Vermont Watershed Grant Program

Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation

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Grant amount: Up to US $10,000

Anticipated deadline: Feb 15, 2020

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit College / University

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Project / Program

Location of project: Vermont

Location of residency: Vermont

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Vermonters have an opportunity to protect and restore watersheds through the Vermont Watershed Grants Program. Half of the proceeds derived from the sale of the Vermont Conservation License Plate go towards funding the Vermont Watershed Grants Program. The Program, co-administered by DEC and the Department of Fish and Wildlife, distributes grant dollars for noteworthy local and regional water-related projects within Vermont. The other half of proceeds derived from the Conservation License Plate go towards helping the Vermont Non-Game and Natural Heritage Program.

Grant funds are available for water-related projects that:

  • Protect or restore fish and wildlife habitats 
  • Protect or restore water quality, and shorelines
  • Reduce phosphorus loading and/or sedimentation as part of DEC’s Clean Water Initiative objectives
  • Enhance recreational use and enjoyment
  • Identify and protect historic and cultural resources
  • Educate people about watershed resources
  • Monitor fish and wildlife populations and/or water quality

Watershed Grants Program dollars are intended for complete projects or for discreet, identifiable portions of larger projects. Funds can be used for all aspects of a project including materials, labor, printing, and equipment rental. Salary or administrative costs are acceptable. Equipment purchase is also acceptable, if its more cost-effective than borrowing or renting.

Project Category Types

  • Education and outreach – up to $5,000
    • Examples: 
      • Educational programs for youth, related to wetland, lake or stream ecology.
      • A community newsletter for lakeshore property owners to address shoreline and lake conservation topics.
      • A workshop for road foremen on best management practices to address transportation-related stormwater runoff.
  • Planning, assessment, inventory, monitoring – up to $3,500
    • Examples:
      • Working with landowners to assess stream stabilization and riparian buffers
      • Assisting landowners and municipal road officials in planning and managing storm runoff from driveways, parking areas, and roads.
      • Water quality monitoring of town swimming holes.
      • A survey of river corridor plans to identify and develop priority projects
  • On-the-ground implementation – up to $10,000
    • Examples: 
      • Rain gardens or other infiltration-based practice to control runoff from stormwater.
      • Planting native trees and shrubs to restore shoreline areas.
      • River clean-up projects.
      • Dam removal.
      • Instream habitat improvements to benefit fish populations.
      • Measures to improve aquatic organism passage, such as through culverts.

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


  • Municipalities, local or regional governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, and citizen groups are eligible to receive watershed grant dollars for work on public or private lands.


  • While all projects will be considered, the following are being emphasized in this year’s cycle:
    • Education and practical outreach concerning measures to protect or restore stream/river corridor habitat.
    • Outreach that will develop implementation projects for funding through the Ecosystem Restoration Grant program cycles
    • Quantifiable activities directed at protecting or restoring lake shoreline areas, especially those focused on controlling runoff and preventing erosion. Lake shoreline management


  • The following are not eligible for funding:
    • Land purchases and associated costs, such as appraisals.
    • Control or inventory of nuisance aquatic or terrestrial plants
  • Individuals and state and federal agencies are not eligible to receive funds directly, but may be partners of a project.