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Watershed Association Restoration, Planning and Implementation Grants

Applications are now being accepted for the FY2023 grant. Applications must be submitted via email by Friday, February 4, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. For questions, email Grant Manager, Erin Watts, at ewatts@baltimorecountymd.gov or call 410-887-8240.

The Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS) annually awards Watershed Association Restoration, Planning and Implementation Grants to locally-based watershed associations and other nonprofit organizations in order to:

  • Identify and implement restoration projects and educational activities relating to actions specified in the Small Watershed Action Plan (SWAP) and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Implementation Plans
  • Increase resident participation in County watershed restoration planning and actions that help EPS fulfill its commitments to meet water quality requirements and contribute to the overall health of our local watersheds
  • Leverage additional funding for watershed/community association work in Baltimore County

Grant funding of up to $30,000 is available to conduct environmental restoration activities and increase public awareness of environmental stewardship, especially related to water quality of local streams, rivers, reservoirs and the Chesapeake Bay. Awards will be contingent on demonstrated capacity of the organization, quality of application and availability of funds. The term for this grant is Baltimore County Fiscal Year 2023, July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023. (Note: In some cases, grants of more than $30,000 are awarded to established and highly productive organizations. If your organization has been funded through this grant program for at least the past three years and would like to pursue a grant over $30,000, you may request a meeting with EPS staff to discuss.) 

Eligibility

In order to be eligible for this grant, an organization must:

  • Be a locally based watershed association or community group with membership in Baltimore County
  • Be a registered 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) or 501(c)(6) organization in good standing with the State of Maryland
  • Have a demonstrated history of successfully identifying and conducting resident-based and community restoration projects

Requests and Use of Funds

The intent of this grant is to foster staffing capacity for ongoing restoration work and watershed education and outreach, thereby promoting long-term partnership with organizations working with the County to enhance the health and sustainability of local waterways and watersheds. 

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the Grant Manager in advance if there are any questions about whether proposed activities or practices meet the conditions of the grant program. 

Project Examples

Examples of projects, activities and best management practices (BMP) undertaken by organizations typically funded through this grant include:

  • Bayscape/edible landscapes
  • Downspout disconnections
  • Education and outreach
  • Invasive plant species removal
  • Rain barrels/gardens
  • Storm drain marking
  • Stormwater BMP design/install
  • Stream clean-ups
  • Stream Watch programs
  • Tree plantings/giveaways, maintenance and inspections

Grant Amount

Requests may be fully funded, partially funded or declined. The funding level will depend on the strength of the application, the total amount of funding requested and the amount of funds available.

Salary Requests

The grant may be used to provide salary for staff conducting restoration planning and implementation, and watershed education/outreach. The grant does not fund staff hours for accounting or financial management, however these expenses may be included as “indirect costs.” The ratio of hours to dollars must be a minimum of one hour of staff time for every $30 in grant funds requested. For example, if the request is for $30,000, there must be a minimum of 1,000 hours of staff time. (If this is not attainable, provide a detailed explanation.)

Fringe

An amount up to 30 percent of the salary dollar amount may be used to cover fringe benefits such as health insurance, paid sick leave and paid vacation leave (if these benefits are declared as employee expenses).

Indirect Costs

An amount up to 10 percent of the salary and fringe request may be used to cover overhead/indirect expenses. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Accounting/tax prep
  • Financial management with documentation
  • Insurance
  • Office rent/supplies
  • Phones

Equipment Requests

In general, equipment is not funded through this grant. However, specific equipment requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Schedule a meeting with EPS staff to discuss these requests prior to submitting your application.

Evaluation Criteria

The following evaluation criteria will be used to rank applications:

  • Degree of connection with the SWAPs, TMDL Implementation Plans and the countywide Trash and Litter Reduction Strategy, as appropriate to the watershed
  • Projects planned for the grant term
    • Number of BMPs or drainage area treated
    • Type/efficiency of BMPs
    • Resident participation in homeowner or neighborhood BMPs
  • Past performance
    • Implementation of actions
    • Ability to engage residents in actions and volunteer participation
    • Leveraging of outside funding for watershed restoration work in Baltimore County
    • Cost per pound of pollutant removal
  • Contribution of the BMPs toward meeting the restoration need identified
  • Ability to leverage other funding (actual or anticipated) for watershed restoration work in Baltimore County

How to Apply

Complete the standard Baltimore County Request for Financial Assistance form (PDF). This is a standardized form used for many Baltimore County grant program requests.

Be sure to follow the detailed application instructions below, which provide guidance for each of the application questions, specific to meeting the requirements for this EPS grant program. Incomplete or incorrectly completed applications will be rejected.

 

Submission of Grant Materials

Applications must be received via email by Friday, February 4, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. Email the completed/signed application as a single PDF document to Erin Watts at ewatts@baltimorecountymd.gov.

The application must be signed by the President of the Board of Directors or the President/Executive Director of the organization.

Review and Approval

Upon County agency review and approvals, all applicants will be notified of their status in March 2022.

  
Revised January 21, 2022         

 

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