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Grants & Financial Assistance: Watersheds & Water Quality

These grant programs focus on nonpoint source pollution, management planning, and stormwater.

Table of Contents

Overview

Here you will find program guides and other information about grants and loans for:

  • Section 319 Nonpoint Source Grants (prevention, control, and abatement of nonpoint source pollution)
  • Section 604b Water Quality Management Planning (water quality assessment and management planning)
  • Stormwater
  • Water Quality Monitoring

Project summaries for S. 319 and S. 604b grants from past years are also included for reference. 

Section 319 Nonpoint Source Competitive Grants Program

This grant program is authorized under Section 319 of the federal Clean Water Act for implementation projects that address the prevention, control, and abatement of nonpoint source (NPS) pollution. In general, eligible projects must:

  • implement measures that address the prevention, control, and abatement of NPS pollution;
  • target the major source(s) of nonpoint source pollution within a watershed/subwatershed;
  • contain an appropriate method for evaluating the project results; and
  • must address activities that are identified in the Massachusetts NPS Management Plan.

The NPS program typically issues a solicitation for 319 project proposals in the Spring. The past year's solicitation is included in the Additional Resources below for informational purposes.

Additional Resources

Tools for Developing S. 319 Proposals

These materials will help you plan your project proposal. 

Additional Resources

604b Grant Program: Water Quality Management Planning

This grant program is authorized under the federal Clean Water Act Section 604(b) for water quality assessment and management planning. Eligible entities include: regional planning agencies, councils of governments, conservation districts, counties, cities and towns, and other substate public planning agencies and interstate agencies. No local match is required.

Additional Resources

604b FFY2021 Grant Round

Section 604(b) of the federal Clean Water Act established the Water Quality Management Planning Grant Program, a vehicle by which states can provide funds to eligible entities such as: Regional Planning Agencies, Councils of Government, counties, Conservation Districts, cities, and towns, to conduct watershed or sub-watershed based nonpoint source assessment and planning projects.

For FFY2021, MassDEP will focus Section 604(b) grant funds on nonpoint source assessment and planning projects that result in the following:

  1. Development of Watershed-based Plans (WBPs) for local watershed planning and to support future 319 grant implementation projects. An online tool to support development of WBPs can be found at: http://prj.geosyntec.com/MassDEPWBP;
  2. Development of preliminary designs and implementation plans that will address water quality impairments in impaired watersheds;
  3. Development of Watershed-based Plans for 319 grant Healthy Waterbody Projects to be used to guide watershed protection and management activities;
  4. Determination of the nature, extent, and causes of water quality problems and determination of pollutant load reductions necessary to meet water quality standards; or
  5. Development of green infrastructure projects that manage wet weather events to maintain or restore natural hydrology

MassDEP held a pre-RFR information meeting on February 10, 2021. The presentation from this meeting can be found in the Additional Resources below. The Request for Response for the Federal Fiscal Year 2021 Section 604(b) Water Quality Management Grant Program was released February 18, 2021 (see Additional Resources below).

Additional Resources

S. 319 and S. 604b Project Summaries

Brief descriptions of past projects conducted with S. 319 and S. 604b grant funds.

Additional Resources

Stormwater MS4 Municipal Assistance Grant Program

This program, introduced in 2017, enables groups of Massachusetts municipalities to expand their efforts to meet requirements for the 2016 Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) General Permits, and to reduce stormwater pollution through coordinated partnerships that emphasize resource sharing.

The FY 2021 Notice of Grant Opportunity and detailed description of the grant program are available below.

Additional Resources

Water Quality Monitoring Grant Program

In the third year of this grant program, MassDEP is seeking grant proposals from eligible entities for the purchase of water quality monitoring/analysis equipment and/or supplies, with the goal of increasing the amount of high quality surface water data for MassDEP’s use in meeting the needs of the Clean Water Act across the Commonwealth. The FY2021 Notice of Grant Opportunity and detailed description of the grant program are available below.

MassDEP is publishing an Amended Notice of Grant Opportunity to correct an error in the Application Deadline that was set forth in the original January 6, 2021 Notice of Grant Opportunity. The correct Application Deadline for Grant Proposal submission for the SFY2021 Water Quality Monitoring Program is as follows: Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 5 p.m. In all other respects, this Amended Notice contains the same text and contents of the original January 6, 2021 Notice. However, to eliminate confusion, this Amended Notice is published in full and replaces all content of the original January 6, 2021Notice of Grant Opportunity for the SFY2021 Water Quality Monitoring Grant Program.

Additional Resources

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