New grants available from DNREC’s Division of Energy and Climate to support strong, sustainable communities

Municipalities, county governments and partners invited to apply for new Sustainable Communities Planning Grants

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Energy & Climate invites municipalities, county governments and their academic and non-profit partners to apply for the new Sustainable Communities Planning Grants now available. These competitive grants support planning and assessment projects that improve a community’s economy, environment and public health. Grants of up to $80,000 are available to counties or towns with populations of 5,000 residents or more, and grants of up to $40,000 are available to towns with populations of fewer than 5,000 residents.

Grant funds can be used to develop:

  • Community sustainability plans
  • Climate change vulnerability assessments and action plans
  • Greenhouse gas inventories and mitigation plans
  • Natural areas inventories and conservation plans

Partners such as universities and non-profit organizations working with a Delaware municipality or county are also invited to apply. Partners are not required to be Delaware-based, as long as the proposed project will be developed for and in tandem with a Delaware community. Additionally, multiple jurisdictions may partner on joint projects.

Why is sustainability important in a community?
Sustainable communities keep their residents safe from unexpected events while providing economic stability and a high quality of life. These communities are vibrant, healthy and prepared; they balance environmental protection, resiliency, economic growth and social objectives. Planning plays a crucial role in making a community sustainable.

The Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program was designed to help communities develop a vision, assess opportunities and draft an actionable plan that can be implemented over time.

“Delaware communities have already shown initiative in making their hometowns more sustainable – expanding bike networks, harnessing energy from renewable resources and reducing flood risks,” said Sustainability Planner Bahareh van Boekhold, Division of Energy & Climate. “Sustainable Communities Planning Grants will help build healthy, greener communities that attract new businesses, create new jobs, protect citizens and safeguard communities’ natural and cultural heritage.”

“Municipal and county governments hold the keys to Delaware’s sustainable future, but many don’t have the resources they need to lay out a vision and path towards that future. This grant provides that opportunity,” said Climate Section Administrator Susan Love, Division of Energy & Climate. “Communities that invest time and effort in planning and assessment position themselves for on-the-ground improvements and innovations that will help make their communities healthier, more prepared and more vibrant places to live, work and play.”

Sustainable Communities Planning Grant recipients who successfully complete their projects may be eligible for future grants toward implementing sustainability needs identified in the planning and assessment process.

How to apply for a Sustainable Communities Planning Grant
The Division of Energy & Climate will host a webinar Tuesday, March 14 to review the Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program and take questions from potential applicants. For webinar time and access information, complete grant program guidelines, resources and a downloadable application, visit the sustainable planning webpage at

Completed grant applications must be received by 4:30 p.m. Friday, June 2, 2017. Electronic submissions are preferred. Please email the grant application as a PDF attachment to Applications also may be faxed to 302-739-1840 or sent by mail to Division of Energy & Climate, ATTN: Bahareh van Boekhold, State Street Commons, Suite 5A, 100 West Water Street, Dover, DE 19904.

For more information, call the Division of Energy & Climate at 302-735-3480, or email or

Media contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.

Vol. 47, No. 35