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Northeastern Area

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Grants and Special Projects

The Watershed and Clean Water and the Forestry Innovation Grants Programs

The protection, restoration, and stewardship of private forest lands and the use of forestry-based solutions in dealing with water quality problems, are important parts of the State and Private Forestry approach to watershed stewardship. NA has joined with its State Foresters to implement a challenge grants program to promote clean water and watershed health through support of state and local restoration and protection actions. This effort seeks to build new partnerships and demonstrate results in watersheds with the most serious water quality problems and by focusing on forestry practices such as riparian forest buffers or on issues like drinking water protection where forest stewardship can make a difference. Working with other federal, state, local and private partners, we use our cooperative programs in new and innovative ways to promote watershed health through the conservation, restoration, and sound stewardship of trees and forests. This initiative is funded through the Forest Stewardship and Urban and Community Forestry Program. A competitive process is used to award grants using State Foresters as the conduit for local proposals.

Sixty (60) individual projects have been launched to date, involving all 20 Northeastern Area States. Grant dollars have leveraged partnership contributions 3 to 1. Local governments, watershed associations and conservation organizations are all actively involved. Projects have restored hundreds of miles of streams, prevented erosion on thousands of acres of forest land, protected the drinking water supply of over 20 million people, increased public knowledge of forest water connections, initiated new watershed partnerships, and helped dozens of communities provide greater protection of forests from urban expansion in critical watersheds.

Key Issues Addressed:

  • trees and forests are critical to the health and proper function of watersheds
  • clean water is one of our most important forest stewardship products
  • forests maintain the stability of streams and provide critical habitat for fish and other wildlife
  • over 30 million people depend on northeastern forests in part to protect their water supplies
  • forests can be a solution to pollution problems in agricultural and urbanizing areas
  • watershed management across multiple ownerships is one of our most complex challenges

Click on each year below to find out more about the important, innovative projects that were funded in: (no projects were funded in FY 2003)

For the latest information about NA watershed grant opportunities click here.


Watershed Projects Funded by Fiscal Year and State

FY 1999

Illinois River Watershed: Reaching Out for Greener Landscapes

Tax Strategies to Conserve and Restore Watershed Forests

Riparian Forest Buffers: A Restoration Solution for Maryland's Chesapeake Bay Program

Enhancing the Condition and Management of Forests in Municipal Watersheds

Forestry Field Strategies to Address Pollutants in the James River Watershed

New Hampshire
Community Conservation and Planning in Critical Watersheds

New Jersey
Ecological Land Types of the New Jersey Highlands

New York
Protecting New York City's Water Supply Through the Use of Riparian Forest Buffers

Rhode Island
South County Watersheds Greenspace Protection and Implementation Strategy

West Virginia
Managing Forests to Enhance Water Quality: Cleaning Up West Virginia's Elk River

Kickapoo River Watershed

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FY 2000

Connecticut (and MA, VT, NH)
Connecticut River Watershed Riparian Forested Ecosystem Project

Connecticut (and MA, RI)
Forests and Watershed Health Education Project

Iowa's Raccoon River and Walnut Creek Watershed: Where People and the Forest Connect for Clean Water

Iowa (and MN)
Enhancing Forest Stewardship in the Upper Iowa River Watershed

Watershed Restoration for Reservoirs in the Gunpowder-Patapsco Basin

Pure Water Stewardship

Improving Water Quality in Trout Stream Watersheds through Forest Stewardship
Land Stewardship in the Midway and Whiteface River Watersheds

New Hampshire
Making a Difference: Educating Communities on Watershed Conservation

GIS has Allowed a New View of Land Use Changes on Stream Water Quality

Rhode Island
Woonasquatucket Watershed Riparian Buffer Restoration Project

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FY 2001

Integrating Natural Resource Inventory and Outreach: The Transfer of a Replicable Watershed Model

BDPs and Forest Stewardship Practices in the Urbanizing Cedar River Watershed Area
Blackbird/Soldier Watershed: The Iowa Bur Oak Savanna Project

100 Bridges: Promoting Skidder Bridges to Loggers and Foresters in Atlantic Salmon Watersheds

Maryland's Lower Eastern Shore Watershed Restoration Project

Land Stewardship in the Minnesota River Watershed

New York
New York's Six Mile Creek Riparian Restoration Project

Rhode Island
Woonasquatucket Watershed Greenspace Protection and Implementation Strategy

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FY 2002

Watershed Forest Steward Network – This project conducts a landowner short course in forest stewardship resulting in each landowner completing a stewardship plan for his property. This project should produce 100 to 120 new Forest Stewardship Plans and an equivalent number of personal commitments from landowners for watershed protection, enhancement, and restoration activities. Dissemination of knowledge and awareness-raising will result in the establishment of a network of “Watershed Forest Stewards” within four priority watersheds.
Grant Amount: $40,000
Contact: UCONN Cooperative Extension System, 860-345-4511

Restoration of Trout Run – Trout Run ranks in the top three worst polluted streams in the Upper Iowa River Watershed. This project will involve outreach to private landowners to demonstrate a linkage between decreasing soil erosion and water quality improvement by reforestation in the highly erodible 682 acres of steep slopes in the Trout Run area. This will improve the water quality in Trout Run.
Grant Amount: $88,700
Contact: Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 515-242-6898

Riparian Forest Inventory and Restoration for Atlantic Salmon – This project will develop a coordinated program to identify, restore and enhance riparian forest buffers adjacent to Atlantic Salmon habitat in Downeast Maine, through voluntary landowner participation. It will focus on commercial blueberry lands and other non forest lands adjacent to surface waters in five salmon watersheds. Salmon has been listed as a federally endangered species.
Grant Amount: $37,000
Contact: Project SHARE, 207-546-3330

Patuxent River Reservoirs Forest Conservation Plan – The purpose of this project is to improve the water quality, regional biological diversity, and watershed stewardship in two reservoir watersheds of the Patuxent drainage – Rocky Gorge and Brighton Dam/Triadelphia. They are two of Maryland’s Priority Category I Watersheds in need of restoration. A watershed-wide GIS analysis of opportunities for restoration and conservation will be completed. A comprehensive Forest Conservation Plan on Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) lands will be written after collection of field data on forest and water conditions. Finally, a survey of WSSC customers and recreation users will be conducted to analyze the use of current recreational access and utility in outreach on watershed stewardship.
Grant Amount: $57,500
Contact: Anne Hairston-Strang, 410-260-8509

Community Forest Stewardship for Watershed Health – The purpose of this project is to demonstrate the value of community forests (including the urban forest, public forests and private forest lands) and the stewardship of those forest lands for watershed health to decision-makers in communities across the state. The project will result in a measurable increase in forest canopy cover and a measurable improvement in forest health through stewardship activities.
Grant Amount: $50,000
Contact: MA Department of Environmental Management, Urban and Community Forestry Program, 617-626-1466

Portage County Watersheds Open Space Stewardship Plan – Located in Northeast Ohio, Portage County contains the headwaters of five major rivers. These serve as sources of drinking water for Youngstown and Akron. This project will develop a plan for conservation and other appropriate stewardship methods for critical natural areas and open spaces, with particular focus on critical ecosystems including riparian corridors, forests and wetlands. It will also develop a natural resources educational program for the public, landowners, and officials about conservation and protection options, methods and benefits that include smart growth and best management practices. Third, the project will develop specific implementation strategies that will result in improved watershed health.
Grant Amount: $75,000
Contact: Portage County Regional Planning Commission, 330-297-3613

West Virginia
Controlling Sedimentation from Forests in the Upper Elk River – This is a study designed to improve water quality and aquatic ecosystem health in the upper Elk River basin. It will determine if the Forest Stewardship Program (FSP) has had a positive influence on land use practices and quality and if a modified version of the FSP can be used to implement sediment Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) budgets for the watershed. The project will provide a full assessment of the effectiveness of the FSP. The results will be used to develop a procedure for integrating the FSP into TMDL implementation plans for the upper Elk River.
Grant Amount: $94,400
Contact: Kyle Hartman, 304-293-2941 x2494

Upper Mississippi River Watershed Coordinator – This project will enhance collaboration among State Foresters and forestry interests in the Upper Mississippi through the establishment of a Watershed Coordinator. The Coordinator will target demonstration activities in the headwaters state of Wisconsin and Minnesota. As a result, increased involvement by state foresters in the planning, establishment, and implementation of projects will assure that forestry practices are included in watershed projects throughout the basin.
Grant Amount: $150,000
Contact: Teri Heyer, 651-649-5239

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FY 2004

Restoring the Illinois River – The Peoria Park District will restore 250 acres of the Illinois River Bluffs forest to enhance ecosystem functionality. The publicly owned site will be used to mitigate contamination of Illinois waterways and enhance populations of rare native species. The District will enhance the educational component of a forest management demonstration site and conduct two public workshops.
Grant Amount: $35,900
Contact: Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, 309-673-9330

Watershed Conservation through Forestry – Over 400 water bodies in the state are included as Category 5 in the EPA 2002 303(d) list. There have been a large number of watershed groups that have formed to carry out assessments using 319 funds. As assessments are completed, the groups will begin to implement projects to restore impaired watersheds. These groups have little or no knowledge of what an efficient and useful tool forestry can be in solving many water quality problems. This project is a pilot to gather information for specific watersheds to allow groups to focus efforts where forestry can be best utilized.
Grant Amount: $66,500
Contact: Indiana Division of Forestry, 765-342-4122

Maine (and IN, VT)
Best Management Practices (BMPs) Protocol Project Phase 2: Data Collection and Beta Testing – This project will fund three states to gather sufficient data to provide for a full-scale test and analysis of the monitoring protocol developed over the last two years under the direction of the Northeastern Area Association of State Foresters (NAASF) Water Resources Committee, the Maine Forest Service, and the Northeastern Area. Phase 1 of the BMP protocol project involved development of the protocol itself, initial pilot tests conducted by the states and industry, training for states, and analysis of preliminary results. Phase 2 will provide funds for gathering of sufficient data to complete the testing phase, establishing a monitoring baseline for NAASF implementation, finalizing analysis, and reporting procedures for state use.
Grant Amount: $90,000
Contact: Dave Welsch, 603-868-7616

Watershed Forest Management Guide for the Northeast United States – This project will produce a guidebook summarizing scientific principles and time-tested practices for watershed forest managers, environmental planners and regulators, and decision makers. The guidebook will contain a review of principles, real world examples of key practices and activities, comprehensive references and web links, and examples of long-term management plans. It will help to organize and guide the conservation of forests that protect drinking water for communities ranging from small towns to major metropolitan areas.
Grant Amount: $29,550
Contact: Thomas Kyker-Snowman, 413-323-7254 x 551

Healthy Forests and Water – This project will help reverse forest fragmentation and protect water supplies in central Massachusetts. Administered by the MA Watershed Coalition, activities will foster collaboration of private and public partners for watershed protection. Involvement of local and private/public entities will preserve forest lands and improve stewardship of watershed resources. Project goals are to protect and preserve existing drinking water supplies, expand permanently protected forest lands to reverse forest fragmentation, spur partnerships among community groups, municipal officials, and public agencies, and enhance forest stewardship by landowners, non-profit groups and town officials.
Grant Amount: $43,900
Contact: Massachusetts Watershed Coalition, 978-534-0379

Expanding Options for Watershed Forestry: Baltimore – This project implements demonstration areas of forestry practices designed to promote sustainable forestry and water quality improvement in Baltimore drinking water source watersheds. Ten 1-acre areas will be harvested, and half of each fenced to evaluate effects of excluding deer browsing. Regeneration surveys on the reservoir lands found that 60-80% of the plots had absolutely no tree regeneration, raising the question of the future forest and the ability of the system to be retentive of sediment and nutrients in the event of a natural disturbance such as an ice storm or hurricane. Woodland landscaping options focusing on wildlife and water quality functions will be drafted to augment existing conservation landscaping designs. Anticipated designs include a Wildlife Grove, Woodland Wildflower Sanctuary, and Filter Forest.
Grant Amount: $25,000
Contact: MD Forest Service, 410-260-8501

Documenting Harvesting BMPs in Support of Sustainable Forestry – This proposal furthers the development of the BMP monitoring protocol for the Northeastern Area States for the purpose of quantifying sediment from timber harvesting. It supports development of complementary modules for other aspects of BMPs important at the state level. The approach will incorporate issues from Maryland’s Master Logger Program and the BMP protocol under development by the Southern Group of State Foresters (SGSF). The project uses the BMP monitoring protocol to help document harvesting for sustainable forest certification and to evaluate the new BMPs currently under review in Maryland.
Grant Amount: $75,000
Contact: Dan Rider, 410-260-8583

New York
A Municipal Official’s Guide to Forestry in the Empire State – The New York City Department of Environmental Protection has designated forests as a “preferred land use” in the New York City Watershed. This should be true for every watershed in the state, but local ordinances restricting forestry often work against this goal. The Governor recently signed legislation that will require towns to consider the impact of zoning and local laws on forestry practices and long-term retention of forests. The new law provides a teachable moment to provide town officials with information on forestry, its value to communities and watersheds, and ways towns can facilitate the practice of forestry within their communities. This guide will be developed for that purpose and a corresponding workshop will be conducted using existing forums for municipal officials.
Grant Amount: $38,250
Contact: Empire State Forest Products Association, 518-463-1297 x2

Rhode Island
Greenwich Bay Watershed Riparian and Coastal Buffer Restoration – In 2003, over one million fish and other marine life died in the Greenwich Bay due to a lack of oxygen in the water. An investigation cited pollutants in runoff as the major cause. This project addresses the use of riparian buffers to aid in the reduction of pollution to the bay and its tributaries. Sites will be identified, prioritized and restored. Additionally, the project will provide incentives that can be created through municipal ordinances with the intent of promoting private landowner restoration projects.
Grant Amount: $50,000
Contact: RI Department of Environmental Management, Sustainable Watersheds Office, 401-222-3434 x4417

West Virginia
Timber Harvesting BMP Monitoring Protocol Project Beta Test – This project, Phase 2, will allow West Virginia to gather sufficient data to provide for a full-scale test and analysis of the protocol developed under the BMP Protocol Project Phase 1. The monitoring protocol was developed and pilot tests conducted under Phase 1. This project will provide the means for gathering of sufficient data on 80 sample units for final testing and establishment of a monitoring baseline.
Grant Amount: $30,000
Contact: Bill Pownell, 304-822-4512

Lake Superior Watershed Mapping and Stream Improvement – The Lake Superior Advisory/Partnership Team has identified areas in the watershed that have the most pollution from runoff and the most stream bank erosion. Using satellite imagery and GIS technology, this project will map all the land area within Wisconsin’s Lake Superior watershed. In addition, funds will be used to train forest land managers and county officials to interpret and use the information provide by the maps. An outreach program will be conducted to integrate the results of the mapping project with other research presently being done on other stream characteristics.
Grant Amount: $16,500
Contact: WI Department of Natural Resources, 715-685-2900

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FY 2005

Forested Streamside Buffer Preservation and Restoration Project – Working with the Nanticoke River Watershed Alliance, the project sponsors will provide outreach to local property owners and communities about the need to install riparian forest buffers. Targeting streams with identified TMDLs will maximize impact. Approximately 70 acres of riparian areas and community forest habitats will be restored.
Grant Amount: $25,000
Contact: Jennifer Campagnini, 302-739-4590

Protecting Source Water in the South Portion of the Nashua River Watershed - This project builds on the results of the Protecting the Source Demonstration Project (sponsored by TPL, WET and U Mass). The goal is to complete an evaluation of watersheds in the 6 southern counties of the Nashua River watershed and identify the highest value forests for protection in order to protect municipal water supplies. By overlaying forest cover, soils, slope and parcel map information, individual land parcels are scored by their relative value to water supply protection. This provides a direct application of technology developed by the Forest Service through WET Partnership Center efforts.
Grant Amount: $25,000
Contact: Nashua River Watershed Association, 978-448-0299

Water and Weather – This project builds on pilot efforts in Washington, DC, Philadelphia, PA and St. Paul, MN to promote awareness of watershed issues and protection strategies through a partnership with television meteorologists. Specialists and educators develop a curriculum coordinated with the effort. This expansion of previous work targets local television stations in the Michigan/Great Lakes media market. A web resource area supplements television broadcasts which are tied to local weather forecasts and weather events. Specific attention will be paid to linking forests and their values to watersheds and mitigating storm water runoff/flooding.
Grant Amount: $25,000
Contact: Center for Environmental Study, 616-988-2854

Minnesota (and WI, IA, IN, IL, MO)
Sustainable Forestry: Key to Restoration of the Upper Mississippi River Basin - Provides funding for the Upper Mississippi Watershed Forestry Partnership Coordinator position and his expenses for travel and support.
Grant Amount: $150,000
Contact: Teri Heyer, 651-649-5239

Ozark Riparian Buffer Demonstration Project - Install one demonstration riparian forest buffer on private or public lands of approximately 2 acres in each of 10 counties in the state. Each location will involve volunteer labor from the local community and provide signage to identify the buffer and help educate local citizens. Locations will be chosen to highlight the value of buffers in developed areas. Demonstration sites will serve as locations for future training and outreach.
Grant Amount: $13,770
Contact: Lisa Ruller, 417-967-2028 x5

New Hampshire
Improving Application of Forestry BMPs by Evaluating Effectiveness – New Hampshire participated as a pilot state is the USDA Forest Service and the Maine Forest Service timber harvesting best management practices (BMP) monitoring protocol. The project completes training of all field personnel in the monitoring of timber harvesting BMPs and completes a statewide evaluation of BMP effectiveness.
Grant Amount: $45,200
Contact: NH Division of Forests and Lands, 603-271-2214

Pennsylvania (and MD, MA, DC)
Non-Structural Methods for Improving Urban Watershed Health - This project transfers lessons learned in the Baltimore Ecosystem Study and the Watershed 263 project in particular to additional watersheds in the Boston and Washington DC regions. Parks and People Foundation in conjunction with the Urban Ecology Collaborative will conduct the work with pilot areas. Additionally, work will begin with partners in Pittsburgh, PA to identify a demonstration site and enlist assistance in this city. The intent of the project is to organize a focused greening program with local leadership aimed at improving watershed health through storm water reduction. Projects complete an assessment or urban greening opportunities, develop a greening strategy, and implement a monitoring plan to document changes in storm water runoff and quality.
Grant Amount: $150,000
Contact: Rachel Billingham, 717-783-0385

Promoting the Use of BMPs for Logging Jobs in Vermont – The purpose of this project is to create a comprehensive education program for loggers, landowners, and foresters that will address the protection of water quality in forested areas and riparian/aquatic habitats during logging jobs. The program is based on the “Acceptable Management Practices for Maintaining Water Quality on Logging Jobs in Vermont”. The project will demonstrate proper installation and use of BMPs designed to help meet those goals. The use of portable bridges will be promoted through workshops, static displays, and the production of a training video.
Grant Amount: $37,400
Contact: VT Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation, 802-241-3678

Urban Storm Trees and Green BMPs - The City of Milwaukee and Greening Milwaukee will work together to evaluate, target, and install green BMPs and measure their benefits in reducing runoff and improving water quality. The Highland Park Housing Development will serve as a showcase for these techniques and the project will involve local officials, the housing authority and community residents in the work. Training seminars will help to transfer and share the demonstration with other areas in the City.
Grant Amount: $100,000
Contact: Kimberly Kujoth, 414-286-5453

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Page Contact: Keith Tackett
May 18, 2011 12:21 PM