State officials open application period for watershed restoration grants

Raleigh, NC

The N.C. Division of Water Resources is accepting proposals for grant funds used to restore waterways impaired by nonpoint source pollution. 

The state expects to receive $1.3 million from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for competitive funding of projects under Section 319 (h) of the Clean Water Act during the 2020 grant cycle. The state expects to receive the funding by the summer of this year. Applicants who submit a draft application by March 15 can obtain a preliminary review and feedback from division staff. All applications must be submitted electronically and received by midnight on May 4.

Funds may be used to conduct watershed restoration projects such as stormwater and agricultural best management practices and restoration of impaired streams. The grant projects must be used to help restore waterways currently impaired by nonpoint source pollution in areas with approved watershed restoration plans. Eligible applicants include state and local governments, councils of government, interstate and intrastate agencies, and public and private nonprofit organizations and institutions, including academic institutions.

When evaluating proposals to receive 319 grant funds, both the EPA and Division of Water Resources place a strong emphasis on projects that will achieve measurable results. Therefore, projects should be sited as close as possible to the impaired waterway to best target identified sources of nonpoint source pollution. In addition, proposals involving on-the-ground implementation must provide documentation assuring sustainable operation and maintenance measures for at least five years.

The grant application and submittal guidelines are available online at the division’s website. Grant fund recipients will be announced on July 1. For more information, contact the 319 Grant Administrator, Rishi Bastakoti, at rishi.bastakoti@ncdenr.gov.

The 319 grant program has awarded more than $51 million since it began in 1992. See more information about past projects and success stories on the program’s website.

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