State secures more than $180 million in federal grants to support local communities

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Funding designed to increase disaster resilience in vulnerable areas of the state

SACRAMENTO — In an effort to build the state’s resilience and reduce the long-term risk of natural disasters, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) today announced that it has secured more than $180 million in federal funding to support local communities most at risk for hazards such as floods, earthquakes, wildfires, drought and sea level rise.

Leveraging federal funds through the Building resilient infrastructure and communities program, Cal OES has received grants for nine submitted projects for fiscal year 2021 that range from seismic retrofits of buildings in socially vulnerable neighborhoods to constructing groundwater wells to store water for use during droughts. .

“We are very excited about the selected California projects, including one that aligns with the president’s Justice40 initiative,” said Ryan Buras, deputy director of recovery for Cal OES. “These projects will help protect critical community lifelines and the environment, improving our long-term resilience in California. We look forward to working with our partners to help California communities mitigate risk from future hazards. »

This program is one of many federal agency programs participating in Justice40, an initiative by the Biden-Harris administration to prioritize federal investments to benefit disadvantaged communities. Of the 53 national projects that received these 2021 grants, two were recognized for their commitment to the Justice40 goals of advancing support and access for underserved communities – one of them being from California (county of Kern).

Examples of projects receiving federal funding

  • Kern County (Drought): Added water storage in Antelope Valley for use during drought conditions in nearby San Joaquin Valley.
  • Marin County (flooding): Build new dykes along three roads to protect communities adjacent to Belvedere Lagoon.
  • Nevada County (Wildfire): Directly address wildfire risk to community lives, homes, and lifelines through home reinforcement, defensible space, vegetation management, fuel modification, community and goat education.
  • Orange County (flooding): Build nature-based coastal adaptation and restoration along 1,150 feet of Pacific Ocean coastline to improve habitat for shorebirds and coastal plant species, protect vital infrastructure systems, and preserve access affordable to public beaches.
  • San Diego County (flooding): Build a living dike along an existing pathway to limit the potential for flooding in the Bayside community and create more usable recreation space.

Cal OES submitted these projects for consideration in January 2022. Under this competitive federal program, $1 billion in funding was available to local communities, tribal governments, and territories nationwide to fund projects hard infrastructure to increase resilience to disasters.

In order to inform, guide and support potential candidates, Cal OES conducted a sensitization to communities across the state, providing webinar training and direct technical assistance in the development of these projects.

Securing this federal funding is part of Cal OES’ ongoing work to build community resilience among vulnerable people living in areas of the state most at risk from natural disasters. Cal OES programs that aim to protect Californians most at risk from fires, floods, earthquakes and other natural disasters include:

Complete list of 2021 projects that received federal funding

Sub-candidate County Type of hazard Project cost Federal funds allocated
Kern County Kern County Drought, Flood $56,564,755 $39,541,755
Nevada County Nevada County Fires $43,466,453.10 $31,047,466.50
Imperial Irrigation District imperial county Wind, flood, forest fire $33,247,279.75 $23,273,095.86
California Earthquake Authority Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles Counties Earthquake $28,369,000 $20,199,990
Sacramento River Westside Levee neighborhood Colusa County Flood $24,282,740 $18,368,615
Imperial Beach City San Diego County Flood $25,769,109 $18,038,376.30
City of Belvedere Marin County Flood $21,986,574.35 $15,390,602.05
Orange County Orange County The sea level rises $13,842,751 $9,744,644
City of Healdsburg Sonoma County Drought $8,602,701.68 $6,064,590.68
Total project cost:
$256,131,363.88
Total federal funds provided:
$181,669,135.39

what others say

Nevada County Chief Executive Alison Lehman said:

“This will help protect critical infrastructure and densely populated areas by helping local property owners create defensible space, creating safer escape routes and helping to strengthen our community against the threat of wildfires. This work is urgent, and being able to leverage this level of funding for our local community with a county match of just over $2 million is an example of what we can do with our local partners, state and federal.

Janiele Maffei, SE, Mitigation Manager, California Earthquake Authority, said:

“The Earthquake Brace + Bolt program has provided more than 17,000 grants to help California homeowners strengthen their homes and create more resilient communities. We are proud of the work we have done and honored to receive this money, which will allow us to develop an all-new multi-family soft floor renovation program that serves socially vulnerable communities and helps them prepare for the next big earthquake. . .”

Mark Beuhler, designer of the Kern County Drought Mitigation Project, said:

“This Kern County project targets water for underprivileged communities that are particularly affected by drought and addresses the anticipated impacts of climate change. It’s a proactive solution that will help communities cope with a hotter, drier environment.

City of Healdsburg Utility Engineering Manager Patrick Fuss said:

“We are very happy to help the city of Healdsburg deal with droughts like the ones we are going through right now. This grant will allow us to support members of our community when they need it most.

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