January 2022 Program Newsletter
With the start of the new year, it seems like the Regional Sustainability and Resilience Program is busier than ever. We're wrapping up projects like the Kittery Greenhouse Gas Inventory and ramping up others such as Climate Ready Coast - Southern Maine. We're releasing our own new resources like the Municipal EV Toolkit, and we're diving into new state-wide opportunities such as the Community Resilience Partnership. We can't wait to see what's in store this year for local and regional climate action!

Read on to learn more about these and other exciting program updates.
FUNDING OPPORTUNITY FOR CLIMATE ACTION
Join the Community Resilience Partnership!
The Governor's Office of Policy Innovation and the Future has announced the Community Resilience Partnership (CRP), a new grant opportunity for municipalities to improve community resilience. The program will provide $4.75 million over two years through local and regional grants.

There are two grant opportunities for supporting municipal climate planning and action:

  1. Community Action Grants

  1. Service Provider Grants

To be eligible for Community Action Grants, communities must enroll in the CRP by completing the following steps:

  • Complete a Community Resilience Self-Evaluation and review a List of Community Actions to assess existing progress and identify potential next steps on community resilience.

  • Hold a public workshop(s) to review the self-assessment results and prioritize projects for implementation.

  • Adopt a municipal resolution to join the partnership.

Once enrolled, communities can apply for Community Action Grants of $5,000 - $50,000. Collaborative proposals may receive up to $100,000. These local and regional grants can be used to fund community resilience actions, including planning, infrastructure, and educational projects. The first round of grant applications are due March 22nd. A second application period will open later, with applications due September 20th.

Service Provider Grants are designed to link technical assistance providers with municipalities in order to complete the necessary steps for enrolling in the CRP. Communities wishing to pursue this grant type should reach out to SMPDC for assistance. Grant applications will be accepted during two rounds per year, February 15th and August 16th.

Interested in enrolling but not sure where to start? Contact SMPDC Sustainability Coordinator Karina Graeter ([email protected]) or call us at 207-571-7065.
Municipal EV Toolkit and Webinar
To help Maine municipalities lead the transition to electric vehicles (EVs), SMPDC partnered with Maine Clean Communities to create the Municipal EV Toolkit. This online platform includes tools and resources for municipalities to advance vehicle electrification through:

  1. Municipal Fleets
  2. Zoning and Ordinances
  3. Permitting and Inspections
  4. Planning and Leadership

The toolkit includes:

What:
  • Introduction to EV Readiness
  • Overview of the toolkit and how to use it
  • Local examples of municipal EV actions
  • Funding Opportunities


Where:


When:
  • Feb 17th, 2 - 3:30 PM
Kittery Greenhouse Gas Inventory Complete!
Program staff worked with the Town of Kittery and the Kittery Climate Adaptation Committee to complete Kittery's first GHG inventory. Kittery's inventory was completed using the SMPDC GHG Inventory Protocol. It includes both Community-wide emissions and municipal operations emissions inventories.

Sustainability Coordinator, Karina Graeter, presented the inventory results to the Kittery Town Council (see the Town Council Meeting agenda/packet to view the inventory report). The GHG inventory will serve as the foundation of Kittery's Climate Action Plan, which the town plans to undertake within the next year.

One of the founding pilot objectives of the Regional Sustainability and Resilience Program was to "Help each community develop the capacity to complete community-wide GHG emissions inventories". It is wonderful to look back at the past two years and see how far we've come toward this goal. We created a standardized and simplified framework through the SMPDC GHG inventory protocol, assisted the towns of York and Kennebunk with their community-wide GHG inventories, and led the development of Kittery's GHG inventory. Most recently, we have begun leading Kennebunkport's GHG inventory effort. With each new inventory, we have a better understanding of the emissions happening in our region and are more empowered to take action on climate change.
Climate Ready Coast - Southern Maine Project Update
In January, a consultant was selected to lead the Climate Ready Coast - Southern Maine project's geospatial regional coastal vulnerability assessment. In the coming weeks, the project team will be meeting with the consultant and Advisory Committee to establish the types of information and data to included in the vulnerability assessment and what the end product should be in order to meet the needs of municipalities and project partners. Stakeholder input gathered during the October 27th Working Group Workshop and from survey and interview results will be used to design the assessment methodology.

The vulnerability assessment will provide vital information about the location of coastal hazards, including sea level rise and erosion, critical habitat, at-risk infrastructure and property, and social vulnerability. The results will be used to develop targeted and transferable adaptation and resilience solutions for the most vulnerable coastal areas in the region.

Stay tuned for continued project updates and visit the interactive project website to learn more and share your input on coastal areas and hazards that matter to you!
Funding Opportunities

  • Community Resilience Partnership: Community Action Grant - Grants only available to communities enrolled in the Community Resilience Partnership. Community Action Grants have a $5,000 minimum and $50,000 maximum request amount. Collaborative proposals by two or more communities are encouraged, in which case the group may request up to $100,000. Applications due Mar 22nd.

Trainings and Resources
  • NEW Maine Climate Change Adaptation Providers Network Website: The Maine Climate Change Adaptation Providers (CCAP) Network is a network of adaptation professionals committed to working together to build community resilience in Maine. The new website compiles the best information and best practices to assist communities in building local climate resilience.
Southern Maine Planning & Development Commission | Website