Dec. 17, 2015 The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment) Seeks Applications

2016 Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, Inc. (Endowment) $3.75 million over six years to support the Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program. The program’s focus is to accelerate the strategic protection of healthy freshwater ecosystems and their watersheds across the country. The Endowment is matching EPA’s award dollar-for-dollar and will seek to engage other public and private partners in the Consortium.

“Protecting healthy watersheds should be a top priority for everyone,” said Peter Stangel, the Endowment’s Senior Vice President. “Healthy watersheds provide clean water for drinking, habitat for fish and wildlife, recreational opportunities for people, and are the basis for many rural economies. This program will provide funding to protect and sustain these resources.”

The Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program was conceived by EPA to identify and protect healthy, aquatic ecosystems and their watersheds. Healthy watersheds are those in which the hydrological, biological, and land-based functions of the ecosystem are largely intact. Protection refers to actions that conserve healthy aquatic ecosystems and the supporting natural and managed landscape and watershed processes, such as hydrology, that support them. Rather than waiting until a watershed is negatively impacted and attempting to restore it to health, the Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program seeks to protect and sustain healthy watersheds so that they will continue to provide ecological services such as clean water, habitat for fish and wildlife, recreation, and protection from natural hazards.

“In addition to providing funding for projects, we’ll use this program to enhance collaboration among the many groups that will benefit from protected watersheds, such as drinking water and storm water, wildlife and fisheries, land conservation, and forestry and working lands,” Stangel said. “We envision strong public/private partnerships that will protect watersheds and their benefits for generations to come.”

A Request for Proposals and other information is available on the Endowment’s Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant program website.