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DEP announces water-quality restoration grant opportunities

Grants available to assist Florida communities with water-quality improvement

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is now soliciting applications for the next cycle of funding through its Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Water-Quality Restoration Grant Program. Three times each year (March, July and November), DEP awards funding to local communities and water management districts to implement best management practices designed to reduce pollutant loads to impaired waters from urban stormwater discharges. The application deadline is March 1, 2016, at 5 p.m. EST for the current round of funding.

"The department is pleased to partner with local communities through grant funding to benefit water quality," said Trina Vielhauer, director of the Division of Water Restoration Assistance. "We encourage local governments to apply for funding assistance for eligible projects to improve water quality in their area."

Administered with annual appropriations from the Florida Legislature, TMDL grants focus on projects designed to restore impaired springs, rivers, lakes and estuaries, which need help meeting Florida's stringent water-quality standards.

Applicants are eligible for the TMDL Water-Quality Restoration Grant if they meet the following criteria:

  • Project reduces stormwater pollutant loadings from urban areas that discharge to water bodies on the state's verified list of impaired waters.
  • Project is at least 60-percent designed and fully permitted.
  • Project includes storm event monitoring to determine actual load reduction.
  • Project construction will be completed within three years of appropriation of funds by the Legislature to ensure funds remain available.
  • Provide a minimum of 50 percent of the total project cost in matching funds, of which at least 25 percent is provided by the local government.
  • Project includes construction of best management practices, pollutant load reduction monitoring or public education activities specifically associated with the project.

Some examples of projects that were recently awarded TMDL grants from the November 2015 cycle include: