Restoration Research Award Program

Chesapeake Bay Trust

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Grant amount: Up to US $200,000

Anticipated deadline: Jan 30, 2021 1:00pm PST

Applicant type: Nonprofit For-Profit Business College / University

Funding uses: Research

Location of project: Maryland

Location of residency: United States

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About this funder:



Background and Goal of the Program

Efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries call for a significant increase in the number of watershed restoration projects intended to improve both water quality and habitat. The practitioner, regulatory, management, policy, and scientific communities are united in their desire to support the best, most cost-effective practices at the most optimal sites. However, differences of opinion sometimes exist, and questions about the performance and function of some of these practices persist.

The goal of this award program is to answer several key restoration questions that serve as a barrier to watershed restoration project implementation. Funding partners hope that answering these questions will ultimately lead to increased confidence in proposed restoration project outcomes, clarification of the optimal site conditions in which to apply particular restoration techniques, information useful to regulatory agencies in project permitting, and information that will help guide monitoring programs.

This program is funded by Chesapeake Bay Trust (the Trust), the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA), Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program Office. This program supports the Pooled Monitoring Initiative that is designed to connect key stormwater and stream restoration questions posed by the regulatory and practitioner communities with researchers in the scientific community

Types of Activities that May be Supported

Members of the regulatory and restoration communities have worked together to identify several key restoration questions. Investigators may propose with funds from this research program to:

  • Conduct a literature review/synthesis, if the case can be made that enough is already known about a question ($50,000 maximum request);
  • Answer a component of the question with a research project in which specific hypotheses are tested. Research projects may include:
    • experimental or descriptive work in the field;
    • experimental work in the laboratory;
    • modeling studies; and/or
    • use of existing data, if deemed appropriately suited (properly collected with appropriate metadata); or
  • Develop a regulatory or practitioner tool related to one or more of the questions that advances the pace or efficacy of the field in question, if the case can be made the tool is needed and you have ample information to support tool development.

Key Restoration Questions

The following research questions are organized into three themes. See the RFP for complete details of each research theme and question.

  • Effectiveness of restoration programs at the watershed/catchment scale:
    • Watershed restoration assessment
    • Stormwater management assessment
    • Level of monitoring effort
  • Effectiveness of restoration practices at the project scale
    • Comparisons of water quality benefit among restoration techniques, approaches (functions sought to be restored), or site conditions
    • Climate impacts to restoration practice
    • Emerging Pollutants
    • Invasive species
  • Impact of construction activities on natural resources
    • Minimizing Short- and Long-term Impacts of Stream Restoration Construction
    • Work in the wet vs work in the dry for stream restoration
  • Trade-offs in resource improvements incurred by restoration practices and the resulting net ecological change as measured by a common “currency
    • Resource trade-offs in different types of restoration projects

Funds and Timeline

Funding partners have allocated approximately nearly $1,000,000 for this research program. Project timeframe for research projects should correspond with the goals of the project. 

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


  • Both not-for-profit entities (academic institutions, non-profit organizations) and for-profit entities are permitted to apply.
  • Organizations need not be based in Maryland, but the work must be relevant to Maryland’s restoration, regulatory, and/or practitioner communities. 


  • The strongest proposals will show committed partnerships with various types of organizations.
  • Cash and in-kind match is not required but is one criterion against which the project will be judged. Preference will be given to projects with the most robust research plan.
    • Therefore, leveraging funds and indicating matching resources can result in higher scores.


  • The following cannot be funded:
    • Endowments, deficit financing, building programs, or venture capital
    • Food and beverages
    • Mitigation activities
    • Political lobbying
    • Reimbursement for a project that has been completed or materials that have been purchased