Coldwater Heritage Partnership (CHP) Grant Program - Planning & Implementation Grants

Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission

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Anticipated deadline: Jan 17, 2021

Grant amount: Up to US $8,000

Fields of work: Freshwater Conservation Fisheries Habitat & Ecosystem Restoration

Applicant type: Government Entity, Nonprofit, Indigenous Group, College / University

Funding uses: Project / Program, Education / Outreach, Research

Location of project: Pennsylvania

Location of residency: Pennsylvania

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Note: Applicants must contact the Coldwater Heritage Partnership office to ensure your proposed project meets the requirements of the program.          

Coldwater Heritage Partnership (CHP) 

The Coldwater Heritage Partnership (CHP) is a collaborative effort between the PA Fish & Boat Commission, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds and Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited.

The purpose of the Coldwater Heritage Partnership (CHP) is to provide leadership, coordination, technical assistance, and funding support for the evaluation, conservation and protection of Pennsylvania's coldwater streams. 

While Pennsylvania has over 86,000 miles of streams, only 30% are considered high-quality coldwater fisheries. Of that, less than 2% are designated as highly productive waters that contain naturally reproducing wild trout. The CHP's primary focus is to foster protection and improvement of these streams and their watersheds. 

Goals of the Program

  • Foster a greater public understanding of watershed characteristics and how they affect coldwater ecosystems.
  • Identify special areas of concern, such as areas with exceptional water quality with high potential for impacts.
  • Produce conservation plans that will lead to additional planning or implementation of projects that protect and enhance our coldwater ecosystems.
  • Provide technical assistance and financial opportunities to organizations dedicated to protecting coldwater ecosystems.

Two Types of Grants

Coldwater Conservation Planning Grants

Coldwater Conservation Plans are useful in building local awareness and support for the long-term stewardship of coldwater streams and their surrounding watersheds. The objective of these plans if to identify potential problems and opportunities for stream conservation. They often lead to more detailed watershed studies or projects, ultimately improving the health of coldwater ecosystems. 

Grants of approximately $5,000 are awarded for the creation of a Coldwater Conservation Plan that will ultimately conserve and protect the coldwater streams of Pennsylvania. This grant provides funding to: 

  • Gather existing data about the coldwater ecosystem.
  • Identify potential impacts, threats, problems and opportunities to the coldwater streams.
  • Formulate a plan of action for proposed conservation and protection strategies.
  • Build community awareness and support for the conservation of our coldwater streams. 

Coldwater Conservation Implementation Grants

Implementation grants should be projects identified in completed Coldwater Conservation, Watershed or Rivers Conservation Plans. Potential projects must enhance, conserve or protect the coldwater stream in which a coldwater conservation plan was originally completed. Other plans and reports created through another program or organization may be used as eligible documents for applying for an Implementation grant. 

Grants averaging approximately $7,000 may be used to pay for equipment, materials, meeting expenditures, construction activities and other services to implement recommendations.

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


  • Organizations that have 501(c)3 non-profit status in Pennsylvania, such as watershed associations, land trusts, Trout Unlimited chapters, conservancies, sportsmen groups, educational institutions and conservation organizations are eligible to apply.
  • Municipalities, municipal authorities, counties, and conservation districts may also apply.
  • Organizations that do not have 501(c)3 non-profit status must identify a non-profit organization that will administer the finances for the grant (a pass-through organization).


  • Planning Grants: Proposals that meet the following criteria will be given priority:
    • Project will occur in a watershed that contains streams with naturally reproducing trout populations.
      • The list of streams containing naturally reproducing trout can be found here.
    • Project will occur in a watershed listed as special protection waters within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Chapter 93 or have the potential to be upgraded.
      • This information can be found here
    • Streams and other water bodies in project area are generally open to the public for recreational activities including angling;
    • Project demonstrates significant partnerships, volunteer involvement, and promotes opportunities for citizen science and engagement; 
    • Local watershed organizations, TU chapters, county conservation districts or academic institutions (rather than consulting firms) take the leading role in the implementation of the project; and
    • Proposed project demonstrates benefits to coldwater fish species as well as to the local community’s economic, recreational, aesthetic characteristics or objectives. 
  • Preference will be given to applications that show cash or in-kind contributions (50:50 match is encouraged) such as volunteer time, donated services, or other donated items that directly tie to the development/implementation of the Coldwater Conservation Plan.