American Rivers & NOAA now accepting proposals for river restoration grants

American Rivers seeks proposals for river restoration project grants as part of its partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Community-based Restoration Program. Program funding is provided through NOAA’s Open Rivers Initiative, which seeks to enable environmental and economic renewal in local communities through the removal of stream barriers.

This Partnership funds stream barrier removal projects that help restore riverine ecosystems, enhance public safety and community resilience, and have clear and identifiable benefits to diadromous fish populations. Diadromous fish migrate between freshwater and saltwater during their life cycle. Examples include alewife, American eel, American shad, blueback herring, salmon, steelhead, shortnose sturgeon and striped bass. Projects in the Northeast (ME, NH, VT, MA, CT, RI), Mid-Atlantic (NY, NJ, PA, DE, VA, MD, DC), Northwest (WA, OR, ID), and California are eligible to apply. Projects located within the St. Lawrence/Great Lakes Basin are not eligible for funding in the December 2007 grant round.

Eligible applications will be evaluated based upon four priority criteria:

  1. Ecological merits of the project,
  2. Technical feasibility of the project,
  3. Benefits provided to the local community, and
  4. Financial clarity and strength of the application.

Grants are provided for three distinct project phases: Feasibility Analysis, Engineering Design and Construction. Average grants are $25,000 - $50,000. Successful applicants for one project phase will not be eligible to receive additional funding for that same project phase in future grant rounds. See the Funding Guidelines for additional details.

Applications are currently being accepted for the first cycle of fiscal year 2008 with a deadline of December 3, 2007. Applications for projects must be postmarked by the deadline for consideration in this funding cycle. Potential applicants should contact American Rivers to discuss potential projects prior to submitting an application. Applicants can expect notification about funding decisions in early March 2008.