EPA announces unprecedented $29 million for San Francisco Bay watershed restoration grants


[ Article originally appeared on www.epa.gov ]

By Joshua Alexander,

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting applications for approximately $29 million in grants, the largest annual allocation ever, to protect and restore San Francisco Bay watersheds and wetlands. The agency is announcing two separate funding opportunities with a due date for applications of September 20, 2022.

“Among our nation’s iconic bodies of water, the San Francisco Bay stands out not only for its unique beauty and striking vistas, but for the tremendous environmental and economic benefits it brings to California and the United States,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “These federal grants provide critical funding to support climate resiliency and safeguard wetlands throughout the Bay Area, especially in communities that have been bearing greater pollution burdens.”

The San Francisco Bay Water Quality Improvement Fund (SFBWQIF), a competitive grant program EPA has administered since 2008, has already provided $71 million over the years in 59 grant awards. In one of the funding opportunities being announced today, the historic passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) makes $5 million available in grant funding and includes flexibilities to waive match requirements. This expands the SFBWQIF’s ability to accelerate implementation of projects and strengthen climate resilience in underserved communities. Projects selected will receive between $200,000 and a $1 million to advance President Biden’s goal of investing in America’s infrastructure and delivering environmental and public health benefits for communities with environmental justice concerns.

Beyond the BIL-funded opportunity, EPA also is accepting applications for approximately $24 million in grant funding to protect and restore San Francisco Bay watersheds and wetlands. Selected projects will receive between $1 million and $3 million to focus on water quality results, such as restoration of impaired waters and enhancement of wetland habitat. 

EPA is currently accepting applications for both grants through September 20, 2022.

The SFBWQIF has summarized results of completed projects including efforts related to wetland and watershed restoration, as well as the expanded use of green infrastructure to reduce polluted runoff. These projects improve water quality and community livability by protecting shorelines, minimizing flood impacts, enhancing habitat for threatened and endangered species, and reducing nutrients, mercury and PCBs from reaching the Bay.

For more information on the request for applications, frequently asked questions, and upcoming webinars to support applicants during the application process, visit our San Francisco Bay Water Quality Improvement Fund website.

SOURCE: https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-announces-unprecedented-29-million-san-francisco-bay-watershed-restoration-grants

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