Watershed Fund Project Support

Proposals for Project Support are now being accepted. Awards of up to $30,000 are available for on-the-ground conservation projects on private land. Proposals are due by 5 pm on Friday, November 6. Go to the Fall 2020 Project Support Request for Proposals page to learn more.

The MWCC Watershed Fund has funding available to assist our Watershed Partners with implementing on-the-ground projects to benefit water quality, water quantity, natural resources, conservation stewardship, community health, and local livelihoods. Up to $30,000 may be awarded to each recipient, depending on the funding source. Project support opportunities vary, with different requirements for match, reporting, and reimbursement. Watch this page for upcoming project support opportunities.

Purpose

The purpose of these dollars is to help watershed groups accomplish on-the-ground work on projects that align with local watershed priorities and measurably improve local resources.

Who Qualifies for Support?

MWCC’s partnering organizations are eligible, excluding Federal and State agencies and for-profit entities. Proposals must demonstrate the applicant is closely working with local watershed partners in the basin where a project is being proposed. Some project opportunities are available only to Big Sky Watershed Corps host sites.

What is Required of Participants?

Participants will be expected to report to MWCC on both quantitative and qualitative outcomes, impacts, and deliverables, and to provide other information as needed. Required reporting information may include:

  • A description of how the project implements local watershed and conservation plans, including Watershed Restoration Plans, NRCS Targeted Implementation Plans, State and Regional Water Plans, and local conservation plans
  • Project maps and location coordinates
  • Total square footage of project
  • Number of stakeholders engaged
  • Number of volunteers recruited
  • Number of stream and lakeshore miles improved
  • Number of conservation practices implemented, including changed land management practices
  • Number of acres made more resilient
  • Photos of project work, including before-and-after photos
  • Project-related outreach and communications
  • Stories about local stakeholders who will benefit from or are involved in the project

Examples of Eligible Projects:

The following are merely examples. Eligible projects vary by funding source, so be sure to check out the current Request for Proposals for more details.

  • Drought mitigation and management
  • Forest stand improvement to achieve desired objective(s) (mitigating risk of insects or disease, reducing fire risk, improving habitat, manipulating water yield, increasing carbon storage, etc.)
  • In-channel habitat improvements (bank work, beaver dam analogues, fish passage structures, etc.)
  • Invasive species treatment and management (integrated pest management, targeted herbicide application, biocontrol, etc.)
  • Natural water storage
  • Pollution reduction infrastructure (relocating animal feeding areas, building manure composting systems, etc.)
  • Pollinator habitat (establishment, enhancement, etc.)
  • Restoration project maintenance
  • Riparian infrastructure and management improvement (fencing, livestock water access, grazing plans, riparian pastures, etc.)
  • Riparian vegetation planting and protection (containerized plantings, willow stakes, seeding, etc.)
  • Soil health improvements (cover crop planting, erosion reduction, etc.)
  • Source water protection
  • Stream discharge improvements (minimum flow management, reductions in artificially high runoff, etc.)
  • Wildlife management enhancements (wildlife friendly fencing, habitat improvements, carcass composting, range riding, etc.)

Review Criteria

The MWCC Watershed Fund Committee makes final award decisions. Project support award decisions are made in consultation with technical experts on the MWCC Water Committee. Review criteria vary depending on the requirements of specific project funding RFPs, but they generally include:

  • Use of Watershed Approach principles by the applying organization, and within the proposal
  • Conservation impact, including:
    • Number of stakeholders engaged
    • Number of stream and lakeshore miles improved
    • Number of conservation practices implemented
    • Number of acres made more resilient
  • Connections to local watershed and conservation plans, including Watershed Restoration Plans, NRCS Targeted Implementation Plans, State and Regional Water Plans, and local conservation plans
  • Demonstration of measurable project benefits to water quality, water quantity, natural resources, community health, and local livelihoods
  • Community support for the project
  • Scope of funding leveraged for the project
  • Ability to deliver the proposed project within the proposed budget and timeline

2020-2021 Project Support Timeline

MWCC will have project support funding available in the Fall of 2020, on the following schedule:

• October 1, 2020: Announcement of funding opportunity
• November 6, 2020: Proposals due
• December 2020: Funding decisions made

If we do not award all available funds in the Fall, there will be a second round of funding in Spring 2021, on the following schedule:

• February 4, 2021: Announcement of funding opportunity
• March 12, 2021: Proposals due
• April 2021: Funding decisions made

2021 Big Sky Watershed Corps Project Support Timeline

• February 4, 2021: Announcement of funding opportunity
• March 12, 2021: Proposals due
• April 2021: Funding decisions made

We will share all funding opportunities through the Watershed News and on this page.

Questions?

Please contact Watershed Programs Coordinator Terri Nichols with any questions, and to discuss your funding ideas.

Terri Nichols
terri@mtwatersheds.org