NH Watershed Assistance Grants

New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services


Grant amount: Up to US $450,000

Next anticipated deadline: Sep 5, 2018 1:00pm PDT (Letter of inquiry)

Later anticipated deadlines: Oct 8, 2018 2:00pm PDT (Full proposal)

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: New Hampshire

Location of residency: New Hampshire

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Overview:

Each year NHDES solicits projects to address nonpoint source (NPS) pollution through the development and implementation of watershed-based plans in priority watersheds. Projects must comprehensively address NPS problems on a watershed basis, and must have a quantitative way to assess progress and determine success. The watershed-based plan must have a clear water quality goal. Funded projects must make reasonable progress toward achieving the water quality goal. 

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) is pleased to announce the availability of Watershed Assistance Grants to support local initiatives to restore impaired waters or protect high quality waters. Funds for NHDES Watershed Assistance Grants are appropriated through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act.

Approximately $450,000 will be available for Watershed Assistance projects this year, pending EPA and State approvals and federal budget appropriations. Although EPA guidance requires that a “substantial majority” of funds be used to restore impaired waters, NHDES and EPA have reached an agreement to provide a significant portion of Watershed Assistance Grant funding toward the development of watershed-based plans during this grant cycle. Although there is no minimum or maximum limit on project budgets and grant requests, NHDES typically selects five to eight projects each year. 

Project Eligibility

Projects must address watersheds identified as priority watersheds, or implement existing watershed-based plans that meet the EPA Watershed Plan Elements (a) through (i) criteria (in more detail here)

  • Identify pollution causes and sources:
    • An identification of the causes and sources or groups of similar sources that will need to be controlled to achieve the load reductions estimated in this watershed-based plan (and to achieve any other watershed goals identified
  • Estimate pollution reductions needed:
    • An estimate of the load reductions expected for the management measures described under (c).
  • Actions needed to reduce pollution:
    • A description of the NPS management measures that will need to be implemented to achieve the load reduction or habitat restoration scope estimated under paragraph (b) above (as well as to achieve other watershed goals identified in this watershed based plan), and an identification (using a map or a description) of the critical areas in which those measures will be needed to implement this plan.
  • Costs and authority:
    • An estimate of the amounts of technical and financial assistance needed, associated costs, and/or the sources and authorities that will be relied upon, to implement this plan.
  • Outreach and education:
    • An information/education component that will be used to enhance public understanding of the project and encourage their early and continued participation in selecting, designing, and implementing NPS management measures.
  • Schedule:
    • A schedule for implementing the NPS management measures identified in this plan that is reasonably expeditious.
  • Milestones:
    • A description of interim, measurable milestones for determining whether NPS management measures or other control actions are being implemented.
  • Success indicators and evaluation:
    • A set of criteria that can be used to determine whether loading reductions or habitat restoration is being achieved over time and substantial progress is being made towards attaining water quality standards and, if not, the criteria for determining whether this watershed-based plan needs to be revised.
  • Monitoring plan:
    • A monitoring component to evaluate the effectiveness of the implementation efforts over time, measured against the criteria established under item (h) immediately above. 

Eligible Projects are divided into two basic categories: 

  • Planning Projects develop a new watershed-based plan that meets the EPA Watershed Plan Elements (a) through (i) listed in Attachment A; or update an existing plan to include each Element (a) through (i).
  • Implementation Projects implement one or more components of an existing a – i watershed-based plan or an approved alternative plan. Examples of potential alternative plans are noted below.

Alternatives - Projects may be eligible for funding without the required (a) through (i) watershed-based plan elements in limited circumstances such as projects which implement Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) plans, or where the impairment is not specific to a pollutant, e.g., stream restoration through selective dam removal. Alternative plans must be pre-approved by NHDES and EPA. Please contact NHDES staff as listed in Section III to discuss. 

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

Eligibility:

  • Governmental subdivisions and non-profit organizations are eligible to receive Watershed Assistance Grants. Examples include:
    • Municipalities
    • Regional Planning Commissions
    • Non-profit Organizations
      • Non-profit organizations must be registered with the N.H. Secretary of State
    • County Conservation Districts
    • State Agencies
    • Watershed Associations
    • Lake or Pond Associations
    • Water Suppliers
    • Designated River Local Advisory Committees
  • Watershed Assistance Grants must address specific water quality problems or threats and result in quantifiable water quality improvement or protection activities.
  • Grantees must provide matching funds of at least 40% of the total project cost (not 40% of the grant amount requested) in non-federal funds and/or in-kind services. 
  • Indirect costs shall not exceed 10 percent. Indirect costs include two broad categories: "Facilities" and "Administration."

Preferences:

Ineligibility:

  • MS4 Projects may be Ineligible -
    • Projects must not use grant funds to implement requirements of a Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit, the MultiSector General permit, or the Construction General Permit.
    • Although EPA project guidelines clarify that this provision does not apply to draft permits, it is anticipated the 2013 draft permit and 2015 draft permit sections will be finalized during this grant cycle.
    • EPA guidance also clarifies that 319 funds may be used to fund any urban stormwater activities that do not directly implement a final MS4 permit.
    • Therefore, we anticipate that some projects in MS4s will still be eligible. Please contact us if your proposed project area is within a regulated MS4 prior to completing the pre-proposal application to discuss eligibility.