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Watershed Assistance Grant Program

The Watershed Assistance Grant Program is a partnership between the Chesapeake Bay Trust (Trust), the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), and – new this year – West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP)!

This program provides support for watershed restoration project designs and permitting and for watershed planning and programmatic development. The ultimate goal of the projects funded through this opportunity will be improved water quality in:

  • The entire State of Maryland
  • The West Virginia portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed
Click Here to View Map of Eligible Locations

By funding the earliest phases of watershed restoration projects and planning, the funding partners aim to provide local governments and non-profit organizations the ability to position themselves to quickly advance implementation work. The funding partners hope the products of grants funded under this opportunity will enable grantees to:

  • Leverage resulting designs, plans, or projects to craft future proposals for implementation funding to the Maryland Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund, grant programs at the Chesapeake Bay Trust, or other sources of support;
  • Develop deliverables that will support local planning efforts such as Financial Assurance Plans (FAPs), Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Implementation Plans, county-wide Green Infrastructure Plans, watershed action plans, and State of Maryland Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) strategies and associated State Two-year Milestones.

What this funds:This grant program welcomes applications for the following project types.

  • Type 1: Project Design
    • Generally, requests are up to $100,000 for design of best management practices (BMPs), including the following:
      • Bioretention cells and large-scale rain gardens;
      • Stormwater management practices, that include low impact development (LID) techniques, green infrastructure (GI), water quality BMPs, and environmental site design (ESD),
      • Submerged gravel wetlands, and
      • Agricultural BMPs.
    • Generally, requests are up to $150,000 for design of
      • Stream restoration practices,
      • Wetland and marsh creation/restoration projects, and
      • Living shorelines.
  • Type 2: Watershed Planning and Program Development
    • Generally, requests are up to $75,000

Who can apply: The Trust, MDNR, MDE, and WVDEP welcome requests from the following organizations:

  • Municipal, County, and Regional Agencies
  • Nonprofit Organizations
  • Faith-based Organizations
  • Community and Homeowners Associations (HOAs)
  • Soil/Water Conservation Districts & Resource Conservation and Development Councils
  • Forestry Boards
  • Public and Independent Higher Educational Institutions

*If your organization category is not listed above, please contact the Trust to verify eligibility prior to submitting your application*

Is match required? Match is encouraged but not required.

Eligible Locations:  All communities in Maryland and throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed in West Virginia are eligible. To determine if a project site is eligible, see our online map here: WAGP Project Eligiblity Map_8.23.23

Watershed Assistance Collaborative (WAC): The Watershed Assistance Grant Program is a shared initiative through the WAC, an initiative in partnership with the Trust, DNR, MDE, UMD, and Environmental Finance Center, to provide services and technical assistance to communities to advance restoration activities and projects. To request technical assistance from WAC partners, please fill out this Technical Assistance Request Form, and a member of the WAC will follow-up with you.


Updates, Questions, and Answers:

The Cost-Effectiveness table on Page 13 of the RFP has been updated:

Cost-Effectiveness: For Watershed Planning and assessment projects, the cost-effectiveness for proposals is generally <$75 per acre of drainage area considered. The table below provides dollar ranges in which approximately 75% of proposals in the most recent two rounds were funded for restoration design projects. Please contact the Trust for further support or questions regarding cost-effectiveness. Matching funds, while not required, can improve the cost-effectiveness for your project for the below metrics:

Design Practice Type Dollars ($) per Linear Feet Impervious acre treated ($/acre) Dollars ($) per pound (lb) Reduced:
Nitrogen Phosphorus Solids
Stream Restoration $40 to $90 $571 to $4,000 $52 to $217 $116 to $373 <$1
Best Management Practices (Stormwater) NA $19,000 to $71,000 $900 to $12,000 $8,000 to $205,000 <$1 to $46
Living Shoreline <$59 <$23,000 $9 to $1,091 $19 to $1,200 <$1
Combination Projects (Wetland/Stream Restoration) <$77 $241 to $1,000 $33 to $219 $226 to $820 <$1

Program Overview Webinar

West Virginia Information Session Video – September 18th, 2023

West Virginia Information Session Slides

Program Status: OPEN

Deadline: Wednesday, December 6, 2023, at 4:00 PM EST

Click Here to View the Request for Proposals (RFP)

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Manage an Existing Award or Continue an Application

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Learn more about previously awarded projects on our interactive map!

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Grant Questions & Technical Support

Sarah Koser, Program Manager
410-974-2941 x106

Megan Diehl, Program Officer
410-974-2941 x139

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