The Five Star Wetland and Urban Waters Restoration Program is a joint collaboration between the National Fish and Wildlife Federation, EPA, and USDA and provides financial assistance to grassroots partnerships for wetland, forest, riparian and coastal habitat restoration, stormwater management, outreach and stewardship with a particular focus on water quality, watersheds and the habitats they support.

Eligible Uses

Applications must include an element of each of the five priority areas below:

  • Wetland, riparian, in-stream and/or coastal habitat restoration (e.g., green infrastructure projects that manage stormwater and rural runoff and link directly to stormwater management plans)
  • Meaningful education and training activities, either through community outreach, participation and/or integration with K-12 environmental curriculum (e.g., engage students in hands-on, outdoor conservation experiences that raise awareness of and promote environmental stewardship)
  • Partnerships, projects must involve five or more partners (public and private entities) including the applicant (e.g, provide training, partnership meetings, and presentations to build local stakeholder support)
  • Measurable ecological, educational and community results (e.g., measurable activities and metrics which clearly link to watershed and community outcomes, such as number of trees planted or number of educational signs installed)
  • Sustainability, projects must include a plan for long-term maintenance (e.g., identify long-term capacity that will remain engaged with partners)

Eligible Recipients

State and local governments are eligible recipients, along with U.S territories, tribal governments, academic institutions, and non-profit organizations.

Approx Annual Funding Amount

The program is funded at $2.6 million each year. Awards range from $20,000 to $50,000 with an average size of $35,000 and about 50 grants awarded per year. Grants span 12 to 18 months in duration.

Cost Share Requirements

There is a 1:1 match requirement; matching contributions must be non-federal and can include in-kind contributions.

Applicants are highly encouraged to contact National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, who administered the program, for assistance in determining what qualifies as in-kind or any other matching contribution.

Application Cycle

Applications are typically due in January.


Program Coordinators:

Other Info

The program requires building or augmenting diverse partnerships along with an education/outreach component to achieve conservation goals.