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Grants and Funding: Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program 2019 Request for Proposals

January 31

The Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration grant program seeks to develop community capacity to sustain local natural resources for future generations by providing modest financial assistance to diverse local partnerships focused on improving water quality, watersheds and the species and habitats they support.


Eligible and Ineligible Entities
  • Eligible applicants include non-profit 501(c) organizations, state government agencies, local governments, municipal governments, Indian tribes and educational institutions
  • Ineligible applicants include: unincorporated individuals, businesses, international organizations and U.S. federal government agencies

Ineligible Uses of Grant Funds 

  • NFWF funds and matching contributions may not be used to support political advocacy, fundraising, lobbying, litigation, terrorist activities or Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations.
  • NFWF funds may not be used to support ongoing efforts to comply with legal requirements, including permit conditions, mitigation and settlement agreements. However, grant funds may be used to support projects that enhance or improve upon existing baseline compliance efforts.

Program Priorities

Proposals should address at least one bullet under each of the five following bolded priorities.

On-the-Ground Restoration 
Must restore and/or create wetlands, coastal or riparian areas
  • Address key species and habitats and link directly to established watershed and conservation plans, including establishment of urban wildlife corridors, fisheries and daylighting of streams.
  • Address stressors through restoration techniques and green infrastructure practices  that manage stormwater and rural run-off and link directly to stormwater management plans, source water protection plans and water supply planning efforts  or demonstrate the linkage between restoration and stormwater management and the quality, quantity and safety of local water and waterways
  • Collect and analyze local waterway samples that could be used to determine the effectiveness of current stream/wetland restoration and green infrastructure efforts and inform future planning and decision-making
  • Develop/implement trash and litter prevention programs designed to keep urban waterways and riverfronts clean
  • Develop public open spaces, create or enhance community parks, improve and protect community tree canopy, enhance brownfield sites beyond required remediation
Environmental Outreach, Education & Training
Must integrate meaningful outreach, education and/or training into the proposed on-the-ground activities that advance local watershed and conservation goals
  • Engage the public – particularly youth – in hands-on, outdoor conservation experiences that build awareness of the importance of protecting and recovering priority and/or at risk species and habitats and promote stewardship
  • Engage communities in restoration at public areas – such as schools, parks, birding trails and more – for public health and recreation
  • Establish or advance a citizen science or water quality monitoring program that involves community members and/or addresses community water quality priorities .
  • Improve citizen understanding of damaging trash and litter impacts in local waterways that affect community health and local economies
Community Partnerships 
Must involve five or more partners (public and private entities) including the applicant
  • Directly engage a diverse group of community partners to achieve ecological and specific educational outcomes including partnerships among upstream and downstream communities
  • Demonstrate that the project will advance existing local watershed or conservation plans and/or propose to foster and coordinate a diverse stakeholder partnership that develops and/or implements new plans
Measurable Results
Must result in specific, measurable ecological, educational and community benefits
  • Identify measurable activities and metrics which clearly link to watershed and community outcomes
  • Document a high level of community engagement to support fish and wildlife habitat, urban and community forestry, water quality-related recreational activities and improve understanding across diverse audiences of how fish and wildlife conservation, clean water and healthy forests contribute to community well-being
Must include a plan for maintenance and care of the project beyond the grant period
  • Describe a commitment to community strength and long-term capacity to remain engaged as partners
  • Address any priority and/or at-risk species, habitats or conservation actions identified in State Wildlife Action Plans or other recovery or conservation plans
  • Directly connect outcomes to community benefits of watershed restoration such as clean water, public health benefits, local economic development and jobs
  • Fulfill or advance priorities identified through local planning efforts, including watershed, disaster and sustainability plans
  • Develop restoration and stewardship approaches that contribute to pre and post disaster planning, resiliency of community water assets and link to local emergency management plans.

How to Apply

All application materials must be submitted online through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Easygrants system.
  1.  Go to https://easygrants.nfwf.org​ to register in our Easygrants online system. New users to the system will be prompted to register before starting the application (if you already are a registered user, use your existing login). Enter your applicant information.
  2. Once on your homepage, click the “Apply for Funding” button and select this RFP’s “Funding Opportunity” from the list of options.
  3.  Follow the instructions in Easygrants to complete your application. Once an application has been started, it may be saved and returned to later for completion and submission.
For a full description of the program, list of contacts for questions, and more, click here.
A PDF version of this RFP can be downloaded at the Five Star and Urban Waters program website.
A Tip Sheet is available for quick reference while you are working through your application. This document can be downloaded at the Five Star and Urban Waters program website.
Additional information to support the application process can be accessed on the NFWF website’s Applicant Information page.


January 31