Up to $2 Million in Competitive Grants Available to Restore Clean Water and Resilient Coasts in Southeast New England

April 1, 2020
Restore America’s Estuaries
North Kingstown, Rhode Island

For Immediate Release

Contact: Thomas Ardito
401-575-3109 | tardito@estuaries.org

Application Deadline: May 29, 2020

Southeast New England is defined by our relationship to water –ocean waves breaking along Cape Cod’s expansive beaches; rivers that powered the textile mills of Pawtucket and Fall River; harbors that created historic maritime cities like Providence, New Bedford, and Newport. From a simple day at the beach, to the operations of our multi-billion-dollar fishing and tourism industries, every aspect of life in our region depends on clean water and healthy coastal ecosystems. And throughout Southeast New England, communities and organizations are working to ensure a clean and prosperous future by undertaking new and innovative projects to restore clean water, healthy watersheds, and resilient shorelines.

To support and strengthen these partnerships, Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today the availability of up to $2 million in competitive grants through the 2020 Southeast New England Program (SNEP) Watershed Grants.

“Water quality and environmental protection are important. These federal funds will help clean up Narragansett Bay and restore more coastal watersheds,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee who led efforts to establish and fund SNEP for coastal watershed restoration, and who has helped make $15 million available for the program over the last three years.

“At all times, and especially now, the landscapes, ecosystems, and historic communities of coastal Rhode Island and Massachusetts offer us tremendous comfort and hope,” said US EPA Region 1 Administrator Dennis Deziel. “EPA’s Southeast New England Program is very proud that our partnership with Restore America’s Estuaries brings another year of funding for projects to sustain those resources and communities, and we look forward to announcing yet another set of great projects this fall.”

2020 SNEP Watershed Grants are available to municipalities, state agencies, tribes, public commissions, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions. Most awards will be in the $100,000 – $500,000 range. Grantees must provide additional non-federal matching funds, in either cash or in-kind services, totaling at least 33% of the request amount. To apply, organizations should download the Request for Proposals (RFP) at www.snepgrants.org. The deadline to submit proposals is 5 p.m. on May 29, 2020.

RAE will host webinars for potential applicants Tuesday, April 14 and Thursday, April 30. To register, see www.snepgrants.org.

2020 SNEP Watershed Grants will fund programs and projects that address one or more of the following priorities:

  • Reduce nutrients and nutrient impacts on coastal ecosystems;
  • Develop and implement innovative approaches and practices that provide multiple benefits for communities and ecosystems;
  • Establish and support sustainable partnerships;
  • Foster environmental equity and the restoration or improvement of urban landscapes and communities;
  • Foster coastal resilience and adaptation to changing climate and environmental conditions;
  • Restore coastal and watershed habitats such as rivers and wetlands;
  • Measure and assess the effectiveness of environmental programs and projects;
  • Analyze, interpret and communicate environmental data; and
  • Build upon or implement existing watershed, water quality, or other environmental plans.

2020 SNEP Watershed Grants will be awarded within the geographic region of Southeast New England: all lands, waters, and islands from Westerly, RI, to Pleasant Bay, MA, on Cape Cod, including the waters of Narragansett Bay and Buzzards Bay, and their watersheds as far north as Worcester and Brockton, MA. The funding region includes all major rivers and drainage basins flowing into coastal waters of Rhode Island, Buzzards Bay, and the South Shore of Cape Cod. It also includes Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Block Island, and the Elizabeth Islands. A map of the funding area is provided in the RFP available at www.snepgrants.org.

Over the past two years, SNEP Watershed Grants has awarded $6.6 million in grants to fund high-impact environmental projects by organizations in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Funded projects included an innovative cranberry bog restoration on Cape Cod; a “green and complete street” installation in Pawtucket, R.I.; and partnerships to restore water quality at locations throughout Southeast New England.

2020 SNEP Watershed Grants provide a simple, streamlined application process. Funding decisions are expected in June; final awards will be announced at public events in Rhode Island and Massachusetts in September 2020.

By funding locally based partnerships that are working to reduce pollution and restore coastal habitats, 2020 SNEP Watershed Grants will help ensure clean water, sustainable ecosystems, resilient coasts, and vibrant communities throughout Southeast New England. For more information and to apply, see www.snepgrants.org.

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Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE) is a national 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.