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Grants to Iowa Nonprofits, Agencies, and Conservation Districts to Decrease Nutrient Loss in State Waters

Water Quality Initiative - Nutrient Reduction Strategy Demonstration Projects

Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS)


Agency: State

GrantWatch ID #186442

Grant Description

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Grants to Iowa nonprofit organizations, government agencies, soil and water conservation districts, county conservation boards, public water supply utilities, and watershed management authorities for projects that protect watersheds from nutrient loss. Funding is intended to support the implementation of projects in specific watershed areas that employ assessment, monitoring, and planning tools in coordinating efforts around the installation of conservation practices.

Projects will be evaluated on their demonstrated experience and proposed approach to perform the following objectives:

  • Ability to increase and expand implementation of NRS practices utilizing funding from diverse resources and partnerships.
  • Ability to target conservation implementation to locations and/or specific agriculture sectors based on demonstrated experience and evaluated need for integration of these practices.
  • Established local support networks and partnerships and willing landowners/farmers to adopt and expand use of NRS priority practices.
  • Ability to leverage additional resources from stakeholders and other partner(s) to expand scale and impact of the project on a regional basis and beyond the current project area.
  • Plan to monitor, assess and evaluate project impacts in alignment with water quality and socioeconomic goals.
  • Projects that focus on infrastructure-based practices and that have a larger impact on nutrient reductions will receive priority consideration for funding (i.e. wetlands, bioreactors, grade stabilization structures, saturated buffers, oxbows, etc.).

Existing practice demonstration projects located within priority HUC8 watersheds that have been identified by the Water Resources Coordinating Council (WRCC) will receive priority consideration. Projects should evaluate the current project area and opportunity for geographic expansion as part of the application development. The priority HUC8 watersheds are: Floyd, North Raccoon, Skunk, East Nishnabotna, Boone, South Skunk, West Nishnabotna, Middle Cedar, Turkey.

Eligible expenses include:

  • Technical Assistance (Salary/Benefits/Travel/Training) needs for project implementation.
  • Outreach/Education components such as field days, publications, signs, and informational meetings.
  • Contractual costs for assistance with project implementation components such as engineering, monitoring, etc.
  • Cost-sharing funds for NRS approved practices (see application for details on practice cost-share funds).

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Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs), counties, county conservation boards, cities or other units of government, not-for-profit non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) authorized by the secretary of state, public water supply utilities or watershed management authorities are eligible to submit proposals. Due to the nature of this program and the emphasis on actionable plans/designs and documentation supportive of the nutrient reduction strategy, applicants must collaborate with respective Regional Coordinator and/or other IDALS staff on application development. Applicants are also strongly encouraged to partner with stakeholders that will benefit from installation of non-point, agricultural conservation practices and would be able to assist with outreach and promotion.

Pre-Application Information:

Proposals are due: No later than 4:30 PM Friday, November 1, 2022.

The projected timeline for the complete proposal process is detailed below:
- RFP open: September 12, 2022
- RFP closes: November 18, 2022
- Selections made: December 16, 2022
- Projected start: January 1, 2023

Funds are paid on a reimbursement basis.

Term of Contract:

Projects applying under this RFP may request up to three years of funding. It is anticipated project funds will be available January 1, 2023.

Contact Information:

Submit the electronic file containing your proposal in an attachment by e-mail addressed to nicole.mceuen@iowaagriculture.gov.

If you need assistance submitting your proposal, please contact Nicky Gubbels at 515-281-5851 or at the email address listed above.

Direct questions to:
Water Quality Initiative Coordinators
- Matt Lechtenberg, 515-281-3857 or matthew.lechtenberg@iowaagriculture.gov or
- Matt McDonald, 515-725-1037 or matt.mcdonald@iowaagriculture.gov

For help with proposals please obtain assistance from the Regional or Basin Coordinator for your area:
- Western Iowa - Bob Waters - 515-306-7012 or Bob.Waters@Iowaagriculture.gov
- Northeast Iowa - Jeff Tisl -563-422-6201 or Jeff.Tisl@Iowaagriculture.gov
- Southeast Iowa - James Martin -319-337-2322 ext. 4836 or James.Martin@Iowaagriculture.gov

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