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Watershed Restoration and Protection Program (WRPP)

Grants to Pennsylvania Nonprofits, For-Profits,
Agencies, and IHEs to Protect and Restore Watersheds

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development

Deadline Date:

05/31/18 Receipt


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Grants to Pennsylvania nonprofit, for-profits, government agencies, IHEs, and watershed organizations for the restoration and protection of watersheds throughout the state. Requests may involve runoff control through watershed based Best Management Practices (BMPs) in agricultural or urban areas, stream bank stabilization, BMP maintenance, and water qualify monitoring

Statement of Purpose:

Act 13 of 2012 establishes the Marcellus Legacy Fund and allocates funds to the Commonwealth Financing Authority for watershed restoration and protection projects.

Nutrient and sediment loadings coming from multiple nonpoint sources of land disturbance including agricultural and stormwater runoff are leading causes of watershed degradation in Pennsylvania. Uncontrolled and untreated runoff coming from these sources causes water quality impairments to over 8,100 stream miles within the Commonwealth. Hydromodification of stream channels due to uncontrolled runoff also impairs a significant number of stream miles across the commonwealth.

The overall goal of the Watershed Restoration and Protection Program (WRPP) is to restore, and maintain restored stream reaches impaired by the uncontrolled discharge of nonpoint source polluted runoff, and ultimately to remove these streams from the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP’s) Impaired Waters list. This may be accomplished by the implementation of watershed based Best Management Practices (BMPs) for agriculture, stormwater, stream bank and channel restoration, as well as for BMP repair, upgrade or operation and maintenance of existing practices.

Eligible Projects:

1. Watershed restoration/protection projects implementing runoff control or runoff reduction BMPs on agricultural operations negatively impacting local or regional stream quality. A description of BMPs commonly used for agricultural operations is provided in the Pa Soil and Water Conservation Technical Guide administered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

2. Watershed restoration/protection projects implementing runoff control or runoff reduction BMPs addressing urban or residential areas negatively impacting local or regional stream quality. A listing of potential BMPs is contained in the Pennsylvania Stormwater Best Management Practices Manual, administered by Pa DEP.

3. Watershed projects that refurbish, restore, or create stream bank or stream channel stabilization using bio-engineering techniques.

4. Repair and maintenance of existing watershed protection BMPs addressing agricultural, urban/residential, and degraded stream areas.

5. Monitoring of water quality to track, or continue to track NPS load reductions resulting from watershed protection BMP implementation projects.

Funds may be used by the applicant to pay for any of the following project costs:

1. Construction, improvement, expansion, repair, maintenance or rehabilitation of new or existing watershed protection BMPs, and security fencing. Construction contingency limited to 5% of actual construction costs.

2. For construction projects, no more than 10% of the grant award may be used for engineering and construction oversight, inspection and performance monitoring costs. Technical assistance necessary to carry out the project.

3. Stream channel and stream bank stabilization activities including the establishment of riparian vegetation to allow for long term stability of the stream.

4. In stream monitoring to assess stream restoration status.

5. Trust funds for operations and maintenance costs associated with implemented urban and stream restoration BMPs. (limited to 25% of the grant award.) Trust funds may be established for a period of no more than 20 years.

6. Administrative costs of the applicant necessary to administer the grant. Administrative costs will include advertising, legal, and audit costs as well as documented staff expenses. Administrative costs shall not exceed 2% of the grant award.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 142708

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants shall not exceed a total of $300,000 for any project.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Any of the following entities may apply for a grant under the Watershed Restoration and Protection Program (WRPP):

1. Municipality – Any county, city, borough, incorporated town, township or home rule municipality.

2. Councils of Governments – An entity organized by units of local government under an intergovernmental agreement, which provides cooperative planning, coordination and technical assistance to its member governments on issues of mutual concern that cross jurisdictional lines, and which does not act under the direction and control of any single member government.

3. Authorized Organization – An entity involved in research, restoration, rehabilitation, planning, acquisition, development, education or other activities, which furthers the protection, enhancement, conservation, preservation or enjoyment of this commonwealth's environmental, conservation, recreation or similar resources. The organization must be a tax-exempt institution under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (Public Law 99-514, 26 U.S.C. § 501(c) (3)) and registered with the Bureau of Charitable Organizations or an educational institution involved in these authorized activities or a municipal authority.

4. Institution of Higher Education – An entity that is an accredited university, college, seminary college, community college or two-year college.

5. Watershed Organization – An entity recognized by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources or the Department of Environmental Protection that was established to promote local watershed conservation efforts in an identified watershed.

6. For-Profit Businesses – other than “producers” of natural gas as defined in Act 13.

Ineligible costs include but are not limited to public relations, outreach, communications, lobbying, litigation, fees for securing other financing, interest on borrowed funds, application preparation fees and other costs incurred prior to the approval of grant funds.

Pre-Application Information:

A 15% cash match of the total project cost or cash equivalents for the appraised value of the real estate is required. Eligible match contributions will be permitted for up to one year prior to the grant submittal deadline date through the life of the grant agreement as long as the eligible match expenditures are directly related to the project. If using the value of real estate as match, an appraisal not older than 1 year will be required. Match commitment documentation is required to be provided along with the application

All recipients of funding for construction projects where federal, state, or local planning or permit approvals are required, must state in the application that the project will secure the necessary planning and permit approvals for the project prior to beginning construction. The project applicant must document in the application that the project generally is in compliance with any applicable county or local comprehensive plans as evidenced by a letter from the appropriate local planning agency, prior to funds being disbursed.

The Commonwealth Financing Authority charges a $100 non-refundable application fee for WRPP applications. The application fee is due at the time of submission and should be made payable to the Commonwealth Financing Authority.

Applications will be accepted between February 1st and May 31st of each year. All applications and required supplemental information must be received by May 31st.

Contact Information:

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

Apply Online:

PA Department of Community and Economic Development
Office of Business Financing – CFA Programs Division
Watershed Restoration and Protection Program
Commonwealth Keystone Building
400 North Street, 4th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0225

P: (717) 787-6245
F (717) 772-3581

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Pennsylvania