Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
July 13, 2020
A biweekly newsletter of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative
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We at the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative (CRC) mourn the heartbreaking murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Stephon Clark, and countless others. Black lives matter, now and always.
Today, a Black person in our country is more likely than the average White person to be incarcerated and die at the hands of police,  breathe   polluted air drink  polluted water , and  die from COVID-19 . They are more likely to lack access to healthcare, good housing and jobs, well-funded schools, parks, and a social safety net. This grim reality also holds true in our own region.

This reality has been and continues to be shaped by exploitative practices. Chronic under-investment in communities of color and police brutality are symptoms of the systemic racism that has been ingrained in governments, financial institutions, companies, and society for far too long. We must dismantle these systems of oppression that limit the abilities of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities to pursue safe, healthy, and thriving lives.

We also recognize that the disparities and disproportionate impacts that BIPOC communities face will be further exacerbated by the accelerating impacts of climate change. As a network dedicated to building climate resilience, we know that we cannot achieve our goals without racial justice and equity. A resilient society is one in which everyone is able to breathe.

We stand in solidarity with the ongoing fight for human rights that have been shamefully denied to Black and Indigenous communities in this country and in our region as a result of systemic and structural racism. During this time of learning, healing, and mobilizing, we invite you to join us to inform concrete actions that CRC can take.
Racism is killing the planet
You can’t have climate change without sacrifice zones, and you can’t have sacrifice zones without disposable people, and you can't have disposable people without racism. We’re in this global environmental mess because we have declared parts of our planet to be disposable. The watersheds where we frack the earth to extract gas are considered disposable. The neighborhoods near where I live in Los Angeles, surrounded by urban oilfields, are considered disposable. The very atmosphere is considered disposable. When we pollute the hell out of a place, that’s a way of saying that the place—and the people and all the other life that calls that place home—are of no value. ( Sierra Club) Photo: Mark Peterson/Redux
'Climate change is racial injustice': Students speak their truth in winning podcast
Students at a Brooklyn high school created the Flossy Podcast, where the students tackle big social issues mixed in with their lived experiences. Their episode about climate change and environmental racism is one of this year's grand-prize winners in the NPR Student Podcast Challenge. The episode begins with the idea that, "climate change Is racial injustice," and focuses on the idea that pollution and the environment impact communities differently — even within Brooklyn. ( NPR) Photo: Kholood Eid for NPR
I'm a black climate expert. Racism derails our effort to save the planet
How can we expect black Americans to focus on climate when we are so at risk on our streets, in our communities, and even within our own homes? How can people of color effectively lead their communities on climate solutions when faced with pervasive and life-shortening racism? ( Washington Post and the b-sides on Heated) Photo: Eric Risberg/AP
Sacramento's Red Black and Green Environmental Justice Coalition Informing Community of Blatant Disparities
Building capacity with advocacy, public policy and seeking funding to inform and educate black and brown communities in the Greater Sacramento Valley region is at the forefront for the Red Black and Green Environmental Justice Coalition. It's time for residents to be reminded of how to confront the environmental injustices and racial disparities that have existed prior to and now in lieu of COVID-19. ( Sacramento Cultural Hub)
'Safe Streets' Are Not Safe for Black Lives
This spring, a pandemic cleared cars from the streets. Many U.S. cities seized the moment by announcing new bike lanes and networks of “slow streets” that limit vehicle traffic. It is a transportation planner’s dream to hear that thousands of miles of streets are being reorganized to make room for more walking, biking and playing. But to me, as a Black planner and community organizer, the lack of process and participatory decision-making behind these projects was an absolute nightmare. ( City Lab) Photo: Eris Baradat/AFP via Getty Images
Climate activists: Here's why your work depends on ending police violence
We live in a world where government agents can kill hundreds of people a year, without the whole system being held accountable. When the crisis presents the opportunity for billionaires to extract even more wealth from people and the planet, how can we expect that same government to be accountable to climate change? To win on climate, we need to reinvent the power structures that haven’t functionally changed since slavery. To win on climate, we need to pry our economic systems away from the legacies of colonialism, slavery, genocide, and violence on which our country is founded and push it towards liberation, freedom, autonomy, and justice. ( Medium)
The environmental movement needs to reckon with its racist history
Indigenous peoples and people of color are disproportionately affected by our global climate crisis. But in the mainstream green movement and in the media, they are often forgotten or excluded. The institutions of environmental power—elected officials, government bureaucracies, nonprofits, laws, and the like—were, almost as a rule, created by white men and often remain dominated by white people. Since the Civil Rights era, activists of color have secured hard-fought victories for racial and environmental justice. But the legacy of racism continues to haunt the movement and undermine progress. ( Vice)
Unequal impact: The deep links between racism and climate change
Activist Elizabeth Yeampierre has long focused on the connections between racial injustice and the environment and climate change. In the wake of George Floyd’s killing and the outsized impact of Covid-19 on communities of color, she hopes people may finally be ready to listen. ( Yale 360) Photo: AP Photo/David Goldman
The links between racism and climate change
Among the much-needed silver linings of America’s latest collision of crises is the increased attention being paid to the ground shared by activists for a livable climate, racial justice, climate justice, and environmental justice. Here’s a sampling of informative new pieces. ( Yale Climate Connections) Photo: Lorie Shaull / Flickr
Climate change is killing Americans. Health departments aren't equipped to respond.
Most local health departments, chronically underfunded and understaffed, don’t have the resources to prepare for climate-related hazards, surveys show. Less than half of state health departments have plans to adapt to these impacts. The CDC created its climate program to fill that gap. Its primary grant — called the Climate-Ready States and Cities Initiative — funds and advises 18 health departments. But these efforts are hamstrung by politics at the federal and state levels and a monumental funding gap. ( Center for Public Integrity)
Summer feels much hotter if you live in California's historically redlined neighborhoods
California’s triple-digit heat is back — and new research shows residents in the state’s most underserved neighborhoods suffer the most when the mercury rises. Portland State University’s heat-mapping project tapped volunteers last summer in four California metro areas to attach GPS-equipped temperature collection gadgets to their cars and drive along set routes for an hour in the morning, afternoon and evening. They drove through the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Victorville and Sacramento. ( Capital Public Radio) Photo: Andrew Nixon / CapRadio
Rethink resilience for the era of COVID-19 and climate change
Low-income communities and people of color are bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the long-term impacts of a changing climate. In this context, resilience must mean more than enduring the unendurable, or bouncing back to “normal.” Real resilience demands that we recognize structural racism and rectify the injustices that rob black and brown people, and poor people, of agency and power. It demands that we rethink our responses to climate change and COVID-19, by remaking the systems that have harmed us. ( Next CIty) Photo: AP Photo/Carlos Osorio
As summer arrives, how will the most vulnerable escape deadly heat and COVID-19?
The United States is facing an unprecedented trifecta: a pandemic, record unemployment, and summer temperatures that are forecast to be above average in much of the country. Even though heat is the second leading weather-related cause of death in the U.S., the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers no funding for heat emergencies, leaving cities, counties, and states largely on their own. As the summer sets in, local governments nationwide are adopting a range of measures to help vulnerable people stay cool and safe, from moratoriums on power shut-offs to giving away air conditioners to operating public cooling centers with social distancing rules in place. ( National Geographic)
UC Davis: Big shift toward carbon-neutral future - steam out, hot water in
To help move toward a carbon-neutral future, UC Davis is launching a multiyear project to shift to a new source of energy to heat most campus buildings. Instead of using natural gas to make steam, the campus will use electricity to make hot water, which, like steam, will go through heat exchangers to heat the air that circulates in buildings. Hot water, of course, requires less energy to make than steam. The campus will see additional energy savings, more than 25 percent, by abandoning its aging steam pipelines in favor of new lines for hot water. ( Patch)
Tools & Resources
Office of Planning and Research: Environmental Justice Guidance Release
The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research has updated the General Plan Guidelines to include revised guidance on environmental justice (EJ) in response to Senate Bill 1000. This resource expands on the preliminary guidance provided in the 2017 General Plan Guidelines and will help local planning agencies, stakeholder groups, and the broader public better understand the requirements and methods for addressing EJ topics in the general plan. The updated guidance provides, among other things, more specific guidance on how to identify and engage with disadvantaged communities; and how to identify and address the specific needs and issues faced by disadvantaged communities through the general plan and its implementation. In addition, OPR has published an example policy language document along with a set of case studies to highlight EJ-related policies and initiatives that can be replicated or strengthened to create positive local transformation across California. ( OPR)
Linking the Environment and the Economy: An Economic Impact Analysis of California Climate Resilience Bond Investments
The Bay Area Council Economic Institute has published a study that finds significant positive economic impacts of a possible resilience bond in California. This study finds that climate resilience investments do provide significant employment and economic stimulus. A package of climate resilience expenditures in California can support nearly 120,000 full-time equivalent jobs under an $8 billion spending program, or nearly 75,000 jobs under a smaller $5 billion package. These jobs include positions across the wage spectrum, from middle-wage roles such as construction equipment operators, truck drivers, cleanup laborers, and landscapers, to more technical positions in environmental consulting, engineering, and scientific research. ( BACEI)
Strategic Growth Council - Science to Action: Engagement in Research
The Strategic Growth Council’s “Science to Action: Engagement in Research” is a summary report on insights, findings, and principles gleaned from its Climate Change Research Symposium on November 5, 2019. The event focused on actionable science, specifically research informed by meaningful community engagement, and included discussions among participants along with an afternoon workshop. The Symposium highlighted SGC’s vision for climate change research and what it can achieve. The report outlines five Principles for Meaningful Engagement in Research to consider when seeking to advance community-driven and engaged research. ( SGC)
Mayors’ Commission on Climate Change Recommendations to Achieve Carbon Zero by 2045 in Sacramento and West Sacramento
On Monday, June 29th, the  Mayors’ Commission on Climate Change  unanimously adopted its final report for achieving carbon zero by 2045 in Sacramento and West Sacramento. The Commission’s recommendations define a set of bold and necessary strategies to achieve the cities’ carbon zero vision, including a set of equity strategies, foundational principles, and actions to reduce emissions in the built environment, mobility, and community health and resilience sectors. Please visit the  website  for reports, meeting presentations, letters of support, and commitments.
Upcoming Opportunities
CivicSpark Accepting Project Partner Applications for 20-21
CivicSpark is a Governor’s Initiative AmeriCorps program dedicated to building capacity for local public agencies to address emerging environmental and community equity resilience challenges. In response to the scale and urgency of COVID-19, CivicSpark is prepared to focus Fellow support on recovery activities such as: supporting development of responsive programs or connecting community members with resources. Hosting a Fellow is a cost-effective way to bolster response efforts. Explore potential recovery activities by contacting Kif Scheuer (, or visit the website. Applications accepted on a rolling basis. ( CivicSpark)
Clean Mobility Options Voucher Pilot: Applications open
The Clean Mobility Options Voucher Pilot provides funding for the design and implementation of clean mobility projects in California's historically underserved communities. $20 million is available in 2020 for two types of projects: 1) the Community Transportation Needs Assessment Vouchers help communities to engage residents to identify their biggest transportation needs; and 2) Mobility Project Vouchers fund the implementation of projects that increase access to transportation, designed with community priorities at the forefront. Organizations can start their applications for both project types. Community Transportation Needs Assessment Voucher applications will be accepted starting June 1, 2020, and approve them on a first-come, first-served basis. Mobility Project Voucher applications will be accepted starting at a later date to be determined – but applicants may still begin designing a Mobility Project. ( Link)
State Environmental Justice Cooperative Agreement Program
In response to COVID-19 and the need to improve the environment and public health conditions in low-income communities, the EPA is re-opening the State Environmental Justice Cooperative Agreement Program (SEJCA). The SEJCA program provides funding to eligible entities to work collaboratively with underserved communities to understand, promote and integrate approaches to provide meaningful and measurable improvements to public health and/or the environment in those communities. Deadline June 30. ( EPA)
Beacon Program Request for Award Consideration 2020
The Beacon Program recognizes the measurable achievements of cities and counties working to address climate change. Cities can be awarded in five categories based on their achievement level. If you would like to apply for award consideration, please complete the form by July 31. ( ILG)
Housing & Community Development: Local Early Action Planning Grants (LEAP)
The Local Early Action Planning Grants provides over-the-counter grants complemented with technical assistance to local governments for the preparation and adoption of planning documents, and process improvements that accelerate housing production or facilitate compliance to implement the Regional Housing Needs Assessment. Deadline July 1. ( HCD)
Civic Innovation Challenge
The Civic Innovation Challenge (CIVIC) is a research and action competition in the Smart and Connected Communities (S&CC) domain designed to build a more cohesive research-to-innovation pipeline and foster a collaborative spirit. CIVIC aims to accelerate the impact of S&CC research, and deepen cooperation and information sharing across sectors and regions. Deadline July 1. (
State Water Resources Control Board Stormwater Grant
The State Water Resources Control Board funds multi-beneficial stormwater-management projects, including green infrastructure, rainwater- and stormwater-capture projects, and stormwater-treatment facilities. Eligible Projects are those that capture, treat, infiltrate and/or use storm water/dry weather runoff for a variety of potential benefits like water supply, water quality, flood protection, environmental and community. Deadline July 2. ( SWRCB)
Tribal Wildlife Grants
Tribal Wildlife Grants provide technical and financial assistance to Tribes for the development and implementation of programs that benefit fish and wildlife resources and their habitat. Activities may include planning for wildlife and habitat conservation, fish and wildlife conservation and management actions, fish and wildlife related laboratory and field research, natural history studies, habitat preservation, and public education. Deadline July 6. ( FWS)
WaterSMART Drought Response Program: Drought Resiliency
This grant seeks to support organizations with water or power delivery authority by cost sharing with Reclamation on Drought Resiliency Projects that will increase the reliability of water supplies; improve water management; and provide benefits for fish, wildlife, and the environment to mitigate impacts caused by drought. Deadline July 8. (
California Natural Resources Agency: Urban Greening Grant Program
$28.5 million is available for urban greening projects that use natural and green infrastructure approaches to create sustainable and vibrant communities, reduce GHG emissions, and provide multiple additional benefits. A competitive project will maximize opportunities to reduce GHG emissions through project design and implementation as well as incorporate green infrastructure solutions that improve the sustainability and function of existing urban hardscapes and landscapes. Deadline: July 15. ( CNRA)
California Fire Foundation Relief & Prevention Grants, Summer 2020
Up to $15,000 per grantee for California-based fire departments, firefighter associations, fire safe councils, nonprofit safety-focused, community organizations. Eligible projects include personal protective equipment, specialized firefighting equipment, fuel mitigation, first responder training, fire safety and prevention education, and planning and outreach programs, subject to COVID-19 social distancing and/or state reopening guidelines. Deadline July 15. ( CFF)
CalTrans Active Transportation Program
The goals of the Active Transportation Program include, but are not limited to, increasing the proportion of trips accomplished by walking and biking, increasing the safety and mobility of non-motorized users, advancing efforts of regional agencies to achieve GHG reduction goals, enhancing public health, and providing a broad spectrum of projects to benefit many types of users including disadvantaged communities. Applications for Quick-Build projects due July 15, and for all other project types September 15. ( CATC)
Permanent Local Housing Allocation Program for Entitlement & Non-Entitlement Local Governments: Formula Funding Component
The California Department of Housing & Community Development (HCD) released the first of two Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) announcements for the Permanent Local Housing Allocation Program. The first NOFA is for formula funding. Learn more about affordable housing funding. Deadline: July 27. ( HCD)
Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Housing Program
$141 million in funding is available for Round 4 of the Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Housing Program. The primary goal of the TOD Program is to promote public transit ridership and stimulate affordable housing developments near transit stations. Low-interest loans are available as gap financing for rental housing developments that include affordable units. In addition, grants are available to cities, counties, and transit agencies for infrastructure improvements necessary for the development of specified housing developments or to facilitate transit connections. Deadline July 30, 5pm. ( HCD)
National Science Foundation & U.S. Department of Commerce Disaster Resilience Research Grants
The National Science Foundation and the U.S Department of Commerce (DOC) National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) are calling for proposals for research to advance fundamental understanding of disaster resilience in support of improved, science-based planning, policy, decisions, design, codes, and standards. Disaster Resilience Research Grants will fund research on the following natural hazards, including, but not limited, to the following: Windstorm events, including hurricanes and tornadoes; water events, including hurricanes, sustained rain, both coastal and inland flood, and tsunamis; wildland-urban interface fires; and earthquakes. Projects that aim to address multi-hazard resilience phenomena are welcome. Letters of Intent are due August 14. Applications are due September 15. ( NSF)
Strategic Growth Council: Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Grant
The Strategic Growth Council is accepting applications for Round 6 of the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program (SALC), which fights climate change by protecting farmlands and encouraging infill development. Planning grants support the development of policies and economic development strategies to protect agricultural land, and Land Acquisition Grants (for either conservation easements or fee acquisitions) permanently protect lands that are at risk of conversion to sprawl development. Deadlines for both grants August 28. ( SGC)
Agriculture and Food Research Initiative: Ed and Workforce Development
The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Education and Workforce Development ocuses on developing the next generation of research, education, and extension professionals in the food and agricultural sciences. Deadline September 24. ( USDA)
Bureau of Reclamation WaterSMART Grants: Water and Energy Efficiency for FY21
Applications could include projects that seek to conserve and use water more efficiently, increase the production of hydropower, mitigate conflict risk in areas at a high risk of future water conflict, enable farmers to make additional on-farm improvements in the future, and accomplish other benefits that contribute to water supply reliability. Awards are available for up to $1.5 million. Eligible applicants include states, Tribes, irrigation districts, water districts, or other organizations with water or power delivery authority. Deadline September 30. (
Upcoming Events
Webinar series: Tribal Climate & Health Adaptation Regional Cohort Training Series
3rd Tuesday of the month, January-August
A comprehensive tribal climate change adaptation plan can help a Native American tribal community better understand, prepare for, and protect against climate health impacts. This training will provide steps, tools, templates, case studies, and other resources that seek to streamline the adaptation planning process and make it easier for tribal health and environmental professionals to understand and address human health exposures and impacts within tribal communities. ( Register)
SEEC Forum Webinar 6: Identifying, Prioritizing, Financing Projects
Thursday, July 16, 10-11am
In a time where competing interests and limited resources abound, it can be difficult to know where to start in order to identify, prioritize, fund, and implement energy projects. This panel will explore how several diverse jurisdictions and organizations have approached this dilemma and address critical factors that informed their pathway to success. ( Register)
Webinar: Turning Down the Heat: Learn more about urban heat in Sacramento and how it affects you
Wednesday, July 22, 6pm
Some areas of Sacramento are more than 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than their rural surroundings, largely because of how neighborhoods have been planned and built. For more than a year, Sac Metro Air District has been studying this phenomenon (known as the urban heat island effect) in the region in attempts to reduce heat health risk, particularly among those most vulnerable. This webinar is intended for community-based organizations, non-profits and residents who would like to learn about urban heat islands in Sacramento. In this webinar, we will explain what an urban heat island is, and why it is an environmental justice and equity issue; tackle why urban heat affects certain neighborhoods and not others; explore effective cooling strategies being implemented in other jurisdictions; and begin to strategize how to cool down our neighborhoods. This webinar will be offered in both English and Spanish. ( Register )
Equitable Adaptation Legal & Policy Toolkit Launch Webinar
Wednesday, July 29, 10am
This webinar will launch the Georgetown Climate Center’s (GCC) new  Equitable Adaptation Legal & Policy Toolkit , an online resource for community-based organizations and state and local governments working to put frontline communities first. The Equitable Adaptation Legal & Policy Toolkit explores best emerging practices, legal and policy tools, and case studies to help state and local governments work with frontline communities to develop and implement equitable climate adaptation solutions. ( Register )
2019-2020 Cohort Capstone Poster Symposium and Graduation Ceremony
July 13-23, July 30
The Local Government Commission presents the 2019-2020 CivicSpark Cohort Capstone Poster Symposium and Graduation Ceremony! Join us for 9 sessions (July 13-23) as CivicSpark Fellows share outcomes of their local resilience projects in communities across California. After sessions are complete, please join us to celebrate the dedication and service of our entire 2019-2020 cohort during the CivicSpark Graduation on July 30, from 1 to 2.30pm. ( Register)
The Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative is a membership based collaborative network designed to promote greater climate change resilience planning coordination in the six-county Sacramento Region. The purpose of this collaborative network is to create a forum where leaders from government, academia, environmental and community groups, the business community, and labor can come together to exchange information, identify vulnerabilities and data gaps, leverage resources, and advance comprehensive solutions in an effort to create stronger, sustainable, and economically viable communities in the Capital Region.
CRC is a program of the  Local Government Commission .