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Great Lakes Restoration Initiative 2019 Request for Applications

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RFA for Nonpoint Source Projects to Address Agricultural Nutrients and Stormwater Runoff 

This RFA solicits applications from entities for grant projects to be awarded pursuant to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative action plan . This RFA is EPA’s major competitive grant funding opportunity under GLRI Focus Area 3: Nonpoint Source Impacts to Nearshore Health for FY 2019 and FY 2020.

Under this RFA, EPA expects to award a total of approximately $14 million for about 30 nonpoint source projects in 5 categories addressing agricultural nutrients and stormwater runoff. Specifically, EPA is requesting grant applications under the following funding opportunities:

Applications are requested for projects within the five categories listed below, each of which has a separate Funding Opportunity Number (FON) and is separately posted on Applicants must apply for the specific funding opportunity they are interested in.

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Funding Opportunity Number appears in parentheses after each category. More details below this list.

I.A. Riparian Restoration to Reduce Runoff to the Maumee River (EPA-R5-GL2019-RRM)

For this funding opportunity, we seek to restore riparian areas in agricultural, rural, urban, and suburban communities by improving drainage ditches and streams through the implementation of nonpoint source management measures that promote infiltration, stabilize streamflows, and increase the capacity of the watershed to assimilate nutrients.

  • Approximately $4,000,000 available for 5 to 10 projects
  • Projects must be located in the Maumee River watershed in Indiana, Michigan or Ohio 
  • Projects that implement a state-approved watershed-based plan preferred 
  • Restoration of marginal cropland or intercepting agricultural drainage waters encouraged

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I.B. Green Infrastructure to Reduce Stormwater Runoff (EPA-R5-GL2019-GIU)

EPA seeks green infrastructure projects to reduce nonpoint source stormwater pollution to the Great Lakes.  Projects must implement nonpoint source management measures and practices to improve water quality consistent with a broader strategy for watershed protection or restoration. 

  • Approximately $2,000,000 available for 5 to 8 projects 
  • As a minimum for consideration, projects must infiltrate or capture at least 100,000 gallons stormwater
  • Projects that implement a state-approved watershed-based plan preferred 
  • Encourage projects designed for long-term performance under a range of conditions, including intense rainfall or drought

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I.C. Manure Management to Reduce Nutrient Runoff from Farms (EPA-R5-GL2019-MMF)

Projects in this funding opportunity offer technical and financial assistance to livestock operators to improve their manure management. Projects must implement nonpoint source management measures and practices to improve water quality consistent with a broader strategy for watershed protection or restoration.

  • Approximately $2,500,000 available for 5 to 8 projects 
  • Only manure management practices are eligible for funding; other agronomic and conservation practices (such as cover crops) may only be funded if applied in combination with one or more manure management practices as a system
  • Concentrated animal feeding operations regulated by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, or state or county ordinance are not eligible for funding under this funding opportunity
  • Projects that implement a state-approved watershed-based plan preferred 
  • Encourage sites be prioritized based on factors such as phosphorus loadings, risk of runoff and economic hardship

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I.D. Accelerating Adoption of Nutrient Management through Farmer-led Outreach and Education (EPA-R5-GL2019-ANM)

This funding opportunity solicits innovative proposals to advance the adoption of nutrient management through farmer-led outreach and education networks.

  • Approximately $4,000,000 available for 4 projects
  • Projects must be located in one or more of the following GLRI Priority Watersheds for Phosphorus Reduction:
    • Maumee River 
    • Saginaw River
    • Fox River
    • Genesee River
  • Past experience implementing programs and demonstration projects through collaboration with farmers that demonstrate success with measurable results, including improved water quality and increased farmer-to-farmer education, outreach, and mentorship are preferred.

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I.E. Water Quality Trading and other Market-based Approaches for Nutrient Reduction (EPA-R5-GL2019-WQT)

This funding opportunity solicits applications to advance nonpoint source nutrient reduction efforts in the Great Lakes basin through innovative, market-based approaches.  A successful project would result in implementing nonpoint source excess nutrient reductions through water quality trading or other market-based approaches (e.g., pay for performance models, innovative bond structures, reverse auctions, etc.) which maximize cost-effectiveness of those reductions. 

  • Approximately $1,500,000 available for 4 projects
  • Applications must demonstrate that the project will: Identify and minimize barriers to trading or maximize cost effectiveness of excess nutrient reduction through market-based approaches
  • Innovative approaches to identify or improve economic drivers for implementation of conservation practices on the ground are encouraged.

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Who can apply

Eligible entities Not eligible
  • state agencies,
  • interstate agencies,
  • federally recognized Indian tribes and tribal organizations,
  • local governments,
  • institutions of higher learning (i.e., colleges and universities),
  • and non-profit organizations as defined in 2 C.F.R. § 200
  • individuals
  • foreign organizations and governments,
  • nonprofit organizations exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code that engage in lobbying,
  • and “for-profit” organizations

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Contact Information

For general and technical questions, contact the following staff of the U.S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office:

  • For Funding Opportunities 1 and 2: Danielle Green (, 312-886-7594
  • For Funding Opportunities 3, 4 and 5: Santina Wortman (, 312-353-8319

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