July 27, 2015 – San Diego, CA – The San Diego Foundation announced grants for six local programs that will advance community efforts to prepare for climate change and put the San Diego, 2050 is Calling. How Will We Answer? report into action. The “Building Regional Resilience” grants total $311,500 and will address climate issues that impact San Diego’s regional economy and quality of life.

“San Diegans take great pride in caring for and protecting our region’s world-­‐renowned environment,” The San Diego Foundation Vice President of Community Impact Dr. Emily Young shared. “However, like many communities globally, our region faces challenges from the impacts of climate change. These grants represent a regional commitment to ensure San Diego maintains its healthy climate and economy for future generations.”

The Foundation received strategic grantmaking guidance from the San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative, a group of cities, public agencies and other organizations working together to advance regional action on climate change.

The San Diego, 2050 is Calling. How Will We Answer? report released in 2014 by The San Diego Foundation and Climate Education Partners (a collaborative of universities, research institutes, philanthropy and communication experts) to provide information about how San Diegans can preserve our high quality of life for future generations, maintaining the natural beauty, ideal weather and abundant resources we enjoy today. The report outlines many of the challenges San Diego faces from a changing climate – including water resources, coastal flooding and wildfires -­‐-­‐ and calls on community leaders to work together to invest in solutions that manage the risks and prepare for an evolving future.

The 2015 grants were awarded to:

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
Project: Regional Coastal Resilience Strategy -­‐ $80,000
Why it matters: The impacts of climate change are felt region-­‐wide and statewide, yet decision makers rarely have the opportunity to collaborate with their peers from bordering areas to address the issues. The grant will help build a multi-­‐city climate adaptation planning project to advance understanding, collaboration and shared regional planning approaches for coastal climate preparedness in San Diego County. Stakeholders along the coast from San Diego to Encinitas and Oceanside will participate to assess vulnerabilities and potential responses to protect and enhance San Diego’s environment.

City of Imperial Beach
Project: Building Local Capacity for Implementing Coastal Resilience – $70,000
Why it matters: San Diego’s coastal communities, in particular Imperial Beach, are often the most at-­‐risk from the effects of climate change. The grant will help the city of Imperial Beach and partnering organizations like the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve complete the Imperial Beach Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Study to provide local leaders with information to better understand the economic, social and environmental implications of climate change and the impacts it could have on the community and surrounding coastal areas.

City of Chula Vista
Project: Advancing Resiliency through Water Reuse Opportunities – $67,500
Why it matters: As cities address the impacts of climate change, short term and long term planning that incorporates community input and infrastructure analysis is vital to ensure effective implementation. The grant will help build a Water Reuse Framework through public engagement and economic analysis to expand Chula Vista’s water reuse and conservation efforts. There is a 100 percent grant match thanks to a Bloomberg Philanthropies Award for the Partners for Places Grant Program -­‐ a project of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities.

Center for Sustainable Energy
Project: Saving Water and Energy with San Diego Home Energy Coach – $42,000
Why it matters: Most residents know the broader challenges facing San Diego’s climate and seek out ways to play an active role in addressing the issues. The grant will provide water and energy education for hundreds of municipal employees in Carlsbad, Oceanside, Escondido, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Del Mar and Chula Vista to deepen community awareness about the drought and resilience to climate change, which will lay the foundation for program expansion in the region.

Resource Conservation District of Greater San Diego County
Project: Regional Approach to Building a Fire Safe San Diego – $42,000
Why it matters: As the risk of wildfires grows due to climate change, greater capacity and support is needed to keep San Diego safe. The grant will help local Fire Safe Councils and the Fire Safe Council of Greater San Diego County update Community Wildfire Protection Plans and host workshops for residents in fire-­‐prone areas to improve long-­‐term regional preparedness.

Local Government Commission
Project: Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation (ARCCA) – $10,000
Why it matters: ARCCA, a statewide network of regional coalitions within California, focuses on climate change preparedness to enhance public health, protect natural systems, build economies, and improve quality of life. The grant will enable local leaders to share resources and best practices, as well as work with state and federal agencies, such as the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, to secure input into climate programs and policies.

About The San Diego Foundation
Celebrating 40 years of philanthropic leadership (1975-2015), The San Diego Foundation’s purpose is to promote and increase effective and responsible charitable giving to grow a vibrant region. The Foundation manages more than $682 million in assets, more than half of which reside in permanent endowment funds that extend the impact of today’s gifts to future generations. Since its inception, The Foundation has granted more than $924 million to the San Diego region’s nonprofit community. Join us as we look ahead to the next 40 years with the Future40 event series and Fund for the Future. For more information, visit The San Diego Foundation’s website, SDF News blog, Facebook and Twitter pages.

Vince Heald, Beck Ellman Heald, 858-453-9600, vheald@behmedia.com
Justin Nunez, The San Diego Foundation, 619-235-2300, justin@sdfoundation.org