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2021 Watershed Assistance Grant

Grants to New Hampshire Nonprofits, Agencies, and
Environmental Entities for Waterway Restoration Projects

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

12/04/20 4:00 PM


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Grants to New Hampshire nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies, and environmental entities for projects that protect and restore the State's waterways. Applicants must contact the funding source prior to submitting a mandatory pre-proposal. Funding is intended to support projects that address watershed pollution and improve water quality by measurable means.

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) is awarding 2021 Watershed Assistance Grants to support local initiatives to restore impaired waters or protect high quality waters. Funds for these grants are appropriated through the EPA under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act.

Each year the NHDES solicits projects to address nonpoint source (NPS) pollution through the implementation of watershed-based plans in priority watersheds. Projects must comprehensively address NPS problems, and must have a quantitative way to assess progress and determine success. and include the nine, minimum elements required by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

NHDES may award grants for projects that will restore or protect high quality waters in conformance with EPA’s Nonpoint Source Program Grant Guidelines for States and Territories (April 12, 2013) and the priorities identified in the New Hampshire Nonpoint Source Management Program Plan 2020-2024. Projects must implement one or more components of an existing watershed-based plan that meets the EPA Watershed Plan criteria, or implement an EPA and NHDES approved alternative plan. Funded projects must  have a clear water quality goal and make reasonable progress toward achieving the water quality goal established in the watershed-based plan. 

For the 9 EPA Watershed Plan Elements, see

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 130652

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Although there is no minimum or maximum limit on project budgets and grant requests, NHDES typically selects five to eight projects each year.

Term of Contract:

Governor and Council approved projects may begin in May.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Governmental subdivisions and nonprofit organizations are eligible to receive Watershed Assistance Grants. Examples include:

- Municipalities
- Regional Planning Commissions
- Nonprofit Organizations
- County Conservation Districts
- State Agencies
- Watershed Associations
- Lake, Pond, or River Associations
- Water Suppliers
- Designated River Local Advisory Committees

Other groups may also apply for grant funding by partnering with governmental subdivisions or nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit organizations must be registered with the NH Secretary of State.

Note that grant recipients may use these grant funds to sub-contract with private entities, such as environmental consulting or engineering firms selected through an approved procurement procedure.

MS4 Projects may be ineligible - Projects must not use grant funds to implement requirements of a Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit, the Multi-Sector General permit, or the Construction General Permit. EPA guidance clarifies that Section 319 funds may be used to fund any urban stormwater activities that do not directly implement a final MS4 permit. Therefore, some projects in MS4s will still be eligible. (Please contact the NHDES if the proposed project area is within a regulated MS4 prior to completing the pre-proposal to discuss eligibility.)

Pre-Application Information:

Timetable for Grant Process:

- Deadline to contact NHDES about your pre-proposal: September 4, 2020
- Deadline for submittal of pre-proposals: 4:00 PM on September 18, 2020
- NHDES will evaluate pre-proposals: Early October 2020
- NHDES will contact organizations submitting pre-proposals with status of proposal and schedule interviews if necessary: October 2020
- Deadline for submittal of full proposals: 4:00 PM on December 4, 2020
- NHDES will make final selection of full proposals to receive funding, and submit to EPA for review: December 2020
- NHDES will draft Grant Agreements and send to organizations for signatures: February 2021
- NHDES Commissioner and N.H. Attorney General’s office review Grant Agreements: March-April 2021
- Submit Grant Agreements to Governor and Executive Council for approval: April - May 2021
- Governor and Executive Council approved project may begin: May 2021

Total time to complete the Grant Agreement from the submittal of the pre-proposal, to the beginning of the project is approximately eight months.

Potential applicants are required to contact NHDES to discuss the proposed project prior to beginning the pre-proposal process. Please contact Sally Soule (coastal watershed contact) or Jeff Marcoux (other watersheds contact) via phone or email to discuss your pre-proposal by September 4, 2020. ..

Proposal Process: Project information provided on the pre-proposal is reviewed and ranked by the NHDES grant selection team. Selected pre-proposal applicants may be invited to an interview to further discuss the project. Based on the pre-proposal and interview, selected applicants are invited to work with NHDES staff to develop and submit a full proposal. If approved, applicants will be notified of award amount and a Grant Agreement between NHDES and the applicant will be drafted.

Grant recipients must provide matching funds of at least 40% of the total project cost (not 40% of the grant amount requested) in non-federal funds and/or in-kind services.

Grant requirements: Watershed Assistance Grant recipients must enter into a Grant Agreement with the State of New Hampshire to receive funds. Grant Agreements will require Governor and Executive Council approval.

Grant Related Resources:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Please email the completed pre-proposal and attachments to

For more information contact:

Coastal Watershed:
Sally Soule
(603) 559-0032

All other watersheds:
Jeff Marcoux
(603) 271-8862

NH Dept. of Environmental Services
29 Hazen Drive
PO Box 95
Concord, NH 03302-0095
(603) 271-8475

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New Hampshire

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