EPA Solicits Great Lakes Shoreline Cities Grant Proposals

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a solicitation for a second round of Great Lakes Shoreline Cities Grants. EPA will award grants totaling up to $4.5 million to eligible shoreline cities to fund green infrastructure projects that will improve Great Lakes water quality.

This year, shoreline cities with a population greater than 25,000 and less than 50,000 will be eligible to apply for green infrastructure grants of up to $250,000. Last year, EPA awarded Shoreline Cities Grants totaling just under $7 million to 16 cities with populations greater than 50,000.

“This is an opportunity for more Great Lakes shoreline cities to obtain funding for green infrastructure projects,” said Region 5 Administrator/Great Lakes National Program Manager Susan Hedman. “These GLRI grants will be used for green infrastructure projects that reduce urban runoff and sewer overflows that foul beaches and impair Great Lakes water quality.”

Cities can use the grants to cover up to 50 percent of the cost of rain gardens, bioswales, green roofs, porous pavement, greenways, constructed wetlands, stormwater tree trenches and other green infrastructure measures installed on public property. Detailed eligibility requirements are available at

More information about the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is available at

Up To $27.5 Million Available From EPA for 2014 Great Lakes Restoration Projects

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today issued a Request for Applications soliciting proposals from states, municipalities, tribes, universities and nonprofit organizations for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants to fund new projects to restore and protect the Great Lakes. Up to $27.5 million will be available during the current funding cycle. Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis for projects in the Great Lakes basin. Applications are due August 25, 2014.

“This round of Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding will be used for projects that control invasive species, prevent the discharge of nutrients and sediment, and improve water quality in the Great Lakes,” said EPA Great Lakes National Program Manager Susan Hedman. “The work funded by these grants will help to restore and protect waters that are essential to the health and jobs of millions of Americans.”

A webinar explaining the grant application process will be held at 10:00 a.m. Central time on Tuesday, July 29. The Request for Applications and information about applying for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants is available at

For more information about the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative visit

DOE loan guarantee program targets biofuels, waste-to-energy

Read the full story in Ethanol Producer Magazine.

The U.S. Department of Energy has officially opened a loan guarantee solicitation, making up to $4 million available for innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency projects located in the U.S. that avoid, reduce or sequester greenhouse gases. The DOE announced its intention to open the Section 1703 loan guarantee solicitation in April…

The program solicitation provides a detailed description of the application process. The DOE has announced five application schedule rounds, and noted additional rounds may be announced at a later date. The application process contains two primary parts. The Part I deadline for the first round is Oct. 1, with the Part I deadline for the fifth round on Dec. 2, 2015. The first round Part II deadline is Jan. 14, 2015, with the round five Part II deadline set for March 2, 2016.

Additional information on the solicitation and application process is available on the DOE website.

Michigan DEQ Water Quality Monitoring Grant Application Package, Fiscal Year 2015

Water quality monitoring grants are offered under the Clean Michigan Initiative – Clean Water Fund (CMI-CWF).  Information contained in this Request for Proposals (RFP) is based on existing Water Resources Division guidance as well as administrative rules [Rule 8 (R 324.8808) of Part 88, Water Pollution and Environmental Protection Act, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended (NREPA)] promulgated for the CMI-CWF grants.  Approximately $300,000 is available for two-year water quality monitoring projects for the 2015 fiscal year. Proposals due by August 29, 2014.

Of particular interest to ENB readers are the RFP’s section on water quality monitoring grants:

The water quality monitoring grants are meant to fund water quality monitoring activities to address local issues of concern and to identify new  chemicals/issues that may be impacting the quality of Michigan’s surface waters. Monitoring activities must support the Water Resources Division’s Monitoring Strategy (available at and are limited to surface waters (i.e., rivers, streams, public access lakes, wetlands, the Great Lakes) and may include ambient chemical, biological, or physical monitoring activities, as well as the development of tools to help with the assessment of such data.

One example of such a project would be monitoring of surface waters for PAH from coal tar sealers.

FY2015 RFP

Required Grant Application Forms

Additional Information

Deadline approaching for 2014 Get2gether Neighborhood Challenge

Have you been mulling over a great project idea to help transform your neighborhood? Are you ready to take the next step to make it a reality? The Center for a New American Dream can help!

The Center for a New American Dream is now accepting applications for the 2014 Get2gether Neighborhood Challenge. The challenge is a great way to get organized and bring your ideas to life. New Dream will help your team raise funds for a project to improve your neighborhood and will match the funds raised by each selected team up to $2,000. If your project will be based in Canada, click here to apply.

Once again, we’ll be partnering with ioby, a crowd-resourcing platform for citizen-led, neighbor-funded projects that make neighborhoods stronger and more sustainable. On ioby, anyone with a good neighborhood idea can raise tax-deductible donations, recruit local volunteers, and share ideas with a like-minded community.

How It Works

All selected winners will begin the project process in August 2014 by attending two custom, ioby-led webinar trainings on crowdfunding. Whatever amount the teams raise through this process will be matched dollar-for-dollar by New Dream up to $2,000. The winners typically reach their goal and more within four weeks! Last year’s winners were able to raise more than $25,000 combined for their work. You can find some project ideas here or check out last year’s winners for some inspiration.

Challenge Timeline

The deadline to submit your application is July 15, 2014. Finalist projects that are selected will be announced on August 1, 2014, and each selected project will have until September 15, 2014 to raise funds toward the matching grant. Matching grants will be awarded on October 1, 2014.

How to Participate

The proposed project must be focused on building a local economy, on greening your community, or be linked to a sharing system. It should be replicable in other areas around the country and must be completed on or before April 30, 2015.

Each project group must have the following characteristics:

  • Be a New Dream Team with an existing Get2gether page.
  • Have a minimum of 4 active team members.
  • Have enough organizational capacity (time, leadership, or base of supporters) to run a fundraising campaign.
  • Have more than one project leader.
  • Have a minimum of one person who can manage the digital components of the campaign.

We look forward to hearing your ideas for helping your neighborhoods blossom. Contact Anna Awimbo if you have any questions or need more information.

IOBY: Crowdfunding for neighborhood projects

ioby is a crowd-resourcing platform for citizen-led neighbor-funded projects. The name is derived from the opposite of NIMBY. Their mission is to strengthen neighborhoods by supporting the leaders in them who want to make positive change, engaging their neighbors, one block at a time.

University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment awards four new project grants

Via the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment.

Congratulations to the four latest recipients of Institute on the Environment Project Grants! IonE Project Grants (formerly known as Discovery Grants) help highly innovative, world-class research activities get off the ground with a one-time investment of venture capital funding. The new recipients for fiscal year 2014 are:

Climate, Conflict and Displacement: Shifting Patterns in Kenyan Pastoral Communities

Project Leads: Cheryl Robertson (School of Nursing), Paul Porter (College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences), Innocent Rwego (School of Public Health) and Fred Rose (Institute on the Environment)

This project will conduct a focused study to better understand the human experience of climate variability, conflict and displacement due to climate change. It will also build multidisciplinary academic and multisectoral partnerships to develop a program that can improve the health and resilience of climate-displaced communities.

Releasing the Power of Nature for Cleaning Pollutants in Drinking Water

Project Leads: Alptekin Aksan (College of Science and Engineering) and Larry Wackett (College of Biological Sciences)

This collaboration between industry, academia and regulating federal, state and multinational agencies aims to develop a low-cost, low-energy-demand self-sustained bioremediation system that can be rapidly deployed anywhere in the world.

Food System Design for Resilient Population Health: The Minnesota Model

Project Lead: Matteo Convertino (School of Public Health)

This project will apply a comprehensive approach to designing an integrated, transdisciplinary food transportation system that intends to build resilience into the food web by providing dynamical indication over time of critical pathways, trade suggestions, disease outbreak locations, stakeholder connectivity needs, local investigation needs and real-time updates.

Sustainable Cities: Building an Integrative Research Network to Incorporate Natural Capital Into Design of Urban Systems     

Project Leads: Sarah Hobbie (College of Biological Sciences), Bonnie Keeler (Institute on the Environment) and Stephen Polasky (College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences)

The goal of this project is to advance understanding of the role of green infrastructure in sustainable cities and position the University of Minnesota as a leader in the field of urban sustainability and environmental science. The project aims to stimulate new collaborative research on urban ecosystem services through short-term, high-impact research activities; identify key knowledge gaps and barriers to sustainability and develop proposals to address those gaps; and support integration of research and practice through partnerships, opportunities and stakeholder engagement.

Vilsack Announces Farm Bill Funding for Bioenergy Research, Converting to Biomass Fuel Systems

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced up to $14.5 million in funding for two USDA bioenergy programs made available through the 2014 Farm Bill. USDA’s Rural Development (RD) announced it is accepting applications from companies seeking to offset the costs associated with converting fossil fuel systems to renewable biomass fuel systems, while USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the availability of $2.5 million in grants to enhance national energy security through the development of bio-based transportation fuels, biopower, and new bio-based products.

USDA today also announced a valuable aid to those in, or interested in, starting a bio-energy business, the Bioeconomy Tool Shed. The Tool Shed is a portal offering users access to a complement of web-based tools and information, statistical data and other resources related to the sustainable production and conversion of biomass into products and fuel, a process often referred to as the bioeconomy.

“These USDA investments are part of the Obama Administration’s ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy, and they benefit our economy as well as the environment,” Vilsack said. “USDA’s support for bio-based technologies is good for the climate, and enhances rural economic development while it decreases our dependence on foreign sources of oil.” He concluded, “These and other USDA efforts will create new products out of homegrown agriculture from this and future generations of American farmers and foresters.”

USDA plans to make up to $12 million in payments for eligible biorefineries through RD’s Repowering Assistance Program, which was reauthorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. Biorefineries in existence on or before June 18, 2008 are eligible for payments to replace fossil fuels used to produce heat or power with renewable biomass. Since President Obama took office, USDA has provided $6.9 million to help biorefineries transition from fossil fuels to renewable biomass systems. The deadline for applications is September 15, 2014. For details on how to apply, see page 34280 of the June 16 Federal Register.

USDA is also seeking applications for NIFA’s Sun Grants program that encourages bioenergy and biomass research collaboration between government agencies, land-grant colleges and universities, and the private sector. Congress authorized the Sun Grant program in the 2008 Farm Bill and reauthorized the program in 2014. The program provides grants to five grant centers and one subcenter, which then will make competitive grants to projects that contribute to research, education and outreach for the regional production and sustainability of possible biobased feedstocks. The project period will not exceed five years.

The newest addition to the USDA Energy Web, the Tool Shed can help those interested in bio-energy business ventures by providing access to the data and information necessary to evaluate potential opportunities across the entire supply chain: from feedstock production, to bioenergy production, bioenergy use, and linkages between feedstock production, bioenergy production and use. The tool is designed to assist in evaluating the feasibility and opportunities for locating a new biorefinery. It provides the stakeholder access to information on demographics, land use, biomass, feedstock, economics, and financial management.

Today’s announcements were made possible through the 2014 Farm Bill, which builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past five years while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for the taxpayer. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit

Climate Science Centers and National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Centers Accepting Statements of Interest for Research Funding – Fiscal Year 2015

Seven of the eight U.S. Department of the Interior Climate Science Centers (Alaska, North Central, Northeast, Pacific Islands, South Central, Southeast and Southwest) and the U.S. Geological Survey National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center are seeking Statements of Interest and Proposals for funding in Fiscal Year 2015.

Projects are invited that support science priorities for each center, as described in the funding announcement. See announcement for eligibility of applicants. The submission deadline for Statements of Interest is June 17, 2014. To learn more, visit:

Grant funding available from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to solicit projects for its 2014 – 2015 Environmental Assistance Grant Program. Approximately $1,000,000 is available; funding covers nine different focus areas. End date for any grant agreement will be no later than June 30, 2017.

One focus area is Green Chemistry and Design Curriculum. The MPCA is seeking proposals that support the development of green chemistry and design curricula at secondary and post-secondary institutions in Minnesota and strengthen the teaching network through dissemination of new curricula. Funds may be used for cross-disciplinary approaches, such as integrating green chemistry concepts into disciplines other than chemistry and engineering, or to integrate toxicological learning into chemistry or engineering in support of green chemistry learning goals. Maximum grant of $15,000; no match required. Application deadline for this focus area is 7/16/14.

Another focus area is Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). The MPCA is seeking small businesses interested in reducing emissions of VOCs throughout their facilities. Maximum grant of $100,000; minimum 10% match required. The application deadline for this focus area is 8/13/14.

The RFP, application forms, and links to applicable rules and statutes are available at