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Innovative Stormwater Grant

Grants to North Carolina Nonprofits and Agencies
for Innovative Stormwater Management Projects

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF)

Deadline Date:

02/05/18 Midnight


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Grants to North Carolina nonprofit organizations and government agencies for innovative projects that improve stormwater management and water quality. The deadline to register in the online grants portal is January 22. Applicants must contact program staff before completing an application.

CWMTF can consider funding innovative stormwater projects that demonstrate a novel and untried method to water quality at the project site and how it would contribute to achieving CWMTF’s goal of advancing stormwater-management practices for water quality. Any proposed innovative stormwater project application should contain a clear description of the methods to be tested and discuss how results from such a pilot test can be successfully transferred to other North Carolina sites with similar water issues or problems.

The North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF) may fund projects employing innovative technologies, applications, strategies, or approaches for managing stormwater for protecting and improving the quality of water in North Carolina.

Recipients of CWMTF innovative stormwater grants must agree to maintain and manage, at maximum functional utility, the stormwater improvements installed or constructed under the innovative stormwater project only for the period during which the site is needed and used for the innovative stormwater project.

SL 143B-135.234 (c) Fund Purposes - Moneys from the Fund are appropriated annually to finance projects to clean up or prevent surface water pollution and for land preservation in accordance with this Article.

The purposes for which funds may be used for innovative stormwater are the following:
-To finance innovative efforts, including pilot projects, to improve stormwater management, to reduce pollutants entering the State’s waterways, to improve water quality, and to research alternative solutions to the State’s water quality problems.

Types of Innovative Stormwater Projects:

CWMTF defines “innovative stormwater projects” as projects that: 1) bring something new or different to practices in stormwater-quality management, 2) build on experience and current practices, and 3) advance practices in stormwater-quality management regionally or statewide.

Innovative stormwater projects will focus on developing and applying new information. These projects will emphasize developing representative and defensible monitoring data and cost data, evaluating system effectiveness and performance in field applications, evaluating economic and social benefits, and disseminating findings and results. Approaches should provide for evaluating success in the context of the project’s objectives and explaining why objectives were achieved or not achieved. Be sure to clearly describe your study design as required in the application - Section 5B (See further guidance on Section 5B below).

In addition, The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s (NC DEQ) Stormwater Design Manual includes an “Areas of Research Needed” section that may serve to identify types of stormwater projects that be useful in designing an innovative project.

Project Focus:

A list of some broad types of projects that would be appropriate for funding under innovative stormwater are listed below. CWMTF does not intend for this list to be exhaustive or exclusive.

-Reducing runoff volumes and rates.
-Providing alternative water for consumptive uses, reducing demand on potable water-supply systems.
-Promoting infiltration and recharging of groundwater.
-Sustainably maintaining or improving qualitative and quantitative hydrologic characteristics after land development.
-Minimizing initial and ongoing costs, including recognizing avoided costs.
-Mimicking mechanisms of natural systems.
-Operation and maintenance protocols.
-Pollutant-removal mechanisms.
-Effectiveness or efficiency.
-Managing residual materials.
-Removing all pollutants of concern (not only specific pollutants customarily targeted by a type of BMP).
-Addressing aesthetics (appearance, insects, odors), including recognizing value of improving aesthetics.
-Supporting natural systems or restoring function of natural systems.
-Changing attitudes, values, or behaviors.
-Collaborating in new or different ways to protect water quality.

In general, more competitive proposals will provide or show:
-Project location and setting consistent with the project’s goals and objectives, taking into account the geographic region and its stormwater-management issues (soil types, rainfall, ecosystems, and characteristics of downstream waters).
-Approaches that lead to improved understanding and documentation of how and why components, or combinations of components, of stormwater-management systems work (what factors affect pollutant removal, and why).
-Approaches that lead to improved understanding and documentation of relative costs and benefits of stormwater-management systems and individual components of systems. Approaches could include consideration of savings realized by displacement or elimination of other practices (avoided costs), reducing or eliminating ongoing (maintenance) costs, or recognizing value added by of improving aesthetics of stormwater-management systems.
-Results and outputs that can be applied broadly, what activities can be conducted to encourage their broad application, and who should conduct those activities.

Project Location and Setting:

Locations for innovative stormwater projects should be selected taking into account CWMTF’s goal for broad application of the project’s findings. Secondarily, CWMTF also is interested in distributing innovative stormwater projects across the state, to the extent that it receives quality proposals for projects across the state.

Preferred project locations should have characteristics representative of a geographic area where the project’s findings can best be applied (e.g., a river basin, a watershed, or a physiographic region). Location characteristics could include soil types, topography, land uses, extent and nature of development, rainfall, ecology, watershed size and configuration, or uses and characteristics of downstream waters, as relevant to the project’s goals and objectives.

Projects may be located on land that is owned by State or local governments or by private organizations or individuals. Settings of project locations may be land that has been developed or built-out, land to be developed (greenfields, infill), developed land to be redeveloped, or developed land that has been neglected, abused, or avoided for redevelopment (brownfields, greyfields).

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 168303

Term of Contract:

Project duration is usually 12-24 months and may not exceed 36 months.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To receive funds from CWMTF, the applicant must be a State Agency; a local government unit; or a nonprofit corporation whose primary purpose is the conservation, preservation, and/or restoration of the State’s cultural, environmental and natural resources.

Pre-Application Information:

Construction Contingency Funds provided by CWMTF must now be matched at a minimum of 50% with other sources of construction contingency funds. More information regarding matching funds may be found in the budget portion of the application.

You must contact your CWMTF Field Representative to explore concept eligibility and potential grant opportunities.

The deadline for submitting applications is midnight February 5, 2018. If you do not have a GMS account, you must request one by January 22.

Application review and field visits will take place Spring 2018. Within a few weeks of the application deadline, a Field Representative will contact you to schedule a field visit. The Field Representative will be your primary point of contact throughout the application review.

Funding decisions will be made September 12, 2018.

Webinar Recording:

Among other resources, applicants may wish to review The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s (NC DEQ) Stormwater Design Manual which includes an “Areas of Research Needed” section:

Application Guidelines, Questions, and Criteria:

Application Instructions:

Contact Information:

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

Once registered, you may apply online through the GMS portal:

Field Representatives are listed here:

Damon Hearne, Field Representative, Western Region
828-296-7230 x231

Justin Mercer, Field Representative, Eastern Region

Walter Clark, Executive Director
(919) 707-9123

Physical Address:
121 W. Jones Street
Raleigh, NC 27603

Mailing Address:
1651 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1651

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: North Carolina