Grants & Financial Assistance: Watersheds & Water Quality

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

Table of Contents


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.

Proposals may be submitted by any interested Massachusetts public or private organization. To be eligible to receive funding, a 40% non-federal match is required from the grantee.

A pre-RFR announcement can be found below. A public information session will be held on March 5 (March 12 is the snow date), to address any and all questions related to the FFY 2021 RFR. The RFR for the FFY 2021 Nonpoint Source Competitive Projects will be posted on or about April 2, 2020, and proposals will be due on or about June 4, 2020. In the meantime the previous year’s proposal can be found below.

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 FFY2020 Grant Round

MassDEP currently plans to hold a pre-Request for Responses conference call to discuss ideas for potential projects before the FFY2020 Request for Responses is issued. The conference call will be held on April 8, 2020 at 10:00 am. Please see the "604b FFY2020 Pre-RFR Meeting Announcement" document in the Additional Resources section below for more information on how to participate in the conference call. MassDEP anticipates issuing the Request for Responses on April 24, 2020 with proposals due on June 26, 2020.

For informational purposes the request for responses for the previous grant round (FFY2019) is available in the Additional Resources section 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 2020 Notice of Grant Opportunity and detailed description of the grant program are available below.

A bidders' conference was held on October 17, 2019. Questions and answers from that session are linked below.

Additional Resources

Water Quality Monitoring Grant Program

In the second year of this grant program, MassDEP is seeking proposals from non-profit organizations to build or expand capacity for bacteria monitoring data collection. The intent of this grant program is to enhance the amount and spatial coverage of data used by MassDEP for surface water quality assessment. The FY2020 Notice of Grant Opportunity and detailed description of the grant program are available below.

Additional Resources