EUREKA, Calif. – The PG&E Corporation Foundation announced on Friday the four beneficiaries of Better Together Resilient Communities for 2021, a program to support local initiatives to build greater climate resilience in northern and central California with a particular focus on the disadvantaged, vulnerable, and historically underserved Municipalities.
The program awarded $ 100,000 each to the Lake County-based Tribal EcoRestoration Alliance, the Blue Lake Rancheria, the Yurok Tribe, and the City of Richmond. The projects are intended to support forest fire prevention, preparation for disaster relief and local emergency cooling in the event of extreme heat events.
“In California, the communities we have the privilege of facing are growing threats from a changing climate,” said Carla Peterman, executive vice president of corporate affairs and chief sustainability officer, PG&E Corporation. “For the past five years this program has enabled PG&E to work with our communities to find new and creative community-led solutions to build local climate resilience, with a focus on underrepresented and vulnerable populations.”
The Better Together Resilient Communities grant program, now in its fifth and final year, has invested $ 1.7 million from the PG&E Corporation Foundation and $ 300,000 from Pacific Gas and Electric Co., a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation.
Strategies and solutions resulting from the grants will be made publicly available to support all communities in planning and working on resilience and promoting local and regional partnerships.
The Tribal EcoRestoration Alliance’s Fire as Medicine project will build capacity and provide Native American tribal members with relevant fire extinguishing certifications to participate in prescribed burns, purchase equipment for participating in prescribed burns, and share traditional tribal knowledge and techniques with a wider audience of practitioners .
“The Tribal EcoRestoration Alliance was founded in 2019 with start-up funding from the Better Together Resilient Communities grant from PG&E,” said Lindsay Dailey, Alliance Program Director. âWith the catalytic support of PG&E, we were able to get our program off the ground in record time, bringing together indigenous voices around land management, forest fire resilience and building an eco-culturally literate workforce to address the challenges of our Time to master. “.”
The Blue Lake Rancheria project, “Humboldt County COAD Launch”, will fund twelve months of rapid start-up activities for the recently established network of Humboldt County Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD), which aims to support local non-governmental organizations Disaster relief and coordinate it. The grant will help build a communications network in the region, provide disaster relief training, and support public and informational events.
“This support through PG & E’s Better Together Giving Program in partnership with the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe enables Humboldt County Community Organizations Active in Disaster to be successful in this important work for our communities,” said Jason Ramos, the rancheria tribal councilor . “It will serve all people of Humboldt, especially those with economic disadvantages, cultural barriers, access and functional needs and other obstacles to effective emergency preparedness and resilience.”
The Yurok Tribe’s project will use enacted and cultural burns to gather scientific data on the effects on soil quality, fuel for forest fires and invasive species, and to serve as a framework for future studies and plans to contain forest fires. The project will also support food security by creating a traditional food calendar to plan for climate-related changes in the seasonality of the food they rely on for nutrition and culture.
“To keep the environment balanced, the Yurok people have traditionally carried out mandatory and cultural burns within their ancestral territory,” said Louisa McCovey, director of the Yurok tribe’s environmental program. “This project will allow us to quantify some of the benefits of cultural and mandatory burns, such as preventing catastrophic forest fires, reducing invasive species, and improving soil quality for traditional food systems. This grant will also help create a calendar for traditional foods that quantifies past seasonal shifts in traditional food harvest times, increasing cultural resilience to global climate change by creating a model for future change. “
The City of Richmond’s “Emergency Cooling Systems for Extreme Heat Events” project will improve access to cooling centers by installing cooling mists and canopies in local parks or community centers. Vulnerable residents are being trained and hired to man the refrigeration centers and provide outreach, along with a wider effort to educate the public about how climate change is directly affecting the community and how to mitigate those impacts.
“The City of Richmond is dedicated to building communities’ resilience to climate change,” said Sasha Curl, interim city manager. âAs global temperatures continue to rise, we need to make sure communities have a way to stay cool.â The Better Together Resilient Communities 2021 grant will âinvest in a project that will reduce the effects of extreme heat on our residents while at the same time Offers employment and training opportunities â.
Grant applications for the Better Together Resilient Communities program were assessed according to their level of focus on building the community’s resilience and ability to withstand climate-related hazards.
Priority was given to proposals that showed past or predicted exposure to climate threats and that addressed the needs of disadvantaged and / or vulnerable communities.
To be eligible, applicants must be a government organization, educational institution, or non-profit organization as defined in 501 (c) 3. All applicants must partner with a local or tribal government within the PG&E service arm.
Please visit the Better Together Resilient Communities website for more information.