The Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Projects (AERP) is a new, competitive grant program that will provide funding for the study, design, and construction of aquatic ecosystem restoration and protection projects in … Read more
The America the Beautiful Challenge is a public-private grant program for locally led ecosystem restoration projects that invest in watershed restoration, resilience, equitable access, workforce development, corridors and connectivity, and collaborative conservation consistent with the America the Beautiful Initiative.
Projects must be consistent with the principles outlined in the Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful report and that focus on at least one of the following core areas:
- Conserving and restoring rivers, coasts, wetlands, and watersheds
- Conserving and restoring forests, grasslands, and other important ecosystems that serve as carbon sinks
- Connecting and reconnecting wildlife corridors, large landscapes, watersheds, and seascapes
- Improving ecosystem and community resilience to coastal flooding, drought, and other climate-related threats
- Expanding access to the outdoors, particularly in underserved communities
There are four categories of grants, including (1) States, Territories, and Tribal Implementation Grants, (2) Planning, Collaboration and Engagement for States, Territories, and Tribes, (3) Grants to Buffer and Benefit Public Lands, and (4) Private Forests, Rangeland, and Farmland Grants.
State government agencies, U.S. territories, and Tribal Nations are eligible to apply for all grant categories. Non-profit 501(c) organizations, local governments, municipal governments, and educational institutions are eligible to apply for grants in categories: (3) Grants to Buffer and Benefit Public Lands and (4) Private Forests and Farmland.
Approx Annual Funding Amount
Approximately $85 million will be available for 2022, with four categories of grants, of which the America the Beautiful Challenge expects to award at least 10% for Tribal grants and 3% to U.S. territories. This program is expected to be an annual grant program.
- States, Territories, and Tribal Implementation Grants: awards range from $1-5 million, and landscape-scale restoration requests over $5 million will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
- Planning, Collaboration and Engagement for States, Territories, and Tribes: awards range from $200,000 to $1 million and are contingent upon awards from DOI.
- Grants to Buffer and Benefit Public Lands: awards will range from $250,000 to $1.5 million and are contingent upon awards by DOD and USFS.
- Private Forests, Rangeland, and Farmland Grants: awards will range from $200,000 to $500,000 and are contingent upon awards by NRCS.
Cost Share Requirements
For states, the federal cost-share is 90%, and states must provide 10% of costs, of which at least 2.5% must be cash. For Indian tribes and territories, the federal cost-share is 97%, and Indian tribes and territories must provide 3% of costs, of which at least 0.75% must be cash. The cost-share is waived for Indian tribes fully covered by partnerships with Native Americans in Philanthropy and waived for territories per DOI legal interpretation.
The deadline for full proposals is typically in July and awards are announced in November. A tip sheet is also available for quick reference while developing your application.
- Rachel Dawson, Program Director, National Programs, [email protected]
- Sydney Godbey, Program Manager, National Programs, [email protected]
- Blake Gardiner, Regional Program Coordinator, [email protected]
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation coordinates funding across the Departments of the Interior, Agriculture, and Defense, as well as private philanthropy to make it easier for states, tribes, territories, local groups, non-profit organizations, and others to apply for multiple funds with one application.