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The Watershed Fund

The MWCC Watershed Fund provides direct support to our community-based watershed conservation partners for capacity-building, professional development, and on-the-ground projects. Our goal is to distribute $1 million to help our local partners coordinate and implement natural resource management efforts by the end of 2022.

The two primary goals of the Watershed Fund are:

  1. Increase the capacity of local communities to advance community-based, locally led conservation using the Watershed Approach.
  2. Provide a model for streamlining, consolidating, and leveraging resources for locally led conservation statewide.

Award amounts vary. Up to $30,000 is available for on-the-ground stewardship projects. Smaller amounts are available for non-project funding.

MWCC partner organizations who are increasing the capacity of local communities to advance community-based, locally led conservation using the Watershed Approach to conservation are eligible. This includes watershed groups; conservation, irrigation, and water quality districts;
non-profits; forest collaboratives; tribal communities; and tribal government agencies. Federal agencies, state agencies, individuals, and for-profit entities are not eligible.

Most Watershed Fund grants require matching funds. Each of our partners has leveraged Watershed Fund dollars with other contributions, grants, local cash, and in-kind resources. We are proud to be merely one significant financial resource among the many that are creatively brought to the table by our watershed partners.

The MWCC Watershed Fund Committee provides vision, guidance, and oversight to the administration and development of the Watershed Fund. Watershed Fund Reviewers are approved by the MWCC Board of Directors. Reviewers make award recommendations, sometimes together with staff from state and federal funding agencies. Project support award decisions are made in consultation with technical experts on the MWCC Water Committee.

MWCC tracks Watershed Fund success through:

  • Stakeholders engaged
  • Conservation practices implemented
  • Acres made more resilient
  • Stream and lakeshore miles improved

More details on what qualifies for each of these metrics is included in the document attached at the bottom of this page.

Watershed Fund Opportunities

Funding Timeline for 2021

Big Sky Watershed Corps (BSWC) Project Support – For projects led by BSWC members that reduce nonpoint source pollution and implement DEQ-approved Watershed Restoration Plans

  • February 4, 2021: Announcement of funding opportunity
  • March 15, 2021: Proposals due
  • April 2021: Funding decisions made

General Project Support – Spring Round

  • March 4, 2021: Announcement of funding opportunity
  • April 9, 2021: Proposals due
  • June 2021: Funding decisions made

Capacity Support

  • June or July 2021 (TBD): Announcement of funding opportunity
  • Approx. 1 month after announcement: Proposals due
  • Approx. 1 month after proposals due: Funding decisions made

Professional Development Support is available on a rolling basis, depending on funds available.