Aerial view of the Elkhorn Slough, an estuary on Monterey Bay and Moss Landing Harbor, in California. Elkhorn Slough is the second-largest remaining salt marsh in California and hosts a tremendous diversity of plant and animal life. This rich habitat has been held together by decades of collaborative conservation.
ESTUARY RESTORATION Aerial view of the Elkhorn Slough, an estuary on Monterey Bay and Moss Landing Harbor, in California. Elkhorn Slough is the second-largest remaining salt marsh in California and hosts a tremendous diversity of plant and animal life. This rich habitat has been held together by decades of collaborative conservation. © Kiliii Yuyan

Newsroom | The Nature Conservancy

Projects Wanted: U.S. Natural Climate Solutions Accelerator Competition Offers Funding

Competition focuses on developing innovative natural solutions to climate change.

Washington, D.C.

Through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Nature Conservancy is announcing a request for proposals for two additional rounds of grant funding for projects with potential to substantially increase the use of natural climate solutions through the U.S. Natural Climate Solutions Accelerator program.  This grant-funding program is focused on helping kick-start innovative and scalable approaches to capturing greenhouse gas emissions by using natural and working lands in the United States.  The program’s steering committee approved the first five grants in the fall of 2018 and plans to complete two additional rounds of grantmaking during the next 12 months.

A 2018 study on the potential of Natural Climate Solutions in the United States — such as planting more trees to absorb more carbon or using cover crops to keep carbon locked in soil—shows that these solutions would be able to remove a fifth of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, greater than the carbon emissions from all U.S. cars and trucks on the road. In addition to their climate mitigation benefits, Natural Climate Solutions protect water supplies, improve soil health and productivity, provide wildlife habitat, buffer flood zones, create healthier communities and increase income for private landowners. 

The deadline for the second round of applications is August 16. Applicants can request up to $250,000 per project. The third application period will be announced in early 2020. Up to $1.7M will be awarded in these two rounds of grant making. In addition to financial support, recipients will be offered mentorship, and connection to networks and new partnerships. 

The U.S. Natural Climate Solutions Acceleration Program is led by a Steering Committee. Committee members select projects and work with grant recipients to help build a community of practice around Natural Climate Solutions. “We are extremely proud to support this work and look forward to helping future recipients refine and scale their innovative conservation work,” said Steering Committee member, Jad Daley, CEO of American Forests. 

For the next two rounds of Accelerator grantmaking we encourage 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organizations to apply to the program. In addition, we expanded the Steering Committee to help us attract and evaluate a more diverse range of potential projects. Prospective applicants should visit nature.org/NCSaccelerator to learn more about the opportunity and to submit their applications.

“The 2018 Fourth National Climate Assessment and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 1.5 degrees Celsius Report are urgent wake-up calls on the need for ambitious and innovative climate action,” said Catherine Macdonald, Director, Natural Climate Solutions for The Nature Conservancy in North America. “We look forward to receiving a diverse pool of applications with potential to further demonstrate the progress that can be made when natural solutions are put to work addressing problems that affect people and nature.”

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.