Governor McKee, DEM Announce over $200,000 in Grant Awards

    February 20, 2024


    Friday, February 16, 2024


      Olivia DaRocha

    Press Secretary


    (978) 854-2191



    Governor McKee, DEM Announce over $200,000 in Grant Awards for Community Engagement on Climate Change, Advancing Environmental Justice, And Cutting Fossil Fuels

    PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Dan McKee and the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) today announced that they have awarded $218,931 in small grants to community groups for projects that will provide public engagement around Rhode Island's 2025 Climate Action Strategy. The strategy will include multiple pathways and projects that will lead Rhode Island to a carbon-neutral future and aims to develop programs that reflect the goals and needs of communities throughout the state.


    Rhode Island continues to advance Environmental Justice to help ensure that RI's low-income communities and communities of color, which bear a disproportionate burden of the effects of climate change, are prepared and adequately resourced to withstand its impacts. The release of the 2025 Climate Action Strategy in late 2025 is the next significant step in RI’s implementation of the Act on Climate, which requires the state to incrementally reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to net-zero by 2050. Funded by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) through a US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Climate Pollution Reduction Grant awarded to DEM in 2023, these grants will be part of a larger public engagement effort around strategies to help RI households and municipalities benefit from federal and state programs to reduce the use of fossil fuels and cut pollution.  


    “With these engagement grants, we are reinforcing Rhode Island’s progress toward a more climate-resilient future,” said Governor Dan McKee. “I look forward to having DEM work collaboratively across all of these partners to help ensure that our climate planning processes are comprehensive and robust.”


    “Although climate change impacts every community in Rhode Island, it especially impacts low-income communities and communities of color,” said Senator Jack Reed. “This federal funding secured through the IRA will help engage our communities on creating pathways for a future of net-zero GHG emissions in the Ocean State.” 


    “To lead the planet to climate safety, we need all hands on deck,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. “Thanks to Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act, Rhode Island has more opportunities to engage with frontline communities and bring underrepresented voices to the work of improving mitigation efforts and lowering emissions.” 


    “We’re already feeling the effects of climate change in communities across Rhode Island, and we need to address this issue with the urgency it deserves,” said Congressman Seth Magaziner. “This funding will help ensure Rhode Island’s most vulnerable residents are protected from the impacts of climate change.” 


    “Advancing solutions to the climate crisis requires an active, inclusive conversation with all communities,” said Congressman Gabe Amo. “I am grateful for the resources of the historic Inflation Reduction Act to reach stakeholders where they are as we reduce emissions, cut pollution, and equitably meet our ambitious climate goals.” 


    “These grants support Rhode Island’s efforts to plan for and mitigate climate change while supporting a broad range of community needs,” said DEM Director Terry Gray. “By developing community-based solutions to the climate crisis, we can cut GHG emissions while also supporting the health and well-being of all Rhode Islanders.”



    The awarded recipients include: 


    African Alliance of Rhode Island: $34,405 to empower the community, particularly African immigrants and refugees to actively participate in the development of the 2025 Climate Action Plan and to develop an understanding of the link between climate justice and economic justice. 


    Youth in Action/Movement Education Outdoors: $40,000 to engage youth, families, and community stakeholders throughout the urban corridor of Rhode Island by hosting community convenings and retreats.  


    Green Energy Consumers Alliance, Inc.: $40,000 to host in-person and virtual educational events, two of which will be in Spanish. Events will be held in collaboration with local community partners and Roots 2 Empower in Pawtucket.  


    Roots 2 Empower: $40,000 to educate, engage, and support the leadership of low-income and justice-impacted families, including at-risk youth, in the tri-cities of Providence, Central Falls, and Pawtucket around climate resilience.  


    Building Futures: $24,526 to engage apprentices and journey-workers from environmental justice communities, construction industry stakeholders, and representatives of community organizations. The project will build climate strategy development into upcoming Building Green Futures programming and will engage with currently employed alumni.  


    East Bay Community Action: $40,000 to host events in each of the four east bay communities of East Providence, Barrington, Warren, and Bristol in partnership with the Health Equity Zones and several other community partners. 


    Funding for this program comes through a $3M EPA Climate Pollution Reduction Grant awarded to DEM in 2023, that was authorized under Section 60114 of the IRA. This grant is providing funding for the Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council (EC4) to develop a climate action plan that will detail programs and projects that allow Rhode Island to reach GHG reduction goals set by the Act on Climate.  


    For more information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow DEM on Facebook, Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM), or Instagram (@rhodeisland.dem) for timely updates.