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Land Acquisition Grant

Grants to North Carolina Nonprofits and Agencies to
Acquire Land for Environmental Preservation Purposes

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 the acquisition of land for conservation purposes. The deadline to register in the online grants portal is January 22. Applicants must contact the appropriate program officer before completing an application.

It is the interest of the CWMTF board to focus on land acquisition that directly protects surface water, ecological communities, historic sites or military installations.

Funds from the CWMTF are typically used for purchase of property fee simple or conservation easements on property as describe as one or more of the following:
-Land that is within the first 300 feet from the top of the stream bank, or the width of the 100-year floodplain, whichever is greater.
-Land containing natural areas, element occurrences, or species of concern as defined by NC Natural Heritage Program or adjacent buffer land that is critical to the viability of those areas
-Land buffering military bases or land identified for federal funds through the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration program
-Properties where historic or cultural events occurred, or the viewshed of such properties

Acquisition of land or easements outside any of the above areas should be considered with matching funds, or be donated as match value to the project.

All project acres must be restricted with conservation agreements to protect natural or cultural resources.

Benefits of Land Acquisition:

CWMTF land acquisition projects protect habitat for rare and significant plant and animal communities, buffer streams to filter sediment and other pollutants, protect downstream drinking water supplies, provide recreational opportunities such as greenways and trails, protect historic sites from disturbance, and prevent incompatible land use near military installations.

A land owner’s decision to sell their land or a perpetual easement through CWMTF is voluntary and facilitated through a land trust, local government, or state agency. At the end of the project, the land may be owned by the state of NC or a local government as public lands (local greenways, State Parks, State Game Lands, etc.), or may remain in private ownership, managed for conservation.

Land acquisition examples are detailed below.

Riparian Buffers:

Riparian buffers, or stream corridors are purchased primarily to protect water quality. Downstream resources, including current and future drinking water supplies benefit from unpolluted streams. Intact riparian areas also provide wildlife corridors, improve air quality, regulate stream temperature, and lessen downstream flood damage.

Many riparian buffers funded through CWMTF allow safe, legal access to streams for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing.

Cultural and Historic Sites:

Historic site protection has included the Endor Iron Furnace on the banks of the Deep River in Chatham County (LEFT) and several parcels at Bentonville Battlefield in Johnston County (RIGHT). The Endor Iron Furnace was used to provide iron to the Confederacy from 1862-1865 and operated periodically through the end of the nineteenth century. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. Bentonville Battlefield was the site of the last major confederate counterattack in the Civil War and the largest battle fought in NC. The site was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1994.

Ecological Diversity:

CWMTF works closely with the NC Natural Heritage Program to rank natural communities that represent the ecological diversity of NC. The sites include mountain bogs in Transylvania County (LEFT), to long leaf forests in eastern NC (RIGHT).

Military Installation Buffers:

Often property near military installations have streams or natural communities with rare or endangered species that are a high priority to CWMTF to protect. However, CWMTF is able to fund projects with the primary purpose of preventing incompatible land use near installations, providing additional training areas, and providing state match for Readiness and Environmental Preparedness Initiative.


While trails are allowed on most property purchased with CWMTF funding, riparian greenway projects emphasize paved or natural surface trail for environmental, educational, and recreational uses. Similar to riparian buffer projects, riparian greenway projects provide funding for land and easements along streams. Greenway corridors funded by CWMTF typically connect community parks, schools, and neighborhoods in urban areas of the state.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 168311

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.

Funds from CWMTF are not available, nor are matching resources credited for any of the following:
-Purchase or removal of structures (including dams), except on a case-by-case basis for purchase of historic structures
-The rehabilitation, repair, restoration, operation, or maintenance, of a historic structure
-Construction of greenway or other trails

Pre-Application Information:

The best way to ensure that your project is eligible for CWMTF funding is to consult with your field representative. Applicants should contact the appropriate CWMTF Field Representative to explore concept eligibility and potential grant opportunities.

Applications are only submitted online through the Grants Management System (GMS). If you do not have a GMS account, you must request one by January 22nd.

The deadline for submitting applications is midnight February 5, 2018.

Application review and field visits will take place Spring 2018. Shortly after 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:

Online Application Instructions:

Guidelines and Criteria:

Land acquisitions funded by the CWMTF must be protected by a permanent conservation easement or other permanent conservation agreement. Click here to learn more and download easement templates:

More information about Land Acquisition Projects may be found here:

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 login to GMS here:

Nancy Guthrie, Acquisition Program Manager
(919) 707-9126

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

Justin Mercer, Field Representative, Eastern Region

Field representatives area listed here:

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