Aquatic Resource Mitigation Fund
Working to sustain the functions and values of aquatic resources in New Hampshire.
The Aquatic Resource Mitigation (ARM) Fund offers an alternative to permittee-responsible mitigation when there are unavoidable impacts to streams and wetlands. In these instances, In-Lieu Fee (ILF) payments compensate for the unavoidable losses to aquatic resources and functions.
Funds are pooled according to nine watersheds, also known as service areas. Funds are then made available as competitive grants to fund restoration, enhancement, and in certain circumstances preservation activities across the state. As the ILF sponsor, NHDES holds and manages these funds and announces an annual grant round (also called a Request for Proposals).
The ARM Fund's goal is to provide sustainable compensatory mitigation meeting the federal goal of “no net loss” of functions and values of aquatic resources by supporting restoration, enhancement, establishment and, under certain circumstances, preservation activities that are ecologically important and will effectively sustain aquatic resource functions in the watershed for the long term.
Grant applications are reviewed by a site selection committee. The committee uses a set of evaluation criteria as well as the best available science provided by the state Wildlife Action Plan, state Natural Heritage Bureau, regional conservation plans and wetlands science experts' functional assessments.
2024 Request for Pre-Proposals: ARM Fund Grant Opportunities
More than $5.5 million is available for compensatory mitigation projects in the Merrimack, Pemigewasset-Winnipesaukee, Saco, Salmon Falls-Piscataqua and Lower Connecticut watershed service areas. The ARM Fund seeks sustainable aquatic resource restoration, enhancement and, in certain circumstances, preservation projects to offset lost functions and values authorized by state and federal permit decisions. The goal is for funded projects to be self-sustaining, natural systems within the landscape and climate in which they are located, with little or no ongoing maintenance needs or hydrologic manipulation. For more information on the resource types and functions and values lost in each service area soliciting projects, please view the 2024 ARM Ledger.
This guidance offers applicants details on funding availability, timeline, eligibility, criteria and templates. A “Site Selection Committee” reviews and ranks applications. Proposed projects with the highest points scores will be the most competitive for awards.
Site Selection Committee
The Site Selection Committee is a team of state and non-governmental conservation agencies that review the applications and recommend funding for projects. Team members represent a breadth of expert knowledge in the fields of botany, wetlands ecology, wildlife biology, and stream science, and have decades of experience working in New Hampshire on environmental issues. The committee reviews the applications using the best available science and visits the sites to rank projects using the evaluation criteria.
What makes a project eligible?
Funds can be used to restore, enhance and protect wetlands and streams. The program seeks to fund projects that will maintain and increase important functions such as water quality, wildlife habitat and flood storage.
Review the In-Lieu Fee Instrument
For more information on the ARM Program’s structure, responsibilities, standards for the use, operation and maintenance of the ARM Fund in compliance with the Federal Mitigation Rule, please review the final ARM Fund Program In-Lieu Fee Instrument (published 2023).
Find Your Service Areas
Service areas are designated by the boundaries of nine major river basins. The impact payments that go into the ARM Fund can only be used to fund projects within the same service area.