Building local climate resilience

From extreme weather to rising sea levels, the threat that climate change poses to communities across California is becoming all too apparent. In an effort to promote local resilience to climate change, PG&E is investing $2 million over five years through the Better Together Resilient Communities grant program to support local climate resilience initiatives.

PG&E has chosen extreme heat events as the focus for the 2018 grant program. As the hottest summer on record in California and the third warmest year globally, 2017 highlighted the growing need to address extreme heat events.

“Rising temperatures driven by climate change represent a serious threat to human health and well-being across our state. From Central Valley communities experiencing record-breaking highs to cities where the urban heat island effect is exacerbating rising temperatures, extreme heat events are a climate challenge that demands real action.” – Dr. Jonathan Foley, Executive Director of the California Academy of Sciences and member of the PG&E Sustainability Advisory Council

The 2018 grant application period will begin on March 1, 2018. Final applications are due no later than May 11, 2018. Grant winners will be awarded in summer 2018.

Eligibility and evaluation criteria
To be eligible for these grants, applicants must:

  • Be a governmental organization, educational institution or 501(c)3 nonprofit organization
  • Include a local government within PG&E’s Northern and Central California service area as a partner

To assess grant proposals, PG&E will use the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated partnership: the extent to which the proposal reflects a collaborative effort among multiple organizations
  • Replicability: the extent to which the proposal identifies how others will be able to learn from and adopt resulting strategies and solutions
  • Assistance to disadvantaged communities: the extent to which the proposal addresses the identified needs of disadvantaged communities
  • Measurable impact: the extent to which the proposal includes practical, measurable and innovative ways to address community needs and climate risks


To apply, complete the application and email to

Download the application (PDF, 329 KB)

Background materials
If your organization would like to submit an application, we encourage you to review the following:

Contact information
Email any questions to Please include "Resilient Communities grant program" in the subject line.

2017 grant winners
In 2017, PG&E awarded $100,000 each to the University of California, Merced; the Karuk Tribe of California; Ag Innovations; and Sierra Institute. Each won for projects designed to help communities prevent and prepare for increasing wildfire risk by building healthy and resilient forests and watersheds.

The results of the grants will be made publicly available to help communities better understand, plan for and respond to climate change risks and encourage partnership with others.

About the projects
The University of California, Merced project will accelerate the pace and scale of forest restoration in Calaveras County. They plan to enable partnerships focusing on lands that are a high priority for improving drought resiliency and reducing high-intensity wildfire risk, while enhancing both forest health and water-related benefits.

Goals include:

  • Developing much-needed analysis and tools for assessing relative drought vulnerability and resilience of forested areas based on existing research.
  • Working with local land managers and stakeholders to refine these tools and build capacity to apply them in a central-Sierra forest as a testbed.
  • Working with local stakeholders to carry out and communicate assessments of drought vulnerability, wildfire risk and forest-restoration benefits with the aim of engaging broader support for investments in forests as natural capital and green infrastructure.

Visit the University of California, Merced

The Karuk Tribe will develop a plan for addressing critical infrastructure needs and protections in preparation for implementation of prescribed burns in Humboldt County. They’ll work with the U.S. Forest Service and others.

Goals include:

  • Identifying areas for prescribed burns as part of the Tribe’s Climate Adaptation Plan
  • Promoting community resilience to wildfires and climate change at both regional and community levels
  • Strengthening the region’s capacity to respond to wildfires in support of local communities in the Mid-Klamath River Basin

Visit the Karuk Tribe

Ag Innovations will partner with the Sonoma County Water Agency to create a coalition aimed at developing solutions to environmental hazards to protect the local water supply and forest health.

Goals include:

  • Bringing together public agencies, private landowners, tribes, scientists, and forestry experts
  • Developing collaborative solutions for managing vegetation in the Lake Sonoma Recreation Area, a critical source of water for more than 600,000 people
  • Developing solutions that improve erosion and wildfire management
  • Reducing fuel loads, improving watershed health and protecting the future of Lake Sonoma

Visit Ag Innovations

Sierra Institute will launch a collaborative effort in the headwaters of the California State Water Project, including the Upper Feather River, Upper Mill Creek and Upper Deer Creek areas. They plan to reduce fire risk while supporting the surrounding rural community and helping it to thrive.

Goals include:

  • Prioritizing some of the last free-running trout streams in California and across a landscape facing high risk of catastrophic wildfire
  • Contributing to California's broader climate resilience and upper watershed improvement efforts

Visit Sierra Institute