DEP Launches Water Quality Protection Grant Portal for Fiscal Year 2023-24
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has launched an online grant portal to provide eligible entities the opportunity to submit proposals for water-related grant programs. Eligible entities include local governments, academic institutions and nonprofit organizations.
On June 15, 2023, Governor Ron DeSantis signed the Fiscal Year 2023-24 Framework for Freedom budget, making this the largest environmental budget in the state’s history. More than $390 million is available this fiscal year to implement important projects that protect Florida’s water resources.
To implement this unprecedented investment, DEP is seeking project proposals for FY 2023-24 that will bolster existing efforts to protect and restore Florida’s water resources, as well as for new programs enacted this legislative session including the Water Quality Improvement Grant Program and Indian River Lagoon Protection Program.
The online grant application portal opens today, July 5, 2023. Grant programs have different closing dates, so please review the closing date posted for each grant program on ProtectingFloridaTogether.gov. Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals to all grant programs for which they may be eligible.
Grant opportunities include:
- Water Quality Improvement Grants, which address wastewater (including septic-to-sewer), stormwater and agricultural sources of nutrients in waterbodies that are not attaining nutrient or nutrient-related standards; have an established total maximum daily load; or are located within a basin management action plan area, a reasonable assurance plan area, an accepted alternative restoration plan area, or a rural area of opportunity.
- Indian River Lagoon Water Quality Improvement Grants, which address water quality challenges in the Indian River Lagoon. Projects can include wastewater (including septic-to-sewer), stormwater management and other projects that will help improve water quality and support the Indian River Lagoon Protection Program.
- Biscayne Bay Water Quality Improvement Grants, which address water quality challenges in Biscayne Bay. Proposals can include wastewater improvements such as septic connections, stormwater management and other projects that will help improve the water quality in Biscayne Bay.
- Alternative Water Supply Grants, which help communities plan for and implement water conservation, reuse, and other water supply and water resource development projects. Priority funding is given to regional projects in the areas of greatest need and for projects that provide the greatest benefit.
- Florida’s Coral Reef Restoration and Recovery Initiative Grants, which help academic and private partnerships implement Florida’s Coral Reef Restoration and Recovery Initiative. Projects can include those designed to establish, expand and maintain in-state propagation and grow-out facilities; develop and implement strategies and site-specific restoration plans including curriculum for a trained workforce; and reinforce and expand restoration efforts across Florida’s Coral Reef.
- Nonpoint Source Management Grants, which support eligible shovel-ready stormwater treatment projects that reduce or eliminate nonpoint source nutrient pollution in verified impaired waterbodies; and for implementation of nonpoint source best management practices, public education programs to prevent pollution, and septic abandonment/connection to sewer on private property (EPA funding through Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act).
- Innovative Technology for Harmful Algal Bloom Grants, which support projects that evaluate and implement innovative technologies and short-term solutions to combat harmful algal blooms and nutrient enrichment, restore and preserve Florida’s fresh waterbodies, and implement certain water quality treatment technologies.
DEP is also accepting grant applications through the Resilient Florida Grant Program for projects to prepare coastal and inland communities for the adverse impacts of flooding and storm surge.
To submit a proposal or view a list of past grant awardees, please visit ProtectingFloridaTogether.gov.
Please note, any information submitted to DEP will become a public record, subject to disclosure in accordance with Chapter 119, Florida Statutes, and Article 1, § 24 of the Florida Constitution. Submittal of a project proposal does not create an agreement, nor does it guarantee funding. All awards are contingent upon legislative appropriations.
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