Rivers and Lakes

Grants administered through NHDES that intend to help protect surface water quality.

Aquatic Invasive Plant Control, Prevention and Research Grants

Grant funds are available for the control, prevention and research of state-listed aquatic invasive plants. Grants are available to local lake associations and municipalities for control and/or prevention of state-listed exotic aquatic plants, and to institutions of higher learning for in furthering research associated with exotic aquatic plant management, control, biology, ecology or prevention.  

How long does it take to receive funding? 

  • Control Grant Cycle Calendar 
    September 15 of each year – Completed application form for fund request submitted to NHDES 
    October 15 of each year - Bids/quotes due to NHDES for review 
    November 30 of each year – Announcement of Grant Recipients 

  • Prevention and Research Grant Cycle Calendar 
    September 15 of each year – Announced by NHDES  
    November 30 of each year – Applications Due 
    By February 1 of each year – Announcement of Grant Recipients 
    By December 31 of each year – Final Report Due by Grant Applicant (unless other arrangements are made) 

How does the funding work? 

Projects are funded by reimbursement. The grantee submits an invoice and the grant will be processed per the terms of the contract or grant agreement for that work.

What can be submitted for reimbursement? 

Items that are outlined in the contract or grant agreement set forth for that work.

Application forms: 




Boating Infrastructure Grant

The Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) supports infrastructure for transient boats that are at least 26 feet long. Funding may be next available for 2022 but it is not certain at this time if that funding will be provided.

Major Eligibility Requirements for BIG Funding 

  • Boating infrastructure refers to the structures, equipment, accessories and services that are necessary or desirable for a facility to accommodate eligible vessels. It cannot include food service, retail, parking lots or lodging. 
  • Eligible vessels are transient (those passing through or by a place, staying up to 15 days), used primarily for pleasure, and are 26 feet or longer. 
  • The infrastructure must be available to the public. 
  • The project must provide the required 25% match and, in addition, must provide the match needed to fund the administration of this program. 

Maximum Funding Availability 

Tier 1 grants fund up to $200,000 and are non-competitive at the federal level. This means that all tier 1 applications submitted by the state will be approved if they are eligible. The state will only submit one project each year, therefore, organizations are not guaranteed this funding even if the project is eligible. Tier 2 grants have no limit to the funding amount; however, they are competitive at the federal level and applications are not guaranteed to be funded. These applications need to be more robust than tier 1 applications, especially in regards to the benefits provided by the project for eligible boats. 

Funding Process 

Proposals for federal funding are submitted by NHDES in August/September and, if approved, funding is received in July of the following year. If there are no delays in the receipt of funds, NHDES can then write a grant for the project, which must be approved by the Governor and Executive Council. The approval process typically takes between 1-3 months. Work (including purchases) on the boating infrastructure cannot begin until the Governor and Executive Council approve the grant. Some exceptions may be made but must be approved in advance by the federal funding agency.

How to Apply for Funding 

At this time there are no funding opportunities available, however, previous years' documents can be made available upon request as a guideline for what funding opportunities may look like in the future. Project summaries are accepted by NHDES at any time during the year as a means to check project eligibly. The next funding opportunity will be for 2022 and is expected to be available for application in June of 2021. Applications will likely be due in July.  

You may submit an application online using the NH Online Forms website or email a proposal to CVA@des.nh.gov that includes the following information:

  • Brief project description, including the project location.
  • Describe the need for the project. For example, is there a lack of nearby facilities or are nearby facilities designed for smaller boats?
  • List of the expected benefits of the project, including to surrounding businesses/communities if applicable.
  • Estimated timeline of the project.
  • Project budget. If applicable, include the percentage each line item is used by transient boats 26 feet or longer. Include the percent match (must be at least 25%). Note that match can only be provided from the portion of the project that is for transient boats 26 feet or longer.
  • Expected fees to be charged for facility.
  • Estimated useful life of the facility (i.e. how long the facility is expected to last.)
  • Optional: photos/maps of the area.



Clean Vessel Act or Boat Pumpout Grants

The Clean Vessel Act supports the installation, operation, and maintenance of boat pumpout facilities.

Who can apply for these grants? 

Any organization can apply for a grant to install, operate, maintain, or renovate a pumpout facility or dump station for portable boat toilets. 

How long does it take to receive funding? 

Grants are for future projects only and cannot be applied retroactively, so organizations must wait until the grant is officially approved (by the NHDES commissioner or Governor and Executive Council) before any work begins. Generally, this takes 1-3 months if NHDES has the funding available. It may take a year or more if NHDES does not have funding currently available.

How does the funding work? 

 Projects are funded by reimbursement. The grantee submits an invoice with applicable receipts and will receive 75% of the total cost as a reimbursement. 

What can be submitted for reimbursement?

Most activities related to the pumpout are eligible for reimbursement. These include supplies such as new hoses, time spent operating or maintaining the facility, holding tank pumpout fees, etc. The official grant paperwork will outline the activities that are expected.

Why are the grants only for 75%? 

NHDES is required to provide 25% match on the federal funding that is received. This requirement is satisfied in part by reimbursing all projects at 75%. 

Key Grant Requirements 

The key requirements for this grant program are as follows: 

  • The facility must be publically available at reasonable times. 
  • Cost of a pumpout or use of dump station must be $5 or less.  
  • New facilities must be maintained for their entire useful life.  

Apply for a Grant!  

To apply for a grant, email CVA@des.nh.gov with a description of the project, the total estimated cost, and the location for the facilities. The Clean Vessel Act program coordinator will then confirm that you are eligible and give you an estimate for when funding will be available for your project. The coordinator will then draft the grant paperwork for your review. If funding is available, the grant paperwork process takes between 1-3 months to complete.