Stream and Wetland Restoration Grant
The application opens Friday, July 14, 2023. Submissions are due Friday, September 15, 2023 at 3pm CT (4pm ET).
Division of Water Resources
The department recovers compensation for injury to Tennessee’s natural resources in the context of formal enforcement. See Tenn. Code Ann § 69-3-116 (providing for recovery of damages caused by violations of the Tennessee Water Quality Control Act). Recovered funds are then applied to restoration projects to offset natural resource damages. Surface water restoration is focused on restoring surface waters of the State, including both streams and wetlands.
The purpose of the Stream and Wetland Restoration Grant Program is to leverage improvement opportunities in selecting and funding projects that best ensure benefits to natural resources with a nexus to those injured and compensated for through enforcement. Projects funded through this program may not be used as a mechanism for fulfilling any compensatory mitigation liabilities or requirements for impacts authorized through the State’s Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit and 401 Water Quality Certification programs or required to correct an unpermitted alteration. However, with appropriate documentation to ensure both obligations are separately satisfied, a compensatory mitigation project could be combined with a grant-funded project, provided that the compensatory mitigation does not count as a match. “Mitigation” means the restoration, creation, enhancement, and/or preservation of aquatic resources to compensate for unavoidable impacts as provided by Tenn. Comp. Rules and Regs. 0400-40-07-.04(7)
Grant funding through the Stream and Wetland Restoration Grant Program is available to nonprofit corporations, state agencies, federal agencies, and municipal entities.
Applicants must complete and provide items listed in the Stream and Wetland Grant Program Manual and the Request for Proposals (RFP) posted via the TDEC Online Grants System. All applicants will be required to submit a pre-proposal, including a grant program pre-proposal application, project proposal description, letters of commitment, budget and budget justification. Eligible watershed locations, types of resource projects requested, and other details will be included in the RFP.
Project proposal consideration for review will require a proposed contract period as specified in the Stream and Wetland Grant Program Manual and permanent project protection through easements or deed restrictions. Monitoring to demonstrate success and adaptive management plans will be required in proposals as appropriate for project type. The grant proposal project must: 1.) fit into one or more of the Strategic Investment Areas; 2.) not be intended to help meet regulatory requirements; 3.) leverage additional resources; 4.) be completed and final invoices submitted one month prior to the grant contract end date; 5.) be within the State of Tennessee in proximity to a HUC 12 watershed identified in the RFP; 6.) have a project manager with demonstrated capacity to complete the project; and 7.) be performed by an organization with the demonstrated capacity to administer, track, and report the funds awarded.
Funding, Matching, and Permit Requirements
Project funding availability will be included in the RFP posted via the TDEC Online Grants System.
Projects will be required to leverage additional resources at a minimum of 20% of the total project cost. Higher matches will receive greater consideration for the value of grant funds requested. In-kind leverage will be allowed, but will require presentation in the proposal budget, tracking during the project and documentation in the final report. Compensatory mitigation required by a permit or order does not count toward the match.
Projects may require coverage under Tennessee’s general NPDES permit for discharges of storm water associated with construction activities (CGP) if the amount of land disturbed is one acre or more. Additionally, TDEC aquatic resource alteration permit coverage and federal Clean Water Act permit coverage through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may be required where necessary prior to altering state and federal jurisdictional waters. The grantee is responsible for identifying and obtaining all necessary permits required for their project, including those listed in this paragraph and any permits applicable under other regulatory programs/authority.
Permit application and annual maintenance fees are reimbursable by grant or in-kind match funding if the costs are included in the budget line items of the grant contract.
After the TDEC grant proposal review committee has reviewed the proposals and selected its recommendations for funding, TDEC will execute grant contracts with the available funding. The grant contracts will set terms for submission of periodic reimbursement requests and project reporting.
If you are interested in applying for this grant offering, please register and apply via the TDEC Online Grants System.