Since its creation in 1998, the Vermont Watershed Grant Program has supported the protection, restoration, enhancement, and public appreciation of Vermont’s lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams. The grant program also supports efforts to improve surface water quality in keeping with stated habitat improvement objectives. The program provides grants to towns, nonprofit organizations and community groups with specific watershed projects.
What types of projects are eligible for funding?
Projects must be watershed related and can include monitoring, education, conservation, recreation, or historic enhancement. Some specific examples include:
- Protecting or restoring fish and wildlife habitats;
- Protecting or restoring water quality, and shorelines;
- Reducing phosphorus loading and/or sedimentation as part of DEC’s Clean Water Initiative objectives;
- Enhancing recreational use and enjoyment;
- Identifying and protecting historic and cultural resources;
- Educating people about watershed resources; or
- Monitoring fish and wildlife populations and/or water quality.
How much money is available for a project?
Awards are made up to $10,000, depending on the project category type. Category types and the maximum grant amount for each project category type are as follows:
- Education and outreach – up to $5,000
- Planning, assessment, inventory, and monitoring – up to $3,500
- On-the-ground implementation – up to $10,000
Watershed Grants Program dollars are intended for complete projects or for discreet, identifiable portions of larger projects.
Who is eligible to apply?
Municipalities, local or regional governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, and citizen groups are eligible to receive Watershed Grants for work on public or private lands. Individuals and state and federal agencies are not eligible to receive funds directly but may be partners of a project.
Grant awards are made on an annual cycle, with applications due in the fall of the year and funding decisions made the following mid-winter.
The 2023 Project Year grant application deadline is February 8, 2023. Persons interested in applying should consult and use the 2022 project year forms shown below:
- 2023 Watershed Grants Application Guide | PDF
- 2023 Watershed Grant Application | PDF version
- 2023 Watershed Grant Application | WORD version
- 2023 Watershed Grant Administrative Guide | PDF
- Standard State Insurance Requirements for Grantees | PDF
- Conservation License Plate logo
Email completed applications to William.Eldridge@vermont.gov with "2022 Watershed Grant Application" in the subject line.
A copy of the Grant Application Guide and the Grant Application may also be requested by contacting Will Eldridge at 802-585-4499.
For information about administering and reporting on grants, please see the Administrative Guide.
How are the grants awarded?
A seven-member citizen review committee reviews and scores the grant applications and then makes funding recommendations for final approval by the Commissioner of Fish and Wildlife.
What is the advantage in applying for a Watershed Grant?
Some big grant programs are complicated and can discourage people from applying for small projects. This program lets small groups, such as a town conservation commission or local watershed association, apply for and get a few thousand dollars to do something that involves people at the local level.