The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Energy & Climate awarded $245,000 in grant funding to the cities of Wilmington and Newark and the towns of Frederica, Milton and Fenwick Island through the Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program.

The grants support the creation of local sustainability plans that will serve more than 100,000 Delaware residents. In addition to providing funding, DNREC staff will work with communities, providing technical assistance and guidance throughout the process.

“A community sustainability plan is a road map for strengthening a community to be a socially fair, economically strong and environmentally healthy place to live, work and play,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “Through this grant, DNREC is providing communities with financial support and professional resources needed to identify their sustainability goals and make a clear path for achieving them.”

DNREC invited local governments and community partners to apply for the Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program in February. Applicants were encouraged to think about challenges and solutions facing their communities, with particular consideration given to topics such as clean energy, climate change readiness, conservation and sustainable development.

The sustainability plans developed by the cities and towns that received the grants will identify ways to save energy, reduce pollution, increase green space and, overall, make communities healthy and livable. DNREC’s Sustainable Communities Planning Grants are integral for the cities and towns who received them in making those improvements a reality.

DNREC’s Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program is funded through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a regional market-based cap-and-trade program that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and of which Delaware is one of nine member states. Funds from the auction of carbon dioxide allowances are reinvested into energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction programs that benefit the wellbeing of citizens and the environment.

For more visit de.gov/sustainablecommunities or call 735-3480.