DNREC Accepting Grant Proposals for Delaware Chesapeake Bay Watershed Projects

Floating wetlands at Trap Pond State Park that improve Delaware water quality were funded by a Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant.

Another Delaware water quality improvement grant opportunity is coming from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control – the Chesapeake Bay Implementation Funding Grant for best management practices (BMPs) water quality improvement projects within the state’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. With $350,000 available in grant funding for fiscal year 2021, the DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship is soliciting project proposals from state agencies, county and municipal governments, conservation districts, community organizations, homeowners associations and non-profit organizations.

The Implementation Funding Grant is an annually-determined set-aside within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant. Funding is intended for use by Delaware entities within the Chesapeake Bay watershed for BMP implementation projects that will improve water quality by reducing nutrient and sediment loads. DNREC’s Delaware’s Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant Program administers the competitive grant process, providing technical and financial guidance during the grant application and project period.

DNREC will consider grant requests of up to $200,000, with a one-to-one non-federal match requirement. Up to 10% of the grant funds may be used for administrative costs. Proposals for the Chesapeake Bay Implementation Funding Grant must be received by DNREC no later than 4:30 p.m. Feb. 17, 2021.

Previous Chesapeake Bay implementation grant awards for local entities utilizing BMPs on water quality projects include:

•   The town of Laurel and the city of Seaford to locate and map their stormwater infrastructure in preparation for a MS4 stormwater management permit;
•  The town of Laurel for the installation of wetlands and a bioswale (vegetated trench system for capturing stormwater runoff); and
•   The Kent Conservation District and the Sussex Conservation District to install agricultural BMPs within targeted sub-watersheds.

Grant guidelines and application instructions can be found on DNREC’s website at de.gov/cbig. Proposals must be submitted by email to NPS.Grants@delaware.gov and must be no larger than 10 megabytes (MB) in size.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The Division of Watershed Stewardship develops and implements innovative watershed assessment, monitoring and implementation activities. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Joanna Wilson, joanna.wilson@delaware.gov

DNREC to hold April 30 workshop on solicitation of watershed implementation projects

DOVER – The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Watershed Stewardship will host a workshop for a special solicitation of watershed implementation projects from 10 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, April 30, in Dover, at the Kent County Administration Building, Room 222, 555 South Bay Road, Dover, DE 19901.

The workshop will focus on proposals for implementing new projects specifically designed to restore water quality as part of specific Delaware priority watershed improvement plans. Projects funded under the special solicitation will have the benefit of a zero percent loan interest rate, and no accrual of loan interest through project completion. After successful completion of the watershed implementation project, the outstanding principle loan balance shall be forgiven.

Applicants are limited to those with the necessary legal authority to enter into a loan agreement with DNREC for a loan through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) program. Eligible applicants include state agencies, counties, municipalities, other commissions and political subdivisions or interstate bodies with the capacity to borrow. Partnerships are encouraged where necessary to promote larger projects that are beyond the capacity of smaller organizations.

Proposed projects will be selected for funding consideration through a special project solicitation conducted by the Division of Watershed Stewardship, Nonpoint Source (NPS) Pollution Program, and evaluated for CWSRF funding by DNREC Environmental Finance. The Delaware Water Infrastructure Advisory Council (WIAC) through a competitive review process based on ranking criteria shall recommend project requests to the Secretary of DNREC for final approval.

The total CWSRF loan request cannot be less than $500,000 and no greater than $1 million. The funding allocation for the special solicitation is $2.5 million.

For more information, please contact Jim Sullivan, Division of Watershed Stewardship at 302-739-9922.

Vol. 49, No. 102