Climate Change in Chesapeake Bay Trust Grant-Making
The Chesapeake Bay Trust is committed to making sustainable awards through our grant-making and other activities. We strive to invest in projects and programs that will most effectively “move the needle” toward the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay, Coastal Bays, and Youghiogheny watersheds and have enduring positive impacts. We also recognize that communities that are threatened by sea level rise, increasing flooding and more frequent extreme temperature days are likely to have more pressing priorities than water quality and habitat loss. Many, if not most, projects implemented with the goal of improving water quality and habitat also mitigate climate change thereby supporting the communities threated by these impacts.
Current Practice: Global climate is changing, and its effects are impacting our local communities and the entire watershed restoration effort. We know that future climate scenarios will impact the investments we make today in our projects. We ask our applicants and awardees to think about future changes in climate, as manifested by changes in rainfall quantity and event frequency, sea level, temperature and therefore species ranges, and other factors, and to use the best practices that will help them plan for such changes in their projects.
Climate Goal Statement: In light of climate change, the Chesapeake Bay Trust projects will incorporate sustainable solutions to ensure that adaptation is addressed.
Future Climate Aim: The Trust’s 2020-2025 strategic plan lists climate change impacts on Chesapeake communities and natural resource goals as a critical issue to address. We must factor in impacts of climate change to our goals, and we must factor in impacts of climate change on the human engagement in Chesapeake and Coastal Bays recovery.
The Trust aims to invest in projects that have the longest potential longevity after the award period has ended. Several threats exist that may result in loss of project value in addition to those associated with climate change, such as change in public interest or change in land use. We ask our applicants to discuss the future they see for their work and we ask them to consider the following questions:
- What factors may affect the project’s long-term value and how will you ensure its long-term value is maximized?
- If the project or program will need ongoing financial resources in order to maintain its value, how will the project be sustained beyond the term of the proposed funding request?
The Future: We envision a future where our projects and programs have stood the test of time and remain impactful under changing conditions. We also anticipate a future in which projects we support have been designed not just to adapt to changing climate, but provide mitigating benefits as well.