New Estuaries Grant Program Seeks Applications

An aerial view of the lower Connecticut River.

A new nationally competitive grants program designed to support projects that address issues threatening the well-being of coastal and estuarine areas is now seeking proposals for grants ranging between $75,000 and $250,000.

The National Estuary Program Coastal Water Watersheds Program is being administered by Restore America’s Estuaries in cooperation with the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Organizations with project proposals within Estuaries of National Significance, including Long Island Sound, are eligible to apply.

The deadline to provide letters of intent, the first step in the two-step application process, is August 7. More information, including a download of the Request for Proposals and a registration link to an informational webinar in June, is available on the Restore America’s Estuaries website.

Established in 1987 through the Clean Water Act, the National Estuary Program is an EPA place-based program dedicated to protecting and restoring the water quality and ecological integrity of 28 estuaries across the country.

The CWWP grant program will fund projects within the geographic areas shown here that support 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.

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