State Announces Availability of Two Grant Funding Opportunities for Wetlands Restoration and Drinking Water Protection
Concord, NH – The NH Department of Environmental Services is pleased to announce that two grant opportunities are now available. The Aquatic Resource Mitigation Fund grants are available for eligible wetland restoration, land protection or habitat improvement projects; and drinking water supply protection grants are available for lands in the southern I-93 corridor and Lake Massabesic Watershed.
Aquatic Resource Mitigation (ARM) Fund payments are collected according to nine service areas and are available for the purpose of replacing or protecting wetlands and other aquatic resource functions and values that were impacted by development projects in the watershed areas.
Pre-Proposal Submission: Applicants are required to submit a one to two page summary detailing their watershed proposal. The pre-proposal summary will be reviewed by DES and the Site Selection Committee and feedback will be provided as to why the project may not meet the program criteria or how the proposal could be strengthened. The ARM Fund Program pre-proposal form can be found at http://www.des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/wetlands/wmp/categories/forms.htm
An ideal project would provide resource restoration within the context of a proposed conservation proposal. The key to success is the long-term protection of those wetland functions that are restored or enhanced. Reviewers will favor proposals that clearly demonstrate how the project’s wetland protection, restoration, enhancement and/or creation will be sustainable over the long-term. Where project scores are comparable, preference will be given to those projects that provide long term protection of the project area and its buffer or provide long term management to ensure the greatest environmental benefit from funds available. Details of the mitigation program and towns included in the service area can be found at: http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/wetlands/wmp/index.htm
Prior to filing an application, it is strongly suggested to discuss the proposal with DES Mitigation Coordinator, Lori Sommer, at [email protected] or (603) 271-4059.
DES is also offering grants to protect drinking water supply lands in the southern I-93 corridor and Lake Massabesic Watershed. Through an agreement with the state Department of Transportation, the Department of Environmental Services has $3 million in federal funds for the protection of drinking water supply lands in the Lake Massabesic watershed and in the I-93 corridor communities of Salem, Windham, Derry, Londonderry and Manchester as part of a mitigation program for the I-93 widening project. The Lake Massabesic watershed includes portions of Auburn, Hooksett, Candia and Chester.
The grant money will be administered by DES’s Water Supply Land Protection Grant Program. In this program, municipalities and non-profit land trusts may apply for grants to cover up to 25 percent of the cost of purchasing land or conservation easements critical to the quality of their public drinking water supply.
A map showing eligible land is available on-line at http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/dwgb/dwspp/land_acqui/documents/grant-eligible-land.pdf .
More information on these grants, including copies of application forms, is also available at http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/dwgb/dwspp/land_acqui/index.htm , or contact Holly Green, Water Supply Land Protection Grant Program Coordinator, at (603) 271-3114, [email protected].
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