EPA Announces Request for Proposals for Healthy Watershed Consortium Grant

EPA is soliciting proposals for the management of the Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant. The purpose of the grant is to accelerate and expand the strategic protection of healthy freshwater ecosystems and their watersheds across the country. EPA expects to issue a cooperative agreement to fund a single grantee to manage the Healthy Watersheds Consortium grant program and issue sub-awards on a competitive basis.

Eligible applicants for this Request for Proposals are non-profit organizations, non-governmental organizations, interstate agencies, and inter-tribal consortia which are capable of undertaking activities that advance healthy watershed programs on a national basis. Eligible entities for the sub-awards include public and private nonprofit institutions/organizations, federally recognized Indian tribal governments, states, local governments, U.S. territories or possessions, and interstate agencies. Anticipated federal funding under the competition is approximately $3.75 million over six years.

Proposals are due January 5, 2015.

EPA will host a national Information Session regarding the funding opportunity “Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant” on Thursday, November 13th at 2pm Eastern. Register for the information session at Questions and answers from this Information Session will be posted at

Kresge initiative will fund innovative neighborhood projects across Detroit

To help foster quick wins in neighborhoods, Kresge has created a $5 million, three-year initiative to fund Detroit-based nonprofits in their efforts strengthen neighborhoods across the city.

Dubbed the Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit, the initiative will provide between $50,000 and $150,000 each for seven to 10 shovel-ready projects that can be completed in 18 months. Seven to 10 smaller planning grants will also be awarded to organizations with promising ideas.

“Nonprofits throughout the city are actively working to transform Detroit, neighborhood by neighborhood,” says Rip Rapson, Kresge’s president and chief executive officer. “We want to expand our pool of nonprofit partners, particularly those working at the grass roots, by recognizing and amplifying that energy and enthusiasm.” The initiative’s first year will consist of a pilot program funded by up to $1.5 million. That pilot will guide expansion in the subsequent two years.

Applications for this first round of funding are due by Tuesday, Dec. 2. Grant recipients will be announced by March 2015. An application guide is available online.

Projects must be completed within 12 to 18 months following receipt of grants; planning projects must be completed by Aug. 31, 2015, in time for the submission of applications to a second round of funding.  

“We want to help light up the map of Detroit quickly with the reality of positive change,” Rapson says. “At the same time, we can help expand the capacity of Detroit-based nonprofits to deliver more and larger projects.”

Kresge works to expand opportunity for low-income people in America’s cities. Its Detroit Program uses a comprehensive strategy to promote long-term economic opportunity in the foundation’s hometown. That strategy includes major efforts to revitalize neighborhoods and build a vibrant Woodward Corridor along with support for arts and culture, regional transit, early childhood education and work to enhance civic capacity.

Kresge’s Detroit investments support the Detroit Future City strategic framework, a long-range development plan informed by a multiyear research and community-engagement effort, which was funded by the foundation.

Applications for the new grant opportunity will be evaluated, in part, on how they align with the Detroit Future City framework as they advance neighborhood priorities. Applicants are asked to pay particular attention to portions of the framework, including:

To be competitive, applicants’ proposals must:

  • Take place within the city and be led by a Detroit-based nonprofit organization.
  • Demonstrate a transformative impact.
  • Fulfill the Detroit Future City strategic framework and advance neighborhood priorities.
  • Use inclusive, collaborative processes for design, development and implementation.
  • Extend benefits to a broad set of stakeholders and community residents.

Interested organizations should submit completed applications through Kresge’s online system by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 2.

Now congressional Republicans are digging through scientists’ grant proposals

Read the full story in Grist.

When scientists across the country need money for research projects, one place they often turn is the National Science Foundation. The NSF is an independent federal agency with an annual budget of about $7 billion, which it doles out to fund about a quarter of all federally supported science research.

Of course, the agency doesn’t just give money away to anyone who asks. Proposals have to survive a rigorous review process that includes close scrutiny by a panel of top scientists in the relevant field. Competition is fierce: Of the 49,000 proposals submitted in 2013, only a fifth were ultimately funded. So as far as most scientists are concerned, an NSF grant is about the highest mark of scientific legitimacy a research project can get.

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) apparently disagrees. Over the last 18 months, Smith, who chairs the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, has launched an aggressive campaign against what he sees as misguided money management at NSF that fritters funds away on frivolous research. Research on ridiculous things like, you know, climate change.

BoatUS Foundation Accepting Grant Applications for Safe and Clean Boating Projects

The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is accepting applications to its Grassroots Grants Program, which annually awards funds to nonprofit organizations, boating clubs, and student groups in the United States that provide education about safe and clean boating.

The foundation is looking for creative projects that promote safe and clean boating on local waterways. Past topics have ranged from PSAs on the effects of boating under the influence to hands-on education about the effects of marine debris.

2015 EPA Environmental Justice Small Grants Program

Due Date: December 15, 2014
Full solicitation

EPA is making available funding to support activities designed to empower and educate communities to understand environmental and public health issues and to identify ways to address these issues at the local level. The funding will focus on proposals supporting community-based preparedness and community climate resiliency efforts. Examples of community resilience projects that will receive consideration include improving water use efficiency and installing green infrastructure to increase resilience to heavy storms.

USDA FY14 Rural Community Development Initiative

Due date: November 12, 2014

USDA is making available funds to develop the capacity and ability of qualified private, non-profit community-based housing and community development organizations, low-income rural communities, and federally recognized Native American tribes to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development in rural areas. Applications that consider technical assistance for the development of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements can receive additional consideration.


FY 2014 Regional Innovation Grants (U.S. Economic Development Administration Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship)

Application due date: November 3, 2014
Full solicitation

EDA is seeking applications for three programs that develop regional innovation strategies: the i6 Challenge ($8 million available), Science and Research Park Development Grants ($5 million available), and Cluster Grants for Seed Capital Funds ($2 million available).

The i6 Challenge aims to commercialize innovations, ideas, intellectual property and research into viable companies; the Science and Research Park Development Grants seek to provide research hubs and increase regional competitiveness; and the Cluster Grants for Seed Capital Funds are intended to create sustainable financing institutions for innovation-based startups. Science and Research Park Development Grant applications in the field of energy efficient building technologies, renewable energy, and cogeneration can receive extra consideration.