National Estuary Program Watershed Grants

Restore America’s Estuaries, in close coordination with and financial support from EPA, administers the National Estuaries Program (NEP) Watersheds Grants. This grant program funds projects within one or more of the NEP boundary 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; 
  • 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; 
  • Impacts of nutrients and warmer water temperatures on aquatic life and ecosystems, including low dissolved oxygen conditions in estuarine waters; 
  • Stormwater runoff which not only can erode stream banks but can carry nutrients, sediment, and trash into rivers and streams that flow into estuaries; 
  • Recurring harmful algae blooms; 
  • Unusual or unexplained marine mammal mortalities; and 
  • Proliferation or invasion of species that limit recreational uses, threaten wastewater systems, or cause other ecosystem damage. 

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. 

For more information, please contact Suzanne Simon, Program Director.