Alert: Draft RFP issued for NEP Water Quality grants

In July 2015, the Buzzards Bay and Narragansett Estuary Programs will each issue a request for proposals for up to $900,000 in support of projects that address water quality degradation caused by nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) and pathogens. The Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program is seeking comments on its DRAFT Request for Proposals for the Southeast New England Program (SNEP) Water Quality Management Grants. Please note that while this request for proposals is focused on the Buzzards Bay watershed, applicants in the Narragansett Bay watershed should also comment on the various criteria because the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program's request for proposals will closely mirror this solicitation.

This grant program supports the U.S. EPA's SNEP mission to protect and restore the southeast New England ecosystem by connecting communities through collaboration and partnerships throughout the region; fostering and promoting innovative approaches; and engaging public stewardship. This grant round is focused on nutrient and pathogen water quality issues. Although certain elements of this draft Request for Proposals may change, potential applicants should use this notification as an opportunity to formulate potential projects.

We are particularly interested in comments on eligible and ineligible projects and applicants, scoring criteria, and the overall schedule and timing. Read our Draft Request for Proposals and tell us your thoughts.

Please send your written comments, by July 22, 2015 to: Sarah Williams, Regional Planner, Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program/CZM, 2870 Cranberry Highway, East Wareham, MA 02538, Fax (508) 291-3628,

For those in the Narragansett Bay watershed (in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts), go to to apply to that grant program when the request for proposals is issued.

Southeast New England Program: 2015 Funding

The U.S. EPA received $5 million for federal FY2015 in support of the SNEP initiative. About $1.5 million of this was released through EPA New England's Healthy Communities Grant Program, according to this 2015 application guidance. An additional $2 million will be issued in grants by the National Estuary Programs in the summer of 2015. The remainder of the funds will be issued by EPA through various grants and contracts.

2015 NEP Water Quality Grants

In July 2015, the Buzzards Bay and Narragansett Estuary Programs will each issue a request for proposals for up to $900,000 in support of projects that address water quality degradation caused by nutrients (nitrogen or phosphorus) or pathogens. Applicants will submit proposals to each NEP directly. A draft of the request for proposals will be posted here for public comment in late June.

SNEP Healthy Community Grants 2015

The deadline for pre-proposals for Healthy Communities was April 30, 2015 (applications had to have been submitted through Grants.Gov), with awards expected to be made in the fall of 2015. Proposals up to $200,000 are eligible, and a 5% match is required. The Healthy Communities Grant Program is EPA New Englandís main grant program to work directly with communities to reduce environmental risks in order to protect and improve human health and the quality of life, advance resilience, and preserve/restore important ecosystems. The Healthy Communities Grant Program will achieve these goals through identifying and funding projects that:

  • Target resources to benefit communities at risk [areas at risk from climate change impacts, environmental justice areas of potential concern, sensitive populations (e.g. children, elderly, tribes, urban/rural residents, and others at increased risk), and/or southeast New England coastal watersheds].
  • Assess, understand, and reduce environmental and human health risks.
  • Increase collaboration through partnerships and community-based projects.
  • Build institutional and community capacity to understand and solve environmental and human health problems.
  • Advance emergency preparedness and ecosystem resilience.
  • Reduce pollution at the source.
  • Achieve measurable environmental and human health benefits.

To qualify as eligible projects under the Healthy Communities Grant Program, proposed projects must: (1) be located in and/or directly benefit one or more of the Target Investment Areas; and (2) identify how the proposed project will achieve measurable environmental and/or public health results in one or more of the Target Program Areas. A description of these target areas can be found in the 2015 Application Guidance. For more information, please contact Sandra Brownell at 617-918-1797 or

Summary of 2014 Nutrient Management Grants

In the summer of 2014, the Buzzards Bay NEP received 19 proposals totaling $3,082,379 from 12 entities (3 non-profits and 9 governmental subdivisions of the Commonwealth) by the June 9, 2014 pre-proposal deadline. On June 25, 2014, 8 of the 19 applicants, with requests totaling $1,215,999, were invited to submit a full proposal. Full proposals were due Monday, July 21, 2014.

On July 21, the Buzzards Bay NEP received 7 full proposals with requests totaling $843,674 [corrected value]. On Thursday, July 31, 2014, a review committee consisting of three federal agency employees and four state agency employees met to discuss, score, and rank the full proposals. On August 6, the Buzzards Bay NEP provided to the U.S. EPA a letter containing the reviewers' combined rank order of the proposals and the mean rank scores of the seven proposals we received. The Buzzards Bay NEP provided this letter to the applicants when the EPA publically announced the funding levels for projects on Cape Cod, and in the Buzzards Bay NEP and Narragansett Bay Estuary Program watersheds. The Buzzards Bay NEP received EPA funding levels, and proposals were funded in their rank order determined by the selection committee to the extent of EPA funding. On October 15, 2014, the Buzzards Bay NEP awarded $728,559 in 6 grants in support of the Southeast New England Program at a public event in the Town of Wareham. Go to our Grant Funding page to see a description of the 2014 awards.