Healthy Estuaries Grant Program

The MassBays Healthy Estuaries Grant Program launched in 2015 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 (EPA) under Section 320 of the Clean Water Act, MassBays funds work that will lead to implementation of the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan. The final CCMP, due in 2017, 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 (2010-2014). 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).

Between 2010 and  2016, MassBays awarded almost $500,000 for 31 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 grant programs resulted in recommendations to address priority management issues in the MassBays planning area.

The next round of proposals for the MassBays Healthy Estuaries Grant Program will be solicited in Fall 2017. We anticipate that eligible projects will be funded for up to 18 months at $8,000 to $35,000 with a required 25% cash or in-kind non-federal match. Up to $150,000 will be distributed in total. The 2016 Request for Responses pdf format of FY16-Healthy-Estuaries-Grant
 is available for reference only; solicited projects may change with MassBays’ revised Comprehensive Conservation and Monitoring Plan pdf format of 2015 CCMP for Public Comment
file size 2MB. For more information on the projects funded in 2016 and currently ongoing, see the EEA Press Release.

Read about projects and their interesting findings on our Previously Funded Projects page or use the interactive map below.

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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
Prassede.Vella@state.ma.us