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NOAA Climate Resilience Regional Challenge Program

  • Granting Agency: NOAA
  • Appropriation Amount: $575,000,000
  • Grant Amount:  $500,000 – $75,000,000
  • Announcement Date: June 20, 2023
  • Closing Date: Letters of Intent are due by August 21, 2023. Full applications are due by February 13, 2024.

See the NOFO here.

Purpose: The NOAA Climate Resilience Regional Challenge (Challenge) will support collaborative approaches to achieving resilience in coastal regions with an emphasis on risk reduction, regional collaboration, equity, and building enduring capacity. The Challenge is a $575 million competition with a Letter of Intent phase and two exclusive funding tracks designed to meet the needs of coastal communities wherever they are in the resilience and adaptation process.

U.S. coastal counties are home to 40% of the nation’s population, employ 54.6 million people, and produce $9.6 trillion in goods and services. These counties and their communities are experiencing not just rapid but accelerating change and increased risks from the combined effects of storms, precipitation, sea level rise, and other physical stressors. The Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4, 2018) highlighted the significant risk to coastal property and public infrastructure from increases in the frequency, depth, and extent of tidal flooding due to sea level rise, with cascading impacts to the Nation’s economy. Higher storm
surges due to sea level rise and the increased probability of heavy precipitation events increase the risk. By the latter part of this century, many more coastal communities will suffer financial impacts as chronic high tide flooding leads to increased infrastructure damage. As the pace and extent of coastal flooding and erosion accelerates, climate change impacts along our coasts are compounding pre-existing social inequities and communities are facing difficult questions about the costs and tradeoffs associated with adaptation strategies, including if, how, or when to relocate infrastructure.

Eligible Projects:

Regional Collaborative Building and Strategy Development (Track One) supports building capacity for, development of, and collaboration on transformational resilience and adaptation strategies for coastal communities. Successful applicants will receive $500,000 to $2,000,000 to support regional scale coordination, engagement, planning, advancement of equitable outcomes, and capacity building for resilience and adaptation. Total funding for all Track One awards may be up to $25 million.

Implementation of Resilience and Adaptation Actions (Track Two) supports implementation of transformational resilience and adaptation strategies and associated actions for coastal
Notice of Federal Funding Page 2 of 64 communities anchored in previous planning efforts. Applicants must propose a suite of complementary adaptation actions that together build the resilience of multiple communities within a coastal region, including those that have been marginalized, underserved, or underrepresented. Applicants can apply for not less than $15,000,000 and not more than
$75,000,000, with most awards being between $25,000,000 and $50,000,000. Total funding available for all Track Two awards is up to $550,000,000.

Eligible Applicants:

The Climate Resilience Regional Challenge is a two-track competition. Applicants must clearly identify in their application the track that should be used to evaluate their proposal (Regional Collaborative Building and Strategy Development, or Implementation of Resilience and Adaptation Actions). Applicants should select a category based on the evaluation criteria in Section V.A. If a category is not identified by the applicant within the proposal, NOAA will identify a category for the applicant. No appeals regarding placement will be considered.

Entities applying to Track One should come together as a regional collaborative with a unified vision for increasing resilience at a regional scale. This vision and the preliminary strategies and activities needed to advance towards that vision should be clearly articulated in Letters of Intent and full applications. Track One funding can be used to support further development of the vision and strategy, including necessary coordination, engagement, and planning. Engagement must include convening multiple stakeholders from the public and private sectors (e.g., federal, state, and/or local agencies; Tribes, and tribal organizations;
non-governmental organizations; community-based organizations; and business and industry) and include- marginalized, underserved, or underrepresented communities.

Track Two funding is intended to support the implementation of a complementary suite of ambitious and achievable actions (approximately three to eight) that are grounded in existing plans and/or strategies aimed at addressing the resilience and adaptation challenges within a specified region. Applicants for Track Two funding may be, but are not required to be, a regional collaborative as defined for Track One (i.e. they can be a single entity). However, all entities interested in applying to Track Two should be committed to working closely with relevant partners, including representatives of underserved communities, on their applications and in potential implementation of funding under a collective vision for increasing resilience within their specified geographic region. The adaptation actions proposed for funding should have been developed through engagement with multiple stakeholders (e.g., federal, state, and/or local agencies; Tribes and tribal organizations; and non-governmental organizations), especially those that have been marginalized, underserved,
and underrepresented, and aligned with the overall climate resilience and adaptation vision being proposed for the region. The collective vision and a list of collaborators and/or partners (see Section I.A.3) for the regional effort should be clearly identified in the Letter of Intent and full application. The proposed suite of actions to achieve the vision should measurably reduce risk and build resilience in the identified region, and provide benefit to those that are most at risk due to social and economic factors.