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Restore America’s Estuaries Launches 2018 Southeast New England Watershed Grants 

Pre-Proposals Due by 5 p.m. EST on March 30, 2018 

Informational Meetings in Mass. & Rhode Island 

Full information at www.snepgrants.org 

 

For Immediate Release – Feb. 14, 2018 

Contact: Thomas Ardito, tardito@estuaries.org, (401) 575-6109 

 

(Saunderstown, RI) Clean water, healthy watersheds, and vibrant coastal ecosystems are essential to the communities of Southeast New England – a foundation of our region’s prosperity and quality of life. In Rhode Island and Massachusetts, clean water and healthy coastal ecosystems generate billions of dollars in economic value through beach-going, fishing, tourism, and many other uses. Yet despite recent improvements, water pollution and ecosystem degradation threaten our most important natural assets. 

To help restore clean water and healthy ecosystems to Southeast New England, Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE), with financial support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is launching the 2018 Southeast New England Program (SNEP) Watershed Grants. The grants target water pollution, habitat degradation, and other high-priority environmental issues, in order to foster sustainable coastal and watershed communities in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts. 

2018 SNEP Watershed Grants will provide up to $2.5 million in grants, intended to encourage strategic investments by state, local, tribal, and regional partners. The source of the funding is federal, and grantees are expected to provide an additional 33% of the grant amount in non-federal matching funds. Cash and in-kind contributions may be counted toward match. 

2018 SNEP Watershed Grants are intended to support the goals and priorities of EPA’s Southeast New England Program, a regional effort to promote a resilient ecosystem of clean water, healthy diverse habitats, and sustainable communities in southeast New England’s coastal watersheds. Learn more about SNEP at www.epa.gov/snecwrp. 

2018 SNEP Watershed Grants will be selected and awarded through a competitive, two-step application process, beginning with a pre-proposal due by 5 p.m. EST on March 30, 2018. Prospective applicants are encouraged to attend a regional informational meeting or participate in a webinar, to learn more about the 2018 SNEP Watershed Grants and discuss project ideas. 

Informational Meetings & Webinars 

Informational Meetings: Informational meetings for prospective applicants will be held at the following locations and dates (all EST): 

  • Providence, RI: Tues., 27 Feb., 1:00 -2:00 p.m. at Save The Bay, 100 Save The Bay Dr., Providence, RI 02905 o 
  • Taunton, MA: Wed., 28 Feb., 1:00 -2:00 p.m. at Southeast Regional Planning & Economic Development District, 88 Broadway, Taunton, MA 02780 
  • East Falmouth, MA: Thurs., 1 Mar., 1:00 -2:00 p.m. at Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, 131 Waquoit Highway, Waquoit (East Falmouth), MA 02536 (Boathouse Building) 

Webinars: Informational webinars will be held on the following dates. 

  • Tues. 6 Mar., 1:00 p.m. – register at www.snepgrants.org 
  • Thurs., 8 Mar., 1:00 p.m. – register at www.snepgrants.org

The geographic region eligible for 2018 SNEP Watershed Grants extends from Westerly, R.I. to Pleasant Bay on Cape Cod, encompassing the major estuaries of Narragansett Bay and Buzzards Bay, and their watershed lands as far north as Worcester, Mass. It includes the south shore of Cape Cod as well as Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Block Island and the Elizabeth Islands. Please refer to www.snepgrants.org for an interactive map. 

2018 SNEP Watershed Grants target integrated approaches to water quality and ecosystem restoration. SNEP recognizes that clean water, healthy habitats, resilient ecosystems, and prosperous communities are closely interconnected, and that strong partnerships offer the most effective means of meeting Southeast New England’s environmental challenges. Through this 2018 Request for Proposals (RFP), RAE seeks to support and develop innovative and transformative ideas, in order to improve the restoration, preservation, and management of coastal and watershed ecosystems throughout Southeast New England, now and in the future. 

Past rounds of SNEP grants have funded a variety of successful projects to restore clean water and coastal ecosystems. One priority is nutrient pollution to coastal waters. Nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus harm coastal ecosystems throughout Southeast New England by fertilizing excess growth of seaweeds, plankton and other algae. This reduces the oxygen in the water that fish and shellfish need to survive; degrades coastal habitats such as salt marshes and marine bottoms; and can catalyze outbreaks of toxic algae that pose acute health risks to humans and wildlife. SNEP grants for innovative approaches to storm water management, septic system research and coastal resilience are already helping Southeast New England communities tackle such pressing environmental issues. SNEP seeks to fund partnerships in order to leverage the resources of state, local, academic, corporate, non-profit and tribal organizations. 

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Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE) is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization leading an alliance of ten coastal conservation organizations across the country. RAE and its member organizations are dedicated to the protection and restoration of bays and estuaries as essential resources for our nation. For more about RAE, visit our website at www.estuaries.org. 

 

Full PDF of release here.

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COMPETITIVE GRANTS OPPORTUNITY
TAMPA BAY ENVIRONMENTAL RESTORATION FUND – 2018
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
 

January 23, 2018.  The Tampa Bay Environmental Restoration Fund - 2018 (TBERF-2018) is a strategic partnership between the Tampa Bay Estuary Program (TBEP) and Restore America's Estuaries (RAE). To date, funding for TBERF-2018 has been provided by the Southwest Florida Water Management District, Florida Department of Transportation, the Mosaic Company Foundation, Hillsborough County, the City of St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Tampa Electric Company, and the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission. TBERF-2018 is designed to return added value to current and future Tampa Bay conservation initiatives and provides funding through a competitive application process for projects that will protect, restore or enhance the natural resources of Tampa Bay and its contributing watershed. Approximately $875,000 is expected to be available for projects in 2018.

The TBERF-2018 Request for Proposals is available online at the TBERF Section of the TBEP Technical Projects website, including:

PROPOSAL DEADLINE

Proposals must be submitted electronically by 5:00 pm EST, March 23, 2018. Late applications will not be accepted. Email completed proposals to Maya Burke, TBEP Technical Projects Coordinator.

CONSERVATION OBJECTIVES 

TBERF-2018 seeks applications for cost-effective projects that will implement the  coastal, estuarine and freshwater wetland habitat and water quality restoration, research, monitoring, and outreach priorities that have been developed by the Tampa Bay Estuary Program and its partners as outlined in the Charting the Course, the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) for Tampa Bay (2017 Update).

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 22, 2017

Contact: Leigh Habegger, (703) 524-0248 or lhabegger@estuaries.org

Administration Disaster Proposal Needs More to Address Long-Term Coastal

Community Resilience

WASHINGTON, DC – On November 17th, the Trump Administration released its third proposal for disaster funding to address the widespread destruction caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma. While we are pleased to see the Administration continue to address the recovery and rebuilding needs of communities affected by these hurricanes, we were disappointed to see so few dollars going to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for the purposes of building coastal resiliency and protecting against future storms. We strongly urge the Administration to fully fund coastal resiliency efforts by these agencies in its next iteration of funding. Additionally, to propose this funding be offset by cuts to other programs is shortsighted and will hamstring agencies’ ability to carry out their day-to-day work and hinder their ability to prepare for future disasters; we urge the Administration to rescind this portion of the proposal.

In this third proposal, we are very pleased to see the Administration signal their willingness to fund flood mitigation work through a $12 billion proposal that directs funding to the Community Develop Block Grant for flood mitigation projects. We strongly urge Congress to include language in their legislation that prioritizes nature-based infrastructure projects through this block grant program. Investing in these types of projects is not only a fiscally responsible action, but these infrastructure projects will also help reduce future damage to coastal communities as a result of hurricanes and flooding, thereby reducing future federal dollars spent on recovery and rebuilding.

Additionally, we are pleased to see this proposal directing nearly $29 million to NOAA and almost $211 million to USFWS to rebuild damaged labs, field offices, national marine sanctuaries, national estuarine research reserves, facilities, water control structures, roads and bridges, and recreational amenities. We strongly urge the Administration and Congress to also provide full funding to support long-term resiliency projects and initiatives that will better prepare communities for extreme weather events.

 “If we continue rebuilding to past pre-storm conditions, our communities will never be adequately prepared for the increasing intensity and frequency of future storms,” President and CEO, Jeff Benoit, said. “We must invest in innovative methods and technologies that will better serve our coastal communities and those living in the floodplain. Prioritizing projects that incorporate nature-based infrastructure is a sound investment of federal dollars, providing not only a $4 return on every $1 invested, but also providing flood mitigation, erosion control, storm surge protection, and habitat for more than 80% of commercially and recreationally important aquatic species. Nature-based infrastructure projects are a win-win-win.”

The time is NOW to ensure our coastal and floodplain communities are resilient and prepared to withstand future weather events. Increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events is inevitable and nature-based infrastructure solutions offer a cost-effective way to address the challenges of climate change.

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Restore America's Estuaries (RAE) is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1995. RAE leads a national alliance of ten coastal conservation organizations across the country dedicated to the protection and restoration of bays and estuaries as essential resources for our nation. www.estuaries.org.

 

You can view a PDF of this statement here.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 1, 2017

Contact: Leigh Habegger, (703) 524-0248 or lhabegger@estuaries.org

Pallone introduces bill to create Living Shorelines grant program

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone (NJ-06) introduced the Living Shorelines Act, which creates a grant program to assist states, localities, and other organizations in constructing and monitoring living shorelines projects along their coastlines. Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE) commends Congressman Pallone for his continued leadership on coastal restoration and especially living shorelines.

Living shorelines serve as a cost-efficient and extremely effective alternative to hardening our nation’s shorelines with bulkheads and sea walls. Instead of using inorganic materials like concrete, living shorelines incorporate natural materials like marsh plants, oysters, and dredged material to help restore damaged or destroyed coastal habitats. Living shorelines can better protect coastal communities in the face of extreme weather events and nuisance flooding alike. They also help prevent erosion and can improve water quality, providing numerous benefits to coastal communities.

Congressman Pallone has an impressive record of advocating for coastal restoration, especially after his district experience catastrophic losses after Hurricane Sandy. “Congressman Pallone has long been a champion for coastal restoration and we are thrilled to again see leadership to advocate on behalf of coastal communities for effective coastal restoration,” President and CEO, Jeff Benoit said. “We are pleased to support this bill and look forward to working with the Congressman and his staff on this legislation.”

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Restore America's Estuaries (RAE) is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1995. RAE leads a national alliance of ten coastal conservation organizations across the country dedicated to the protection and restoration of bays and estuaries as essential resources for our nation. www.estuaries.org.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 5, 2017

Contact: Leigh Habegger, (703) 524-0248 or lhabegger@estuaries.org

 

Restore America’s Estuaries selected by EPA to manage Southeast New England Grant Program

WASHINGTON, DC – Restore America’s Estuaries is pleased to announce our selection by the U.S. EPA to manage a competitive sub-award grant program to support projects that protect, conserve, and restore coastal ecosystems and their watersheds.

Coastal waters in southeast New England are experiencing rapid rates of change, making this area susceptible to land-based threats, including excess nitrogen. By leveraging our extensive network in this region, RAE will create an ecosystem-scale, multi-stakeholder strategy to assist EPA in addressing this and other threats to coastal and estuarine waters. Through this grant, RAE will administer a number of projects over the next several years that will build a collaborative framework for advancing ecosystem resiliency, protect and restore habitat and ecosystem function, and apply innovative policy, science, and technology to the management of the coastal systems in this region.

“RAE is thrilled to partner with EPA to tackle nitrogen pollution, one of the most pressing issues threatening this region’s coastal and estuarine waters,” said Jeff Benoit, President of Restore America’s Estuaries. “By engaging a broad array of stakeholders in the region and facilitating the creation of management collaboratives across the SNEP region, RAE will help improve capacity among state and local governments to conduct effective and efficient regionally-scaled habitat projects to address nitrogen pollution and other imminent threats to the long-term health of the region’s waters and coasts. Our organization has strong ties to the Southeast New England region and we are thrilled to be able to work closely with the communities here to protect, enhance, and restore coastal waters. RAE is also excited to leverage our broad reach and network to bring the lessons learned through this unique funding opportunity to a national audience to assist other coastal areas facing similar problems.”

Deb Szaro, Acting Regional Administrator at EPA, said, “EPA is extremely pleased with the opportunity to collaborate with Restore America’s Estuaries in the work of protecting our critical coastal watersheds. It would be difficult to find any other organization with the skills, local knowledge, and commitment to results that Restore America’s Estuaries offers, and we anticipate great success going forward.”

Founded in 1995, Restore America’s Estuaries leads a national alliance of ten community- based conservation organizations working to protect and restore the nation’s vital estuarine habitats. Working closely with community, private, and governmental organizations, Restore America’s Estuaries has extensive experience in supporting successful on-the-ground restoration projects and in providing technical assistance and tools to guide the restoration process, including developing methodologies for quantifying ecosystem services. Restore America’s Estuaries is also well-known for hosting a biennial National Summit on Coastal and Estuarine Restoration and Management, the largest national gathering focused on coastal restoration, science, and management practices, with the next Summit scheduled for December 2018 in Long Beach, CA.

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Restore America's Estuaries (RAE) is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1995. RAE leads a national alliance of ten coastal conservation organizations across the country dedicated to the protection and restoration of bays and estuaries as essential resources for our nation. www.estuaries.org.

 

For a pdf version of this press release, please click here.