The MWCC Watershed Fund has funding from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help local watershed organizations implement DEQ-accepted Watershed Restoration Plans (WRPs) by hosting a Big Sky Watershed Corps (BSWC) member in 2023. A total of $30,000 is available. Up to $6,000 may be awarded to each qualifying organization for either: 1) offsetting the $12,250 cost share payment for hosting a BSWC member, 2) assisting your member with housing costs, or 3) a combination of the two.
Award decisions will be based in part on what percentage of the member’s time will be dedicated to implementing DEQ-accepted Watershed Restoration Plans and to reducing and preventing nonpoint source pollution. (Find information on all local WRPs at DEQ’s Water Quality Planning Bureau website by scrolling down to Water Protection.) Additional funding proposal review criteria are listed below. There is a non-federal, 1:1 match requirement that can be met through cash or in-kind contributions.
Proposals are due by 5 pm on Monday, August 29, 2022. Details on how to apply are below. Funding decisions will be made by Monday, September 12, so applicants will know whether they have received funding prior to committing to hosting a BSWC member for 2023. BSWC Program Host Site Applications are due by Friday, September 2, and host site selection will occur soon after this date.
The purpose of this funding opportunity is to:
- Provide local watershed organizations with the resources necessary to implement DEQ-accepted WRPs and reduce nonpoint source pollution in their watersheds.
- Increase the capacity of local watershed communities to achieve long-term conservation goals related to improving water quality.
- Build the next generation of conservation leaders in Montana.
- Allow young conservation professionals with less financial means the ability to serve with the BSWC AmeriCorps program by offsetting their housing costs.
Local watershed organizations are eligible to apply for this funding if they plan to host a BSWC member in 2023 and if that member will spend 25% or more of their time on WRP implementation related to preventing or reducing nonpoint source pollution. The greater the amount of time a member will spend on these activities, the greater the amount of funding the host site is eligible for. Federal agencies, state agencies, and for-profit entities are not eligible.
BSWC members supported with this funding will be required to submit one interim and one final report on their WRP-implementation activities, in late May 2023 and early November 2023, respectively. Reporting will be based on the work plan you outline in your online funding proposal form. (Details below.) There is a non-federal, 1:1 match requirement that can be met through cash or in-kind contributions.
Activities that qualify for this funding are those that implement a DEQ-accepted WRP, help to reduce or prevent nonpoint source pollution, and employ the Watershed Approach to conservation. Qualifying activities include, but are not limited to:
- Work on restoration and pollution-prevention projects
- Post-restoration maintenance and monitoring
- Monitoring under a DEQ-approved Sampling and Analysis Plan
- Community outreach
- Volunteer recruitment, management, and retention
- Creation of education and outreach materials
The following activities do not qualify for this funding:
- Establishing or updating WRPs
- Monitoring not called for in a DEQ-approved Sampling and Analysis Plan
- Work on aspects of a WRP that do not prevent or reduce nonpoint source pollution
How to Apply
Proposals are due by 5 pm on Monday, August 29, 2022. They must be submitted via this online form in Submittable. This Word document should not be used to apply for funding. If at all possible, the person who submits your proposal should be the person who will be working most closely with the BSWC member. In most cases, this will be the proposed host site supervisor.
Please use your organization’s existing Submittable account to fill out the online proposal form. If you do not yet have a Submittable account, please set one up under your organization’s name, not under your personal name. If you’re new to Submittable, here’s a link explaining how to get started as a submitter.
Funding decisions will be made by Monday, September 12, so applicants will know whether they have received funding prior to committing to hosting a BSWC member for 2023. BSWC Program Host Site Applications are due by Friday, September 2, and host site selection will occur soon after this date.
Funding Proposal Review Criteria
- Proposed member activities will directly implement a DEQ-accepted Watershed Restoration Plan.
- Proposed member activities fall within the qualifying activities for this funding.
- Proposed member activities will reduce and/or prevent nonpoint source pollution.
- Proposed deliverables are reasonable and in alignment with proposed activities.
- Proposed nonfederal match is reasonable.
- The BSWC member’s work will increase the host site organization’s capacity to implement a DEQ-accepted WRP and to reduce nonpoint source pollution.
- Hosting a BSWC member will bring additional benefits to the organization.
Additional BSWC Funding Opportunity
MWCC will announce in February or March 2023 an additional funding opportunity for BSWC member-led, on-the-ground projects to reduce and prevent nonpoint source pollution. Up to $7,000 may be awarded for these competitive grants, and a total of $28,000 will be available. These project grants must be distinct from activities funded by host site cost share support dollars.
For more information, contact MWCC Watershed Programs Coordinator Terri Nichols at email@example.com or (406) 210.1217.