Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program

US Endowment for Forestry & Communities, Inc.

Grant amount: Up to US $300,000

Anticipated deadline: Feb 1, 2019 5:00pm PST

Applicant type: Indigenous Group Government Entity For-Profit Business Nonprofit

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program, Research

Location of project: United States, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico Expand all

Location of residency: United States, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico Expand all

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The U.S. Endowment for Forestry & Communities, Inc. (Endowment) is a not-for-profit corporation established September 21, 2006, at the request of the governments of the United States and Canada in accordance with the terms of the Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) between the two countries. The Endowment is one of three entities designated to share in a one-time infusion of funds to support "meritorious initiatives" in the U.S. It has been endowed with $200 million under the terms of the SLA.


The Endowment works collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors to advance systemic, transformative and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation's working forests and forest-reliant communities.


America's forests are sustainably managed to meet broad societal objectives such as marketable products, clean waters, wildlife habitats and other ecological services, while ensuring healthy and vibrant forest-reliant communities.

The Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program

The goal is to accelerate strategic protection of healthy, freshwater ecosystems and their watersheds. This goal will be achieved by:

  • Funding key projects identified in existing watershed protection or conservation plans;
  •  Building the sustainable organizational infrastructure, social support, and long-term funding commitments necessary to implement large-scale protection of healthy watersheds; and 
  • Supporting innovative or catalytic projects that may accelerate or broadly advance the field of practice for watershed protection efforts. 

Subawards will be awarded in the following three categories. These categories are not rigid; they are simply meant to reflect the Healthy Watershed Consortium Grant Program’s three primary approaches to watershed protection. Your proposal will be moved, if necessary, to the appropriate category without penalty. If you have questions about where your project idea best fits, please contact us to discuss.

  1. Watershed Action Projects —Subawards for specific projects that fulfill components of an established watershed or source water plan or similar guiding document.
    • These requests will typically come from a well-established organization or coalition with a proven record of accomplishment in the watershed and the capacity to sustain related work over the long-term.
    • Watershed Action Projects may be proposed to occur within a specific HUC 12 subwatershed, but should be part of a broader watershed strategy developed at the HUC 8 scale or larger. In other words, site-specific projects must have benefits at a broader scale.
    • Applicants may seek additional funding for new projects in the same watershed in future subaward cycles.
    • $50,000 - $200,000; one to three year subaward duration
  2. Building Watershed Protection Capacity —Funding for up to five years (and longer, subject to availability of funds) with funding renewed annually, based on performance.
    1. The objective of these subawards is to grow the organizational sustainability necessary for large-scale, long-term protection of healthy watersheds.
    2. These subawards are well-suited for coalescing groups or coalitions to work on watershed protection.
    3. $50,000/year - $150,000/year over multiple years. For example, $75,000/year could be requested for four years, for a total subaward of $300,000.
  3. Advancing the State of Practice—One-time subawards for new or experimental technologies, methods, or approaches to incentivize watershed protection that can be scaled to accelerate protection of healthy watersheds on a broader level. 
    1. Training projects may be proposed if they relate to gathering or exchanging information to advance the state of practice.
    2. Proposals must include a plan for scaling projects and disseminating information to relevant users.
    3. $50,000 - $200,000; one to three year subaward duration.

Read the full Request for Proposals for more information.

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


  • Not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organizations, for-profit companies, tribes, intertribal consortia, interstates, state, and local government agencies including water utilities and wastewater facilities, and colleges and universities are eligible for funding.
  • Work must be in the 50 United States, Tribal Lands, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories.
  • Funding will be considered for projects that: 
    • Focus on large-scale protection (state/interstate, basin, tribal, regional);
    • Involve multiple watersheds that are adjacent or in a group;
    • Implement protection-related activities in existing watershed, source water, or similar plans;
    • Develop and/or implement large-scale green infrastructure projects; 
    • Create/expand organizational infrastructure to accelerate healthy watershed protection;
    • Create/expand the social infrastructure to support and sustain healthy watershed protection;
    • Develop mechanisms for securing financing necessary to implement protection projects; 
    • Engage watershed landowners in sustainable programs to protect healthy watersheds; 
    • Create sustainable landowner incentives for watershed protection;
    • Develop sustainable land-use planning that protects healthy watersheds;
    • Demonstrate or quantify the economic benefits of healthy watersheds; 
    • Demonstrate the human health (e.g. drinking water, fishable/swimmable water), recreation, and other benefits of healthy watersheds;
    • Communicate the value of healthy watersheds to key constituencies to enhance protection;
    • Assess and/or identify healthy watersheds;
    • Develop watershed protection plans; and
    • Develop and share information necessary for stakeholder groups to plan, implement, and assess healthy watershed protection. 
  • The goal of this Grant Program is to accelerate protection and enhancement of healthy watersheds. This doesn’t mean the watershed has to be pristine.
    • It may contain a variety of human land uses, but it should be in relatively good condition.
    • Degraded systems in a matrix of healthier watersheds may be appropriate.
  • Healthy watershed lands of all land cover types are eligible.
  • Healthy Watershed Consortium grants should benefit a wide range of values, including but not limited to water quality and quantity, source water and drinking water, wildlife, local economies, and recreation.
  • The minimum scale considered for funding are projects designed to apply within a HUC 8 subwatershed planning unit.
  • Applicants should provide at least 25% of the total funds requested (i.e. the applicant’s minimum must equal at least one-third of the funds requested). This may include cash donations or in-kind contributions from third-parties and allowable costs incurred by the applicant in the course of the project.


  • Activities that are tied to implementation of a larger-scale plan are most desirable.
  • Public/private partnerships are particularly desirable. 
  • Protection should be systemic, at least long-term, and preferably in perpetuity.
  • The Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program encourages creative, locally-developed approaches to watershed protection.
  • It seeks to support cost-effective approaches for protecting healthy watersheds at a large scale.


  • Unincorporated individuals and federal agencies are not eligible. 
  • Healthy Watershed Consortium Grant Program subawards may not be directly used for land acquisition, conservation easements, or habitat restoration, unless as smaller components of catalytic or innovation projects with clear, scalable applications.
  • Funds may not be used for lobbying, fundraising, political advocacy, or litigation. 
  • The Endowment’s published, maximum indirect rate is 15%.

About this funder:

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