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Thursday, March 7, 2019

April 5 deadline for grants to protect coastal watersheds

By ecoRI News staff

Image result for Rhode Island shoreline restorationThe history of southeast New England is bound to its unique environment: the life-sustaining fisheries of its coastal waters; the rivers that powered the growth of its cities; the forests and fields that give the region’s inland and rural communities their special character.

Today and in the future, a clean environment is more important than ever, as humans work to adapt to the realities of climate change.

Throughout southeast New England, communities, nonprofits, and organizations, both big and small, are working to restore clean water, healthy watersheds, and resilient shorelines. 

To support and strengthen this work, Restore America’s Estuaries and the Environmental Protection Agency recently announced the availability of $2.3 million in funding through 2019 Southeast New England Program (SNEP) watershed grants.

These grants are available to municipalities, state agencies, tribes, public commissions, nonprofits, and academic institutions. Most awards will be in the $100,000 to $500,000 range. Grantees must provide additional non-federal matching funds, in either cash or in-kind services, totaling at least 25 percent of the overall project cost.

To apply, click here. The deadline to submit pre-proposals is April 5 at 5 p.m. Grants will be awarded within the geographic region from Westerly, R.I., to Pleasant Bay, Mass., on Cape Cod, including the waters of Narragansett Bay and Buzzards Bay, and their watersheds as far north as Worcester and Brockton, Mass.

Restore America’s Estuaries will host informational meetings for potential applicants on the following dates: March 19 in Providence; March 20 in Taunton, Mass.; and March 21 in East Falmouth, Mass. It also will hold webinars on March 12 and 14.

This year’s SNEP watershed grants will fund programs and projects that address one or more of the following priorities: 

  • reduce nutrients and nutrient impacts on coastal ecosystems; 
  • develop and implement innovative approaches and practices that provide multiple benefits for communities and ecosystems; 
  • establish and support sustainable partnerships; 
  • foster environmental equity and the restoration of urban landscapes; 
  • promote peer-to-peer learning pertaining to clean water, habitat, and ecosystem restoration; 
  • foster adaptation to changing climate and environmental conditions; 
  • measure and assess the effectiveness of environmental programs and projects; and 
  • build upon or implement existing watershed, water quality, or other environmental plans.