Delaware River Watershed Protection Fund – Jan 20

Posted by Open Space Institute on December 20, 2022

Open Space Institute invites applications for Delaware River Watershed Protection Fund

Launched in 2014, the Delaware River Watershed Protection Fund of the Open Space Institute aims to ensure abundant, clean water through the support of land protection and improved land use planning as part of the broader Delaware River Watershed Initiative, a coordinated effort involving 65 organizations working together to protect and restore clean water in the Delaware River watershed.

Through the fund, OSI provides three types of grants for land protection in designated focus areas within the following five watershed clusters: Pocono and Kittatinny; Upper Lehigh; Schuylkill Highlands; Kirkwood-Cohansey; and New Jersey Highlands:

Capital Grants: To purchase land and easements to permanently protect important watershed lands.

Transaction Grants: To jumpstart land conservation efforts.

Catalyst Grants: To integrate water quality science into strategic conservation or forest management plans, such as Open Space Plans, ordinances, or other mechanisms for the protection and stewardship of water resources. OSI encourages proposals that address climate change, flood hazards, and/or water justice.

The fund may support one project per cluster in Phase 2+ that is outside of the focus areas if it is of exceptional significance to water quality in the cluster.

Although there is no minimum or maximum grant size, awards typically range between $75,000 and $450,000, and OSI will distribute at least $500,000 in each eligible cluster.

The fund strongly prefers capital projects with a 3:1 or greater financial match; donations, grants, and, in some cases, land can serve as the match.

Projects must be in an eligible Phase 2+ focus area (as identified by the institute’s map and data guide). Forestland projects must be in a DRWI Phase 2+ focus area with land protection as an approved strategy. Farm buffer projects must be in a DRWI Phase 2+ focus area with land protection or restoration as an approved strategy.

For complete program guidelines, application instructions, a list of previously funded projects, and a map of the geographic focus areas, see the Open Space Institute website.

Deadline: January 20, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. ET

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