South L.A. among communities awarded state grants for climate projects
By James D. Williams
January 21, 2015
A look at some of the state grants for projects that will help South Los Angeles prepare for future climate disruption.
Last year alone, the California State Legislature and the Obama administration awarded $3,700,000 to the city of South Los Angeles for climate resilience and preparedness, a total that’s exceeded $4 million from the state and federal governments over the past four years alone, according to a report issued Jan. 10 by the City Councilman for South Los Angeles, Mike Bonin, and State Assemblyman Mike Gatto.
These grants are part of a program that the City Councilman believes will be instrumental in helping South L.A. to prepare for future changes in climate, which include severe weather events, fire, coastal flooding and coastal erosion that will inevitably affect Los Angeles and other coastal cities in the years to come.
These “climate resilience and preparedness grants” were administered to the City Council in 2011 by the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), which oversees programs that provide aid to communities and local governments battling the impact of natural disasters. They were authorized by the state Legislature in the Fiscal Year 2011-2012 State Budget in recognition of the City’s proactive efforts to prepare for and mitigate impacts of climate change. In addition to providing city staff with resources to address local climate-related incidents, Cal OES also gave the City Council $1,000,000 in 2009 in addition to authorizing $100,000 for the city for future needs after the impacts of climate change become more severe.
Since then, however, the City Council has received significant funding from state agencies for preparing for and reducing the impact of weather-related disasters, including federal and state funds from the California Emergency Assistance Fund (CEAF), the California Disaster Medical System (CDS) and various grants from local fire departments to the City’s Red Cross and the City Council to help prepare for and respond to disasters.