Aquatic Resource Mitigation Fund
Working to sustain the functions and values of aquatic resources in New Hampshire.
When there are unavoidable impacts to streams and wetlands, the Aquatic Resource Mitigation (ARM) Fund offers an alternative to permittee-responsible mitigation. An In-Lieu Fee (ILF) payment may be made to the ARM Fund to compensate for losses to aquatic resources and functions from a project. The funds are pooled according to nine watersheds called Service Areas, and then made available as competitive grants to fund preservation, restoration and enhancement activities across the state. As the ILF sponsor, NHDES holds and manages the collected funds, and announces a grant round (i.e. Request for Proposals) annually. The goal of the program is to support conservation activities that are ecologically important and will effectively sustain aquatic resource functions in the watershed for the long term.
Grant applications are reviewed by the site selection committee that uses a set of evaluation criteria, along with the best available science provided by the Wildlife Action Plan, Natural Heritage Bureau, regional conservation plans, and functional assessments done by experts in the field of wetlands science.
What makes a project eligible?
Funds can be used to protect, restore and enhance 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.
Scoring projects for the competitive grant
The Site Selection Committee reviews and ranks applications using set evaluation criteria. Projects that fulfill the maximum number of points will score the highest and will be the most competitive for awards.
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.
2021 ARM Fund Grant Round Is Open
$2,028,000 is available for protection, restoration and enhancement projects that will offset impacts to aquatic resources in the Salmon-Falls watershed.
In 2020, there was a total of 10.8 acres of wetland loss and 99 feet of stream impacts that generated the funds that are now available as grants. To learn more about the impacts that have occurred in the watershed and the functions lost, view the 2021 ARM Fund ledger.
In order to be considered for funding, a pre-proposal is required and is due May 31, 2021. After review by the site selection committee, applicants will be contacted as to whether they should proceed with a full application. The ARM Fund staff are available to discuss your project or any other questions about the application process.
|NHDES releases a request for pre-proposals.||February 1, 2021|
|Pre-proposal submission deadline.||May 31, 2021|
|Notify applicants for full application submittal.||Week of June 14, 2021|
|Full application submission deadline.||August 31, 2021|
|The Army Corps of Engineers issues a public notice and New Hampshire Division of Historic Resources Review conducts initial review.||Week of September 6, 2021|
|The site selection committee visits all of the sites and meets with applicants.||September and October|
|Site selection committee holds the evaluation and scoring meeting and votes on projects for funding.||October 21, 2021|
|The Wetland Council reviews and approves disbursement of funds for selected projects.||November 9, 2021|
|Announcement of awards.||November 15, 2021|
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.