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Natural Resource Damages Program Restoration Funds | MassDEP

Natural Resource Damage settlements fund restoration projects. Trustees use a planning process or grant requests to identify projects.

Restoration Planning

NRD claims can be settled under both federal and State laws.
Federal law requires that Trustees prepare restoration plans.

Trustees hold public meetings to explain the settlement. A planning process allows the public to submit project ideas or proposals. In that process, Trustees describe how they will select project ideas or proposals.

Trustees then prepare and release a restoration plan for public review and comment. After considering these comments, Trustees release a final restoration plan. Cities, towns, watershed groups, and others complete the approved restoration projects. As restoration plans are available for public review, they will appear below.

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Restoration Planning: Bouchard B-120 Loons and Other Birds Restoration

MassDEP, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have released a Draft Restoration Plan that proposes projects to restore Common Loons and Other Birds. The plan is available for public comment through October 31, 2019.

The agencies will hold an information meeting and webinar September 12 at 1 p.m. at the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife office at 1 Rabbit Hill Road in Westborough.  To participate remotely in the September 12 meeting, sign up for the interactive webinar at:

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Restoration Planning: IndustriPlex NRD Restoration

MassDEP received ideas from the public for restoring wetland, stream, and pond habitats in the Aberjona River sub-watershed of the Mystic River watershed.  The IndustriPlex NRD Trustee Council includes MassDEP, USFWS and NOAA. 

The Council will evaluate project ideas and develop a draft restoration plan. The draft restoration plan will be made available to the public for review and comment.

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Restoration Grants

MassDEP awards grants to public and non-public entities to fund restoration projects. This funding does not follow a set schedule. Grant opportunities are announced as settlement funds become available.

The NRD Program holds public meetings before releasing grant announcements. At this meeting, the NRD Program will explain the settlement. We will also discuss the type of projects that can receive funding and how we will select projects. A grant application allows the public to submit project proposals.

MassDEP will award funds through a grant contract. The NRD Program may need to prepare and release a restoration plan for public review and comment. If so, a grant contract will be awarded following approval of a final restoration plan.

The Grant announcement and application are posted on COMMBUYS and are available below.
Applications are due by January 7, 2020 by 4:30pm

Public Information Meeting: Conservation Boat Moorings for Eelgrass Restoration

On October 21, 2019, a pre-grant Public Information Meeting was held for the Bouchard B-120 Conservation Boat Moorings for Eelgrass Restoration.

As described in the meeting information (download below), $100,000 will be available to replace up to 25 to 30 conventional chain moorings with innovative floating rode moorings (conservation moorings) (estimated at $3,000 each) in harbors in Buzzards Bay where existing moorings are known to be causing scouring and eelgrass loss.


The grant announcement and application are available for download below.

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Public Informational Meeting for Former National Fireworks Site – Upcoming Funding Opportunity

On November 14, 2019, a public meeting was held at the Hanover Town Hall to discuss an upcoming funding opportunity and the planning process for restoration projects for the former National Fireworks Site.


As described in the meeting information (download below), $680,000 will be available for restoration projects in the restoration categories of "Aquatic Biological Resources & Habitat", "Wildlife Resources & Habitat", and "Environmental Education & Outreach".


The grant announcement and application are expected in February 2020.

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Massachusetts NRD Trust

Trustees deposit NRD settlement monies into specific funds. The U.S. Department of the Interior manages the DOI Restoration Fund. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration administers the Damages Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Fund (DARRF). MassDEP manages the Natural Resource Damages Trust Fund.

State or federal Trustees may take the lead on contracts or agreements with agencies, municipalities, non-profits or others. Trustees can transfer monies between their specific funds to pay for restoration.

The Massachusetts NRD Trust was established in 1998 and amended in 2004 and 2011 by the legislature.  It is used to fund the work to develop NRD claims and restoration projects from settlements.