The program is open to nonprofit organizations and tribal governments, and is focused on supporting environmental justice projects across California. The maximum grant amount is $50,000 and the grant term is 18 months.
“Our goal is to ensure all Californians have equal access to a clean, safe and healthy environment. Part of the solution is to provide critical funding to California’s most vulnerable and disproportionately burdened communities. CalEPA’s Environmental Justice Small Grants Program supports collaborative projects that catalyze grassroots change,” said Secretary for Environmental Protection Jared Blumenfeld.
“This year we are seeking grant applications that focus on the need to plan for and respond to climate change and emerging threats to our health and safety, and that support the capacity of our communities to rebuild and thrive in the aftermath of the health and economic challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Blumenfeld said.
Projects selected for the grants will address a variety of environmental and public health objectives, including:
Disseminating information about environmental challenges and decision making processes
Enhancing local capacity to respond, adapt and prepare for climate change impacts
Ensuring safe drinking water
Guarding against toxic exposures and increasing resource conversation locally
Designing and implementing collaborative efforts to preserve the State’s natural and cultural resources with an emphasis on traditional ecological knowledge and tribal sciences
These projects may also entail regional and local capacity-building efforts to improve access to state program benefits. Grants under this program are awarded on a competitive basis, and are contingent on available funds.
The CalEPA Environmental Justice Small Grants Program was established by Assembly Bill 2312 (Chu, Chapter 994, Statutes of 2002) to provide grants to eligible nonprofit organizations and federally recognized tribal governments.
In 2020, CalEPA awarded more than $1 million in grants to over 30 organizations and tribal governments statewide. Since its inception, the program has awarded over 200 grants totaling $6.5 million.