Communities throughout New York are feeling the harsh impacts of climate change. Flooding and infrastructure destruction, extreme heat and declining air quality are just some of the unsettling scenarios that are playing out in real time as our environment experiences more frequent storms, sweeping wildfires and stronger hurricanes.
Now more than ever, it’s crucial for land conservation initiatives, like many led by The Nature Conservancy, to have a climate resilience focus to ensure communities and nature can thrive and adapt, even in a climate changing world. The Nature Conservancy's New York Climate Resilience Grant Program, formerly known as the Resilient and Connected Network Grant Program, aims to accomplish just that. In renaming the program, the Conservancy has significantly widened its support for climate resilience projects to acknowledge the critical roles that land protection and land connectivity play in advancing climate mitigation and adaptation throughout New York—and the larger Central and Northern Appalachian regions.
As the program concludes its third year, The Nature Conservancy in New York is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2023 Climate Resilience Grant Program. A record number of organizations applied to the grant program, with a total of $550,000 in awards to 14 organizations located in communities throughout New York State. This grant cycle supported projects ranging from land acquisition that’s creating forever-wild landscapes that are critical to climate adaptation to capacity building that’s advancing groundbreaking research, collaboration and training.
Over the past 10 years, scientists at The Nature Conservancy have mapped what they’ve named the Resilient and Connected Network—a network of landscapes across the United States with unique topographies, geologies and other characteristics that can help withstand climate impacts. This roadmap shows where plants and animals have the best chance to move away from growing climate threats and find new places to call home.
A number of New York’s forests and wetlands serve as key linkage areas throughout the state, connecting core landscapes where nature can migrate and thrive despite rising temperatures and increased flooding due to climate change. The Climate Resilience Grant Program is one strategy led by The Nature Conservancy in New York to increase local support for partner organizations making strides in climate solutions and land protection, specifically within the Resilient and Connected Network.
“Protecting climate resilient lands could not be more important. By using science and data to identify priority landscapes and to support the efforts of others in protecting those areas, we are deepening and expanding The Nature Conservancy's impact,” said Stuart F. Gruskin, chief conservation and external affairs officer, The Nature Conservancy in New York. “The Climate Resilience Grant Program is a terrific example of collaborative conservation and it will help our communities prepare for the future."
Since the grant program’s inception in 2021, The Nature Conservancy has directly contributed to the protection of 8,150 acres of resilient and connected lands as well as 10 regional, collaborative projects focused on climate resilience and landscape connectivity.
The Nature Conservancy’s Land Protection Manager Matt Levy shared, “Adapting to climate change is a colossal challenge that requires multi-stakeholder collaboration, out of the box thinking, and innovative projects led by experts and communities in New York to see positive and meaningful progress. I’m thrilled that this latest cycle of the Climate Resilience Grant Program has focused on these climate-specific needs and is supporting local partners in achieving these goals.
The 2023 grant recipients are:
- Thousand Islands Land Trust
- Northeast Wilderness Trust
- Adirondack Land Trust
- Saratoga Protecting Land and Nature
- Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy
- Rensselaer Plateau Alliance
- Kingston Land Trust
- Winnakee Land Trust
- Orange County Land Trust
- Westchester Land Trust
- Genesee Valley Conservancy
- Algonquin to Adirondacks Collaborative
- Housatonic Valley Association
- Western New York Land Conservancy
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 more than 70 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.