Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program

Grants & Other Funding Opportunities

Sub-pages: Award Announcements  |  All Grants Awarded  |  Other Funding Opportunities |  NRCS Service Agreement |  Stormwater Design Procurements  

Upcoming grant rounds

- Fall 2015 Southern New England Program (SNEP) funds, $3 to $5 million anticipated, municipalities, non-profits, and others expected to be eligible. More details will follow.

Notice about Buzzards Bay NEP technical assistance

The Buzzards Bay NEP fulfills its mission to help protect and restore Buzzards Bay and its surrounding watershed through our technical assistance and grant programs. Our technical assistance program has included wetland delineation, development of conceptual stormwater designs, site plan review, bylaw and regulation development and review, preparation of maps, development and analysis of GIS data sets, analysis of water quality data sets, database management, and website coding and management. We have provided, and will continue to provide, this support to municipalities, environmental groups, and scientists. Our ability to provide such services is handled on a case-by-case basis and depends upon staffing, level of effort, needs, and interests of our program, and the needs of Buzzards Bay municipalities. Requests for technical assistance are treated separately from competitive grant program applications, where proposals are reviewed according to specified evaluation criteria. This means that although we might agree to provide analytical or technical support for a study in general terms, we might not fund such a study if we receive a grant application and the work does not meet the grant program's goals. Similarly, the purposes of map, data, or information requests to Buzzards Bay NEP are irrelevant. A map or data prepared by the Buzzards Bay NEP might end up in a municipal open space plan, an application to another agency, or an application to our own program. The mere use of our data or maps will not be construed as an implicit or explicit endorsement of any project, nor will it affect how a proposal is judged.

Overview of Buzzards Bay Municipal Grant Program

The Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program, a planning and technical assistance unit of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, makes funding available to assist eligible Buzzards Bay watershed municipalities to meet the goals and objectives of the Buzzards Bay Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan. Grant categories typically include the protection of open space, rare and endangered species habitat, and freshwater and saltwater wetlands, projects to help restore tidally restricted salt marshes, to develop designs and remediate stormwater discharges threatening water quality, to provide support for mapping stormwater drainage networks, to construct pumpout facilities, to digitize wetland boundaries approved in permits, to assist in the monitoring of water quality to prioritize stormwater remediation, to address problems in migratory fish passage, and to implement other recommendations contained in the watershed management plan for Buzzards Bay.

More recently, we have also administered funds in support of the Southern New England Program (formerly SNECWRP). These grant funds are made available to a wider range of groups including municipalities, non-profits, higher education and research institutions, and others.

All our grant programs are made available through the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) and the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) as part of one or more Cooperative Agreements with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

July 2015 Buzzards Bay Municipal Minigrants

Grant Program: Buzzards Bay Municipal Minigrants for Wetland and habitat Restoration and Protection
Funding Area: Wetland and habitat restoration and protection
Entity: Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program/MCZM
Eligibility: Municipalities
Geographic Extent: Buzzards Bay Watershed
Funding Available: $154,000
Match Required: 33% of requested funds
Award Limits (per proposal/per entity): $45,000/$50,000
RFR Release Date: July 13, 2015
Application Deadline: August 31, 2014, 4:00 PM
Application and information:Details and RFP posted at CommBuys. You can also download the RFP at this link.

Funds may be used for a variety of purposes that meet program goals, including, but not limited to:

Generally, there are no other limitations on the use of funds, other than as defined in the Solicitation. Refer to the Solicitation for additional details.

Questions Received and Responses to the July 2015 Municipal Grant Round

The Regional Planner Sarah Williams will accept questions about this Solicitation in writing by mail, fax, or email through 4 PM, Friday, August 14, 2015. The Buzzards Bay NEP will post responses to questions (including those received at the site visit), if any, on this website by Wednesday,August 19, 2015, as well as on These answers are for clarification purposes only and do not constitute an amendment to the Solicitation unless expressly stated as such.

Questions received (which may be paraphrased), and answers to those questions.

These responses should be considered tentative, and for informational purposes, and will not be finalized until the Question period ends.

Question 1: We have already spent some funds to obtain engineering plans. Is the amount spent on those plans eligible for including in our match requirements if they were spent after January 15, 2015?

Response to Question 1: If the funds you expended are directly related to the project and were made after January 1, 2015 you may count that as match.

Question 2: The town Conservation Agent will be responsible for procuring the required environmental permits. Can his time working on this project be identified as part of the town's match?

Response to Question 2: Yes.

Question 3: The Cape Cod Conservation District (District) may help us apply for this grant and oversee some of the management of the project. They will also provide the town with some free time to apply for the grant and possibly some free time in managing the grant for the town. Is the value of any of this free time eligible as in-kind match? Is any of the money spent by the town in contracting with the District before (in providing application assistance) or after (for project management) eligible as town match if the grant contract is approved?

Response to Question 4: Municipalities are encouraged to collaborate with other organizations and the services provided by a partner may be counted toward the town's match, whether the services were provided for free (in-kind match) or for a fee (cash match), so long as the services were provided after January 1, 2015.

Question 4: We cannot put our project out to bid until we know we have supplemental funds to make the project viable. Although we have a reasonable estimate on what it will cost, we will not know for sure until we receive feedback from bid solicitations. Therefore, we will need to hold back some of our funds (i.e., not provide all of them as match) to insure that we will not be short of funds after bids are received. We believe that we will still have enough match funds available without exceeding the $45K project limit. Is this permissible?

Response to Question 4: The $45,000 cap is the maximum amount of funding that can be requested for a single project. There is no limit on the total project cost. Grant recipients will only receive funding up to the amount requested, which should be a good faith estimate. Awards are made on a reimbursement basis, so if a project ultimately costs less than expected, unreimbursed grant funds are added to our next municipal grant round. All projects require a match that equals at least 33% of requested funds (cash, in-kind, or a combination of both). Applications that exceed the minimum match requirement may receive additional evaluation points. Consequently, the applicant is required to provide at least 100% of the match stated in their application by the close of the project.

Release of NEP Water Quality Grants (SNEP funds)

About July 30, 2015, both the Buzzards Bay NEP and Narragansett Bay Estuary Program will each release a $900,000 request for proposals for projects that address fresh or marine water quality degradation from nutrients, pathogens, and stormwater. Information about how to apply for those funds will be posted at our SNEP page (formerly SNECWRP). Municipalities, non-profits, research and higher education entities are eligible to apply.

Funding Area: Nutrients, pathogens, stormwater
Funding Administrator: Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program/MCZM, Narragansett Bay Estuary Program/NEIWPCC
Eligibility: Municipalities, Non-profits, Higher Educational/Research Institutions
Geographic Extent: Buzzards Bay and Narragansett Bay watersheds
Funding Available: $900,000 per National Estuary Program
Match Required: 25% of requested funds
Award Limits (per proposal/per entity): $200,000/$250,000
RFR Release Date:July 30, 2015
Preproposal Deadline: Tuesday, September 15, 2015 by 4:00 p.m.
Invited Proposal Deadline: Friday, November 6, 2015 by 4:00 p.m.
For further information please go to: for projects within the Buzzards Bay watershed or or for projects in the Narragansett Bay watershed.

Eligible Respondents to our Grant Programs

Unless otherwise specified in a solicitation, eligible municipalities in the municipal minigrants program include Fall River, Westport, Dartmouth, New Bedford, Acushnet, Fairhaven, Rochester, Mattapoisett, Marion, Wareham, Middleborough, Carver, Plymouth, Bourne, Falmouth, and Gosnold. Grants funded by SNEP have an expanded list of eligible applicants including non-profits and research and higher education institutions. However, specific restoration and protection projects must lie principally within the Buzzards Bay watershed. For participation in the municipal minigrant stormwater designs program, the discharge must be contributing to an existing impairment.

Applicants must submit separate proposal forms for each grant proposal. Generally, applicants may submit any number of applications in any grant category. The dollar limits per grant and per applicant vary among the solicitations, so please review the information in the solicitation about per application and per applicant grant limits. In the municipal grant program, municipalities may submit applications in partnership with other public or private organizations, or subcontract tasks with private firms; however, we will municipal grant program award contracts only to municipalities. Applicants should never self-select grants and limit their applications to local priorities or per applicant grant limits because it is impossible to predict how applications will fare against other proposals. Applicants should always submit all of their good proposals.

Past Municipal Grants Awarded

Award announcements for past years are on these links:

2014 SNECWRP Grant Awards ($728,559 awarded)

2013 Grant Awards ($122,000 awarded)

2012 Grant Awards (83,460 awarded)

2011 Grant Awards ($180,958 awarded)

2010 Grant Awards ($282,512 awarded)

2009 Grant Awards ($167,000 awarded)

Fall 2008 Grant Awards ($131,000 awarded)

March 2008 Grant Awards ($104,000 awarded)

Spring 2007 Grant Awards ($98,000 awarded)

Fall 2006 Grant Awards ($112,000 awarded)

Suggestions for applying for other grants

All BBNEP grants, and grants solicitations issued by other state agencies, are posted on the state's CommBuys system. If you check the CommBuys website regularly, you will be informed of grant opportunities from the Buzzards Bay NEP and other Commonwealth of Massachusetts agencies.

The Buzzards Bay NEP provides technical support to municipalities within our watershed, and may also provide technical support outside our watershed depending on staff availability and transferability of the project.

Is your town having trouble finding match for environmental grants? Consider matching Buzzards Bay NEP or CZM CPR grants with funding from other sources, like Massachusetts Environmental Trust. CZM grants and MET funds are state funds and can be used to match federally funded grant programs like the Buzzards Bay NEP's or Massachusetts DEP's 319 NPS program.

Click on the link Other Funding Opportunities for funding opportunities in other agency programs.