Wetlands Conservation Grants

The U.S. Small Grants Program is a competitive, 1:1 matching grants program that supports public-private partnerships carrying out projects that involve long-term protection, restoration, enhancement and/or establishment of wetlands and associated uplands habitats for the benefit of all wetlands-associated migratory birds with grants up to $75,000.

As you may already know, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (Act) Grants Program application process is laborious. Even though the burdens associated with applying for a grant have been reduced for the Small Grants Program, applications still take time and effort to prepare and we hope you won’t be discouraged. If your proposal is funded, your wetlands conservation accomplishments will add to the remarkable achievements of more than 3,500 partners in more than 1,600 Act-supported projects across the continent.

Complete information on this grant program: http://www.fws.gov/birdhabitat/Grants/NAWCA/Small/Overview.shtm

Before you write your proposal, think carefully about how you will implement your project. If funded, your proposal will become the basis of your Assistance Award and you will be expected to produce all of the acres AND match described in the grant agreement. Please also keep the following basic principles in mind as you plan your project and complete your application :

  • Partners must match their grant request at no less than a 1-to-1 ratio. For example, applicants requesting a $75,000 grant would also need to contribute at least $75,000 in partner funds (from nonfederal sources) towards the project.
  • In general, laws and requirements that apply to activities funded with NAWCA dollars also apply to items either funded with match dollars or provided as in-kind match (i.e., real property interests). There are very few differences in grant and match for grant administration purposes.
  • Each grant and match dollar, except for indirect costs, must be linked to an acre acquired, restored, and/or enhanced.
  • Grantees are held accountable for both acres and match, as defined in the proposal and grant agreement.  Without prior approval and agreement modification, accomplishing less than 100 percent of acres and match will result in a reduction of the award amount.

In addition, be aware of the following grant selection criteria that are specific to the Small Grants Program:

  • Proposals must represent on-the-ground projects.
  • More competitive proposals generally keep grant costs not directly associated with acquisition, restoration, enhancement or establishment activities (e.g. grant administration, overhead, indirect costs) below 20% of the grant request. As an exception, if your organization has an officially negotiated indirect cost rate agreement with a US federal agency, you may use your negotiated rate even when it exceeds 20%. However, having a cost that is lower than the negotiated rate may make your proposal more competitive.
  • One important factor in evaluating the anticipated benefits of a project to wetlands and wildlife resources is whether or not the proposed project is part of, or complements, another project, or if it is part of a broader conservation initiative.
  • If wetland-associated uplands are included in the proposed project, there should be a reasonable balance between the uplands’ acreage and that of wetlands.

 

Submitting a Proposal

Expectations: Upon arrival to the Small Grants Program, your proposal application is expected to be:

  • complete, with regard to all of the information requested;
  • in the format requested (0ne PDF File); and
  • on time!

Deadline: Small Grants Program proposals may be submitted at any time, but must be received by the Small Grants Program staff in the Arlington, VA office no later than 4pm EST on Thursday, October 27, 2011 to be considered for the Fiscal Year 2012 cycle.

Proposal Format: All proposals must be submitted electronically as a single PDF file [.pdf]. Do not send separate files of the proposal, supporting documentation, signed Application for Federal Assistance with Attachment D (SF 424 / SF 424D).

Submittal Options: Choose one of the following options:

Option 1. E-mail your application as one single pdf file to: nawca_smallgrant@fws.gov:

  • Be sure the proposal document’s filename includes a geographic or other distinguishing feature from the project’s title. For example, the filename for the proposal “Restoring Habitat on the North Shore of Lake Superior” could be “Lake Superior.doc”.
  • If possible, have the e-mail sent by the intended project officer (same person listed as the contact on the proposal cover page).
  • Remember that maps and photos in your application document will increase the file size. Please make sure to note the size of your completed application file and check that your e-mail system and server are capable of sending an e-mail with an attachment of its size.
  • Please keep a copy of the “sent” e-mail to ensure you can document the submission of your proposal before the deadline.
  • Sending a back-up hardcopy (paper) of your proposal to the address given below is optional. If you opt to send one, please tell us so we can conserve paper by not printing extra copies unnecessarily.

Option 2. Send your application as an electronic file on a compact disc (CD) via regular or express mail:

  • Be sure the proposal document’s filename includes a geographic or other distinguishing feature from the project’s title. For example, the filename for the proposal “Restoring Habitat on the North Shore of Lake Superior” could be “Lake Superior.doc”.
  • Sending a back-up hardcopy (paper) of your proposal to the address given below is optional. If you opt to send one, please tell us so we can conserve paper by not printing extra copies unnecessarily.
  • Mailed CDs must be postmarked no later than October 27, 2011. We suggest that you mail your proposal with adequate lead-time and do not rely on meeting hte proposal deadline at the last minute through mail delivery companies.

Submission to Joint Venture Coordinator: E-mail a copy to your Joint Venture Coordinator and proposal partners, as you deem appropriate.

Receipt Confirmation: You will receive an e-mail response from one of the Small Grants Program Coordinators within one week of the submission deadline confirming your application was received. If you do not receive a confirmation, you should contact one of the program coordinators immediately to ensure your proposal was received and is not disallowed due to a missed deadline.

Timeframe: All proposal applications are processed in the weeks following the application deadline. Barring any unforeseen scheduling delays, you can expect that final decisions regarding project selections will be made by the North American Wetlands Conservation Council at its meeting in March 2012.

Contacts

For general program information, contact the Small Grants Program Coordinator, Rodecia Mcknight (rodecia_mcknight@fws.gov), (703) 358-2266, or Lacy Alison (lacy_alison@fws.gov), (703) 358-2552.

 

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