Gulf of Maine Coastal Program
Northeast Region
 

Funding

We work cooperatively with federal and state agencies, as well as national, regional and local land trusts, landowners and other conservation partners to successfully compete for federal funds available through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for habitat assessment, protection and restoration. Our staff has substantial experience in accessing U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service funding sources to support conservation work in Maine, with a focus on projects that benefit migratory birds (especially waterbirds), diadromous (searun) fish and federally threatened or endangered species.

In addition, we work successfully with conservation partners to develop and implement nationally competitive federal grants for habitat protection and restoration projects. We are frequently able to provide local partners with:

For a 7-page overview, download Federal and state funding opportunites for habitat protection and restoration in Maine (PDF 261 KB). For current information on all federal funding opportunities, view and search Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov/index.jsp).

The list below provides brief descriptions of each funding source, several examples of successful Maine proposals, or links to more information. Most of the programs described below are funded and/or managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Contact Gulf of Maine Coastal Program directly for additional guidance and information.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sources

Other sources

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sources


USFWS Coastal Program

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Coastal Program typically provides our office with coastal restoration project funds. Funding varies annually, ranging up to approximately $50K annually. Generally, the funds will be split between multiple high priority projects. Decisions on funding priorities are made at our Gulf of Maine Coastal Program office and are typically directed to restoration activities that benefit coastal waterbirds, diadromous fish or federally threatened and endangered species on islands, rivers or salt marshes. Once projects are selected, we typically develop a Cooperative Agreement that describes the project, identifies work responsibilities and specifies our financial commitment.

There is no application deadline. Funds are directed to high priority projects as needed and as available.

Contact:
Sandra Lary
USFWS Gulf of Maine Coastal Program
207-781-8364 x19
sandra_lary@fws.gov


USFWS Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund Grants: Section 6

The Regional U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species staff manages two grant programs that support efforts to recover endangered species or species at-risk. Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW), the only state agency that has a current Cooperative Agreement with the Department of the Interior, is the only state agency currently eligible to apply. MDIFW can apply for funding to support its own agency work, or MDIFW can apply on behalf of other state agencies or non-government organizations. Both of the following programs require 25% in non-federal matching funds.

The Conservation Grants Program funds habitat restoration, species status surveys, public education, outreach, captive propagation and reintroduction, nesting surveys, genetic studies and development of management plans.

Recovery Land Acquisition Grants (RLAG) provide funds for permanent habitat protection (fee or easement acquisition) in support of an approved or draft recovery plan for at least one federally listed species. Gulf of Maine Coastal Program worked cooperatively with partners to submit successful Recovery Land Acquisition Grants to protect riparian corridors for Atlantic salmon along the Machias Rive, a tributary of the Narraguagus River, and the Sheepscot River. Another proposal is pending to provide additional federal funds for the Penobscot River Restoration Partnership. RLAG grants vary a great deal in size; Maine grants have ranged from $172,000 to $2,000,000.

Contact:
Diane Lynch
USFWS Regional Office
413-253-8628
diane_lynch@fws.gov

For projects impacting Atlantic salmon:
Jed Wright
USFWS Gulf of Maine Coastal Program
207-781-8364 x12
jed_wright@fws.gov


USFWS Fish Passage Program

Administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, this program provides matching funds to support searun fish restoration projects--by restoring fishways, bypassing barriers, removing dams, or any other appropriate methods. Sometimes, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service funds are matched with non-federal matching funds from the Fish America Foundation before being distributed to partners. Grants generally range in size up to $25,000.

Contact:
Sandra Lary
USFWS Gulf of Maine Coastal Program
207-781-8364 x19
sandra_lary@fws.gov


USFWS Land and Water Conservation Fund

Common acronyms: Land and Water L-W-C-F

Congressional approval is needed to access and appropriate all LWCF funds, which are derived from surplus property sales, motorboat fuel taxes, offshore oil and gas extraction, and user fees collected at National Parks and other federal fee collection areas. These revenue sources raise about $900 million annually, but funds actually appropriated by Congress are much less. LWCF funds may be available through two separate funding pools. Federal land management agencies, with support from partners, can request money from "federal-side LWCF" to acquire lands for federal recreation, historic and conservation values. Funds are provided for federal acquisition through Congressional earmark. There is no requirement for matching funds. Federal LWCF has been instrumental in providing land acquisition funds for all of Maine's National Wildlife Refuges and Acadia National Park.

State agencies and municipalities can request money from "state-side LWCF" to acquire land for active or passive public outdoor recreation. State-side LWCF requires 1:1 matching funds. State-side LWCF has contributed to the protection of the St. Croix River corridor, Mt. Blue/Tumbledown and the West Branch of the Penobscot. Funding can vary dramatically from year to year.


USFWS National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants

Application deadlines: May or June

Common acronyms: Coastal Wetland Grant or CWPRA (pronounced "quip-rah")

This matching grant program, funded and administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Federal Aid Program, directs funds from the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act to state conservation agencies to acquire, restore, or manage coastal wetlands for fish and wildlife values. Grants can range up to $1,000,000. To be nationally competitive, proposals should provide approximately 50% or more match in non-federal funds. Match can be derived from donated lands, bargain sales, cash or in-kind services. In Maine, the Maine Wetlands Protection Coalition (PDF 229 KB) has often taken a lead role in identifying land protection priorities and coordinating Coastal Wetland Grant applications. Frequently, biologists at the Gulf of Maine Coastal Program assist local partners in developing successful proposals.

In Maine, twelve Coastal Wetland Grants have been accepted for funding, leading to the permanent protection of more than 2,896 acres of coastal wetlands and associated upland buffer, and the restoration of 120 acres of salt marsh. Coastal Wetland Grants have contributed $4.66 million towards total acquisition costs of more than $7 million. Currently, two additional Coastal Wetland Grants are pending approval. Islands and coastal mainland properties with large mudflats and salt marsh that provide high value habitat for nesting eagles, nesting seabirds, migrating shorebirds, breeding, migratory and wintering waterfowl, other waterbirds and searun fish, have been acquired with these funds.

To be nationally competitive, Coastal Wetland Grants proposals should provide:

  • Non-federal matching funds. In order to be minimally eligible, 25% of the total project cost must be provided as non-federal match derived from donated lands (permanently protected in fee or easement), bargain sales, cash, or in-kind services. In order to be nationally competitive, an additional cash match totaling 25% of the required match should also be provided.
  • Minimum of 25% wetlands (including associated intertidal habitat) with habitat values for waterbirds and federally threatened and endangered species. Properties with >50% wetlands will rank even higher. Habitat for searun fish and other migratory bird species of concern in our region can also add a competitive edge to proposals
  • Agreement of Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) to serve as Grantee. MDIFW may own and manage habitat in perpetuity or designate a Subgrantee such as a statewide or local land trust, to own and steward the property in perpetuity.
  • Lands proposed for protection cannot be purchased by a conservation group until after the grant is awarded by the USFWS and an Internal Grant Agreement is completed by federal and state agencies.
  • In general, Coastal Wetland Grants requires that all other funds for a project should be in-hand or firmly pledged, prior to submitting a proposal. Coastal Wetland Grant funds are not designed to serve as “catalyst” dollars in a fundraising campaign.
  • For Coastal Wetland Grants in Maine, we recommend contacting a member of the Maine Wetlands Protection Coalition early in the process of developing your grant proposal and then submitting a completed "Application and Guidance for Proposal Endorsement" (download in Word [60KB] or PDF [14 KB]).

Fore more information:

  • View a map (PDF 135 KB) listing and locating all Coastal Wetland Grant-funded projects in Maine.
  • View examples of three successful Coastal Wetland Grants in Maine.
  • The National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program web page orients you to the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program at the federal level, provides the Federal Register Rules and Regulations governing the grant program and application process and clarifies current grant ranking criteria: http://www.fws.gov/coastal/CoastalGrants.

Contact:
Stewart Fefer
USFWS Gulf of Maine Coastal Program
207-781-8364, x17
stewart_fefer@fws.gov

or

Dan Leahy
Federal Aid Coordinator
USFWS Northeast Regional Office
413-253-8687
dan_leahy@fws.gov


USFWS North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) Grants–Large Grants

Application deadlines: March and July

The North American Waterfowl Management Plan, established to conserve our continent’s remaining wetlands and increase migratory bird populations, is funded with appropriations from the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA). This international effort is funded with the Large Grants program (up to $1,000,000 in federal funds), used to manage, restore and/or acquire habitat. NAWCA also funds a Small Grants program (up to $75,000 in federal funds). Both programs target permanent protection and/or restoration projects that benefit migratory birds, with a strong emphasis on waterbirds, federally endangered species and wetlands. A much smaller Migratory Bird Conservation Fund has not yet been used in Maine, but may be available to target acquisition of habitat for declining populations of migratory birds without the focus on wetlands and waterbirds.

In Maine, we have received 14 Large NAWCA grants, contributing $11.75 million, matched with $117.1 million of other federal, state and private funds to permanently protect nearly 1.5 million acres of high value wetland and waterbird habitat. Another Large NAWCA grant is currently pending. While many Maine projects have focused on coastal fee and easement acquisition where high value habitat for waterbirds, diadromous fish and endangered species are concentrated, some of the largest Maine projects have been completed on landscape–scale inland tracts, with easements established to eliminate residential development options, provide for sustainable harvest by timberland owners and ensure benefits in perpetuity for fish and wildlife resources. Large NAWCA projects have ranged in size from 636 acres to 762,202 acres.

The Maine Wetlands Protection Coalition meets regularly to implement the North American Waterfowl Management Plan in Maine by identifying land protection priorities, and coordinating many of the successful grant application efforts. Members of the Coalition include Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, The Nature Conservancy–Maine Chapter, Ducks Unlimited, Trust for Public Land and our U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Gulf of Maine Coastal Program office. If you are interested in applying for a Large NAWCA grant, we encourage you to coordinate with the Maine Wetlands Protection Coalition (PDF 229 KB). For NAWCA grants in Maine, we recommend contacting a member of the Maine Wetlands Protection Coalition early in the process of developing your grant proposal and then submitting a completed "Application and Guidance for Proposal Endorsement" (download in Word [60KB] or PDF [14 KB]).

To be nationally competitive, Large NAWCA proposals should provide:

  • 200% or more in non-federal matching funds. Non-federal match can be derived from donated lands, bargain sales, cash, or in-kind services. Lands used as match must be permanently protected in fee or easement ± two years from the date of the grant application.
  • Wetland and associated upland habitat values for waterbirds and federally threatened and endangered species. Habitat for searun fish and other migratory bird species of concern in our region can also add a competitive edge to proposals.
  • Lands proposed for protection should not have been purchased by a conservation group before the grant application is submitted.
  • In general, NAWCA requires that all other funds for a project should be in-hand or firmly pledged, prior to submitting a NAWCA proposal. NAWCA funds are not designed to serve as “catalyst” dollars in a fundraising campaign.

For more information:

Contact:
Stewart Fefer
USFWS Gulf of Maine Coastal Program
207-781-8364, x17
stewart_fefer@fws.gov

or

Andrew Milliken
Regional NAWCA Coordinator
USFWS Northeast Regional Office
413-253-8687
andrew_milliken@fws.gov


USFWS North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) Grants–Small Grants

Application deadlines: late November-early December

The North American Waterfowl Management Plan, established to conserve our continent’s remaining wetlands and increase migratory bird populations, is funded with appropriations from the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA). This international effort is funded with a Small Grants program (up to $75,000 in federal funds). NAWCA also funds a Large Grants program (up to $1,000,000 in federal funds), used to manage, restore and/or acquire habitat. Both programs target permanent protection and/or restoration projects that benefit migratory birds, with a strong emphasis on waterbirds, federally endangered species and wetlands. A much smaller Migratory Bird Conservation Fund has not yet been used in Maine, but may be available to target acquisition of habitat for declining populations of migratory birds without the focus on wetlands and waterbirds.

In Maine, we have received 26 Small NAWCA grants, contributing more than $1.2 million and matched with nearly $10 million in other federal, state and private funds to permanently protect 16,728 acres of high value wetland and upland buffer habitat. Small NAWCA grants in Maine have focused on coastal and inland fee and easement acquisition where wetland and associated upland buffer habitat for waterbirds and endangered species are concentrated. Small NAWCA projects have ranged in size from 17 acres to 8,600 acres.

The Maine Wetlands Protection Coalition meets regularly to implement the North American Waterfowl Management Plan in Maine by identifying land protection priorities, and coordinating many of the successful grant application efforts. Members of the Coalition include Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, The Nature Conservancy–Maine Chapter, Ducks Unlimited, Trust for Public Land and our U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Gulf of Maine Coastal Program office. If you are interested in applying for a Small NAWCA grant, we encourage you to coordinate with the Maine Wetlands Protection Coalition (PDF 229 KB). For NAWCA grants in Maine, we recommend contacting a member of the Maine Wetlands Protection Coalition early in the process of developing your grant proposal and then submitting a completed "Application and Guidance for Proposal Endorsement" (download in Word [60KB] or PDF [14 KB]).

To be nationally competitive, Small NAWCA proposals should provide:

  • Matching non-federal funds, ideally 200%. Non-federal match can be derived from donated lands, bargain sales, cash, or in-kind services. Lands used as match must be permanently protected in fee or easement ± two years from the date of the grant application.
  • Wetland and associated upland habitat values for waterbirds and federally threatened and endangered species. Habitat for searun fish and other migratory bird species of concern in our region can also add a competitive edge to proposals
  • Lands proposed for protection should not have been purchased by a conservation group before the grant application is submitted
  • In general, NAWCA requires that all other funds for a project should be in-hand or firmly pledged, prior to submitting a NAWCA proposal. NAWCA funds are not designed to serve as “catalyst” dollars in a fundraising campaign.

For more information:

Contact:
Stewart Fefer
USFWS Gulf of Maine Coastal Program
207-781-8364, x17
stewart_fefer@fws.gov

or

Andrew Milliken
Regional NAWCA Coordinator
USFWS Northeast Regional Office
413-253-8687
andrew_milliken@fws.gov


USFWS Private Stewardship Grant Program

Application deadline: March

This relatively small grant program, funded and administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, provides financial and other assistance to individuals and groups engaged in local, private, and voluntary conservation efforts conducted on private lands that benefit species listed or proposed as endangered or threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, candidate species, or other at-risk species. Factors used to evaluate the merit of the proposals include:

  1. the number of endangered, threatened, candidate or at-risk species that will benefit from the project;
  2. the importance of the project to the conservation of those species (i.e. duration of benefits, magnitude of benefits, and the urgency of the project);
  3. the amount of non-federal matching funds; and
  4. any other proposal merits, such as whether the project complements other conservation projects in the area, the project’s unique qualities, etc.

In FY05, Stratton Island received $47K to support seabird restoration work.

Contact:
Diane Lynch
USFWS Northeast Regional Office
413-253-8628
diane_lynch@fws.gov


USFWS State Landowner Incentive Program

Common acronyms: LIP (pronounced "lip") L-I-P

With funds provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife administers, and Maine Natural Areas Program conducts outreach for this program designed to protect and restore habitat on private lands to benefit federally listed, proposed or candidate species, state-listed species and other species at risk. Maine LIP Steering Committee includes representative(s) from: ME Dept of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, ME Natural Areas Program, ME Forest Service, ME Department of Agriculture, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Gulf of Maine Coastal Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ME Field Office, The Nature Conservancy--Maine Chapter, Maine Coast Heritage Trust and Maine Audubon Society. LIP funds in Maine may be directed to different priorities each year, but the program currently focus on initiatives supporting individual at-risk species in specific geographic focus areas. Funds can be used to acquire conservation easements, develop cooperative management agreements or conduct habitat management projects, but have not been available for fee acquisition. Land trusts, municipalities, state agencies and other entities authorized to hold easements are eligible to apply for funds. In FY05, Maine received $655K, divided between approximately 25 projects.

Visit the Maine LIP webpage: http://www.maine.gov/doc/nrimc/mnap/lip/index.htm.

Contact:
Bob Houston
USFWS Gulf of Maine Coastal Program
207-781-8364 x 11
robert_houston@fws.gov

or

Sarah Demers
Maine Natural Areas Program
207-287-8630


USFWS Tribal Wildlife Grants and Tribal Landowner Incentive Program

Common acronyms: TWG (pronounced "twig") TLIP (pronounced "T-Lip")

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service funds and administers both of these programs to benefit fish, wildlife and their habitats -- including species not hunted or fished. Only federally recognized Indian tribal governnments are eligible to apply. The Tribal Wildlife Grants can provide up to 100% of the funds for projects that benefit fish, wildlife and their habitats. The Tribal Landowner Incentive Grants can provide up to 75% of the funds to protect and restore habitats that benefit federally listed, proposed, or candidate species, or other at-risk species on tribal lands. Applicants for both program are most competitive if they provide matching funds. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Regional Office in Hadley, MA coordinates the programs for tribes in Maine, notifies grantee of approved proposals and coordinates with successful applicants to develop grant agreements. Since the inception of both tribal grant programs, biologists at the Gulf of Maine Coastal Program and the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program have assisted Maine tribes in developing successful proposals. In FY05, the Penobscot and Passamaquoddy Tribes received more than $500K to remove dams and restore fishways, monitor water quality, and manage freshwater fish.

Visit the USFWS Tribal Grants webpage: http://grants.fws.gov/tribal.html

Contact:
Sandra Lary
USFWS Gulf of Maine Coastal Program
207-781-8364 x19
sandra_lary@fws.gov

or

DJ Monette
Native American Liaison
USFWS Northeast Regional Office
413-253-8662


USFWS Maine Atlantic Salmon Conservation Fund

Maine Atlantic Salmon Conservation Fund (MASCF) supports efforts to recover wild Atlantic salmon by maintaining and restoring healthy watersheds. MASCF has provided needed funds to identify and assess, permanently protect, and restore Atlantic salmon rivers -- with a focus on the Penobscot River and Maine rivers that harbor federally listed "wild Atlantic salmon." Since 1997, MASCF has worked in partnership with other federal and state agencies and local watershed groups to:

  • fund riparian habitat protection and restoration initiatives,
  • conduct habitat assessment work to identify priority projects,
  • build capacity of local organizations promoting salmon recovery,
  • support implementation of best management practices for
    aquaculture, timber harvest and blueberry production, and
  • provide technical support to help partners identify,
    prioritize and implement successful projects.

Since its inception, MASCF has supported more than 120 projects and permanently protected more than 54,000 acres of riparian habitat critical to long-term survival of Atlantic salmon. MASCF has provided more than $11.6 million in federal funds and leveraged an additional $13 million for conservation activities promoting Atlantic salmon recovery.

From 2001 - 2006, MASCF has been supported with annual Congressional authorizations from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service budget that have ranged between $1.5 - $2 million annually. Those funds have been directed to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), and jointly implemented by NFWF and our Gulf of Maine Coastal Program Office. In 2007, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service funded MASCF with a $485,000 appropriation not linked to NFWF. If the MASCF is going to continue in 2008, it will continue to require direct Congressional support.

For additional information on our activities related to Atlantic salmon habitat identification, protection and restoration, please select from the following:

Contact:
Jed Wright
USFWS Gulf of Maine Coastal Program
207-781-8364 ext. 12
jed_wright@fws.gov

 

Other sources


Casco Bay Estuary Partnership Habitat Restoration Program

Funded by the Environmental Protection Agency through the locally-based Casco Bay Estuary Partnership, this program supports fish and wildlife habitat restoration initiatives in the Casco Bay watershed. Generally grants vary in size from a few thousand dollars up to $20K.

For more information, download the Casco Bay Estuary Partnership Habitat Restoration Program fact sheet: http://www.cascobay.usm.maine.edu/oldsite/Habfact.pdf

Contact:
Sandra Lary
USFWS Gulf of Maine Coastal Program
207-781-8364 x19
sandra_lary@fws.gov

or

Matt Craig
Casco Bay Estuary Partnership
207-228-8359
mcraig@usm.maine.edu


Casco Bay Estuary Partnership Important Habitat Protection Fund

Funded by the Environmental Protection Agency through the locally-based Casco Bay Estuary Partnership, this fund supports fish and wildlife habitat protection initiatives in the Casco Bay watershed--with a focus on coastal habitat. Lands protected with these funds must have important habitat values documented in the statewide Beginning with Habitat initiative, or confirmed by other verifiable biological sources. Funds can be used to support the up-front costs of habitat protection, such as survey, appraisal and natural resource inventory, and the funds can also be used to purchase land in fee or easement Generally, grants vary in size from a few hundred dollars to $30K. Funds are distributed to high priority projects on a first-come, first-served basis and have provided nearly $350,000 to help permanently protect over 3,500 acres at 20 sites in the Casco Bay watershed.

For more information:

Contact:
Keith Fletcher
Maine Coast Heritage Trust
207-729-7366
kfletcher@mcht.org

or

Curtis Bohlen
Casco Bay Estuary Partnership
207-780-4820
cbohlen@usm.maine.edu


National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Grants

Common acronym: NFWF (pronounced "nif-wif")

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, a nonprofit organization, was established by Congress to provide funds to conserve and restore fish, wildlife, native plants and the habitat on which they depend, through community-based partnerships. Federal funds directed from several federal land management agencies (including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) are used by the Foundation as seed money to attract additional private donations. Ultimately, the Foundation releases funds to grant recipients on a matching grant basis. To be nationally competitive, non-federal match should typically be twice as much as the NFWF funds requested. Grants generally range from several thousand dollars to $150,000 and can be directed to federal, state and local governments, educational institutions and non-profit organizations. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation awards General Matching Grants to specific projects.

In the past, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation directed Special Block Grants to our Gulf of Maine Coastal Program office. The Maine Atlantic Salmon Conservation Fund supported many past accomplishments related to Atlantic Salmon protection and restoration initiatives, the Maine Habitat Restoration Partnership supported many past salt marsh restoration, searun fish passage restoration and grassland restoration projects, and the Maine Habitat Protection Initiative supported many coastal land protection projects. These NFWF Special Block Grants have now been completed. In 2007, Gulf of Maine Coastal Program has received nearly $750,000 from other USFWS funding sources to continue operating the Maine Atlantic Salmon Conservation Fund and to continue funding other diadromous fish restoration projects that were once supported by the Maine Habitat Restoration Partnership.

In 2007, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will be administering an oil spill settlement account that will be directing approximately $2 million to support coastal habitat restoration projects in Maine.

Visit the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation web page for more information: http://www.nfwf.org

Contact:
Stewart Fefer
USFWS Gulf of Maine Coastal Program
207-781-8364, x17
stewart_fefer@fws.gov

or

Lynn Dwyer
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
631-289-0250
lynn.dwyer@nfwf.org

 

   
Last updated: September 5, 2013

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