MassBays Healthy Estuaries Grants

Massachusetts Department of Energy & Environmental Affairs (EEA)

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Next anticipated deadline: Apr 2, 2021 9:00am PDT (Pre proposal)

Later anticipated deadlines: May 1, 2021 1:00pm PDT (Full proposal)

Grant amount: Up to US $100,000

Fields of work: Water Resource Management Marine Biology Habitat & Ecosystem Restoration Ecology Limnology Oceanography Marine/Ocean Conservation Freshwater Conservation Show all

Applicant type: Government Entity, Nonprofit

Funding uses: Research, Project / Program

Location of project: Counties in Massachusetts: Barnstable County, Essex County, Norfolk County, Plymouth County, Suffolk County

Location of residency: Massachusetts

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With funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under Section 320 of the Clean Water Act, MassBays provides small grants to nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, and municipalities for projects that advance progress toward the goals of our Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan. We seek proposals that will fill in gaps in knowledge about our assessment areas, demonstrate new approaches to monitoring or protecting near-shore habitats, or lay the groundwork for future restoration.

Through the Healthy Estuaries Grant Program, MassBays will provide funding and technical support to those working in near-shore waters and coastal communities from Salisbury to Provincetown to:

  • Characterize estuary, rocky intertidal, and beach habitats and biological communities.
  • Document the impacts of human and natural stressors on those systems.
  • Evaluate effectiveness of habitat restoration efforts already implemented.
  • Design and scope larger restoration projects for subsequent state or federal funding, especially in underserved communities.

Overview and Goals

MassBays is a United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) National Estuary Partnership dedicated to protecting, restoring, and enhancing the estuarine ecosystems of Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays. Working toward our vision of sustainable estuarine ecosystems that support the life and communities dependent upon them, MassBays grant funds are dedicated to support local progress on protecting, restoring, and enhancing estuarine habitats (e.g. seagrass beds, salt marshes, beaches, and rocky shores) and to inform management efforts to reduce stressors (e.g. climate change, wastewater, stormwater, habitat fragmentation) impacting these habitats.

With the FY20 Request for Response (RFR), we are seeking projects focused on knowledge gaps revealed by MassBays’ ongoing efforts to characterize the great variability across our significant planning area (see Section 2.B). We seek information to support MassBays-wide planning, as well as local, embayment-specific priorities identified by communities. Projects must include a robust project evaluation process with measurable outcomes that will track progress toward short- and long-term project goals. 

A requirement of this RFR is the submission of a pre-proposal. The pre-proposal is the first step in which respondents will be required to provide a brief description of the purpose and goals of the study, a summary approach and total proposed budget. Upon selection by a Review Committee, proponents of successful pre-proposals will be invited to submit a full proposal. Guidelines for submission of both the pre-proposal and full proposal are provided in Section 3. 

Eligible projects

Eligible projects include research, monitoring and data analysis, and planning initiatives that advance MassBays’ priorities which focus on protecting, restoring, and enhancing coastal habitats, including shellfish and seagrass beds, salt marshes, beaches, and rocky shores and the communities that these habitats support. Topics of specific interest include identifying and documenting impacts of climate change and sea level rise on natural systems and water quality in the 68 delineated coastal watersheds of the MassBays region. Proponents must demonstrate that projects will inform and advance near-term estuarine and coastal management initiatives consistent with the goals of the CCMP. For more details see Section 2B.

See complete 2020 Request for Resposes

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


  • Eligible applicants:
    • This solicitation is open to Massachusetts municipalities, Massachusetts 501(c)(3 organizations, regional planning agencies, and nonprofit research institutions, and institutions of higher learning in Massachusetts.
    • See further detail in Section 2A.


  • Projects that provide additional match will receive additional consideration (see Match Requirement in Section 2D).


  • Projects not eligible for funding under this RFR include:
    • Projects required as part of compensatory mitigation or enforcement action;
    • Lobbying or political activities