RAE Announces 2023 NEP Watersheds Grant

$2.5 million available for coastal restoration 

In partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE) is pleased to announce the Request for Proposals (RFP) for the 2023 funding round of the NEP Watersheds Grant Program is now available. 

The second iteration of this funding program will distribute up to $2.5 million in total funding, with typical awards ranging from $200,000-500,000.Morro Bay NEP Ideal projects for this round will address the following congressionally mandated priorities:  

  •  Loss of key habitats resulting in significant impacts on fisheries and water quality such as seagrass, mangroves, tidal and freshwater wetlands, forested wetlands, kelp beds, shellfish beds, and coral reefs;  
  • Coastal resilience and extreme weather events including flooding and coastal erosion related to sea level rise, changing precipitation, warmer waters, or salt marsh, seagrass, or wetland degradation or loss and accelerated land loss;  
  • Stormwater runoff which not only can erode stream banks but can carry nutrients, sediment, and trash into rivers and streams that flow into estuaries;  
  • Proliferation or invasion of species that limit recreational uses, threaten wastewater systems, or cause other ecosystem damage. 

RAE will select projects through a two-step process: 1) letters of intent (LOI); and 2) full proposals by invitation only. Both steps are competitive and a request for full proposal does not guarantee funding. To qualify, projects must take place within one of the 28 National Estuary Program boundary areas 

The program director, Suzanne Simon, will host two informational webinars for prospective applicants to learn more about NEP Coastal Watersheds Grant, ask questions, and receive feedback.  

Additionally, interested applicants can set up one-on-one conversations with Suzanne to discuss proposals using this link 

Letters of Intent are due no later than January 26, 2024, and must be submitted online. To access the submission portal, and learn more about the program, please visit estuaries.org/nep-watersheds-grant.