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Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program (VSMP) Implementation Grant

Grants to Michigan Nonprofits, Agencies, and IHEs
to Train Groups to Monitor Stream and River Fauna

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) - Michigan Clean Water Corps (MiCorps) Program

Deadline Date:

02/22/21 5:00 PM Receipt


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Grants to Michigan nonprofits, local agencies, IHEs, and environmental councils to create and train groups to monitor specific types of aquatic life in local streams and rivers. Funding is intended to evaluate and track habitats and water quality, creating a useful pool of data to inform where further action needs to take place.

Description of MiCorps VSMP Implementation Grants

  • In an implementation grant, the grantee organization conducts aquatic macroinvertebrate surveys and stream habitat assessment with a volunteer labor force in wadable streams and rivers in specific stream locations throughout Michigan.
  • This is a “train the trainer” program. MiCorps staff will provide training and support to the grantees. Grantees use the information provided by MiCorps to train their own volunteers who will conduct the majority of the data collection work. Staff together with volunteers identify macroinvertebrates, process the data and work to turn their data results into actions that improve water quality and stream habitat.
  • While the grant lasts two years, it is expected that organizations will use this money to start a long-term, sustainable monitoring program that lasts beyond the grant period.
  • This grant money is meant to launch groups into macroinvertebrate monitoring, not to fund groups who already conduct MiCorps monitoring (that would be a Maintenance grant, which has its own RFP).
  • This grant will require you to hit the ground running and hold a volunteer monitoring event in the Fall of 2021. If this timeline is too fast, consider applying for a Startup grant instead (which also has its own RFP).
  • All grantees and volunteers must use MiCorps standard operating procedures in collecting their data.
  • Successful applicants will be required to enter into a project contract with MSU, which is administering the MiCorps Program on behalf of EGLE. A project contract consists of standard “boilerplate” language, the applicant’s project description, work plan/time line, and budget information. Failure of a successful applicant to accept these obligations will result in cancellation of the grant award. The Huron River Watershed Council (HRWC) has been contracted by the MSU to lead the project management of these grants. Dr. Paul Steen, HRWC, will serve as the Project Officer for the grants awarded under this program, with oversight and fiduciary responsibility provided by MSU.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 141310

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Approximately $20,000

Term of Contract:

Contract period: June 2021-June 2023

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Local units of government and not-for-profit entities are eligible to receive grant funding. Nonprofit entities are those exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Eligible entities generally include county, city, township, and village agencies; watershed and environmental action councils; universities; regional planning agencies; and incorporated not-for-profit organizations.

Supply proof of a successful financial audit of the applicant organization conducted in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards for a period ending within the two years immediately preceding the RFP due date, as demonstrated by an Independent Auditor’s Report signed by a Certified Public Accountant from a Comprehensive Annual Report. Note: The audit date (on or after February 22, 2019) is based on the audit period and not the date of the audit or the audit letter.

Entities that do not meet this requirement must partner with an eligible local unit of government or a nonprofit organization with a current audit that will serve as the primary applicant and fiduciary agent for the grant.

Must not have had a grant revoked or terminated or demonstrated an inability to manage a grant or meet the obligations in a project contract within the 24-month period immediately preceding the application.

Ineligible Entities and Activities
- Individuals, for-profit organizations, and federal and state agencies are not eligible to receive funding.
- Volunteer activities such as river cleanups, lake monitoring, restoration efforts, and strictly educational or school activities will not be funded.
- School or classroom-based programs using students as the primary volunteer source are not eligible for grant funding. It is acceptable to have some students as volunteers but adults must be involved as well; the goal of this program is to develop long term monitoring through long term volunteers.
- Costs associated with chemical and thermal analysis are not eligible activities under the MiCorps VSMP and may not be included as local match.

Pre-Application Information:

Complete applications – including all required supporting documentation – must be received by 5 p.m. on February 22, 2021. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered for funding.

If you have questions about your project, you are welcome to contact Dr. Steen (contact information provided below) prior to submitting your application.

A 25% match is required of all applications.
- Labor, in-kind services, and materials can count as match.
- Volunteer labor can be included as match.

Grant funds are dispersed on a cost-reimbursement basis.

Contact Information:

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

Apply online:

MiCorps Contact for VSMP:
Dr. Paul Steen
Huron River Watershed Council
Phone: 734-769-5123, ext. 601

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Michigan

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