The Bureau of Reclamation is making $30 million from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law available to restore and protect aquatic ecosystems. Funding will support the study, design and construction of collaboratively developed ecosystem restoration projects that provide widespread regional benefits and improve the health of fisheries, wildlife and aquatic habitat through restoration and improved fish passage. The investments are part of the $1 billion investment provided by the Infrastructure Law for the WaterSMART program.
"Aquatic ecosystem restoration is a nature-based solution that helps build climate resilience and it is important that we restore and protect aquatic ecosystems, even in a long-term drought," said Deputy Commissioner Michael Brain. "The benefits of aquatic ecosystems are far reaching. They include providing habitat for fish and wildlife, improving water quality and mitigating the impacts of drought and flood events."
The funding opportunity is available on www.grants.gov by searching for opportunity number R23AS00106. Applications are due by June 1, 2023, at 4:00 p.m. MDT.
Study and design projects are eligible for between $500,000 and $2 million, and construction projects can receive between $3 and $20 million. A non-federal cost share of at least 35% is required.
Applicants are eligible in two distinct categories. Category A eligible applicants are:
- States, Tribes, irrigation districts, and water districts.
- Regional, or local authorities, the members of which include one or more organizations with water or power delivery authority.
- Agencies established under state law for the joint exercise of powers.
- Other entities or organizations that own a dam that is eligible for upgrade, modification, or removal.
Category B eligible applicants are non-profit conservation organizations acting in partnership with those in Category A.
All Category A applicants need to be in the Western United States or Territories as identified in the Reclamation Act of June 17, 1902, specifically: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, or the U.S. Virgin Islands. All Category B applicants must be in the United States, or the specific Territories identified above.