The second step to accessing funding and financing options is to select priority projects from the full list compiled in Step 1.

To identify municipal priorities stakeholders should develop criteria for summarizing and comparing options, e.g.,

  • Project readiness
  • Feasibility for implementation
  • Municipal goals for “early wins” or longer-term planning
  • Whether the project achieves multiple benefits, e.g., stormwater management, flooding resilience, habitat restoration, and recreation
  • Whether the project incorporates green infrastructure and/or nature-based solutions for coastal resilience or stormwater management
  • Does the project advance equity goals or provide benefits to residents or neighborhoods disproportionately affected or susceptible to environmental and health impacts

This process can also identify any key considerations around staff capacity to implement and administer different funding opportunities and programs (e.g., the people, time, and money likely to be associated with both the pursuit of funding or financing and the project’s implementation).

For example, Kewaunee, Wisconsin, selected two closely related priority projects from their updated Harbor Master Plan. These projects were selected because they included green infrastructure / nature-based solutions; address multiple challenges, e.g., stormwater management, habitat restoration, and shoreline rehabilitation; and provide multiple priority benefits, e.g., recreation and accessibility, coastal resilience. These projects were also priorities because they offer an opportunity for an early “win” given completing the projects had high feasibility.

This prioritization process will help municipalities focus their funding and financing efforts on the most pressing projects that will provide the highest value to the community. To assist with this project prioritization process, download this customizable Project List & Priority Template.

Once priority projects are selected, Step 3 is to select priority funding opportunities based on project goals. Already know your priority funding options? Check out Step 4 – Track Priority Funding Opportunities to access resources for tracking deadlines and application requirements for specific funding options. Quick access to Steps 5-7 can be found here.