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Design and Implementation Block Grant

Grants to Vermont Watershed Groups and Partner Organizations
to Design and Implement Clean Water Projects Across the State

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Watersheds United Vermont (WUV) and White River Partnership (WRP)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

12/03/19 - For project requests over $20,000; project requests under $20,000 will be accepted on a rolling basis.


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Grants to Vermont watershed groups and partner organizations to design and implement clean water projects. A Pre-Application Questionnaire is required prior to submission of the full proposal. Eligible partner organizations include nonprofit organizations, municipalities, state agencies, natural resources conservation districts, colleges and universities, hospitals, and schools. Funding is intended to support projects that reduce nutrient and sediment pollution and may provide other water quality benefits, in addition.

WUV received a Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Design and Implementation Block Grant (Block Grant) to distribute funds to watershed groups and partner organizations for design and implementation of clean water projects. Block Grant funds are for projects that primarily reduce nutrient and/or sediment pollution; a project may reduce other pollutants such as bacteria or chloride and/or provide other water quality benefits, but only if they are secondary benefits.

Block Grant funds must be used for:

1. Projects that will lead to improved water quality with the primary purpose of nutrient and/or sediment reduction

2. Projects that fall into one of the following four categories: 

  •  Lake Shoreland
  •  Rivers – Floodplain/Stream Restoration
  •  Forestry
  •  Stormwater

3. Preliminary Design and/or Final Design and/or Project Implementation

4. Projects identified/prioritized in a Tactical Basin Plan, River Corridor Plan, Stormwater Master Plan, or other strategic assessment and must be in (or added to) the Watershed Projects Database

Block Grant funds can be used for:

1. Projects that address the new 3-acre stormwater permit compliance if:

  •  The project meets eligibility requirements of the Block Grant;
  •  A stormwater permit is in-place prior to construction; and
  •  The project is not on a school site. 

2. Road projects if:

  •  Funding is not available through the municipal grant-in-aid program or from another source; and
  •  The project meets the qualifications under the stormwater eligible project list.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 187235

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Estimated Total Program Funding: At least 50% of the Block Grant funds ($250,000) will be used for projects under $20,000.

Term of Contract:

All project work and reporting must be complete by October 31, 2021.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Design and Implementation Block Grant will be distributed to watershed groups and partner organizations. The Block Grant is not strictly limited to members of Watersheds United Vermont; however the main area of focus is watershed groups and their partners.

Eligible Applicants:

- Vermont municipalities
- Regional Planning Commissions
- Natural Resources Conservation Districts
- Nonprofit private organizations
- State agencies
- State colleges and universities
- Public hospitals and medical centers
- Public schools
- Project on private land sponsored by eligible entity

Ineligible Applicants:

- Private citizens, individuals
- Private for-profit colleges and universities
- Private for-profit businesses and industries
- Federal agencies
- Programs within DEC

Block Grant funds cannot be used for:

1. The following project types:
- Projects dealing with private driveways
- Culvert replacements that do not improve stream geomorphology
- Dam removals
- Projects to comply with Acceptable Management Practices (AMPs) for Maintaining Water Quality on Logging Jobs in Vermont on active logging/harvesting sites
- River corridor easements or projects involving land acquisition
- Riparian buffer projects (that are not part of a river corridor restoration or lake shoreland project)
2. Assessments, prioritization projects, and project development
3. Maintenance activities (e.g., re-grading, sweeping, or catch basin cleaning)
4. Education and outreach
5. Projects related to compliance with the MS4 Permit Minimum Control Measures
6. Projects that treat stormwater associated with new or expanded impervious surfaces to comply with a state permit or state order
7. A project that solely addresses flooding problems, drainage, and/or flood mitigation without addressing nutrient/sediment pollution
8. Projects that can be funded through other sources (projects may be eligible if other options are exhausted and justification is provided, subject to CWIP approval)

For additional Funding Restrictions and Ineligible Costs, see p. 3 of the Guidelines and Pre-Application Document listed in Supporting Documents below.

Pre-Application Information:

- For Project requests under $20,000:
Project Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. (As time-sensitive projects may be involved, an attempt will be made by the funding source to respond as quickly as possible.)

- For Project requests over $20,000:
A Pre-Application Questionnaire will be due on November 12, 2019. The full Project Application will be due on December 3, 2019, and funding decisions will be made by the end of the year.

As part of the application process, applicants will need to complete the DEC-required Natural Resources Screening. In past state funded grant rounds, DEC has taken the lead on engaging natural resource experts to weigh in on whether a project requires permits, mitigation efforts, or can proceed without change. Under this grant funding, the project implementer must undertake the natural resource screening. For further details, see p. 5 of the Project Application listed in Supporting Documents below.

Watersheds United Vermont (WUV) and the White River Partnership (WRP) will jointly administer this Design and Implementation Block Grant in the following ways:

- The WUV will be primarily responsible for project solicitation, project funding determinations, and all invoicing and financial oversight for funded projects. Please contact Lynn Munno for assistance.
- The WRP will be responsible for screening projects for eligibility, ensuring compliance with all permits and requirements, and tracking all deliverables for funded projects. For any questions on project eligibility, grant expenses and funding restrictions, please contact WRP Program Coordinator Christian Pelletier.

The following 4-step process applies to all Project requests:

1. Applicant completes and submits Pre-Application Questionnaire to WUV
2. Applicant receives project eligibility determination from WUV
3. If project is eligible*, applicant completes and submits Project Application, including the DEC Natural Resource Screening, to WUV
4. WUV and review team will evaluate projects and make funding determinations. Projects will be placed in 3 categories:
a. Fund immediately with no modifications
b. Fund with modifications
c. Decline funding

*If it is determined that you meet the funding requirements from the pre-application questionnaire, you will be sent the Project Application. If, however, your project does not meet the requirements of the grant, the funding source will follow up with the reason for non-eligibility and discuss any modifications to the project that may make it eligible.

Grant Presentation and Q & A Webinar:

Contact Information:

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

Both the Pre-Application Questionnaire and the full Application are to be emailed to Lynn Munno, WUV Director, at:

Watersheds United Vermont

WRP Contact:

Christian Pelletier, Program Coordinator
White River Partnership

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Vermont

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