Bay Mini-Grant Program

Tampa Bay Estuary Program (TBEP)

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Grant amount: Up to US $5,000

Anticipated deadline: Sep 16, 2020 12:00pm PDT

Applicant type: For-Profit Business Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Project / Program

Location of project: Counties in Florida: Hillsborough County, Manatee County, Pasco County, Pinellas County, Polk County

Location of residency: Counties in Florida: Hillsborough County, Manatee County, Pasco County, Pinellas County, Polk County

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The Tampa Bay Estuary Program (TBEP) is a partnership of local governments and state and federal environmental agencies that was formed in 1990 to develop a conservation and management plan for Tampa Bay. In addition to conducting research and implementing strategies for bay restoration, TBEP also develops programs to educate citizens about ways to prevent water pollution and protect Tampa Bay.

The Bay Grants program supports community-based restoration and education projects focusing on the Tampa Bay Estuary. Empowering citizens through programs such as this helps foster an environmental ethic and promote community stewardship of the bay.

A guiding objective of Bay Grants is to mobilize as many segments of the public as possible. The Tampa Bay Estuary Program therefore encourages applicants to develop proposals in conjunction with clubs and neighborhood associations, business and trade organizations, community and environmental groups, and school districts.

Projects must address bay problems and priority issues as identified in the Proposal Categories listed below. They should promote public involvement in solutions for bay protection and restoration. Activity must be focused in Hillsborough, Manatee or Pinellas counties. While projects by students and for students will be considered, they must include a direct means for adult or youth education, or a direct ecological benefit to the bay watershed; activities that exclusively benefit a single class will not be funded. 

Proposal Categories

Of special interest are projects that foster creative partnerships (projects that pair groups such as commercial/recreational fishermen, developers/environmentalists). 

Water Quality 

  • Examples: environmental landscaping practices; "best management practices" for agriculture; innovative retention/filtering techniques

Habitat Restoration and Protection 

  • Examples: restoration of natural shorelines/enhancement of seawalls; projects addressing seagrasses, mangroves, coastal and freshwater wetlands, and other estuarine habitats; marine debris reduction/recycling initiatives

Fish and Wildlife Conservation 

  • Examples: awareness of threats to wildlife from monofilament line; protection of seagrass beds; education on fish and wildlife habitat

Bay Awareness and Education 

  • Examples: programs for schools, YMCA groups, Scouts or other youth organizations; programs that directly involve youth in solutions to bay problems; programs directed at disadvantaged youth

Dredged Material Management or Spill Prevention 

  • Examples: volunteer oil spill response teams; beneficial or innovative uses of dredged materials

Invasive Species

  • Examples: Eradication of invasive plants or animals; education about harmful aquatic invasive species and how to prevent their spread

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Groups and organizations from Hillsborough, Manatee and Pinellas counties as well as sections of Pasco and Polk counties may apply. 
  • Both non-profit and for-profit organizations are eligible. 
  • Projects must take place within the Tampa Bay watershed: Activity must be focused in Hillsborough, Manatee, Pinellas and sections of Pasco and Polk counties. 


  • Projects or campaigns that have long-term applicability, and that may serve as models for addressing bay issues, will receive priority consideration.
  • Matching funds are not required, but proposals showing matching fund commitment through in-kind services such as volunteer hours are encouraged.


  • Proposals seeking funds for ongoing administrative support of established programs will not receive consideration.
  • Activities that exclusively benefit a single class will not be funded. 
  • Costs not allowed include:
    • reimbursement for costs outside the grant's scope of work,
    • purchase of commercial software and hardware,
    • contingency funds,
    • depreciation,
    • entertainment,
    • purchase or printing of t-shirts or other clothing,
    • fines and penalties,
    • bad debts,
    • interest and financial costs of borrowing,
    • attendance at conferences and meetings,
    • lobbying expenses.