Healthy Estuaries Grant Program 

The MassBays Healthy Estuaries Grant Program provides funding and technical assistance to coastal communities from Salisbury to Provincetown for initiatives in Massachusetts Bay and Cape Cod Bay. With funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Section 320 of the Clean Water Act, MassBays will fund work that will lead to implementation of the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan, previously released for public review. The final CCMP, due December 31, 2015, will guide MassBays' work through 2023 to address a wide range of environmental issues, and improve ecosystem conditions across the region. 

The Healthy Estuaries Grant Program is a revision of MassBays' previous Research and Planning Grant Program. This grant program fills the funding gap between development of a concept for improving estuarine conditions and its implementation.By directing funding to planning, assessment, and prioritization steps, MassBays can advance well thought-out and resilient restoration and resource management projects. 

Working toward our vision of sustainable estuarine ecosystems that support the life and communities dependent upon then, MassBays grant funds are dedicated to supporting local progress on protecting, restoring, and enhancing estuarine habitats (e.g. seagrass beds, salt marshes, beaches) and informing management efforts to reduce stressors (e.g. wastewater, stormwater, habitat fragmentation).  

Healthy Estuaries Grant Program RFR Released

The Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program (MassBays) is pleased to announce availability of up to $100,000 in total funding for the FY16 Healthy Estuaries Grant Program. 

Through this program, MassBays will provide individual grants from $8,000 to $35,000 for 18-month projects focused on one or more of the 47 embayments within Massachusetts Bay and Cape Cod Bay (April 2016 to September 2017). Proposed projects should: generate additional data and information on trends and conditions of estuarine resources, apply new or innovative approaches to improve resource conditions (including restoration efforts), produce management plans, and/or implement on-the-ground actions that result in the reduction of identified stressors.

Applicants will be asked to demonstrate that their proposed work advances the goals of MassBays’Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan, builds upon previous efforts (including those compiled in the searchable inventory of plans and assessments) and augments the 2013 Estuarine Delineation and Assessment

Eligible applicants include Massachusetts municipalities, regional planning agencies, 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, and nonprofit research, and education institutions of higher learning based in Massachusetts. Project proponents must provide a minimum of 25% match of the total project cost (cash and/or in-kind). The application process includes a short pre-proposal in which applicants provide a brief description of the purpose and goals of the study, the approach, and project budget. Pre-proposals are due on Tuesday, December 1. Proponents of successful pre-proposals will be invited to submit a full proposal, due January 29, 2016. All projects must be completed by September 30, 2017. For more information, to view the Request for Responses (RFR), and download required forms, see the COMMBUYS website.

Research and Planning Grant Program

The MassBays Research and Planning Grant Program was conducted from 2010 to 2014 and supported research, planning, and local capacity building initiatives in the MassBays region. Funded projects aided the implementation of the MassBays Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan, MassBays' guiding document. Although there are many funding sources which provide support for implementing restoration work, funding for the planning phases of restoration projects is not always easy to find. MassBays' Research and Planning Grant Program filled the gap between restoration concept and implementation. By providing a funding source for in-depth research and planning, this program helped ensure the advancement of future restoration projects along the MassBays coast.

Projects Funded by the MassBays Research and Planning Grant Program (2010-2014)

Between 2010 and  2014, MassBays awarded over $450,000 for 26 projects to towns and organizations to conduct projects that identified causes of coastal habitat degradation; developed management plans and recommendations to address coastal water pollution; designed conceptual improvements to stormwater infrastructure and built local capacity to protect coastal resources including salt marsh, shellfish beds and anadromous fish runs. The projects funded through the MassBays Research and Planning Grant Program resulted in recommendations and products which address priority management issues in Massachusetts Bay and Cape Cod Bay.  

Read about the projects and view the final reports on our Previously Funded Projects page. Or for a brief overview of the 26 projects funded through this program, read the EEA press releases for each of the grant years. 

               2011 pdf format of 2011
                    2012 pdf format of 2012
                    2013 pdf format of 2013
                    2014 pdf format of 2014

Contact Information

For questions about the MassBays Grant Programs, contact:

Prassede Vella
Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program
251 Causeway Street, Suite 800
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 626-1217