Community Resilience Grants Program

The purpose of the Community Resilience Grants Program is to assist cities in developing solutions that reduce impacts from climate change for specific areas or assets.  For 2018-2019, the focus was in areas vulnerable to sea level rise. The County of San Mateo awarded $310,000 in grants to cities and non-profit organizations. Future calls for proposals will include other climate impacts assessed through Climate Ready SMC and could include wildfire, inland flooding and stormater, urban heat, and health.

The following projects were funded for the first year. Project updates and deliverables will be shared here as they become available.

Airport Region/North County

City of Millbrae Climate Adaptation Assessment

The City will use the County’s Vulnerability Assessment as a building block to seek future funding for climate adaptation, increase public awareness of risks and the need for action, support the Hazard Mitigation Plan, and inform future Capital Improvement Planning. The main goals of the project are to identify and understand the risk of climate change to key assets within the City of Millbrae and identify actions the City can incorporate into regional and local planning efforts. Once the City is aware of its risks, concrete steps can be taken to mitigate them. This will be accomplished through the neighborhood meetings, development of an Asset Vulnerability Profile for the City’s Waste Pollution Control Plant, and coordination with Burlingame and SFO to develop regional solutions. The project culminated in a Sea Level Rise Adaptation Assessment.

South San Francisco Shoreline Assessment of Vulnerable Properties and Livelihoods

This project is to create a model for assessing economic and social assets at risk from sea level rise in San Mateo County, and to apply the model to South San Francisco as a case study. It builds on the Bay Area Resilient By Design Hassell+ team’s proposals for the City. The tool will be used to assess in monetary terms the value of properties at risk to sea level rise, in terms of lost use, potential damages/repairs, lost livelihoods and employment. The subsequent benefits-cost ratio of potential resilient infrastructure improvements will be used in the upcoming update of the City of South San Francisco General Plan. The assessment tool was presented to a group of city stakeholders in the county. The model and instructions can be obtained by contacting us.

Sea Change Burlingame

Burlingame will assess the vulnerability of the Bayfront, located between Highway 101 and the San Francisco Bay. The project would build upon the policies and programs outlined in the City’s new Draft General Plan, but with additional specificity and focus on identifying a range of implementation options to address sea level rise and will result in 2-3 adaptation concept plans.  The project will also include community engagement, in partnership with Millbrae, patterned off past successful models piloted through the San Mateo County Learning Network/Home for All Community Engagement Pilot Project. The intent would be for the community to gain an understanding of the particular issues involved with the Bayfront in Burlingame, and how that understanding can guide “next steps” and future planning efforts.Learn more on Burlingame’s Sea Change Burlingame site.


South County 

Building Capacity to Develop Adaptive Measures in East Palo Alto (Acterra)

Acterra (Climate Resilient Communities) received support to work with the East Palo Alto Climate Change Community Team, Anamatangi Polynesian Voices, Youth United for Community Action and Urban Permaculture Institute among others to build the capacity of community leaders in sea-level rise vulnerability planning and identify preliminary community-defined adaptation strategies documented in this report. Project goals include 1) increasing awareness of decision makers about the risks of climate change for their community and 2) building the capacity of the community and city to integrate and mainstream climate change adaptation into risk management and planning.

North Fair Oaks Community Resilience Program (El Concilio/Siena Youth Center/ Stanford)

Through the Climate Ready NFO Resilience Grant, Stanford University Future Bay Initiative students, in consultation with El Concilio, Siena Youth Center and community leaders built new leadership on climate and disaster preparedness in North Fair Oaks, launched a new youth curriculum, and produced a report  and executive summaries in English and Spanish, on indirect impacts of sea level rise on North Fair Oaks.



See Change (Sanchez Art Center)

The Sanchez Art Center will develop a call for artists to implement three art projects related to sea level rise and waste reduction in Pacifica. Three project locations spanning different risk areas across the City of Pacifica will be planned, in locations including: north with eroding cliffs threatening housing and city infrastructure; central where rock revetments have historically been used to protect infrastructure and private property; and south prone to flooding. When the projects are finished, students and the community will be involved in an unveiling event. Learn more at See Change.




In 2018, San Mateo County finalized a Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment in coordination with cities, agencies, businesses, community groups, and others. As a next step, the County is providing grant funds to support the development of adaptation plans, project concepts, and additional assessment as needed.

Funding overview

The Community Resilience Grants Program will support projects that assess or plan for sea level rise impacts and/or implement innovative adaptation strategies. All projects should be guided by robust community and stakeholder engagement that is inclusive and occurs early on in the project. Future calls for proposals may include additional climate change impacts.

Who's eligible?

Cities and towns, special districts, Joint Powers Authorities, schools, and non-profit organizations in San Mateo County.

How much funding is available?

The County of San Mateo is providing funding for sea level rise assessment, planning or implementation projects. Selected grant recipients may be awarded a maximum of $90,000.

How do I apply?

To apply, review the guidelines, fill out the application form  and email it, along with any supporting documents to Marcus Griswold at by 5 PM PST September 17, 2018. The County will review the applications and invite the top-ranking proposals for an interview in late September or early October. Following interviews, the County will work with the highest-ranking proposals on an agreement and project timeline.

View the recording of the informational webinar held on August 8th. Check this site to learn more about the program, review webinar materials and a FAQ, as available.