The San Diego Foundation and the International Community Foundation granted more than $294,000 to four non-profit organizations under its newly-formed Binational Resilience Initiative, which aims to preserve the Calif-Baja coast for future generations
Marisa Quiroz, President, and CEO of the International Community Foundation said that the U.S.-Mexico border region is home to incredible innovation, leadership, resourcefulness, and creativity.
“Together our communities face multiple environmental, economic, and social challenges that are further exacerbated by the impacts of a changing climate,” Quiroz said.“Jobs, housing, transportation, a healthy coastline, and access to nature are all climate issues. We are excited to work with San Diego Foundation to continue to support cross-border relationships that uplift and strengthen the shared resilience of our region.”
UC San Diego’s SCRIPPS California Sea Grant Program was the top grant recipient, having received 100,000 to build science and data collection capacity to support the coastal resilience needs of the San Diego-Baja community. Imperial Beach-based Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association received $94,805 to improve coastal resilience through nature-based solutions and to pilot an infrastructure project in Tijuana.
Both Via International and WILDCOAST received $50,000. Via International aims to strengthen binational, regional leadership by promoting sustainable development in underresourced communities inequitably impacted by climate change.
WILDCOAST will use the grant to reduce plastic pollution in the bi-national lower Tijuana River Watershed.
According to Mark Stuart, President, and CEO of the San Diego Foundation, the capacity of the Cali-Baja region to adapt and persist through changing circumstances does not stop at the border.
“We are committed to partnering with our colleagues at International Community Foundation to address our cross-border region’s climate vulnerabilities by empowering binational collaborations between civil organizations, scientists, community leaders, and other stakeholders,” Stuart said.
According to the SDF, the Cali-Baja coastline, which expands from Oceanside to Ensenada, is the largest economic zone along the U.S.-Mexico border, generating a regional GDP of $250 billion, an estimated $70 billion in cross-border trade flows, and more than 90 million people crossing the border each year. The Binational Resilience Initiative is funded by the Builders Initiative and Alumbra Innovations foundation, which began the initiative with a combined $1,975,000.
“To sustain the resilience of the region, the initiative will pioneer a binational model that helps the region adapt to the impacts of climate change by leveraging existing cross-border connectivity of its social, economic, energy, freshwater, and coastal resources,” the SDF wrote in a statement.