Grants for Wildlife and Habitat Conservation in the Southeast

One of the primary roles of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is managing federal funds and distributing them to projects that offer the greatest benefits to wildlife and habitats. We do this through a variety of programs, such as

Every year, more than half of the Service’s annual budget in the Southeast Region - more than $250 million - is reserved for grants for broad conservation objectives.

Information on Federal Grants

All grant opportunities are posted on Grants.gov. You can filter all of the available grants to “Department of the Interior”.

Wildlife Restoration Program

The Wildlife Restoration Program is available for state/territory fish and wildlife agencies with assent, legislation and has three purposes:

  1. The restoration, conservation, management and enhancement of wild birds and mammals and their habitat;
  2. Providing for public use and access to wildlife resources;
  3. Providing for education of hunters and the development of shooting ranges.

Funding for this grant comes from the Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund, which includes revenues from excise taxes on sporting arms and ammunitions (firearms, archery equipment).

Download the fact sheet to learn more about grant requirements.

Sport Fish Restoration Program

The Sport Fish Restoration Program is available to state/territory fish and wildlife agencies with assent legislation and has three purposes:

  1. The restoration and management of fish species of material value for sport-fishing and recreation;
  2. Providing facilities that create or add to public access for recreational boating;
  3. Providing aquatic education to the public to increase understanding of water resources and associated aquatic life.

Projects that are eligible for funding include:

  • Projects that restore, conserve, manage or enhance sport fish having material value for sport or recreation;
  • Projects enhancing the public’s understanding of water resources and aquatic life, assisting them in developing attitudes toward the aquatic environment.

Funding for this program accounts for 57% of the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, which is derived from excise taxes on sport fishing equipment, electric motors, sonar, import duties on fishing tackle, yachts, and pleasure craft. A portion of gasoline tax attributable to motorboats and small engines and the interest earned on the Trust Fund is also made available through this grant.

Download the fact sheet to learn more about grant requirements.

Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG)

Governor-designated agencies of states and territories are eligible for grants to construct, renovate, or maintain tie-up facilities for transient vessels 26 feet or more in length, and to produce information and education materials specific to BIG or BIG-funded projects (i.e. charts, cruising guides, and brochures).

Funding for this program accounts for 2% of the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, which comes from excise taxes on sport fishing equipment, electric motors, sonar, import duties on fishing tackle, yachts, pleasure craft, a portion of gasoline tax attributable to motorboats and small engines as well as the interest earned on the Trust Fund.

Download the fact sheet to learn more about grant requirements.

Clean Vessel Act

The Clean Vessel Act is available for states and territories to build pumpout stations and waste reception facilities to safely dispose of recreational boater sewage.

Funding for this program accounts for 2% of the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, which comes from excise taxes on sport fishing equipment, electric motors, sonar, import duties on fishing tackle, yachts, pleasure craft, a portion of gasoline tax attributable to motorboats and small engines as well as the interest earned on the Trust Fund.

Download the fact sheet to learn more about the Clean Vessel Act.

National Coastal Wetlands Program

Any agency of a coastal state designated by the governor as having a responsibility for coastal wetlands is eligible for this grant. The purpose of the National Coastal Wetlands Program is to provide funding for long-term conservation of coastal wetland ecosystems by helping states to protect, restore, and enhance coastal habitats.

Annually, 15% of the 18.5% distributed to Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act comes from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund The Fund includes revenues from excise taxes on sport fishing equipment, electric motors, sonar, import duties on fishing tackle, yachts, pleasure craft, a portion of gasoline tax attributable to motorboats and small engines as well as the interest earned on the Trust Fund.

Learn more about the National Coastal Wetlands Program

State Wildlife Grants

State Wildlife Grants are made available by the Land and Water Conservation Fund for developing and implementing programs that benefit wildlife and their habitats, especially species not hunted or fished often referred to as “species of greatest conservation need”. Eligible agencies include any state or territory fish and wildlife agency as well as regional associations of fish and wildlife agencies.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund includes revenues from outer continental shelf oil and gas and the general treasury since 2006.

Learn more about State Wildlife Grants.

Multi-State Grant Program

This grant program is awarded through cooperative process with the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA). Eligible grantees include states, or groups of states, for the purpose of carrying out the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife Associated Recreation, and non-governmental organizations. Projects seeking funding must benefit at least 26 states, or a majority of states in any Service or AFWA region.

Funding for this grant is $3 million from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, which includes revenues from excise taxes on sport fishing equipment, electric motors, sonar, import duties on fishing tackle, yachts, pleasure craft, a portion of gasoline tax attributable to motorboats and small engines as well as the interest earned on the Trust Fund.

Learn more about the Multi-State Grant Program.