New Federal Funding Opportunity!

National Estuary Program (NEP) Competitive Fund

The NEP Coastal Watersheds Grant Program is a recently Congressionally-formed national competitive grant program designed to support projects that address urgent and challenging issues threatening the well-being of coastal and estuarine areas within "estuaries of national significance" in the National Estuary Program - which includes the CHNEP area. The projects (or project phases) eligible for funding in the CHNEP area must support the implementation of the CHNEP's Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (with priority to projects addressing nutrient pollution, habitat loss and coastal erosion/flooding), and must be able to be completed in a 2-year timeframe.

The 2020 Request for Proposals is now available, with letters of Intent are due August 7, 2020. Please coordinate with the CHNEP if you would like to submit a Letter of Intent for funding prior to doing so -  in order to allow us to provide you an Acknowledgement Letter (see instructions below) to demonstrate you have coordinated with your NEP entity. Each subaward will range between $75,000 and $250,000, resulting in roughly three to ten total subawards per funding year depending on Congressional appropriations. CHNEP can write a letter of support or potentially even act as the subaward recipient to procure and project manage the project for CHNEP member entities.

Instructions for requesting an Acknowledgement Letter from CHNEP

for NEP Competitive Fund Coastal Watershed Grant Proposal Submission

To help us make informed acknowledgement of your application, please provide the following to Research & Outreach Manager, Nicole Iadevaia ( by July 31, 2020.  We will respond with a letter of acknowledgement by August 5, 2020 which you can include with your LOI/full proposal submission.


  1. Applicant Information


Contact name, title:

Contact email address:

  1. Project Description

    1. Title

    2. Objective

    3. Geographic Area

      1. Provide a map of project area. 

      2. Does the proposed project fall within the planning area of CHNEP? (A map of the NEP boundaries can be found at:

If Yes, go to Section 3.

If No, skip to Section 4.


3.  For projects within CHNEP area (*preferred)

  1. Indicate how the proposed project will advance the CHNEP CCMP - be as specific as possible including referencing CCMP goals, objectives and/or priority actions. 

  2. List any other State or locally approved community-based watershed management plan referenced in your project description


4.  For projects outside CHNEP area

  1. Identify the State or locally approved community-based watershed management plan referenced for your project. 

  2. Indicate how the proposed project may help advance the CHNEP CCMP, for example by describing the transferability of proposed methods or project results.

Additional Background Info.

The National Estuary Program was established in 1987 by Congress to restore and protect estuaries of national significance. To date, 28 estuaries have been designated of national significance and are part of the National Estuary Program. Under the Clean Water Act, each NEP develops a comprehensive plan to advance the health and resilience of their Estuary, known as Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plans (CCMP). NEP’s leverage funding and resources and work with myriad partners to advance the actions in their CCMPs.

The 2016 reauthorization of the National Estuary Program under the Clean Water Act included the addition of a competitive award to address urgent and challenging issues. Restore America’s Estuaries is administering this competitive award process through the National Estuary Program Coastal Watersheds Grant Program (NEP CWG).  Complete information on NEP CWG, including specific priorities for the 2020 Request for Proposals, is available at


Eligibility for funding is based on a map provided by Restore America’s Estuaries that includes the boundaries of the 28 National Estuary Programs as well as some adjacent watersheds outside of those boundaries. Proposed projects must demonstrate how they relate to and carry out the priority actions in one of the 28 NEP CCMPs, “or other existing State or locally approved community-based watershed management plan.” In addition, all proposed projects must include a letter of acknowledgement from the NEP located within the eligible geographic area for CWG funding. 

We hope you take advantage of this great opportunity for funding in natural and man-made infrastructure projects that enhance natural resource protection and community resiliency in the CHNEP area!

Coastal & Heartland National Estuary Partnership, 326 W. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda, FL 33950-4417,