319 Grant Program

Current 319 Grant Projects

NOTE: The FY2021 Grant Application Period is open. The deadline for applications is Tuesday May 4, 2021. 

2021 319 Grant Application Materials

2021 319 Grant Application Materials

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality Division of Water Resources is seeking proposals for award of federal fiscal year 2021 S319(h) grant funds to implement watershed restoration plans that will help restore waters impaired by nonpoint sources of pollution.  For FY 2021, NC expects to receive $1.3 Million from the USEPA for competitive funding of watershed restoration projects under Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act.



Through Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides states with funding to reduce nonpoint source pollution. North Carolina typically receives around $1 million for competitive funding of watershed restoration projects. Funds may be used to conduct watershed restoration projects such as stormwater and agricultural best management practices and restoration of impaired streams. Section 319 grant projects must be used to help restore waterbodies currently impaired by nonpoint source pollution in areas with approved watershed restoration plans. (map) (list)

State and local governments, interstate and intrastate agencies, public and private nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions are all eligible to apply for 319 funding. An interagency workgroup reviews the proposals and selects those of merit to be funded.  

Subscribe to the NC 319 Listserv to receive all RFP release information, application details, and program announcements.

    Annual 319(h) Grant Schedule

    Annual 319(h) Grant Schedule

    • Late January: Request for Proposals released
    • Early May: 319 Grant Application deadline
    • Early June: Applicants notified whether they will be invited for in-person interviews
    • Late June: Notified applicants interviewed in Raleigh; selected projects announced
    • January of following year: Projects may start (estimated, depending on grant award date to NCDEQ and time for contract preparation)
    319 Project Contractor Reporting Requirements

    319 Project Contractor Reporting Requirements

    All selected 319 grant projects are required to submit quarterly reports along with invoices in order to receive reimbursement. In addition, project contractors should note that they must submit the final invoice for the project within 45 days of contract expiration in order to be reimbursed. At the expiration of the 319 Grant Project, project contractors must submit a final report, to include all project data, findings, maps, monitoring and photographs. Please see links below for further information on these required reporting products:

    Watershed Planning Guidance

    Watershed Planning Guidance

    If you are writing a 9-Element Plan for the first time, please refer to the following presentation, Introduction to the 9 Elements of a Watershed Restoration Plan. The 319 grant program recommends developing plans at the scale of a 12-digit HUC or smaller watershed. Previously approved 9-Element plans that cover a larger watershed remain eligible for 319 grant funding, but must evidence knowledge of local watershed issues where proposed project is located when applying.

    Qualities of good 9-Element plans include:

    • Being succinct but comprehensive
    • Using maps to clearly show political and watershed boundaries
    • Organizing the plan in subsections like watershed overview, pollution causes and sources, management measures and evaluation criteria
    • Including a few specific projects that are "shovel-ready" 
    • Using tables to organize the following information:
      • Pollution causes and sources, and the management measures designed to address them
      • Indicators of how you will measure the impact of management measures on pollution sources
      • Costs and technical assistance needed to implement management measures

    Two plans that particularly exemplify these qualities:
    Fines Creek Watershed Action Plan 
    East Fork -- South Fork New River Watershed Plan (written using a 205(j) grant)

    Watershed Restoration Success Stories

    Watershed Restoration Success Stories

    A primary objective of the 319 Grant program is to enable actors statewide to successfully recover the quality of their local waterbodies, to restore them to fully support their intended uses. Nonpoint source impairments are generally very challenging to reverse. When watershed restoration initiatives do achieve success, it is important to share their stories with others. The following stories feature waterbodies identified as being primarily nonpoint source-impaired and having achieved documented water quality improvements through restoration efforts. These projects have received funding from EPA Section 319 (h) Nonpoint Source (NPS) Pollution Control Grant Program, and in many cases, other funding sources dedicated to solving nonpoint source impairments. These success stories demonstrate the achievement of water quality standards (and removal from North Carolina’s section 303 (d) list of impaired waters) for one or more pollutants. In addition, these stories also capture the innovative strategies used, resources leveraged and the multi-stakeholder partnerships required to repair the degraded waterbodies.

    2020 Bald Creek
    2019 Smith Creek
    2018 Mud Creek
    2017 Smith Creek- Lower Segment
    2016 Dan River
    2015 Crowders Creek
    2014 Cullasaja River
    2012 Clear Creek
    2012 Richland Creek
    2011 Swannanoa River
    2010 Fourth Creek
    2009 Little Ivy Creek
    2009 Smith Creek
    2007 Brasstown Creek
    2006 Mills River
    2005 Neuse River
    2005 Tar-Pamlico Basin
    Case Studies

    Case Studies


    2015 Project Archive

    2015 Project Archive

    A Continued Effort for Best Management Practice Implementation in the Dan River Watershed ($22,208; 1/1/16-6/30/19)

    In this 4th cycle of 319 grant funding for the Dan River effort, the NC Division of Soil and Water Conservation, Stokes and Caswell County Soil and Water Districts, and local stakeholders partnered to implement BMPs along the Dan River and Reed Creek in Rockingham and Caswell counties. During the project period, 2,163 feet of livestock exclusion fencing and 2.2 acres of field borders were installed. Additionally, 27.7 acres of cropland was converted to forest, 1.2 acres of critical area was planted, and 1,719 feet of runoff was diverted. Models estimate these BMPs reduced nitrogen, phosphorous, and soil loss by about 6,133 pounds, 141 pounds, and 623 tons, respectfully. Finally, significant community partnerships were formed and strengthened throughout this endeavor creating the possibility of more long-term watershed quality benefits. 

    Beaverdam Creek Watershed Project ($192,500; 1/1/16-6/30/19)

    Blue Ridge Conservancy collaborated with Brushy Fork Environmental Consulting, Inc., Appalachian State University, North Carolina Division of Soil and Water Conservation, North Carolina Cooperative Extension (NCCE), Watauga County, and landowners to enhance the aquatic life support of Beaverdam Creek. The project was designed to strengthen almost an acre of headwater wetland and rehabilitate about 2,100 feet of stream. Some of the stream restoration BMPs implemented at several privately-owned sites included streambank protection, livestock exclusion fencing, riparian buffer enhancement, heavy use areas, watering facilities, and stream crossings. In total, these BMPs were estimated to reduce sediment loads by about 41 tons/year. During the project period, Appalachian State University conducted water quality sampling (Mar. 2016 – Nov. 2017), the NC Wildlife Commission provided fish sampling (Aug. 2016), and the NCCE conducted benthic macroinvertebrate (Mar. 2016 – Dec. 2017) and vegetation monitoring (Aug. 2018).

    Best Management Practice Implementation in Impaired and Impacted Watersheds ($200,000; 1/1/16-12/31/19)

    NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Division of Soil and Water Conservation partnered with local municipalities, stakeholders, and Soil and Water Conservation Districts from Caldwell, Chatham, Haywood, Henderson, and Cabarrus counties to implement 17 BMPs on agricultural land within 8 different watersheds across North Carolina. BMPs included 4,430 feet of livestock exclusion fencing, 19,312 square feet of streambank stabilization/planting, 1,532 feet of streambank/shoreline protection, 1,875 square feet of grassed swales, 3 heavy use area protections, 3 agrichemical handling facilities, 2 stream protection wells, and 2 stream crossings. Ultimately, 399 acres were treated, leading to overall estimated reductions in nitrogen, phosphorus, and soil erosion by 4,285 pounds, 2,746 pounds, and 244 tons, respectively. By supplementing Community Conservation Assistance Program funding with a 319 grant, the districts were able to install significantly larger and more comprehensive BMPs than usually possible.  

    Boiling Lane Park – Loves Creek Watershed BMP Project ($150,000; 3/1/16-6/30/18)

    The Piedmont Conservation Council, Biocenosis, NC State University, the Town of Siler City, the Chatham County Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Loves Creek Watershed Stewards partnered to implement stormwater control measures along an unnamed tributary to Loves Creek, which drains to the Rocky River Watershed of Chatham County. Since Loves Creek was cited on the 303(d) list of impaired waters for fair benthic community ratings, the project aimed to mitigate habitat degradation and revitalize aquatic life. Two stormwater wetlands totaling 0.12 acres were installed within Boiling Lane Park along the unnamed tributary to Loves Creek, and a 1,040-foot-long riparian buffer was created along the stream channel. These stormwater control methods were designed to reduce total nitrogen by 22% and total phosphorous by 30%. An educational site tour, brochure, and signs were also created to engage the public. 

    Little River Watershed In-stream Wetland ($90,475; 1/1/16-12/31/18)

    The Albemarle Resource Conservation and Development Council, Albemarle Commission, Perquimans and Pasquotank Soil and Water Conservation Districts, universities, and local community groups partnered to develop a 2,000-foot in-stream wetland that filters farm nutrient and sediment runoff from Boyce Farm into Little River. Water quality improvements were monitored and evaluated during the project, while field days, publications, and websites were used to communicate findings and impacts. The in-stream wetland was estimated to reduced total phosphorus by 15% and total suspended solids by 47%. This effort was preceded by the 2014 EPA 205(j) grant-funded Little River Watershed Restoration Plan.  

    Mattamuskeet Association: Implementing the Watershed Restoration Plan ($180,152; 1/1/16-12/31/18)

    The North Carolina Coastal Federation partnered with the Mattamuskeet Association, NC State University, local landowners, and contractors to continue efforts on the Mattamuskeet Association's watershed restoration plan. The plan was designed to enhance watershed management within the Mattamuskeet Association's 42,500-acre drainage district in Hyde County. During the contract period, a mineral soil core was developed around the perimeters of previously completed restoration plan projects. Models predict that the 12,500 feet of coring would retain water within the wetland cells. This reduces the need to need to pump water out of drainage canals by 20%, allowing for better water storage and treatment.

    Mills River Watershed Sediment Reduction and Protection ($230,000; 10/1/16-12/31/18)

    The Mills River Partnership collaborated with the City of Hendersonville, City of Asheville, Henderson County Soil and Water Conservation District, and local stakeholders to implement stream restoration and a series of BMPs within the Mills River, in the upper French Broad River Watershed. The four main focuses of the BMPs were agricultural operations, livestock operations, stormwater control, and stream restoration. Some of the BMPs developed included vegetation improvements for 2 acres of riparian buffers, 3 stream crossings, a 1-acre wetland, and 1 cistern. Additionally, several educational opportunities were held throughout the project period including outreach events, volunteer days, rain garden workshops, “Shade Your Stream” workshops, and education for over 2,500 school kids and teens in "Kids in The Creek" type classes.  

    Partnering with a School Community, Town of Cary, and Homeowners to Improve Black Creek ($143,870; 1/1/16-6/30/19)

    The Water Resources Research Institute partnered with the Black Creek Watershed Association, NC State University, area homeowners, Town of Cary, and Wake County Cooperative Extension to conduct stream restoration on the Black Creek. Restoration along the Black Creek leads to reduced discharge into Lake Crabtree, part of the Crabtree Creek subwatershed of the Neuse River Basin. A 2,100-gallon raingarden was installed at Kingswood Elementary School, as well as 4 residential rain gardens, and a 135-foot streambank stabilization. The 16,000-square-foot treatment area for these integrated best management practices was designed to reduce stormwater runoff by 14,998 cubic feet per year, nitrogen load by 5.16 pounds per year, and phosphorus load by 0.69 pounds per year. Other project initiatives included 5 community volunteer rain garden planting events, 3 community volunteer rain garden care events, 2 volunteer stream clean-up events, macroinvertebrate sampling, a GIS study, and a Black Creek Greenway improvement study.  

    South Ellerbe Creek Green Infrastructure Implementation ($63,627; 1/1/16-12/31/17)

    The Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association, George Watts Montessori Elementary School, and local stakeholders collaborated to install a series of BMPs that reduce stormwater runoff into Ellerbe Creek, a tributary of Neuse River in Durham County. Using a Low Impact Development approach, the team installed 18 residential rain gardens, 10 residential cisterns, and conducted a school-based project that implemented 5 rain gardens and 2 swales at George Watts Montessori Elementary. All these BMPs combined treated a total of about 48,300 square feet of impervious cover, over 70,000 square feet of pervious surface, and are estimated to reduce runoff by about 175,600 gallons per year. Additionally, 3 hands-on workshops, a nature tour, and volunteer opportunities were conducted to educate and involve the local community. The Creeksmart website was also overhauled to be more accessible and engaging to a wider audience of people. 

    2014 Project Archive

    2014 Project Archive

    Battle Grove Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance ($227,180; 1/1/15-9/30/18)

    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill collaborated with North Carolina State University and local contractors to daylight the Battle Grove Stream, which originally flowed through UNC Chapel Hill's campus into Battle Branch, before being piped in 1939 for construction. After uncovering 280 feet of the original stream, further stream restoration measures were taken including implementation of the regenerative stormwater conveyance technique, riparian buffer planting, and the addition of another 118 feet of natural channel. Additionally, wet weather monitoring was conducted by NC State faculty, macroinvertebrate monitoring was conducted by Eaton Scientific, and dry weather monitoring and geomorphic baseline studies were conducted by UNC students for educational experience. Further educational opportunities from this project included signage, an internship, tours, events, tabling, and a middle school lesson plan.  

    Durham County Community Conservation Assistance Program ($83,104; 1/1/15-12/31/17)

    Durham County Soil and Water Conservation District partnered with local HOAs and landowners to implement BMPs within the Third Fork Creek, North East Creek, and Ellerbe Creek of the Cape Fear and Neuse River basins. The projects were designed to address excess nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment loads, as well as low dissolved oxygen, pesticides, and temperature within the creeks. In total, 14 streambank stabilizations, 12 rain gardens, 2 bioretention cells, 11 cisterns, 1 impervious surface conversion, and 1 riparian buffer were installed to address these pollutants. Outreach efforts included community meetings, K-12 educational events, and local news coverage.

    Hewletts Creek Water Quality Improvement ($194,249; 1/1/15-7/31/18)

    North Carolina State University, The City of Wilmington, North Carolina Department of Transportation, and North Carolina Cooperative Extension Services partnered to improve water quality and reduce stormwater volume in Hewletts Creek, which drains into tidal shellfish waters. The stormwater control measures (SCMs) implemented include a 1,680-square-foot bioretention cell, a 17-foot swale on a golf course, a 200-foot wet swale (drains a residential lot 32-acre catchment area), 8 residential disconnected downspouts, 2 roadside bioswales, and 1 roadside infiltration trench. The bioretention cell drains a 3.04-acre commercial parking lot and is estimated to reduce runoff volumes by 52%, fecal coliform by 93%, E. coli concentrations by 94%, and total nitrogen and phosphorous levels by 70%. Beyond the SCMs, a coastal BMP workshop and several stakeholder information sessions were held to interact with and educate the local community.

    Implementing the Watershed Restoration Plan for the Lower White Oak River ($141,830; 1/1/15-6/30/17)

    The North Carolina Coastal Federation, East Carolina University, and local stakeholders collaborated to design and install a series of BMPs that reduce stormwater runoff from the Town of Cedar Point into the White Oak Watershed. Practices included a rain garden, 5 water control structures, 4 rock check dams, 42 rain barrels, a reconstructed walkway, a replacement culvert, and 13 ditch bank overhauls. In total, the BMPs are designed to reduce stormwater runoff by more than 61,000 gallons during the 1 year 24-hour storm event. Education, outreach, trainings, and a media tour were used to build greater community understanding, engagement, and enthusiasm in stormwater management.  

    Ivy River BMP Installation Project ($172,103; 1/1/15-6/30/18)

    Mountain Valleys Resource Conservation & Development collaborated with the Ivy River Partners, the Environmental Quality Institute, Mars Hill University, Natural Resource Conservation Service, NC Agricultural Extension-NC State, and multiple local stakeholders to improve water quality in the Ivy River, a tributary of the French Broad River. Deliverables from this grant period included 4,650 square feet of heavy use areas, 5,543 feet of livestock exclusion fencing, 560 feet of riparian buffers, 763 feet of access roads, 11 watering facilities, 140 feet of streambank stabilization, 3 septic tank installations, 4 septic tank repairs, 1 rain garden, and 2 cisterns. Furthermore, efforts were made to raise awareness about the importance of water quality within the community through the "Shade Your Stream" workshop series, newspaper articles, litter cleanups, "Kids in the Creek" program, and more. The Ivy River Partners were awarded a new round of 319 grant funding that will help them continue their mission of removing impaired streams from 303(d) listing in the coming years. 

    Lick Creek Watershed Restoration via Improved Wastewater Management ($162,000; 1/1/15-6/30/18)

    East Carolina University partnered with Durham County Public Health, NC Department of Health & Human Services, Wake County Environmental Services, NC Agricultural & Technical State University, the City of Durham, Tetra Tech, and local stakeholders to conduct restoration in the Lick Creek Watershed. Lick Creek drains parts of Durham and Wake County and discharges into Falls Lake. Throughout the grant period, the team pumped septage from 37 septic tanks, installed 2 new drainfields, replaced or repaired broken supply lines on 4 properties, replaced a septic tank, installed a drainageway bioreactor, and conducted monthly monitoring. These integrated BMPs were designed to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus loads by about 26 kg and 8 kg per year, respectively. 

    Richland-Racoon Creeks Watershed Restoration ($202,713; 1/1/15-2/28/17)

    The Haywood Waterways Association, Haywood Soil and Water Conservation District, Southwestern NC Resource Conservation & Development Council, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, NC Division of Soil and Water Conservation, Haywood County, and the Town of Waynesville collaborated to restore Richland and Raccoon Creeks, tributaries of the Pigeon River Watershed in Haywood County. Throughout the project period, 1 bioretention cell and 3 cisterns were implemented to reduce annual runoff and protect 175 feet of stream. An additional 5,100 feet of streambanks were stabilized across 3 project sites, and 8 failing septic systems were repaired with one septic system modified into a permitted stream discharge. Finally, monitoring was conducted including stormwater pollutant loads and substrate composition at one streambank restoration site, as well as E. coli concentrations before and after each septic repair (100% elimination of E. coli from septic repairs). Successes and results were communicated through public outreach meetings, press releases, and presentations statewide, regionally, and nationally.     

    Torrence Creek Stream Restoration at the Park ($59,961; 1/1/15-8/31/18)

    Charlotte Mecklenburg Storm Water Services, Mecklenburg County, Town of Huntersville, Wildlands Engineering, and Baker Grading & Landscaping collaborated to conduct stream restoration practices on Torrence Creek, which flows into the McDowell Creek Watershed of Mecklenburg County. The 319 grant was allocated to restore about 700 feet of Little Torrence Creek (an unnamed tributary of Torrence Creek) with natural channel design techniques. Other funding allowed for approximately 3,400 feet of stream restoration along the main Torrence Creek. This included geomorphic improvements, pools and riffles, and replacement of invasive/non-native plants with native flora. Finally, a follow up monitoring period was set to assess the BMPs' effectiveness 2 years following completion of the project.



    319 Grant Administrator
    Rishi Bastakoti
    (919) 707-3623

    Nonpoint Source Planning Branch Chief
    Rich Gannon
    (919) 707-3673