National Wetland Program Development Grants and Five-Star Restoration Training Grant

To assist State, Tribal, local government (S/T/LG) agencies, and interstate/intertribal entities in building programs which protect, manage, and restore wetlands.

The primary focus of the grants is to build state and tribal wetland programs.

A secondary focus is to build local (e.g., county
or municipal) programs.

Funding Priority - Fiscal Year 2008: For the National WPDGs: EPA has identified the following three of the five core elements of a comprehensive wetland program: 1) Regulation; 2) Monitoring, Assessment, and Mapping; and 3) Restoration as National Priorities for this competition.

Further explanation of all of the core areas can be found at the following Web address: http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/initiative/fy02elements.html.

The Wetlands Program Development Grants (WPDG) program strives to develop State/Tribal/local government programs that will incorporate each of these elements.

For the Five Star Restoration Training Grant: EPA is soliciting proposals from eligible applicants to: 1) prepare and advertise a Request for Proposals (RFP), establish review criteria for evaluating subgrantee proposals, select subgrantees, and make subgrants to support environmental training through voluntary, community/watershed-based wetland restoration projects that provide ecological and socioeconomic benefits to the surrounding communities and their citizens; 2) oversee and monitor subgrantees for completion of the restoration training projects; 3) provide technical support to subgrantees through peer-to-peer outreach to broaden participation in restoration training projects, and 4) qualitatively and quantitatively measure and report on the environmental results of the restoration training projects accomplished through the subgrants.

Funding Priority - Fiscal Year 2009: For the National WPDGs: EPA has identified the following three of the five core elements of a comprehensive wetland program: 1) Regulation; 2) Monitoring, Assessment, and Mapping; and 3) Restoration as National Priorities for this competition.

Further explanation of all of the core areas can be found at the following Web address: http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/initiative/fy02elements.html.

The Wetlands Program Development Grants (WPDG) program strives to develop State/Tribal/local government programs that will incorporate each of these elements.For the Five Star Restoration Training Grant: EPA is soliciting proposals from eligible applicants to: 1) prepare and advertise a Request for Proposals (RFP), establish review criteria for evaluating subgrantee proposals, select subgrantees, and make subgrants to support environmental training through voluntary, community/watershed-based wetland restoration projects that provide ecological and socioeconomic benefits to the surrounding communities and their citizens; 2) oversee and monitor subgrantees for completion of the restoration training projects; 3) provide technical support to subgrantees through peer-to-peer outreach to broaden participation in restoration training projects, and 4) qualitatively and quantitatively measure and report on the environmental results of the restoration training projects accomplished through the subgrants.

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

The Wetland Program Development Grant database will provide project information for the National Wetland Program Development Grants (http://yosemite.epa.gov/water/grant.nsf).

Examples of funded projects include: wetland and stream mitigation studies; development of market-based wetland protection tools; wetland management training workshops; development of wetland modeling tools; studies on the functions and values of wetland ecosystems; planning and holding national meetings on CWA Section 404 mitigation issues; and development of education information on wetlands for state/tribal/local government officials and/or the public.For the cooperative agreement to be awarded under the Five-Star Restoration Training Grant, EPA anticipates funding to organize and manage the Five Star Restoration Training Grant subaward process that will bring together citizen groups, corporations, youth conservation corps, students, landowners, and government agencies to undertake projects that achieve environmental training through voluntary, community/watershed-based wetland restoration projects.


Agency - Environmental Protection Agency

The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human health and the environment. Since 1970, EPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people.



Program Accomplishments

In FY 07, 29 proposals were received in response to the National Wetlands Program Development Grants competitive announcement released June 25, 2007 and approximately five (5) grants were awarded to pilot the addition of a restoration data layer to the National Wetlands Inventory for two states; provide information on vulnerable waters to local governments; build the capacity to strengthen and expand state/partner wetland programs; provide support toward training on natural resource enterprise development for non-industrial private landownwers to promote wetland restoration, and to assess the current practices of avoidance and minimization practices across the country. The FY08 competitive process is still ongoing.In FY 08, EPA issued a competitive announcement for the Five-Star Restoration Training Grant to award one cooperative agreement for $1,200,000 to organize and manage the Five Star Restoration Training Grant subaward process that will undertake projects that achieve environmental training through voluntary, community/watershed-based wetland restoration projects.

Uses and Use Restrictions

The National WPDGs are intended to encourage comprehensive, national wetlands program development by promoting the coordination and acceleration of research, investigations, experiments, training, demonstrations, surveys, and studies relating to the causes, effects, extent, prevention, reduction, and elimination of water pollution.

Projects build the capacity of States, Tribes, and local governments programs to effectively protect wetland and riparian resources.

Activities must help S/T/LGs develop and refine wetland programs.

Projects funded under this program support the initial development of a national wetlands protection, restoration or management program, or support enhancement/refinement of an existing national program.

Projects must be broad in scope and encompass more than one State and/or Tribe and cannot be limited to activities that affect such entities in only one EPA region.

For example, projects and tasks can involve advancing science or collecting and making available through publications and other appropriate means, such as training on how information about how various wetland programs across the nation protect, manage, and restore their wetland resources and about initiatives to improve S/T/LG wetland programs.

Projects that are local or encompass only one EPA Region in scope are not eligible for funding under this program but may be eligible for funding under EPA's Regional Wetland Program Development Grants program (CFDA 66.461).

Funds cannot be used for the purchase of land or conservation easements.

Funds cannot be used for implementation of individual mitigation projects, mitigation banks, or in-lieu-fee mitigation programs.

Assistance agreement awards under this program may involve or relate to geospatial information.

Further information regarding geospatial information may be obtained by viewing the following website: http://geodata.epa.gov.

EPA's Five Star Restoration Training Grant is anticipated to fund one cooperative agreement to an organization to manage the Five Star Restoration Training Grant subaward process that will award subgrants to achieve environmental training through voluntary, community/watershed-based wetland restoration projects.

Projects funded under the subgrant process must be limited to activities that conduct or promote the coordination and acceleration of training relating to the causes, effects, extent, prevention, reduction, and elimination of water pollution.

Other activities under section 104(b)(3) will not be considered for funding.

Funds cannot be used for the purchase of land or conservation easements.

Funds cannot be used for implementation of individual mitigation projects, mitigation banks, or in-lieu-fee mitigation programs.

Wetland restoration training projects cannot include wetlands constructed for the purposes of treating wastewater or stormwater only.

The assistance agreement award under this program may involve or relate to geospatial information.

Further information regarding geospatial information may be obtained by viewing the following website: http://geodata.epa.gov.



Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Nonprofit, non-governmental organizations, Interstate agencies, and Intertribal consortia which are capable of undertaking activities that advance wetland programs on a national basis are eligible to compete in this program.

The term "interstate agency" is defined in CWA Section 502 as "an agency of two or more States established by or pursuant to an agreement or compact approved by the Congress, or any other agency of two or more States, having substantial powers or duties pertaining to the control of pollution as determined and approved by the Administrator." Intertribal consortia must meet the requirements of 40 CFR Part 35.504.

For certain competitive funding opportunities under this CFDA description, the Agency may limit eligibility to compete to a number or subset of eligible applicants consistent with the Agency's Assistance Agreement Competition Policy.

Beneficiary Eligibility

State, Tribal, and local governments involved in administering wetlands protection, restoration, and/or management programs or programs related to or complement wetlands protection programs.

Credentials/Documentation

Non-profit applicants may be asked to provide documentation that they meet the definition of a non-profit organization in OMB Circular A-122. Interstate organizations may be asked to provide a citation to the statutory authority, which establishes their status. Intertribal consortia may be asked to provide documentation that they meet the requirements of 40 CFR Part 35.504.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

The standard application forms, as furnished by the Federal agency and required by OMB Circular A-102, must be used for this program.

Regarding pre-application/pre-proposal assistance with respect to competitive funding opportunities under this program description, EPA will generally specify the nature of the pre-application/pre-proposal assistance, if any, that will be available to applicants in the competitive announcement.

For additional information, contact the individual(s) listed as "Information Contacts" or see Appendix IV of the Catalog.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

The EPA Headquarters (HQ) Office will conduct the competitive process for awarding National Wetland Program Development Grants. Interested applicants should review information on the National Wetland Program Development Grants at: http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/grantguidelines/. Submittal instructions can be found in the competitive announcement.The EPA Headquarters (HQ) Office will conduct the competitive process for awarding the Five-Star Restoration Training Grant. Interested applicants should review information on the Five-Star Restoration Training Grant at: http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/grantguidelines/. Submittal instructions can be found in the competitive announcement.All applicants will be notified by the HQ Office on whether or not the applicant has been selected for funding. The notification is not an authorization to begin performance. The Grant Award document signed by the appropriate grant official in the EPA HQ Office is the authorizing document. Applicants selected for funding must submit a final workplan and grant application forms. Application forms are available at http://www.epa.gov/ogd/AppKit/index.htm and by mail upon request to the Grants and Interagency Agreements Management Division at (202) 564-5305. Completed applications should be submitted to HQ. Applicants may be able to use http://www.grants.gov to electronically apply for certain grant opportunities under this CFDA.

Award Procedures

For competitive awards, EPA will review and evaluate applications, proposals, and/or submissions in accordance with the terms, conditions, and criteria stated in the competitive announcement. Competitions will be conducted in accordance with EPA policies/regulations for competing assistance agreements.

Deadlines

Contact the HQ contact for information and to confirm deadlines.

Authorization

Clean Water Act, Section 104(b)(3), as amended, Public Law 92-500, 33 U.S.C. 1254(b)(3).

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Grants are usually approved within 4 months of receipt of completed application.

Appeals

Assistance agreement competition-related disputes will be resolved in accordance with the dispute resolution procedures published in 70 FR (Federal Register) 3629, 3630 (January 26, 2005). Copies of these procedures may also be requested by contacting the individual(s) listed as "Information Contacts." Disputes relating to matters other than the competitive selection of recipients will be resolved under 40 CFR 30.63 or 40 CFR 31.70, as applicable.

Renewals

None.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. The applicant must provide a minimum of 25 percent of the total cost of the workplan to the extent allowed by 40 CFR 31.24, 35.385, and 35.615. To determine if the minimum match is met, EPA will use the following formula: amount (in dollars) of federal funds requested from EPA divided by 3 = minimum match (in dollars)or Total project amount (in dollars) divided by 4 = minimum match (in dollars).For example, if the applicant requests $75,000 of federal funds or has a total project cost of $100,000 for a three-year project period, it must be able to provide $25,000 in matching funds or services. A reduced match may be available for Tribal grantees that place the Wetland Program Development Grant funds in a Performance Partnership Grant. (See regulations at 40 CFR 536(c)). States and Tribes can provide a larger share of the project's cost whenever possible (i.e., in excess of the required 25 percent of total project costs). Award recipients can meet the match requirements with in-kind or monetary contributions from entities other than themselves. However, other Federal money cannot be used as the match for this grant program unless authorized by the statute governing the award of the other Federal funds. Matching funds are considered grant funds. They must be used for the reasonable and necessary expenses of carrying out the assistance agreement workplan. Any restrictions on the use of grant funds (i.e., prohibition of land acquisition with grant funds) also apply to the matching funds.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

The terms of the grant shall be determined at time of grant award. The EPA Five Star Restoration Training Grant will be no more than four years in length. Awards under the Five Star Restoration Training Grant Program are made as a single large award with multiple smaller sub-awards.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Quarterly interim, final progress, and expenditure reports; program evaluations; and other reports as required by the specific terms of the Agreement.

Audits

Grants and cooperative agreements are subject to inspections and audits by the Comptroller General of the United States, the EPA Office of Inspector General, other EPA staff, or any authorized representative of the Federal government. Reviews by the EPA Project Officer and the Grants Specialist may occur each year. In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," non-federal entities that expend $500,000 or more in a year in Federal awards shall have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-federal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in OMB Circular No. A-133.

Records

Financial records, including all documents to support entries on accounting records and to substantiate changes to each grant, must be kept available to personnel authorized to examine EPA grant accounts. All records must be maintained until expiration of three years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report. If questions still remain, such as those raised as a result of audit, related records should be retained until the matter is completely resolved.

Financial Information

Account Identification

68-0103-0-1-304, STAG.

Obigations

National Wetlands Program Development Grants: FY 07 $500,000; FY 08 $600,000; and FY 09 est. $700,000; Five-Star Restoration Training Grant: FY 08 est. $1,200,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

National Wetlands Program Development Grants: $25,000 to $225,000/fiscal year; $100,000/fiscal year; Five-Star Restoration Training Grant: $1,200,000 every four years; $1,200,000/ every four years.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

General Grant Regulations and Procedures, 40 CFR Parts 30 and 31, 40 CFR 35.610, OMB Circular A-122, or OMB Circular A-87, as applicable.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

None.

Headquarters Office

Myra Price, US EPA Wetlands Division, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, MC (4502T), Washington, DC 20460. Phone: (202) 566-1225; FAX: (202) 566-1349; e-mail: price.myra@epa.gov.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The evaluation and selection criteria for competitive awards under this CFDA description will be described in the competitive announcement.



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