Today, the Department of Commerce and NOAA announced a $5 million funding opportunity through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to help communities address extreme heat, which is growing in intensity due to the climate crisis and affecting millions of Americans.
Extreme heat disproportionately affects our nation’s underserved communities and is one of the deadliest extreme weather events in the U.S. This competitively awarded funding will support two new virtual research centers that will provide actionable, place-based information that communities and individuals can use as climate change makes heat waves more frequent and intense.
“Millions of Americans are being affected by extreme heat, which is growing in intensity due to the climate crisis — that’s why President Biden’s commitment to tackling climate change and helping communities prepare for the impacts is so urgent,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, these new virtual centers will work to provide underserved communities with locally-tailored information so they’re equipped with critical resources to better beat the heat and stay safe.”
Heat-related impacts are preventable with proper planning, education and action. The new virtual research centers, funded through the Inflation Reduction Act, will provide science-based support to community and government entities working to address climate and health issues. Specifically, NOAA is seeking applicants to establish the following two new centers:
- Center for Community Climate and Health Observations, Monitoring and Evaluation. This center will provide technical and other assistance for community science projects designed to promote equitable heat resilience.
- Center for Climate and Health Assessments, Policy and Practice. This center will improve science and practice by learning from, scaling up and openly sharing approaches, policies, protocols and lessons to benefit all heat-affect communities.
“NOAA is seeking applicants to build virtual centers of excellence in the field of heat health,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. “These new centers will advance President Biden’s environmental justice goals by improving services to disadvantaged communities that are overburdened by extreme heat, heat waves, and related climate-fueled conditions.”
The funding competition to create these centers of excellence will be managed by the National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS), which is led by NOAA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and managed by NOAA’s Climate Program Office. NOAA and the CDC created NIHHIS in 2015 as an interagency integrated information system. NIHHIS builds societal understanding of heat risks, develops science-based solutions and improves capacity, communication and decision-making to reduce heat-related illness and death. NIHHIS works with researchers, scientists and practitioners to build resilience to extreme heat in communities across the U.S. and internationally.
This program is a part of President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which is advancing environmental justice by ensuring that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments reach disadvantaged communities that are marginalized and overburdened by pollution and underinvestment.
Letters of intent are due on Monday, August 14, 2023 at 5 p.m. ET. Full applications are due on Monday, October 16, 2023 at 5 p.m. ET.