DEP Solicits New Requests for up to $6 Million in Water Quality Restoration Grants

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is soliciting grant applications to fund stormwater projects and other “nonpoint source” management practices. The solicitation for these “319 Grant” applications starts today with applications due by May 23.

This solicitation follows the Department’s recent award of more than $6 million in “319 Grants” to help local governments with other water quality restoration projects. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency annually awards each state a formula-based grant to protect and restore watersheds affected by nonpoint source pollution—pollutants carried by urban and agricultural stormwater runoff, including fertilizers, pesticides, animal waste, and septic tank discharges. The Department in turn selects high priority local restoration projects to fund with these dollars.

“Florida expects to receive about $6 million from EPA for the upcoming grant cycle,” said Tom Frick, DEP Director of Environmental Assessment and Restoration. “The 319 grants offer local governments and other potential sponsors the chance to leverage their own resources to improve local water quality.”

Eligible types of projects:

•Urban stormwater retrofits

•Septic tank pollution abatement

•Silviculture (forestry) best management practices (BMPs)

•Other agricultural BMP development, monitoring or evaluation

•Erosion/sediment control

•Low impact development

• Nonpoint source and BMP training

Funds may be awarded for construction, project-related monitoring, and project-related public education. Project design, engineering, land acquisition, and activities required by federal permit, such as an NPDES stormwater permit, are not eligible for funding.

Project sponsors must provide a minimum 40 percent non-federal match, which may come from local expenditures on in-kind services such as staff time and contract administration, as well as design, engineering, monitoring, or public education. Other federal funds and land acquisition costs may not be used as match. Projects may be sponsored by state agencies, local governments, colleges and universities, non-profit organizations, public utilities and water management districts.

Awards are targeted at projects designed to restore “impaired” springs, rivers, lakes, and estuaries—those waterbodies that do not meet Florida’s stringent water quality standards. The Department ranks projects for funding based on estimated pollutant load reductions,

For more information on the 319 grant program and the application process, click here. Information on the wide range of the Department’s restoration programs is available here under “Water Quality Assessment and Restoration.”

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