NJ Water Quality Restoration Grants for Nonpoint Source Pollution

State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

Grant amount: Up to US $3,000,000

Anticipated deadline: Aug 31, 2019 2:00pm PDT

Applicant type: Government Entity College / University Nonprofit

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

Location of project: Ocean County, New Jersey

Location of residency: New Jersey

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2018 Water Quality Restoration Grants: Barnegat Bay Watershed Request for Proposals

The State Fiscal Year 2018 (SFY18) Request for Proposals (RFP) solicits applications for eligible nonpoint source (NPS) pollution control projects to be considered for funding under the Water Quality Restoration Grant Program. The RFP establishes the criteria for project eligibility based on federal requirements and State priorities; identifies specific administrative, procedural, and programmatic requirements for applicants; and provides timetables and deadlines for the grant application and related decision-making processes. Up to $10M in grants are available in SFY 18 for watershed restoration, enhancement, and protection strategies that address NPS pollution within the Barnegat Bay Watershed.

Read the full RFP here.

Request for Proposals

Grants awarded from this RFP will be for projects within the Barnegat Bay Watershed; project schedules from start to finish should be no more than three (3) years. The Department’s water quality restoration grant opportunities in the Barnegat Bay Watershed are summarize below and detailed in full here.

  • Watershed Restoration / Protection Plans (up to $1.7M)
    • Implement the Metedeconk River Watershed Protection and Restoration Plan (up to $300,000) -
    • Develop Toms River Watershed Restoration Plan (up to $400,000)
    • Develop other Barnegat Bay Tributary Restoration / Protection Plan(s) (up to $1M) 
  • Implement projects to restore wetlands, create living shorelines, and promote resiliency (up to $3M)
  • Develop and Implement Education / Stewardship Programs (up to $500,000)
    • “Bay-Friendly” Stewardship Program (up to $100,000
    • Municipal Stormwater Outreach (up to $100,000)
    • Sea Nettle Outreach and Assistance (up to $300,000)
  • Expanded Stormwater Mapping to Address Water Quality in the Barnegat Bay Watershed (up to $400,000)
  • Stormwater Basin Retrofits (up to $3M)
  • Source Tracking – Expanded Illicit Connection Identification and Elimination (up to $600,000)
  • Implement Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) restoration to improve ecological health and reduce turbidity throughout the Barnegat Bay (up to $300,000)
  • Execute Shellfish Enhancement within harvestable but nutrient-impaired portions of Barnegat Bay to facilitate nutrient reduction (up to $300,000)
  • Any other project which may have not been included above, found to be consistent with the Barnegat Bay Restoration, Enhancement, and Protection Strategy (up to $200,000)

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


  • Eligible Applicants: Applicants that are eligible to receive Water Quality Restoration grant funds include:
    • Municipal planning departments or boards, health departments;
    • County planning departments or boards, health departments;
    • Designated water quality management planning agencies;
    • State, regional, and local government entities within New Jersey;
    • State government agencies, universities, and colleges;
    • Interstate agencies of which New Jersey is a member; and
    • Watershed and water resource associations and other local nonprofit organizations recognized by the Internal Revenue Service under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Eligible Applicant Capabilities: In order for eligible applicants to qualify for Water Quality Restoration grant funds, they must possess all of the following, as demonstrated through information provided in the proposal:
    • Staff and resources with the capability, expertise, and environmental experience to perform the proposed work;
    • Applicants must demonstrate that they have all the necessary resources and ability to perform the proposed project in a well-organized, concise, and detailed project proposal.
      • If the submitting applicant or project partners have previously received funding from the Department, past performance will be taken into consideration;
    • The ability and authority to implement the proposed project(s);
    • The ability to ensure project implementation as well as long-term operation and maintenance/management of a constructed project; and
    • Although a match is not required for projects to be funded, monetary matches and inkind services increase a project’s scoring (see Appendix B, Project Evaluation Criteria), thereby, increasing the chances of the proposal being selected for an award. This type of support demonstrates a long-term commitment to overall project success. The percentage of matching funds to be supplied by the applicant will also be a factor. Bundling funding sources may improve overall ranking, for example, including low-interest and principal-forgiveness (grant-like) loans through the New Jersey Water Bank
    • in a proposal will improve the overall ranking
  • Eligible Activities: In addition to meeting the specifics of the grant opportunities described in Section 4 above, eligible projects must be:
    • Well-designed to achieve the project goal of NPS pollution reduction and presented in the proper sequence of events (goal/objective/task);
    • Consistent with existing local, state, and federal requirements and can obtain permits needed to implement the project;
    • Viable and readily implementable (shovel ready);
    • For proposals that do not include construction (e.g. planning, outreach and education), the proposal must include deliverables such as schedules, reports, training/outreach products, and inventories;
    • Able to be completed in a 3-year timeframe; and
    • Located on public property or on private property with an executed agreement with the property owner


  • Ineligible Activities :Water Quality Restoration grant funds may not be used for any of the following purposes:
    • Projects that do not control the input of NPS pollutants either through the construction of a Best Management Practice or through education that changes behavior or promotes stewardship;
    • Purchase of land or major capital improvements;
    • Purchase of promotional items, such as key chains, mugs, flying discs, etc.;
    • Department permit fees;
    • Maintenance activities such as street sweeping and catch-basin cleaning;
    • Projects which address symptoms rather than causes or sources of NPS pollution (e.g. weed harvesting without BMPs to control nutrient inputs);
    • Projects that are not related to stormwater discharges or NPS pollution;
    • Dredging of lakes or ponds, except when dredging is needed to remove sediment after all causes or sources of NPS pollution have been addressed; and
    • For 319(h) grants only, the implementation of any permit or permit application requirements of federal, state, or local agencies, including the implementation of activities required by the NJPDES regulations (e.g. municipal stormwater permit requirements) or the performance of any other ineligible activities based on current USEPA guidelines