DEM Announces Availability of $1.2M in EPA Grant Funding for Projects to Improve Water Quality in Watersheds

Published on Monday, November 20, 2023

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is announcing the availability of $1.2 million in federal Clean Water Act grants are available for local projects to restore water quality and abate nonpoint source pollution. Local, state and regional governmental agencies, as well as public schools, universities, and non-profit watershed, environmental or conservation organizations, and 501(c)3 non-profit organizations with the capacity to carry-out eligible projects such as urban neighborhood associations, are eligible to apply for the grants.

Public Workshop (Hybrid)

A public hybrid workshop will be offered on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023 at 10 AM on Zoom and in-person at DEM’s Providence Headquarters, 235 Promenade Street, Room 300 (third floor), Providence, Rhode Island 02908. To register for the workshop on Zoom, click here.

Nonpoint source pollution arises from many diverse sources, such as uncontrolled storm water runoff, pet waste, cesspools and failing septic systems, erosion due to land disturbances and other stressors, including aquatic invasive species.  DEM’s NPS Management Program works to prevent or reduce negative impacts to Rhode Island’s water resources. These funds target specific watersheds (see below) as well as eligible disadvantaged communities. These competitive grants will be awarded according to the Request for Proposals (RFP) and require a match commitment.

Eligible watersheds:

  • Watersheds with Draft Watershed Plans
    • Other watersheds that have a draft watershed plan at the time of grant proposal submission and commit to having that plan finalized (including EPA approval) by the end of calendar year 2023.
  • Flexibility for Projects in Environmental Justice Areas/Disadvantaged Communities (EJ/DAC)  

Proposals for projects that will be completed by Sept. 2024 can apply for expedited review. DEM will announce the award of fast-tracked projects on a rolling basis between through Feb. 2024. Proposals for projects to be completed over the next 1-3 years will be awarded in the spring of 2024. All projects must be submitted to DEM no later than 4 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 26, 2024 through the State of Rhode Island’s Grant Management System (eCivis). Resources for subrecipients (grantees) and user guides for eCivis can be found on the Grants Management Office website.

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