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
Sources of Funding
- 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 filling operations are also eligible for funding. Call for projects are issued every January and July. Local governments are capped at $1 million per calendar year.
- Community Recycling Grant
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources invites municipalities, counties, solid waste management districts, schools, and nonprofits to apply for a Community Recycling Grant, which provides up to $50,000 to fund projects that emphasize education and promotion of recycling, waste reduction, yard waste management, composting and the processing of recyclable materials. Funding is available annually.
- DieselWise Indiana
This Indiana Department of Environmental Management's (IDEM program 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. 2020 applications are due November 25, 2020, at 5:00 p.m ET.
- 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. Funding is available annually.
- 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.
- IDEM Pollution Prevention Grants
These grants are to encourage Indiana organizations to implement pollution prevention and source reduction projects and activities that will result in measurable environmental improvements. Grants requests between $10,000 and $25,000 will be considered, and applicant match must be greater than or equal to the grant amount. Funding is offered annually.
- 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. Requests for proposals are generally announced in the spring.
- 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. The application deadline is the 15th of each month by 4:00 p.m.
- 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 entities 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. Proposals and budgets are generally due in June.
- 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 in the spring. Indiana municipalities, nonprofits, and public and private businesses are typically eligible.
- Indiana Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Program
This program provides 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. Additional funding will be available at a later date.
- View the Indiana Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Program RFP Overview from South Shore Clean Citites, Inc.
- Lake and River Enhancement Program
The Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife's Lake and River Enhancement (LARE) Program is to protect and enhance aquatic habitat for fish and wildlife, and to ensure the continued viability of Indiana's publicly accessible lakes and streams for multiple uses, including recreational opportunities. The LARE Program provides technical and financial assistance for qualifying projects. Applications are due annually on January 15 of the year grants are awarded.
- 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.
- Ohio Environmental Protection Agency - Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance
The Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance (DEFA) serves as a one-stop-shop for organizations seeking technical and financial resources to help them achieve environmental compliance and address infrastructure needs.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.
- Midwest Climate and EnergyThis opportunity from the McKnight Foundation works to engage the region's leaders to build low-carbon, equitable, and resilient communities. This is a closed application process, and organizations must be invited to apply. The program was expanded in 2019 to include the new goal of "taking bold action on the climate crisis by dramatically cutting carbon pollution in the Midwest by 2030." McKnight will announce the revised program guidelines in fall 2020.
- 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. The deadline for applications is typically in July.
- 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. Funding is available annually with the deadline occurring in early spring.
- 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.
- The Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement Program
The Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (CPS) Cooperative Agreement Program provides financial assistance to eligible organizations working on or planning to work on projects to address local environmental and/or public health issues in their communities. Ten awards will be made (one award per region) in amounts of up to $120,000 per award for a two-year project period. Cooperative agreements will be awarded to local community-based organizations, tribes, and tribal organizations seeking to address environmental and public health concerns in local underserved communities through collaboration with other stakeholders, such as local businesses and industry, local government, medical service providers, and academia. Funding is available annually.
- Environmental Justice Small Grants Program
This 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. The Environmental Justice Small Grants Program offers funds annually.
- FEMA Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC)
This grant will support states, local communities, tribes, and territories as they undertake hazard mitigation projects to reduce the risks they face from disasters and natural hazards. The maximum amount for one entity is $600,000 with up to $300,000 to be used for mitigation planning. Applications are due on January 29, 2021.
- 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 the 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. Applications are due on January 29, 2021.
- 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.
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.
- Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
This request for applications is EPA’s major competitive grant funding opportunity under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Focus Area 3: Nonpoint Source Impacts to Nearshore Health for FY 2019 and FY 2020. EPA expects to award a total of approximately $14 million for about 30 nonpoint source projects in 5 categories addressing agricultural nutrients and stormwater runoff. Funding is available annually.
- National Fish Passage Program
The National Fish Passage Program is a voluntary program that provides direct technical and financial assistance to partners. Activities that restore fish passage also support the modernization of the country's infrastructure such as road culverts, bridges, and water diversions. Example project types include dam removals, culvert replacements, and the installation of fishways. Awards range from $500 - $2,000,000. The Program has flexibility from project to project but strives to achieve a 50% federal or non-federal match. Funding is available annually.
- 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.
- 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. Funding is available annually.
- State Revolving Fund Sustainability Conversation Guide – 2014 (PDF)
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 Guidance
This Guidance provides a consistent national framework for building tribal environmental program capacity and strengthening the management of General Assistance Program resources. The Guidance allows Tribes to use General Assistance Program funds to support the development of climate change adaptation plans.
- Tribal Resilience Program Awards
This opportunity from the US Department of Interior provides federal-wide resources to Tribes to build capacity and resilience through leadership engagement, delivery of data and tools, training and tribal capacity building. There are seven award categories, ranging from $15,000 to $150,000. Funding is available annually.
- Understanding, Managing and Applying for USEPA Grants
This resource provides best practices for writing and submitting grants to the USEPA.
- US Climate Resilience Toolkit – Funding Opportunities
This website offers links to a range of government, private and international funding opportunities.
- 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.
- 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 non-governmental organizations, tribes, or individuals for the development and adoption of innovative approaches and technologies for conservation on agricultural lands. Funding is available annually.
- WaterSMART Drought Response Program: Drought Contingency Planning Grants
This opportunity from the US Department of Interior is for states, tribes, irrigation districts, water districts, and other organizations with water or power delivery authority to leverage their money and resources by cost-sharing drought contingency planning with Reclamation to build resilience to drought in advance of a crisis. Awards can range from $1,000 to $200,000. Funding will be available for FY2021 at a later date.
- Food System Vision Prize
This funding provided by the Rockefeller Foundation is available to governments, companies, cooperatives, communities, partnerships, NGOs, and universities. Several $200,000 prizes will be granted to develop a vision of a regenerative and nourishing food system by the year 2050.
- 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 second phase of the initiative will provide multi-year project implementation grants. Phase two will be announced at a later time.
- 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.
- 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. Funding is available annually.
Sources of Technical Assistance
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- CDP Matchmaker Sustainable Finance Training Cohort
The CDP Matchmaker Sustainable Finance Training Cohort is a professional development opportunity for sustainability champions in city governments in the U.S. to unlock the city’s ability to finance urgently needed climate projects. The cohort aims to accelerate the financing of inclusive sustainable infrastructure projects that support city climate mitigation, adaptation, and resilience goals.
- 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.
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
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 the 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.