conservation. Opportunities vary in amount, frequency, and deadlines.
- Minnesota Planning Grants and Funding
This council receives funding that supports developing thriving neighborhoods, housing initiatives, planning and acquiring land for regional parks, transportation planning, and wastewater and water planning. Opportunities vary in amount, frequency, and deadlines.
- Missouri Department of Natural Resources Grants and Loans
The MO DNR provides financial assistance in the following areas: air quality, hazardous waste, historic preservation, outdoor recreation, soil and water conservation, solid waste management, water quality, and environmental improvement. Opportunities vary in amount, frequency, and deadlines.
- Wisconsin Transportation Financial Assistance Programs
The WI DOT offers financial assistance to local governments for roads and bridges, transit programs, and other improvements to highways, airports, harbors, bike, rail and pedestrian facilities. Opportunities vary in amount, frequency, and deadlines.
- DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Funding Opportunity Exchange
This website provides funding opportunity announcements related to bioenergy, buildings, carbon capture, geothermal, solar power, weatherization, wind power, and more. Announcements vary in eligibility, grant amount, frequency of grant, and deadline.
- DOE State Energy Program Competitive Financial Assistance Program
This program provides funding and technical assistance to states and territories to enhance energy security, advance state-led energy initiatives, and decrease energy waste.
- DOT Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Grants
BUILD funding is for capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure as well as the planning, preparation, or design of projects. This grant is available to local, state, and tribal governments including U.S. territories, transit agencies, port authorities, metropolitan planning organizations, and other political subdivisions of state or local government. Multiple jurisdictions can submit joint applications. BUILD provides up to 80% of costs for urban projects and up to 100% for rural projects.
- DOT Bicycle Related Funding Opportunities
The Federal Transit Administration offers multiple grant programs throughout the year to help cities, towns, and rural areas invest in bicycle infrastructure.
- DOT Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program
The CMAQ program provides flexible funding to local and state governments for transportation projects and programs to reduce congestion and improve air quality for areas that do not meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (nonattainment areas) or maintenance areas.
- DOT Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) Grants
INFRA provides funding for projects that address critical issues facing highways and bridges. This grant is available to local, state, and tribal governments including U.S. territories, transit agencies, port authorities, metropolitan planning organizations, and other political subdivisions of state or local government. Multiple jurisdictions can submit joint applications. INFRA provides up to 60% of project costs.
- DOT Recreational Trails Program (RTP)
The RTP provides funds to the States to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both non-motorized and motorized recreational trail uses. Each state administers its own program, so local governments must contact their state RTP administrator.
- DOT Surface Transportation Block Grant Program (STBG)
The STBG program provides flexible funding that can be used by local and state governments to preserve and improve the conditions and performance of any Federal-aid highway, bridge, and tunnel project on any public road, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, and transit capital projects.
- DOT Transportation Alternatives Program
The Transportation Alternatives program provides funding to local and state governments to pursue smaller-scale transportation projects such as pedestrian and bicycle facilities, recreational trails, safe routes to school projects, community improvements such as historic preservation and vegetation management, and environmental mitigation related to stormwater and habitat connectivity.
- FEMA Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant Program
Local and state governments, territories, and federally-recognized tribes can apply to this program for projects and planning that reduces or eliminates long-term risk of flood damage to structures insured under the National Flood Insurance Program. Funding is also available for management costs. Governments are eligible sub-applicants that can sponsor applications on behalf of homeowners.
- FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program
Local and state governments, territories, and federally-recognized tribes can apply to this program to enact mitigation measures that reduce the risk of loss of life and property from future disasters. Governments are eligible sub-applicants that can sponsor applications on behalf of homeowners. FEMA provides up to 75% of the funds for mitigation projects.
- FEMA Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program
Local and state governments, territories, and federally-recognized tribes can apply to this program for planning and project grants that seek to reduce future losses before disaster strikes. Governments are eligible sub-applicants that can sponsor applications on behalf of homeowners.
- Kresge Foundation's Climate Change, Health and Equity Initiative
The community-based strategy of The Kresge Foundation's Climate Change, Health & Equity initiative a multi-year effort that seeks to strengthen the leadership and effectiveness of community organizations working to implement policies and practices that improve climate resilience and reduce health risks equitably. Projects funded will advance the adoption and implementation of climate mitigation, climate adaptation and climate resilience policies and programs at the local, regional, and/or state levels that improve public health outcomes and drive investments to improve quality of life. Governmental entities are not eligible to apply as the lead applicant, but can serve as a partner organization. The deadline for submitting a letter of intent is 11:59 p.m. March 19, 2019.
- LEED for Cities and Communities Grant
This program seeks to build capacity among local governments pursuing LEED certification and using certification results to improve community conditions. At least 14 U.S. cities and counties will be selected to receive award packages valued at approximately $25,000 each. Applications will be evaluated on various criteria, including demonstrated need, leadership support, commitment to data driven decision-making, staff capacity, and coordination with other local initiatives. Apply by March 22, 2019.
- National Park Service Land and Water Conservation Fund
This program provides matching grants to states and local governments for the acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation areas and facilities.
- Partners for Places
Partners for Places is a matching grant program for U.S. (and Canadian) cities and counties provided by Funders’ Network. The funds are used to foster partnerships between local government, sustainability offices and place-based foundations. The grant assists in projects for the environment, economy and communities. A 1:1 match is required and grant investments range from $25,000 to $150,000. One or two funding rounds are announced each year. The next funding round will be announced December 5, 2018, and applications will be due January 31, 2019.
- Preparedness & Resilience Grant
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is offering grants of up to $575,000 to implement and sustain cost-effective measures designed to reduce the risk from natural hazards and future disasters under the Pre-Disaster Mitigation program. FEMA seeks to fund projects that develop mitigation strategies or infrastructure resilience programs that advance capital projects on a community level to reduce damage from future disasters and lower flood insurance premiums such as hazard-specific retrofitting, stormwater management, floodwater storage and diversion, and wetland restoration/creation. A 25% minimum local match is required, although some communities of fewer than 3,000 are eligible for a lower cost share. Applications are due January 31, 2019.
- The Resilient Communities Program
The National Fish and Wildlife Federation and Wells Fargo will award approximately $3 million in grants to projects in 2019. Each grant will range from $200,000 to $500,000 depending on category and will be awarded to eligible entities working to help communities become more resilient. The program aims to fund projects that take advantage of natural features like wetlands, resilient shorelines, urban tree canopies, natural forests and healthy upstream watersheds to accrue quality of life benefits today, enhance fish and wildlife resources and help prepare for foreseeable resilience challenges. The program places special emphasis on equity, social inclusion and helping traditionally low- and moderate-income communities build capacity for resilience planning and investments in “greener” infrastructure. A 1:1 match is highly recommended. Eligible applicants include non-profit 501(c) organizations, local governments, and Indian tribes. Ineligible applicants include U.S. Federal and state government agencies, businesses, educational institutions, unincorporated individuals and international organizations. Pre-proposals are due February 19, 2019.
- USDA Agricultural Management Assistance Program
This program is available to agricultural land (government parcels or not) and nonindustrial private forest land. Technical and financial assistance to construct or improve water management or irrigation structures, plant trees for windbreaks or, in order to improve water quality and mitigate risk, diversify their operation and conservation practices including soil erosion control, integrated pest management or transition to organic farming. Entities cannot receive more than $50,000 in program payments per fiscal year.
- USDA Conservation Innovation Grants
These grants are awarded to non-Federal governmental or nongovernmental organizations, tribes, or individuals for the development and adoption of innovative approaches and technologies for conservation on agricultural lands.
- USDA Solid Waste Management Grants
This program provides funding for organizations that provide technical assistance or training to improve the planning and management of solid waste sites. Local and state governments, nonprofits, Federally-recognized tribes, and academic institutions may apply if they are in a rural area with a population of 10,000 or less. A match is not required, however is recommended.
- Wildlife Conservation Society Climate Adaptation Fund
This program provides $50,000-250,000 awards to conservation nonprofits across the country to catalyze 1-2 year science-driven projects responding to the impacts of climate change on wildlife and people. Governmental entities are not eligible to apply as the lead applicant, but can serve as a partner organization. The 2019 application is due by Friday, April 5th at 5:00 PM EST.
- Model Forest Policy Program Implementation Assistance
This program is available to communities who have already assessed climate risks and identified resilience goals. MFPP assists communities with implementing adaptation goals. Services include impact consulting, targeted support services, resilience action groups, communications, education and training, and professional development.
- Natural Resources Conservation Service Technical Assistance
Conservation Technical Assistance is available to units of governments, nonprofits, groups of decision makers, and individuals. Assistance can help improve land management, water quality, habitat, recreational areas, agricultural operations, etc. and may be in the form of resource assessment, practice design, resource monitoring, or follow-up of installed practices.
Additional Funding Resources
Common Funding Sources
An illustrative list of common funding sources is provided below. The particular mix of sources will vary across communities, depending on their particular circumstances and needs.
- Taxes such as property, sales and income levies
- Fees such as charges for inspections and permits
- State and federal grants such as those that support improvements to drinking water, wastewater and stormwater systems
- Bonds that enable communities to borrow money to pay for projects
- Loans to pay for projects and programs, sometimes at low or no interest
- Public-Private Partnerships that entail contractual agreements between a public agency and a private sector entity allowing for cooperation and collaboration in the financing, planning, design, construction and maintenance of projects
Resources about Funding Opportunities
- Getting to Green: Paying for Green Infrastructure (PDF)(43 pp, 2 MB, EPA 842-R-14-005)
This document offers a useful summary of the different types of funding sources, their advantages and disadvantages and examples of several municipal programs that have employed them.
- Georgetown Climate Center's Federal Funding Compendium for Urban Heat Adaptation
This resource collects and analyzes federal programs with potential to pay for state and local government adaptation to urban heat islands.
- Environmental Finance Centers
This network of Environmental Finance Centers, established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, helps communities consider funding and financing options that provide innovative solutions to help manage the costs of environmental protection programs and activities.
- Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center
This USEPA resource provides financial expertise to communities that are financing drinking water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure.