Applications Open for Climate and Equity Grant Program


Applications Open for Climate and Equity Grant Program from CIRCA and DEEP  

GROTON, CT— In accordance with the recommendations from the Governor’s Council of Climate Change, the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA), with funding from CT DEEP, is seeking grant proposals for a new Climate & Equity Grant Program. This grant program will provide funding to increase the capacity of vulnerable communities to mitigate, plan for, and respond to climate change impacts, and is open to community-based organizations, tribal governments, and tribal organizations. Applicants may apply for smaller projects up to $10,000, or larger projects up to $50,000, with no match required. Applications will close November 18, 2022.

CT DEEP and CIRCA are partnering on this grant program in response to recommendation number one from the Governor’s Council on Climate Change Recommendations Report in January 2021, to provide funding to support community-based organizations aligned with environmental justice, climate change adaptation, and mitigation work across the state. CIRCA was tasked by DEEP to create a pilot program, building on CIRCA’s previous experience developing and running grant programs with a focus on climate change in Connecticut. In the Summer of 2022 CIRCA created an advisory committee to provide expertise in equity and environmental justice to assist with creating the program. Members of the advisory committee are listed below.

“The Governor’s Council on Climate Change prioritized equity and environmental justice in its recommendations, so when we saw the opportunity to do more, DEEP decided to provide financial support targeted to community organizations,” DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “I am grateful for this partnership with CIRCA that enables these groups to participate fully in climate planning, and provides funding and training for grantees through workshops and one-on-one consultation. I look forward to working with all of the grantees as we take climate action together.”

CIRCA Executive Director Professor Jim O’Donnell said, “I think it is obvious that if we want our society to be resilient to the impacts of climate change then we must understand the perspectives of all citizens, and especially the most vulnerable. Grants to community groups to support their active participation in debates over options and priorities is essential so that the other work they do can continue as well. This grant program will make our planning more inclusive and effective.”

“It is time to rebuild environmental justice organizations in Connecticut so that they can lead the way toward healthier and more just communities,” said Dr. Mark Mitchell, Advisory Committee Member and Co-chair of the Connecticut Equity and Environmental Justice Advisory Council. “EJ and grassroots community-based organizations have been starved for funding for more than a decade now. It is time to start reinvesting in them so that we can reap the benefits.”


Advisory committee:

  • Mark Mitchell, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Climate Change, Energy & Environmental Health Equity at George Mason University and Co-chair of the Connecticut Equity and Environmental Justice Advisory Council (CEEJAC);
  • Hermia Delaire, Sandy Recovery Program Manager for the CT Department of Housing;
  • David Embrick, Associate Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies at UConn and Director of the CT Center for Research on Resilient Cities, Racism, and Equity;
  • Edith Pestana, Administrator for CT DEEP’s Environmental Justice Program,
  • Bessie Wright, EPA Region 1 Program Coordinator for Long Island Sound Study;
  • Jennifer O’Brien, Program Director for Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, and
  • Ellen Carter, Vice President of Program, for the Community Health Foundation.


At this stage all Advisory Committee members are individuals who will not be applicants for the grant program to ensure there would be no unfair advantage among potential applicants. However, once selected, grantees under this new program will be able to provide feedback to further refine the pilot program and improve it for future grantees.

A webinar to learn more about this grant program will be held on October 25, 2022 at noon (a recording will be made available following the event). Register for the webinar here. To learn more about CIRCA, visit

For more information contact: Mary Buchanan,