Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Climate Smart Communities Resources and Services

Sign up for DEC Delivers

Enter email address:

Sign up with DEC Delivers to learn about new resources, funding opportunities, and upcoming webinars and workshops from the Climate Smart Communities Program.

Climate Smart Communities Grant Program

At a special event in Schenectady on April 18, 2016, DEC Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos announced new funding for communities ready to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for the effects of climate change. As proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, the 2016/17 state budget included a new Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation account as part of the state Environmental Protection Fund. This account will provide funding for adaptive infrastructure, greenhouse gas management and resiliency planning programs.

Counties, cities, villages and towns will be eligible to participate in two funding programs under this new category:

  • Rebates on purchases of clean vehicles, including electric vehicles, and charging or fueling stations.
  • Climate Smart Community grants for climate protection implementation projects and Climate Smart Community certification grants.

Clean-vehicle rebates will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Information such as qualifying vehicles and infrastructure, and application procedures will be announced in the coming weeks.

Competitive Grants

Implementation grants will support a wide variety of adaptation and mitigation actions, including the following:

  • Construction of natural resiliency measures
  • Relocation or retrofit of climate-vulnerable facilities
  • Conservation or restoration of riparian areas and tidal marsh migration area
  • Reduction of flood risk
  • Clean transportation
  • Reduction or recycling of food waste

Certification grants will support several project types aligned with Climate Smart Communities Certification requirements:

  • Right-sizing of government fleets
  • Developing natural resource inventories
  • Conducting vulnerability assessments
  • Developing climate adaptation strategies
  • Updating hazard mitigation plans to address changing conditions and reduce climate vulnerability

The CSC grant program will provide 50/50 matching grants to municipalities. All counties, cities, towns and villages of the State of New York are eligible for funding. This program will be offered in the upcoming NYS Consolidated Funding Application to be released in early May.

Climate Smart Communities Webinar Series

Experts and representatives from leading Climate Smart Communities share ideas and experiences in brief, informative sessions via the Internet. The Climate Smart Communities (CSC) webinar series runs from June through September each year on the second Thursday of the month, unless otherwise posted. Sessions begin at 10:30 AM and last approximately 90 minutes. Previous webinar presentations and recordings are found on our Climate Smart Communities Webinar Presentations page. See the 2015-2016 schedule for a list of upcoming webinars. Sign up to receive email instructions on how to access each webinar with DEC Delivers, or visit the event listing on the DEC calendar.

The next webinar is:
NYS Climate Change Science Clearinghouse: A New Online Resource for Practical Information on Our Changing Climate
May 12, 2016, 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Despite a wealth of information, understanding climate change and what to do about it can be challenging. Local planners can find it difficult or time consuming to identify the vulnerabilities in their communities and evaluate appropriate strategies for how to respond. The New York Climate Change Science Clearinghouse (NYCCSC) is a new online resource that helps identify and access relevant documents, data, websites, tools, and maps to address climate change adaptation and mitigation. During this Climate Smart Communities webinar, a speaker from the developer of the site, Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM), will provide an overview of the NYCCSC and demonstrate its interactive map, data tool, and curated, searchable resource bank.

Direct Technical Support

From 2012-2015, the State sponsored the Climate Smart Communities Regional Coordinators Pilot Program to provide direct technical support to CSCs in four regions: Central New York, Capital District, Mid-Hudson and Long Island. With the Climate Smart Communities pledge as a roadmap, the coordinators advised and empowered local governments by connecting them with appropriate financial and technical programs, helping them to coordinate with and learn from other communities, offering practical assistance and helping communities track their accomplishments. The tools and resources developed during this three-year pilot are available to all communities via the CSC program.

New York State is committed to helping local governments become Climate Smart Communities, achieve CSC certification and implement other clean energy initiatives. Direct technical support from regional contractors (funded by New York State) is expected to resume in the spring of 2016 under the New York State Community Partnership.

Climate Smart Communities Guide to Local Action

The Climate Smart Communities Guide to Local Action provides how-to information and community action case studies.


More about Climate Smart Communities Resources and Services: