Sustainable Strategies DC
500 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Suite 600
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 261-9881
E-mail: info@StrategiesDC.com

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Sustainable Strategies DC is a government affairs & strategic consulting firm helping clients obtain resources for revitalization & tools for success in the green economy.

Based in Washington DC, Sustainable Strategies DC provides local governments, non-profits, coalitions, and green technology firms with strategic consulting, federal advocacy, funding support, grants advocacy, issue campaign management, environmental legal services, and other assistance.  Our focus areas include community revitalization, sustainable community development, infrastructure investment, environmental and clean energy technologies, clean transportation, brownfields redevelopment, and other sustainability issues.

Led by experienced sustainability advocates and government affairs experts, including CEO Matt Ward and President Andrew Seth, and boosted by strategic alliances with a team of specialized firms, Sustainable Strategies DC will help you obtain the results you seek on sustainable community and green technology issues. 

Looking for project funding?  Need support for a clean energy or environmental restoration project?  Seeking a public or private partner on your infrastructure project?  Trying to overcome tough legal, regulatory or environmental policy challenges?  Do you need a strategy or assessment of your project's opportunities and how you might navigate the federal process?  Want to get something done in Washington, DC?  The team at Sustainable Strategies DC has a solid track record of helping organizations create and implement strategies that can help you secure resources for revitalization and tools for success in the green economy.  Let us know how we can serve you.

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Hot News & Issues

Assistance Available for High-Poverty Communities
The Obama Administration has announced the second round of the Promise Zone competition, which invites urban, rural and tribal communities with high-poverty levels to compete for Promise Zone designation by putting forward a plan to partner with local business and community leaders to make evidence-based investments that reward hard work and expand opportunity. Promise Zone designation allows communities to receive preferred access to certain competitive federal investments, federal staff on the ground to help them implement their goals, and five full-time AmeriCorps VISTA members to recruit and manage volunteers to strengthen the capacity of Promise Zone partners. Earlier this year, the President announced partnerships with the first five Promise Zones – San Antonio, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Kentucky Highlands, and Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma – which are now implementing their plans to create jobs, improve educational opportunities, increase economic security, and reduce violent crime. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Agriculture intend to name at least eight more Promise Zones in this round. The deadline for applications is November 21, 2014. Click here for more information. Contact Andrew Seth at
(202) 261-9881 or andrew.seth@strategiesdc.com.

Army Corps Seeks Proposals for Water Projects
On June 10, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), which re-authorizes the key missions of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), including developing, maintaining and supporting the Nation’s economically vital waterway infrastructure. WRRDA 2014 establishes a new, more transparent process for future authorizations which requires that USACE publish a notice in the Federal Register to request proposals from non-federal interests for feasibility studies and modifications to authorized USACE water resources development projects or feasibility studies. Proposals should include the purpose of the project, estimated cost for the proposed study or modification, and expected benefits of the proposal. USACE will put together a publicly available annual report to be issued in February 2015 on Future Water Resources Development, identifying projects submitted by non-federal interests that align with the Corps’ mission and meet the criteria necessary for congressional authorization. The deadline for proposals is December 3, 2014. Click here for more information. Contact Andrew Seth at
(202) 261-9881 or andrew.seth@strategiesdc.com.

Grants Available to Meet Firefighting and Emergency Response Needs
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) help fire departments and non-affiliated emergency medical service organizations meet firefighting and emergency response needs. The AFG program has helped firefighters and other first responders to obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards. Approximately $305 million will be available in FY 2014. The deadline for applications is December 5, 2014. Click here for more information. Contact Andrew Seth at (202) 261-9881 or andrew.seth@strategiesdc.com.

Funding Available for Local Sustainability Projects
Wells Fargo and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has announced the Environmental Solutions for Communities grant program, which supports projects that link economic development and community well-being to the stewardship and health of the environment. Funding priorities for the program include: sustainable agricultural practices and private lands stewardship; conserving critical land and water resources; restoring and managing natural habitat, species and ecosystems; green infrastructure, renewable energy and energy efficiency; and broad-based citizen participation. Grants will range from $25,000 to $100,000. The deadline for applications is December 10, 2014. Click here for more information. Contact Andrew Seth at (202) 261-9881 or andrew.seth@strategiesdc.com.

Funding Available for Arts Engagement, Cultural Planning, and Design Projects
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has announced the availability of funding to support a variety of arts engagement, cultural planning, and design projects across the country in rural and urban communities of all sizes. Projects should represent the distinct character and quality of their communities, and must reflect a vision for enhancing the livability of the community, a systemic approach to equitable civic development, and support for artists, design professionals, and arts organizations by integrating the arts and design into the fabric of civic life. Arts engagement projects include festivals and performances that activate space not normally used for such purposes, innovative arts programming, and public art that improves public spaces. Cultural planning projects support the development of local support systems necessary for creative placemaking to succeed through creative asset mapping, cultural district planning, creative industry cluster/hub development, and development of community-wide strategies for public art. Design projects demonstrate artistic excellence while supporting the development of creative places, including design of public spaces, parks, plazas, infrastructure, bridges, and rehearsal, studio, or live/work spaces for artists. NEA will award grants up to $200,000, requiring a 1:1 match. The deadline for applications is December 15, 2014. Click here for more information. Contact Andrew Seth at
(202) 261-9881 or andrew.seth@strategiesdc.com.

Funding to Assess and Cleanup Brownfields
The Environmental Protection Agency has announced its Brownfields Assessment and Cleanup grants. EPA’s Brownfields program provides funds to empower states, communities, tribes, and nonprofits to prevent, inventory, assess, clean up, and reuse brownfield sites. Assessment grants (up to $200,000 for three years; coalitions are funded up to $600,000 over three years) provide funding to inventory, characterize, assess, and conduct planning and community involvement activities related to brownfield sites. Cleanup grants (up to $200,000 for three years) provide funding to carry out cleanup activities at brownfields sites., and require a 20% cost share. The deadline for applications is December 19, 2014. Click here for more information. Contact Andrew Seth at
(202) 261-9881 or andrew.seth@strategiesdc.com.

Technical Assistance Available to Create Livable Communities
Livability Solutions partners, which include Project for Public Spaces and other leading experts in creating sustainable communities, have announced the availability of free technical assistance workshops funded by the EPA's Office of Sustainable Communities Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program. Livability Solutions partners will lead one- and two- day targeted workshops on topics including:

  • Creating Walkable and Bikeable Communities;
  • Creating Great Public Places and Walkable Destinations;
  • Supporting Green Infrastructure and Urban Agriculture;
  • Meaningfully Engaging Citizens and Stakeholders;
  • Supporting Smart Transportation Investments and Strategies; and
  • Improving Access to Healthy Foods.
Through these workshops, communities will learn how to use tools, such as walkability audits, green infrastructure valuation guides, shared use agreements, and community image surveys, to help enhance livability, create lasting economic and environmental improvements, and improve public and social health. Livability Solutions partners expect to award free assistance to eight to ten communities this year. The deadline for applications is January 5, 2015. Click here for more information. Contact Andrew Seth at (202) 261-9881 or andrew.seth@strategiesdc.com.

Grants Available for Stormwater Management, Habitat Restoration
The National Association of Counties, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Wildlife Habitat Council, in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, USDA Forest Service, Southern Company, FedEx and PG&E, are seeking applications for the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program. Approximately $2.1 million will be available in 2015, and grants will range from $20,000 to $50,000. Projects should engage diverse partners for wetland, forest, riparian and coastal habitat restoration, stormwater management, outreach and stewardship with a particular focus on water quality, watersheds and habitats. Communities must provide a 1:1 match. The deadline for applications is February 3, 2015. Click here for more information. Contact Andrew Seth at
(202) 261-9881 or andrew.seth@strategiesdc.com.

$76 Million Available to Transform Distressed Communities
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants help to transform distressed neighborhoods using place-based strategies to address the interconnected challenges of poor quality housing, inadequate schools, poor health, high crime, and lack of capital. Implementation Grants provide support to communities that have undergone a comprehensive local planning process and are moving forward with their neighborhood transformation plan. HUD anticipates awarding 4 grants not to exceed $30 million each. Eligible applicants are public housing authorities, local governments, nonprofits, tribal entities, and for-profit developers that apply jointly with a public entity. The deadline for applications is February 9, 2015. Click here for more information. Contact Andrew Seth at
(202) 261-9881 or andrew.seth@strategiesdc.com.

Funding Available for Green Infrastructure
Since 2009, states have been required to spend a portion of their Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) dollars on projects that address green infrastructure, water or energy efficiency improvements, or environmentally innovative activities. In FY 2014, Congress and President Obama have provided another $1.45 billion to capitalize the CWSRF program, and mandated that no less than 10 percent of these funds be dedicated to the Green Project Reserve, or approximately $145 million nationwide. The state agencies that administer CWSRF programs have developed different methods to disperse Green Project Reserve dollars. Contact Sustainable Strategies DC for help in navigating how Green Project Reserve dollars are spent in your state. Click here for more information. Contact Andrew Seth at
(202) 261-9881 or andrew.seth@strategiesdc.com.

Bonds Available for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Projects
In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allocated $3.2 billion in bond volume for the Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECB). QECBs are debt instruments that states, local governments and tribes can issue at extremely low rates to fund energy conservation projects, including energy efficiency improvements, renewable energy installations, green community programs, and public education campaigns. Each state received a QECB allocation proportionate to its population, which was subsequently sub-allocated to their largest local governments (cities and counties of 100,000 population or more). While a number of localities have successfully used QECBs, much of the $3.2 billion allocation remains unissued. In most states, cities and counties interested in funding energy projects with QECBs can still tap into unused allocations.
Click here for more information. Contact Andrew Seth at (202) 261-9881 or andrew.seth@strategiesdc.com for additional details.

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