Chesapeake & Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund: Cost-Effective Non-Point Source Pollution Reduction Grants

Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Grant amount: More than US $500,000

Next anticipated deadline: Jan 19, 2019 2:00pm PST (Letter of inquiry)

Later anticipated deadlines: Mar 30, 2019 2:00pm PDT (Full proposal)

Applicant type: Indigenous Group Government Entity College / University Nonprofit

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Maryland

Location of residency: Maryland

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Maryland’s Chesapeake & Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund (Trust Fund) is seeking to fund the most cost-effective, efficient nonpoint nutrient and sediment reduction project proposals in geographic targeted areas of the State. The Trust Fund encourages multi-year, multi-partner projects that will achieve the greatest reduction per dollar invested.

The Trust Fund was established to reduce the most nonpoint source pollutants from reaching the mainstem of the Chesapeake and Coastal Bays. Partnering with USGS, the targeting map was developed to identify those areas of the state that deliver the highest load to the mainstem of the Chesapeake Bay. For that reason, projects in High and Medium priority areas are reviewed most favorably. However, the Trust Fund also is seeking the most efficient and cost-effective projects in the watershed. If you have a highly efficient and cost-effective project in a low priority area, we encourage applicants to submit a letter of intent and discuss the project with a Trust Fund project manager.

The intent of the solicitation is to identify large scale projects that will reduce significant nonpoint source nutrient and sediment loads; therefore, the Trust Fund targets projects that are $500,000 or greater. If you have a project with significant impact but is below this minimum request by a marginal amount, please submit a letter of intent and discuss the project with a Trust Fund project manager. For  projects that are significantly less, we encourage applicants to look into some of the smaller grant opportunities offered through Chesapeake Bay Trust, among others. 

Unless otherwise authorized by DNR, all payments to grantees under this Grant will be made on a reimbursable basis. However, DNR has been able to work with organizations to work out an alternative payment schedule to assist when there are funding issues on a case by case basis. 

Projects are selected using three main criteria; cost-effectiveness, geographic targeting, readiness and ability to proceed. During reviews, the technical review panel also considers the long term protection and maintenance of the proposed project(s), project need, general quality of proposal, and likelihood of success. 

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


  • Funding is available to local governments and non-governmental organizations, including bi-county agencies, counties, municipalities, forest conservancy district boards, soil/water conservation districts, resource conservation and development councils, academic institutions and nonprofit organizations having a demonstrated ability to implement non-point source pollution control projects.
    • Individual private or commercial landowners; consultants, contractors, and other for-profit entities with demonstrated restoration experience are encouraged to apply in partnership with an entity identified above.



  • This funding should not be used for any of the following:
    • Food, refreshments, and T-shirts
    • Promotional collateral, ex. pens, key chains, etc.
    • Endowments, deficit financing, building campaigns, annual giving, research, fund raising or venture capital
    • Political lobbying
    • Reimbursement for a project that has been completed or materials that have been purchased prior to the award or project period
  • This funding can be used for the following, but are considered to be programmatic expenses and should be covered by the allowed 1.5% administrative fee:
    • Communication items (tablets, cell phones, computers, data plans, software, etc.)
    • Rental fees associated with office space, office equipment and/or vehicles
    • Lodging, per diem, conference registration, etc.
  • We encourage you to reach out to DNR staff if you are unclear of what is and what is not allowable.