Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition (OSWA) Grant Program
Grants to Connecticut Nonprofits, Municipalities, and
Water Companies for Water and Land Conservation
Water Companies for Water and Land Conservation
Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP)
Grants to Connecticut nonprofit land conservation organizations, water companies, and municipalities for the acquisition of land for conservation, recreation, and water supply purposes. This program will support the purchase of land parcels that meet the following criteria:
1) Valuable for recreation, forestry, fishing, conservation of wildlife or natural resources;
2) A prime natural feature of the state's landscape;
3) Habitat for native plant or animal species listed as threatened, endangered or of special concern;
4) A relatively undisturbed outstanding example of an uncommon native ecological community;
5) Important for enhancing and conserving water quality;
6) Valuable for preserving local agricultural heritage; or
7) Eligible to be classified as Class I or Class II watershed land.
Careful attention should be given to the criteria previously listed and to:
1) Protection of land adjacent to and complementary to existing open space, preserved agricultural land or Class I or Class II water company land;
2) Proximity to urban areas;
3) Land vulnerable to development;
4) Consistency with the State’s Plan of Conservation and Development; and
5) Lands with multiple values such as water supply protection and recreation, or forest preservation and fishing access. Linkages between open spaces are an important consideration as are multi-town projects such as greenways. Cooperative efforts should be fostered between towns, land conservation organizations and local community groups. Preference will be given to open space acquisitions that comply with local and regional open space or conservation and development plans.
Any grants approved by the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection will be based on the fair market value, as determined by DEEP, and will not exceed the following grant funding amounts:
-Municipality for open space: 65% of fair market value
-Municipality for Class I & Class II Water supply property: 65% of fair market value
-Distressed municipality or targeted investment community for Open space: 75% of fair market value
-Distressed municipality or targeted investment community for resource enhancement or protection: 50% of cost of such work
-Nonprofit land conservation organization for open space or watershed protection: 65% of fair market value
-Nonprofit land conservation organization and water company (if land is located within a distressed or targeted community) for open space or watershed protection: 75% of fair market value
-Water Company for Class I & Class II water supply: 65% of fair market value
The following communities are designated as Distressed Municipalities and Targeted Investment Communities:
-Distressed Municipalities: Ansonia, Bridgeport, Bristol, Derby, East Hartford, East Haven, Enfield, Griswold, Hartford, Killingly, Meriden, Montville, Naugatuck, New Britain, New Haven, New London, Norwich, Plainfield, Plymouth, Putnam, Sprague, Torrington, Waterbury, West Haven, and Windham.
-Targeted Investment Communities: include Bridgeport, Bristol, East Hartford, Groton, Hamden, Hartford, Meriden, Middletown, New Britain, New Haven, New London, Norwalk, Norwich, Southington, Stamford, Waterbury, and Windham.
Applicants are encouraged to apply for parcels that can realistically be acquired within a six to twelve-month time frame.
The Department is accepting applications from municipalities, nonprofit land conservation organizations, and water companies for the competitive Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition Grant Program.
DEEP is currently accepting applications through February 2, 2017.
An application form and required supporting documentation including maps, title searches and appraisals must be submitted to the DEEP by the deadline. Applications must be endorsed by local Planning, Zoning, Conservation and/or Open Space Commissions and must include an advisory report and the recommendations of the appropriate regional planning agency.
Projects with the required matching share available, appraisal(s) completed, title work completed with a current survey are encouraged. Preference will be given to projects that leverage the greatest percentage of private and municipal funding.
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
For further questions:
David Stygar, Environmental Analyst
Allyson Clarke, Property Agent
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Office of Constituent Affairs/Land Management
79 Elm Street
Hartford, Connecticut 06106
(860) 424-3081 / 424-3774
For application questions regarding conserving a working farm:
Elisabeth Moore, Project Director at Connecticut Farmland Trust
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