VA Citizen Water Monitoring Grants

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ)


Grant amount: Up to US $10,000

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

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program, Research

Location of project: Virginia

Location of residency: Virginia

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Overview:

Citizen Water Monitoring Grants

The primary purpose of these grants is to provide funding for water quality monitoring groups and individuals to monitor the quality of Virginia’s waters. The grant can be used in a variety of ways, including purchasing water quality monitoring equipment, training citizen volunteers, lab analysis costs, and promoting stream monitoring efforts in locations where the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is not currently collecting water quality samples. Applicants can choose from three grant options, but may only apply for one grant.  

Purpose

The purpose of the Citizen Water Quality Monitoring Grant Program is to generate citizen-collected water quality data that is scientifically valid and accurate. The program helps to guide and support citizen water quality monitoring and stewardship activities. Funded projects may focus on any or all of the following five categories: 

  • List and delist impaired waters on the 303(d) Impaired Waters List and assess overall water quality
  • Identify sources of pollution that may help in Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) development
  • Track progress of TMDL or other restoration activities
  • Identify waters for future monitoring by DEQ
  • Educating the community on local impacts to water quality and land use activities

Grant Options

Mini-Grant

Maximum award up to $1,000. Open only to applicants who have not received a DEQ citizen monitoring grant in the previous three years. The grantee must use at least one-third of the award for equipment and begin water monitoring before the end of the grant period.

Regular Grant

Maximum award up to $4,000. Open to any applicants who wish to apply but recommended for organizations already familiar with water quality monitoring. The grantee must submit a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP), use at least one-third of the award for equipment, and begin water monitoring before the end of the grant period.

Coordination Grant

Maximum award up to $10,000. Open only to applicants who coordinate at least three member monitoring organizations that total 35 or more volunteers. In addition, monitoring occurs at more than 50 sample sites covering at least three Virginia localities. The grantee must submit a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP), use at least one-third of the award for equipment, and begin water monitoring before the end of the grant period.

Eligible Activities

Eligible activities include but are not limited to: 

  • Water monitoring equipment expenses such as field test kits, probes, nets, sample containers and manuals. Funded projects must monitor in areas representative of the sampled water(s) such as: 
    • Sampling occurs at or near the main area of flow of the waterbody.
    • Sampling occurs just below the water surface or at deeper depths.
    • Sample site is well away from DEQ permitted discharge pipes and mixing zones such as those found at wastewater treatment plants.
  • Certain administrative costs such as printing of newsletters, educational materials, and related items.
  • Staff costs to cover direct volunteer coordination and training shall not exceed 20% of the total grant award.
  • If seeking funds to cover mileage reimbursement for volunteer sample collection and sample transport, the IRS rate of $0.14 per mile for charitable organizations is used. Mileage reimbursement shall not exceed 20% of the total grant request.
  • Contractual services such as laboratory analysis and specialized services. The contractor is otherwise not a paid employee of the organization receiving the grant funds.

Any water quality sampling should occur at safe, publically accessible locations such as at bridge crossings or boat ramps. If sampling occurs on private property, landowner permission must be obtained.  

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

Eligibility:

  • Funds are available to assist in the development and growth of citizen based water quality monitoring activities. 
  • Any community or watershed based environmental or conservation organization, secondary school, college, or university who use volunteers to monitor Virginia waters may apply for these funds.  

Ineligibility:

  • Multiple applications will be rejected. 
  • Grant funds cannot be used for office space.