NEP Coastal Watersheds Grant Program
The NEP Coastal Watersheds Grant Program is a nationally competitive grants program designed to support projects that address urgent and challenging issues threatening the well-being of coastal and estuarine areas within determined estuaries of national significance.
About the National Estuary Program
Established in 1987 through the Clean Water Act, the National Estuary Program (NEP) is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) place-based program dedicated to protecting and restoring the water quality and ecological integrity of 28 estuaries across the country.
EPA’s NEP is a non-regulatory program that improves the waters, habitats, and living resources within these estuaries. In overseeing and managing the national program, EPA provides annual funding, national guidance, and technical assistance to the local NEPs.
Coastal Watersheds Grant Program
Restore America’s Estuaries, in close coordination with and financial support from EPA, administers the NEP Coastal Watersheds Grant Program. This grant program funds projects within the 28 NEP watershed geographic areas and supports the following Congressionally-set 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;
- Recurring harmful algae blooms;
- Unusual or unexplained marine mammal mortalities;
- Proliferation or invasion of species that limit recreational uses, threaten wastewater systems, or cause other ecosystem damage;
- Flooding and coastal erosion that may be related to sea level rise, changing precipitation, or salt marsh, seagrass, or wetland degradation or loss;
- Impacts of nutrients and warmer water temperatures on aquatic life and coastal ecosystems, including low dissolved oxygen conditions in estuarine waters; and
- Contaminants of emerging concern found in coastal and estuarine waters such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and microplastics.
Project Selection and Subaward Process:
RAE will conduct an annual solicitation with approximately $1 million awarded each year. Each subaward will range between $75,000 and $250,000, resulting in roughly three to ten total subawards per funding year depending on Congressional appropriations.
The annual project selection and award process will include the following:
- Release and distribution of Request for Proposals (RFP) document;
- Informational webinar for potential applicants;
- Letter of Intent (LOI) submitted by potential applicants;
- Full proposals invited after evaluation of LOIs by Review Panel;
- Applicants notified and subawards announced.
Note that all projects must occur completely within one of the 28 NEP coastal watershed geographic areas. We will post future documents to this website, along with deadlines and related information, so please check back for additional details.
For more information, please contact Suzanne Simon, Program Director.
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