NEP Funding

Buzzards Bay NEP Grants & Funding Opportunities

Open Grant Solicitations

The Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program would like to announce the availability of $79,338 in grant funds.  The Buzzards Bay Watershed Municipal Mini-grant Program FY2019 Grant Announcement has been posted on the COMMBUYS website.  We are seeking proposals for projects that implement recommendations in the Buzzards Bay Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan and will be principally located within the Buzzards Bay Watershed.

Eligible projects include:

  1. Stormwater remediation designs for discharges affecting marine waters;
  2. Implementation and construction of existing stormwater designs for discharges affecting marine waters;
  3. Wetland/open space/habitat restoration, preservation, acquisition or protection;
  4. Update or digitizing of wetland boundaries or land elevations from wetland permits;
  5. Migratory fish passage and habitat restoration;
  6. Construction of a boat pump-out facility in a municipality or harbor when none exists;
  7. Creation of online reporting systems for tracking of operation, maintenance and monitoring of innovative and alternative septic systems;
  8. Projects that, through direct action, mitigate for or restore: coastal waters, coastal resources, freshwaters, or freshwater resources adversely affected by nutrient loading (nitrogen or phosphorus pollution);
  9. Other activities in support of the Buzzards Bay Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan.

This solicitation is open to municipalities within the Buzzards Bay Watershed, including: Fall River, Westport, Dartmouth, New Bedford, Acushnet, Fairhaven, Rochester, Mattapoisett, Marion, Wareham, Middleborough, Carver, Plymouth, Bourne, Falmouth, and Gosnold.  However, all projects must be located principally within the Buzzards Bay watershed.

Proposals are due Thursday, May 3 by 4:00 PM.  Applicants must provide a non-federal match that will equal or exceed 33 percent of requested funds.  The RFR’s Question and Answer period will close 4:00 PM, Tuesday, April 10, 2018.

Municipalities may submit any number of applications and they may receive more than one grant; however, no single grant award may exceed $35,000 and no recipient can receive more than $60,000.

The RFR and other details on the program may be found at the following website:

Questions received in response to ENV19 CZM01, and answers to those questions.

Question 1: Are stormwater design projects that reduce flooding and beach erosion (such as paving a dirt parking lot and installing stormwater treatment) eligible for funding?

Response to Question 1: For projects of this nature, an applicant could fall under Category 1 – Stormwater Remediation Designs for Discharges Affecting Marine Waters. Projects eligible for funding in this category include those that reopen shellfish beds or coastal public bathing beaches, projects with positive impacts to diadromous fish species, or projects that address other marine water quality impairments, including remediation of discharges to water bodies that are classified as Massachusetts Category 4a (TMDL completed) and/or Category 5 Waters (Waters requiring a TMDL). Proposals must identify the specific pollutant(s) or impairment associated with the stormwater discharge and provide water quality data (collected and evaluated for bacteria) that clearly demonstrates the discharge(s) are problematic and are having a negative effect on water quality in the receiving waters. Stormwater design projects that appear to only remediate erosion issues, and where no water quality data is provided would be less competitive or ineligible in this category. Our municipal grant program also offers a grant category for projects that meet any specific goals in the Buzzards Bay Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP). It is incumbent upon the applicant to describe the specific CCMP action plan goal that would be addressed by a project.


Overview of Buzzards Bay Municipal Grant Program

The Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program, a planning and technical assistance unit of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, makes funding available to assist eligible Buzzards Bay watershed municipalities to meet the goals and objectives of the Buzzards Bay Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan. Grant categories typically include the protection of open space, rare and endangered species habitat, and freshwater and saltwater wetlands, projects to help restore tidally restricted salt marshes, to develop designs and remediate stormwater discharges threatening water quality, monitoring to establish the effectiveness of previously funded Buzzards Bay NEP projects, to construct pumpout facilities, to digitize wetland boundaries approved in permits, to assist in the monitoring of water quality to prioritize stormwater remediation, to address problems in migratory fish passage, and to implement other recommendations contained in the watershed management plan for Buzzards Bay.

All our grant programs are made available through the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) and the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) as part of one or more Cooperative Agreements with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Recent Previous Rounds

In the summer of 2017, the Buzzards Bay NEP had two grant solicitations open: one for our FY18 Municipal Mini-grant Program ($128,274 available), and the other to provide support for Inter-municipal and regional Water Quality Monitoring Programs ($45,000 available).  Both solicitations for proposals were listed on CommBuys, with the deadline for applications to both grant programs on August 1, 2017.  Below is the summary of the FY18 grant program. Read the EEA press release on the grants awarded.  See also previous grant awards in the links to the right, and view our interactive map of past grants awarded.

Suggestions for applying for other grants

All Buzzards Bay NEP grants, and grants solicitations issued by other state agencies, are posted on the state’s CommBuys system. If you check the CommBuys website regularly, you will be informed of grant opportunities from the Buzzards Bay NEP and other Commonwealth of Massachusetts agencies.

The Buzzards Bay NEP provides technical support to municipalities within our watershed, and may also provide technical support outside our watershed depending on staff availability and transferability of the project.

Is your town having trouble meeting match requirements for environmental grants? Consider matching Buzzards Bay NEP or CZM CPR grants with funding from other sources, like Massachusetts Environmental Trust. CZM grants and MET funds are state funds and can be used to match federally funded grant programs like the Buzzards Bay NEP’s or Massachusetts DEP’s 319 NPS program.

Click on the link Other Funding Opportunities for funding opportunities in other agency programs.