South L.A. among communities awarded state grants for climate projects
In the latest installment of California’s growing list of climate change programs, city and county officials in the South Bay area are getting a share of the benefits — although still without funding from the state.
They have been awarded $100,000 grants through the state Department of Water Resources for programs that will help improve the quality of air, promote sustainability and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in cities and counties.
The grants were announced Thursday.
In total, $500,000 was set aside for California municipalities and counties across the state, and the city of Los Angeles received $100,000. In total, $1.8 million is available for projects to reduce and prevent climate change.
The programs are meant to expand the use of local climate data that’s available on websites such as CAISO and the California Air Resources Board.
“The data is really useful for assessing the climate in a city or county,” said Amy Zahn, coordinator of the South Bay Climate Strategy, who along with city leaders is coordinating the effort.
“We’re looking at it in a variety of ways.”
The information that is provided allows local governments to identify areas or buildings that may have a lower risk of air-quality problems, such as fine particulates or smog-producing ozone, Zahn said.
In addition, the data that was collected will help inform what might be the best way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Zahn said.
The state and the city want to see that municipalities in the region are able to use the data for a variety of climate-related decisions, she said.
Officials from South Bay cities and counties also say they are eager to incorporate the data and information to better understand the region and the effects of climate change.
“It’s our goal to become one of the better models of how climate impacts us,” said South Bay City Councilman Jim Righeimer, who is overseeing the efforts with Zahn.
The state has been encouraging local governments to collect, analyze and report on climate-related information for more than a decade, officials with the state Department of Water Resources said in a statement.
“The state will continue to work with the South Bay communities to improve air quality, reduce greenhouse