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Water: Watershed Funding

Federal Funding Programs

EPA Watershed Funding Programs

Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE)
CARE is a competitive grant program that offers an innovative way for a community to organize and take action to reduce toxic pollution in its local environment.  Through CARE, a community creates a partnership that implements solutions to reduce releases of toxic pollutants and minimize people's exposure to them.  By providing financial and technical assistance, EPA helps CARE communities get on the path to a renewed environment.

Clean Water State Revolving Fund
The Clean Water State Revolving Fund programs provided more than $4.5 billion annually in recent years to fund water quality protection projects for wastewater treatment, nonpoint source pollution control, and watershed and estuary management.

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund
The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund makes funds available to drinking water systems to finance infrastructure improvements. The program also emphasizes providing funds to small and disadvantaged communities and to programs that encourage pollution prevention as a tool for ensuring safe drinking water.

Environmental Education Grants Program
This program supports environmental education projects that increase the public awareness about environmental issues and increase people's ability to make informed decisions that impact environmental quality. EPA awards between $2 and $3 million annually. More than 75 percent of these grant recipients receive less than $15,000.

Environmental Justice Grant Programs
These programs provide financial assistance to organizations 1) working on projects to address local environmental and/or public health issues in their communities and 2) building collaborative partnerships to identify local environmental and/or public health issues

Five Star Restoration Program
The Five Star Restoration Program brings together students, conservation corps, other youth groups, citizen groups, corporations, landowners, and government agencies to provide environmental education and training through projects that restore wetlands and streams. The program provides challenge grants, technical support, and opportunities for information exchange to enable community-based restoration projects. Funding levels range from $5,000 to $40,000, with $20,000 as the average amount awarded per project. When the funding is combined with the contributions of partners, projects that make a meaningful contribution to communities become possible.

Gulf of Mexico Project Funding
This program funds projects that improve the health of the Gulf of Mexico by addressing improved water quality and public health with an emphasis on healthy beaches and shellfish beds, priority coastal wetland and habitat protection/recovery, more effective coastal environment education, improved habitat identification/characterization data and decision support systems, and strategic nutrient reductions. Projects must actively involve stakeholders and focus on short-term support and implementation of the actions and activities in the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Governors' Action Plan for Healthy and Resilient Coasts.

Nonpoint Source Pollution Funding
This program, which includes Clean Water Act Section 319 grants and Nonpoint Source Minigrants, provides grants to address nonpoint source pollution.

Regional Grant Opportunities
EPA’s ten regional offices provide information on both regional and national sources of funding for a variety of water and watershed related projects.

Targeted Watershed Grants
The Targeted Watershed Grants Program is designed to encourage successful community-based approaches and management techniques to protect and restore the nation's waters. Any governmental or nonprofit non-governmental entity is eligible to receive a grant under this program, and inter jurisdictional watershed partnerships are encouraged. Through these grants, EPA expects to see real environmental results, such as the return of native fish species and increased recreational opportunities and to discover innovative solutions to improving and sustaining water quality.

Wetlands Funding
Includes information on EPA grant opportunities including Wetlands Program Development Grants, Five Star Restoration Grants, the State Revolving Fund program, and other sources of federal funding for protecting wetlands. Information about Tribal Regulatory Programs and Tribal Watershed Planning is also available.

Additional EPA Funding Opportunities for Water
Includes information on other sources of funding for projects that address waste water and drinking water issues and improve water quality (Beach Act Grants, Water Pollution Control Program Grants, and Water Quality Cooperative Agreements). Additionally, specific information for Tribes is available.


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Funding Programs

Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research (CSCOR) Exit EPA Disclaimer
CSCOR provides scientific information to assist decision makers in meeting the challenges of managing the nation's coastal resources. Through its funding opportunities, the Coastal Ocean Program is making significant strides toward finding the solutions that will protect coastal resources and ensure their availability and well-being for future generations.

Coastal Services Center (CSC) Funding Opportunities Exit EPA Disclaimer
CSC provides coastal managers with information on national and regional grant funding opportunities offered by the CSC and other relevant organizations. This site also provides links to many free resources, including articles, tutorials, and tips that will help managers and staff through the grant writing process.

Community Based Restoration Program Funding Exit EPA Disclaimer
This Web site includes information on funding for community-based fish habitat restoration through NOAA, as well as other organizations. It also provides links to NOAA funding opportunities for other types of projects.

Estuary Habitat Restoration Program Exit EPA Disclaimer
The Estuary Habitat Restoration Program seeks projects that achieve cost-effective restoration of ecosystems while promoting increased partnerships among agencies and between public and private sectors. 

Office of Management and Budget Financial Services Division Exit EPA Disclaimer
This Office administers several financial assistance programs for United States commercial fishermen and other eligible citizens and entities. Specifically, the Financial Services Division manages a national financial assistance program in the form of direct loans, a tax-deferred capital construction fund, and vessel and gear loss and damage compensation programs. In addition, the Financial Services Division administers the Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant Program

Sea Grant Program Exit EPA Disclaimer
Sea Grant encourages the wise stewardship of  marine resources through research, education, outreach and technology transfer. The National Sea Grant Program sponsors a variety of marine research through the Sea Grant College Programs and through its National Strategic Investments.

Undersea Research Program Exit EPA Disclaimer
National Undersea Research Program funds oceanography done by scientists who enter the oceans using scuba, robots and submarines. National Undersea Research Program (NURP) researchers explore, sample and live beneath the sea. They study a range of environmental problems and science, from beach erosion to deep sea volcanoes.


Additional Federal Funding Opportunties

United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Exit EPA Disclaimer
The Corps is the federal government's largest water resources development and management agency, representing federal interests in navigation, flood and storm damage reduction, ecosystem restoration, and a variety of other resource needs. Although the Corps does not offer grants, it can provide some project or technical assistance through programs such as: Restoration of Abandoned Mines (RAMS) program, Floodplain Management Services Program, Planning Assistance to States Program, Project Modifications for Improvement of Environment Program, and Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Program.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Exit EPA Disclaimer
USDA provides leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science, and efficient management. The Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service Exit EPA Disclaimer has an extensive searchable funding page that includes funding for integrated water quality. The National Agricultural Library  Exit EPA Disclaimer also provides funding resource information through two specialized Information Centers, the Water Quality Information Center Exit EPA Disclaimer (water quality related funding information) and the Rural Information Center Exit EPA Disclaimer (funding publications and other resources designed for the needs of rural areas). Additional funding resources can be found on the Natural Resource Conservation Service Web site through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program Exit EPA Disclaimer and Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program Exit EPA Disclaimer .

United States Department of Energy's Smart Communities Network Exit EPA Disclaimer
The Smart Communities Network Web site includes a Financing section that introduces strategies and resources for mobilizing capital toward sustainability projects and a Funding Opportunities section with regularly-updated funding announcements.

United States Fish and Wildlife Service Exit EPA Disclaimer
The Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Division of Bird Habitat Conservation Exit EPA Disclaimer provides matching grants to organizations and individuals who have developed partnerships to carry out wetlands conservation projects in the United States, Canada, and Mexico for the benefit of wetlands-associated migratory birds and other wildlife. The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Exit EPA Disclaimer program provides technical and financial assistance to private landowners and Tribes who work with partners to help meet the habitat needs of Federal Trust Species. 

United States Geological Survey (USGS) Grants Exit EPA Disclaimer
USGS provides funding for research, water resources data collection, data management, and information transfer activities.

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