From The Sun Gazette – More than 70% of the project could be funded through FEMA grants helping communities prepare for natural disasters. Long before the phrase climate change existed, California has been locked in a cycle of floods and droughts. As the nation’s most diverse geographic state and its most populous, the extreme weather pattern, compounded by climate change, has made Californians more susceptible to a variety of natural disasters including drought, wildfires, floods, mudslides, earthquakes and rising sea levels. Working to reduce the long-term risks of natural disasters, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency of Services (Cal OES) announced last month it is applying for $250 million in federal funding for proactive projects preparing communities for emergencies instead of reacting to them. One project in Tulare County plans to reuse an excavated mining pit to recharge groundwater levels with floodwater, which would provide more water for irrigating crops and drinking water while also serving as a habitat for migratory birds. According to Cal OES, the project is requesting $16.27 million in federal funding for the nearly $23 million project. (more)