Regional Resilience Grant Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
This webpage answers the questions most frequently asked about the ICARP Regional Resilience Grant Program.
The following FAQs provide a broad overview of the Regional Resilience Grant Program (RRGP). The RRGP Final Guidelines are currently the most detailed source of information on the RRGP. OPR staff will update the following FAQs throughout the application and award period as the RRGP receives feedback.
The RRGP is a new grant program that funds regional-scale climate change resilience planning and implementation projects. The RRGP will invest funds into resilience planning and implementation projects led by public entities, California Native American tribes, Community-Based Organizations, and academic institutions to address their regions’ climate change impacts, including wildfire, sea level rise, drought, flood, increasing temperatures, and/or extreme heat events. The RRGP will award funds to initiatives that address the greatest climate change risks in a region, particularly in communities most vulnerable to climate change risks, through diverse cross-jurisdictional partnerships.
The Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program (ICARP) administers the RRGP through the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR). The RRGP aims to advance ICARP’s statutory mission to develop a cohesive, equitable, and integrated response to the impacts of climate change by directly funding local, regional, and tribal resilience planning and implementation efforts across California.
The RRGP aims to fund planning and implementation projects that advance climate resilience for a region. Both planning and implementation project applications should have a regional focus, serve communities most vulnerable to climate changes, and align with one of the RRGP Goals. The RRGP offers applicants flexibility in proposing projects that best meet their region’s specific climate resilience needs. Eligible projects could include, but are not limited to:
- Aligning plans for one or more climate hazards across multiple jurisdictions
- Creating a regional community education initiative for one or more climate hazards
- Conducting a regional-scale vulnerability assessment
- Forming a regional climate collaborative
- Implementing hazard-specific projects, like a wildfire fuel break project, sea level rise adaptation project, or a floodplain management project
- Implementing existing state, local, or regional plans
- Implementing a multi-hazard project, like a flood-after-fire project or an emergency response system
If your project is consistent with at least one state climate plan, it will be a stronger candidate for RRGP funding. Please see Section 2.3 Project Eligibility in the RRGP Final Guidelines for more details. Also see Appendix B of the Final Guidelines for example projects.
RRGP staff encourages applicants at any stage on their climate resilience planning journey to apply. You may be eligible for funding no matter whether you are just getting started with the resilience planning process or are further along .
The RRGP funds two project types: planning and implementation. All projects must have a regional focus and support communities most vulnerable to climate change. The RRGP can fund a variety of projects and gives regional partnerships flexibility to propose projects that best meet their region’s specific climate resilience needs.
- Planning Grants are for applicants who want to involve their community in studying and determining how to address climate risks in their region. Funds can assess regional climate risks, create regional plans for resilience, prepare for implementation, and more.
- Implementation Grants are for applicants who already know some of the steps they need to take to address the climate risks in their region. Funds can support physical projects, like infrastructure, or non-physical projects, like programs or processes, that reduce climate risk.
Please see Section 2.2 Comparing RRGP Grant Types in the RRGP Final Guidelines for more information.
Many state grant programs provide funding to California communities to prepare for and adapt to climate change risks and impacts. Two aspects of the RRGP that distinguish it from similar grant programs are:
- All projects the RRGP funds must have a regional focus. To be eligible for RRGP funding, you must apply with a partnership that involves two or more jurisdictions. Also, the proposed project should have a geographic impact that extends beyond the boundaries of a single government’s or agency’s jurisdiction. Applicants have the flexibility to self-identify their region defined by shared natural and built environment systems and shared priority climate risks. See the “How does the RRGP define region?” question in the FAQ for more information.
- RRGP funds project implementation. The RRGP funds two project types: planning and implementation. Applicants proposing to implement regional projects, especially those that use natural infrastructure, improve regional climate resilience, and reduce risks from climate impacts, will be considered for the implementation grant award. See the “What does the RRGP fund?” and “What is the difference between the planning grants and implementation grants?” questions in the FAQ for more information.
Throughout the application phase, RRGP staff will be available to help explain the differences between RRGP and similar grant programs. Some of the programs that are similar to the RRGP include:
OPR & SGC Programs
Other State Programs
In response to feedback, RRGP allows applicants to self-identify their project’s region as any area in California that involves multiple jurisdictions, has shared infrastructure or natural systems, and has shared highest priority climate risks. To apply for RRGP funding, applicants should form a diverse, cross-jurisdictional partnership that includes California Native American tribes and/or public entities that represent different jurisdictions. If it would help accomplish their work plan for the RRGP, applicants may choose to use another program or initiative’s definition of region; for example, applicants may choose to work within a region that another program or initiative has identified as a region.
Public entities, California Native American tribes, community-based organizations (CBOs), and academic institutions are eligible to apply to the RRGP. Please see Section 2.1 Applicant Eligibility of the RRGP Final Guidelines for definitions of the eligible applicants.
To be eligible for RRGP funding, you must apply with a partnership that involves two or more jurisdictions. The regional partnership’s proposed project should have a geographic impact that extends beyond the boundaries of a single jurisdiction. To ensure each regional partnership is well prepared to serve the communities most vulnerable to climate change, RRGP has partnership requirements depending on what type of organization is the Lead Applicant:
- California Native American tribes should apply with at least one California Native American tribe or public entity.
- Public entities should apply with at least one CBO. Additionally, they should apply with at least one public entity from another jurisdiction or at least one California Native American tribe.
- Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) should apply with at least two entities representing other jurisdictions. This partnership should include at least one public entity or California Native American tribe.
- Academic Institutions should apply with at least two entities representing different jurisdictions. This partnership should include at least one public entity or California Native American tribe, and at least one CBO.
Applicants are not required to be a regional agency or previously existing regional collaborative.
Regional agencies or collaboratives may apply. As for all applicants, they must show in their application that they meet all applicant and project eligibility requirements and that their proposed project meets the RRGP definition of “regional focus.”
Please see Section 2.1 Applicant Eligibility in the RRGP Final Guidelines for more details.
The RRGP defines jurisdiction as “The geographic boundaries within which a certain government or governing body that has the power to enforce laws, regulations, and provide services to the people residing or working within that area. Each jurisdiction may have its own set of rules, laws, and governing bodies that make decisions and oversee matters within their defined boundaries. These boundaries can range from small local areas, such as districts and cities or, to larger areas like counties and regions.”
Please see Appendix G. Glossary and Acronyms in the RRGP Final Guidelines for other definitions of other words used throughout the Guidelines.
A partnership’s jurisdictions may overlap geographically. For example, a city may partner with the county in which it is located. In this example, to meet the requirement of the project having a regional impact, their project should have a geographic impact larger than the city’s area.
A local public entity can include cities, counties, Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), Joint Powers Authorities (JPAs), Regional Transportation Planning Agencies (RTPAs), Councils of Governments (COGs), Congestion Management Agencies (CMAs), school districts, and special districts (e.g., resource conservation districts, harbor districts, etc.).
Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) do not need to be 501(c)(3) organizations but should be legal entities authorized and empowered to enter contracts and hold funds.
The RRGP’s definition of Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) include 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, non-governmental organizations, philanthropic organizations, foundations, California tribal organizations, organizations with a history of representing tribal or vulnerable communities, and fiscally sponsored organizations.
For-profit entities are ineligible to apply as lead or co-applicants or fiscal agents for the RRGP. However, applicants can subcontract for-profit entities to provide services supporting their proposed project. Federal and State agencies, including any department or subagency of those agencies, are also ineligible to apply as lead or co-applicants. While the RRGP encourages coordination with state and federal agencies where appropriate, applicants cannot list state and federal agencies as co-applicants.
The RRGP funds capacity building in both planning and implementation projects. Eligible costs include staff costs, travel costs, language access, operating expenses, equipment costs, tools, subscriptions, software, engagement outreach, education, and training. For additional examples of capacity building activities, please see Section 2.3 Project Eligibility in the Final Guidelines.To see the full list of eligible costs, visit the Budget section of the Application Components and Scoring Criteria (pp. 30–32) in the RRGP Final Guidelines.
The following projects and actions are ineligible for the RRGP:
- Legislative lobbying and lawsuits
- Environmental studies, plans, or documents normally required for project development under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) or National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
RRGP funds also cannot be used for the following costs:
- Costs that occur outside of the grant term
- Office furniture purchases or other capital expenditures
- Acquiring vehicles or shuttles
- Organizational membership fees
The following costs associated with community engagement and outreach:
- Direct cash benefits or subsidies to participants
- Alcoholic refreshments
- Participant incentives, like door prizes
- General meetings that do not specifically discuss or advance the RRGP Project
Minimum and maximum RRGP award amounts depend on the project type. There are two project types: planning and implementation. Minimum and maximum award ranges are as follows:
|Minimum Award Amount
|Maximum Award Amount
RRGP staff may adjust the minimum and maximum award amounts based on demand or unique circumstances.
OPR recommends that prospective applicants read the following sections of the RRGP Final Guidelines to get a better understanding if their project is a good fit for the RRGP:
- Review Section 2.1. Applicant Eligibility to determine whether their organization would be eligible
- Review Section 2.2. Comparing RRGP Grant Types to determine which RRGP grant type is most appropriate to apply for based on the phase their proposed project is inSection 2.2. Comparing RRGP Grant Types
- Review Section 2.3. Project Eligibility to determine whether their project would be eligible reviewing Section 2.3. Project Eligibility.
- Review Section 3.2. Application Components & Scoring Criteria to determine what information and resources they need to gather to apply
- Review Section 6.4. Program Expectations to understand what time and resources participating in the RRGP may involve
Applicants must submit their completed applications on August 29 by 5 p.m.. Filling out the Intent to Apply Survey is the first step in applying to funding from RRGP. The sooner you fill out the Intent to Apply Survey, the sooner RRGP staff can send you access to the RRGP application and help you navigate the partnership and project eligibility requirements.
Your responses to the Survey will not disqualify you or affect how the review panel evaluates your application. If your project ideas change between the time you complete the Intent to Apply Survey and the time you complete the application, it is okay to include project details in your application that are different from what you submitted in the Intent to Apply Survey.
RRGP staff will host eight Application Workshops throughout June and July to help applicants understand the Final Guidelines and complete the RRGP application. RRGP staff will also host office hours to meet one-on-one with applicants to discuss application questions throughout the application period. Visit the RRGP web page to register for a workshop or sign up for an office hour.
Please see Section 3.1 Application Support of the RRGP Final Guidelines for more information on available application support.
The Regional Resilience Grant Program aims to allocate at least 51% of grant funds to applications directly benefitting disadvantaged communities and 10% to California Native American tribes.
While the RRGP provides applicants the flexibility to self-identify their region and regional partnerships, RRGP staff intend to fund at least one planning project and no more than one implementation project from each of the nine geographic regions defined by the California Climate Adaptation Strategy. See Appendix F California Climate Adaptation Strategy Regions in the RRGP Final Guidelines for more information.
RRGP has a goal of awarding planning grants to at least one partnership with a tribal lead applicant and to at least one partnership from a rural region.
Note: If applicants are not eligible for funding, OPR reserves the right to waive these funding goals.
Please see Section 1.5 Funding Availability in the RRGP Final Guidelines for more details.
The Regional Resilience Grant Program aims to allocate at least 51% of grant funds to projects that directly benefit disadvantaged communities.
To qualify for this DAC set-aside, the application must demonstrate both of the following:
- Disadvantaged communities make up at least 51% of the total combined area of applicants’ jurisdictions by Census tracts or population
- The project directly benefits disadvantaged communities
The RRGP defines disadvantaged communities as those in:
- census tracts the California Environmental Protection Agency, CalEPA, defines as disadvantaged (see the CalEPA’s Disadvantaged Communities Map); or
- census tracts with median household incomes at or below 80 percent of the statewide median income or with median household incomes at or below the threshold designated as low income by the Department of Housing and Community Development’s and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s list of income limits adopted pursuant to Section 50093 of the California Health and Safety Code; or
- census tracts with a median household income less than 80% of the statewide average
RRGP Staff will provide supporting resources so that applicants may determine if they are eligible for the DAC set-aside during the application period.
Awarded projects should be completed no later than 12-30 months after the start of the grant agreement and OPR issuing a Notice to Proceed. The start date will likely be in January 2024.
The RRGP does not ask for match funding. Grantees may use the RRGP funding as required match funding for other funding or grant opportunities.
The RRGP is a reimbursement grant program. ICARP will provide the grant recipient with the necessary grant award documents and invoicing documents for the reimbursement process. Grantees may request reimbursement from OPR every quarter (every three months). The grantee will be responsible for compiling all invoices, supporting documentation, and reporting materials for themselves and their partners into a single package. Once OPR approves the package for payment, it will disburse funds to the grantee.
OPR staff will offer all grantees help throughout the grant term. Each grantee will participate in regular check-in meetings with RRGP staff to receive feedback and guidance on draft deliverables. RRGP staff will also support grantees in meeting RRGP’s various administrative criteria and building connections with other grantees and State and Federal agencies. Additionally, RRGP staff will host optional workshops tailored to the specific technical assistance interests of grantees throughout the grant term.
Please see Section 6.5 Optional Program Help/Technical Assistance in the RRGP Final Guidelines for more details.