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NFWF Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grants

The National Fish &Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) offers grants through its Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grants (SWG) program to support planning/technical assistance and implementation of water quality and habitat projects. The projects  should promote voluntary, community-based efforts to protect and restore the diverse and vital habitats of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary rivers and streams.

The program has two funding opportunities: 

  1. SWG Implementation grants of $75,000-500,000 for projects that result in direct, on-the-ground actions to protect and restore water quality, species, and habitats in the Bay watershed.
  2. SWG Planning and Technical Assistance (SWG-PTA) grants up to $75,000 for projects that enhance local capacity to implement future on-the- ground actions, consistent with SWG Program priorities, through community-based assessment, planning, design, and other technical assistance-oriented activities.

2023 Focus: Proposals from applicants or partnerships directly representing or resourcing historically underserved communities will receive priority consideration, especially those that align established interests of local communities with SWG program priorities. NFWF also explicitly encourages applications from community-based organizations as key project partners, regardless of an environmental or conservation-related mission, in order to ensure that a broad spectrum of community interests are represented and reflected in proposed activities. Furthermore, NFWF encourages more traditional environmental and conservation organizations and entities to use grant funding to enhance their internal capacity to engage with, mentor, and support diverse community partners.

NFWF particularly encourages proposals that implement one or more of the following nature-based watershed and habitat restoration practices:

  • Riparian forest buffers, including associated livestock exclusion fencing, crossings, and watering systems;
  • Tidal and non-tidal wetland creation, rehabilitation, or enhancement;
  • Floodplain restoration that reconnects incised streams to their floodplains and floodplain wetlands;
  • Shoreline management; and
  • Urban tree planting and maintenance or enhancement of existing urban tree canopy.


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  1. Pat - CWQE Coach

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