GW Link

Find Nonprofit and Small Business Grants

Advance Search

Only Available for Paid Subscribers
Clear Filters
Search Filters

Community Stormwater Solutions Grants

Grants to Washington, DC Nonprofits, For-Profits,
Agencies, and IHEs to Enhance Watershed Quality

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

Add to My Calendar 

District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

01/25/19 6:00 PM Receipt


Request a Grant Writer

Grants of up to $20,000 to Washington, DC nonprofit organizations, faith-based organizations, government agencies, IHEs, and private enterprises to enhance and protect watersheds and water bodies within the District. Projects must raise awareness, educate a target audience, and promote behavior change in order to improve the health of waterways, including reducing the impacts of stormwater runoff.

Projects should raise awareness and lead to behavior change around watershed- and stormwater-related issues, through the education, installation, and maintenance of runoff-reducing green infrastructure, art installations, or another means described in Section 1.6. Another goal is to support community partners through capacity-building initiatives. Projects should be inspired and supported by the target community that the applicant identifies.

Special focus will be placed on projects that support (1) the restoration of, access to, and environmental education at, and in the neighborhoods surrounding, Kingman and Heritage Islands (see Project Area 8 in Section 1.6) and (2) watershed restoration and community engagement projects that benefit local streams, build climate resilience, and improve downstream water quality in DOEE’s Targeted Subwatersheds.

The project must fit into one or more of the following project areas.

Project Area 1: Install green infrastructure.

Green infrastructure installations like green roofs, rain gardens, rainwater harvesting, and permeable pavers allow stormwater to be absorbed into the ground, reducing the impact of stormwater runoff on District water bodies. Coupled with significant community engagement, even small installations can make a big difference if they result in more entities (e.g. residents, businesses, non-profit organizations) interested in voluntarily installing green infrastructure.

Projects in this category could include:
- Installation of green infrastructure on private property in a highly visible location.
- Community engagement or other projects that enhance or support the installation of green infrastructure at houses of worship, cemeteries, and other charitable organizations.
- Community engagement or other projects that enhance or support the installation of green infrastructure used to generate Stormwater Retention Credits (SRC).

Project Area 2: Maintain existing green infrastructure.

Green infrastructure will not function properly without proper maintenance. There is already green infrastructure at many houses of worship, schools, residential properties, commercial buildings, and along roadways. But this infrastructure is not always maintained. Maintenance and teaching the target audience members about how and why maintenance is important can enhance the successes of green infrastructure.

Maintenance projects should include the physical maintenance of existing green infrastructure. They should result in increased awareness and engagement among the target audience members.

Projects in this category could include:
- Train and incorporate green infrastructure maintenance into maintenance staff duties or “street team” activities. Such projects should include a tailored maintenance strategy for the green infrastructure found in a specific target area.
- Offer maintenance workshops, teaching RiverSmart Homes or RiverSmart Communities participants to maintain their rain barrels, rain gardens, permeable pavers, and BayScaping projects.
- Work with past participants of RiverSmart Schools, or other schools, to maintain their existing green infrastructure practices.
- Work with the Department of Parks and Recreation’s (DPR’s) Adopt-a-Park program to maintain green infrastructure on DPR sites.

Project Area 3: Provide pathways to green jobs focused on stormwater solutions.

Jobs focused on litter prevention, watershed health, and stormwater management range widely from entry level jobs to highly technical design and construction professions. There are several local job training, certification, and knowledge-building programs, including Watershed Stewards Academy, RiverCorps, the Green Zone Environmental Program, and the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program. More could be done to effectively link these programs so they become a pipeline for employment opportunities.

Projects in this category could include:
- Improve outreach in order to increase participation.
- Connect District workforce to existing certificate programs, conferences, trainings, and other knowledge-building opportunities.
- Employ District residents, who have been through these training or certification programs, to implement projects that meet the goals of this RFA.

Project Area 4: Restore native habitat.

Many of the District’s natural areas are overrun by invasive plant species. Proposals in this category should focus on removing invasive species, replanting with natives, engaging residents, and creating new native habitats. DOEE’s priority areas for invasive species removal and native plantings are locations within the Targeted Subwatersheds, along with any DPR forested area. Projects at DPR sites should coordinate with the District DPR’s Adopt-a-Park program.

Project Area 5: Clean up an area affected by high volumes of litter or address causes of litter.

Litter is one of the leading causes of pollution in the District’s water bodies. Storm drains in the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) areas of the District lead directly to our streams. DOEE’s main priority for litter cleanups is areas that are within the MS4. Litter prevention projects should address the causes of litter and result in behavior change in the target audience.

Projects in this category could include:
- Support or participate in the Adopt-a-Park or Adopt-a-Stream programs by engaging surrounding communities in litter clean-ups and addressing how individual behaviors impact the health of the District’s water bodies. The project could utilize DOEE’s existing #TrashFreeDC materials to conduct outreach around anti-littering or related projects.
- Education about the impacts of plastic pollution in the District’s watersheds, including reducing the use of single-use plastic products.
- Support or recruit participation in community cleanups.
- Educate on the impacts and laws associated with illegal dumping

Project Area 6: Reduce sources of pollution to District water bodies

This broad category covers any project focused on reducing or removing pollution from entering the District’s waterways. Any substance with the potential to alter water quality is considered a pollutant, including fertilizers, automotive fluids, dirt, bacteria and nutrients found in pet waste, and even chemicals in drinking water like chlorine. Pollution prevention projects should address the causes of pollution and result in behavior change in the target audience.

Projects in this category could include:
- Educate people to solve garden pest problems through integrated pest management instead of pesticides.
- Educate people to use fertilizer-alternatives, such as compost, or to use proper fertilizer application techniques.
- Install solutions to erosion within in the District (e.g. by managing dirt “pleasure paths”, or designing and installing solutions for dirt areas chronically devoid of plants).
- Educate the target audience members on how to protect the environment while conducting home auto repair projects.

Project Area 7: Engage communities, raise awareness, and bring about behavior change on issues impacting water quality, including stormwater management, trash, pollution prevention, and watershed restoration.

DOEE has many projects and programs underway to engage communities in the many facets of watershed restoration. Projects should clearly identify a target community and work with that community to develop the project activities.

Projects in this category could include:
- Educate and engage neighborhood groups, community-based organizations, faithbased organizations, and small businesses, on opportunities to participate in programs and projects impacting the District’s waterways. These might include litter cleanups along commercial corridors, and DOEE’s large parcel tree planting program.
- Implement artwork that teaches about or inspires stewardship of the District’s waterways. This could include an art project that is professionally-created public art or classroom-based art projects. A public art project must be located in a highly visible location. It must have a message that helps reduce pollution and improve watershed health. A project could include coordinating an effort for District students to submit to the Wildlife Forever State Fish Art Contest.
- Create opportunities for interactive, nature-based play.
- Increase access to, and encourage activity along, the Anacostia River.
- Design and implement wayfinding to support access from surrounding communities to natural areas including, but not limited to, Anacostia Park, the Aquatic Resource Education Center (AREC), Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, National Arboretum, and Kingman and Heritage Islands.
- Educate District schoolchildren, or other residents, about the AREC and its educational resources. One example is to create a video about this resource to be used as a marketing tool.
- Conduct outreach and develop partnerships between SRC-generating businesses and property owners, particularly nonprofit organizations and with a special focus on houses of worship and cemeteries. These partnerships can form the basis for work conducted under an SRC Aggregator Startup Grant and the resulting green infrastructure may be eligible for participation in the SRC Price Lock Program.
- Develop or improve communication and messaging tools that explain the SRC program and SRC Price Lock Program to non-technical audiences and the general public.
- Improve visibility of existing RiverSmart Homes projects through installation of yard signs. DOEE currently has a stock of 400 yard signs ready for distribution.

Project Area 8: Foster engagement in, restoration of, and support for, existing efforts at Kingman and Heritage Islands, including projects in
the adjacent communities.

Kingman and Heritage Islands are a unique natural resource situated in the Anacostia River, in Ward 7. The islands are owned by the District of Columbia and managed by Living Classrooms Foundation. A project in this category should produce an increased sense of local stewardship and more local knowledge of the islands’ natural resources and could include:

- Invasive species removal and native species planting.
- Engagement with neighboring communities to improve wayfinding and access to the islands.
- Events that draw people to the island for watershed-related educational and restoration activities, including cleanups, invasive species removal, and planting events.
- Oral history project in one or more of the adjacent communities, focusing on the history of local people and on their connections to the islands and the Anacostia River.
- Vitalizing the south side of the Ethel Kennedy Bridge (Benning Road Bridge). This could include murals, tile work, or a photo history wall.

Typical allowable costs are:
1. Rental of office space, some vehicles, and some equipment;
2. Employee salaries and benefits;
3. Contractor labor, including professional services;
4. Accounting and bookkeeping services;
5. Communications, including telephone and data services;
6. Printing, reproduction, including signage;
7. Materials and supplies;
8. Computers and printers;
9. Small tools;
10. Some field equipment, typically below $5,000 in value;
11. Postage and shipping;
12. Necessary travel, meals and lodging; and
13. Insurance.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 177367

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Up to $20,000

Term of Contract:

A project starts on the date of DOEE’s Notice of Grant Award to the successful applicant(s). The project should be completed by June 30, 2020. This period can be extended and additional funding provided, depending upon the performance of the Grantee and the availability of funds.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Institutions listed below may apply for this grant:
-Nonprofit organizations, including those with IRS 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) determinations;
-Faith-based organizations;
-Government agencies
-Universities/educational institutions; and
-Private Enterprises.

The project must be located in the District.

The applicant must be physically located in the District. To be considered “physically located in the District,” the applicant must have: (1) a permanent District address listed on a government-issued ID or tax return; OR (2) a business address AND tax address in the District. If the applicant is an organization without a physical address, like a neighborhood association with volunteer members, the address used must be that of a board member, lead volunteer, or owner who will be active on the proposed project, and that address must be in the District. A US Post Office box with a District address will not meet the in-District requirement.

A project is NOT eligible if:

1. A law, or an order of a court or agency, requires that the work be done anyway. For example, DOEE’s stormwater management regulations, found at 21 DCMR Part 500, require certain properties to meet a stormwater retention requirement. Exception: A project involving required work IS eligible if the project’s capacity or function is in excess of the required work. (Example: If the regulations required a project of 10,000 gallon storage capacity, and you proposed a 15,000 gallon project, DOEE funding would be available for the extra 5,000 gallons.)

2. The same project is already being funded by another grant or contract. An exception is if the proposed project is adding a new scope that requires additional funding.

3. It uses invasive plant species, herbicides, or pesticides.

4. The applicant is an individual person, or it is an organization without a formal legal non- profit or business status. An “unincorporated association” is therefore, not eligible. (Example: a neighborhood association that has members, a bank account, and rules of organization, but no formal incorporation papers.) Exception and work-around: A sole proprietorship business IS eligible, if registered in the District. An otherwise ineligible person or group could submit their application through an eligible applicant (from the entities list above). If the project is selected, DOEE would award the grant to the eligible entity as the “fiscal agent.”

Continuing conditions of eligibility are that the information in the application is complete and truthful and that the Applicant at all times is able to meet any material conditions stated in its application. For instance, if an Applicant’s ability to fulfill the terms of the grant is based on the availability of skilled staff and those staff should leave after the application’s submittal or the grant award to the Applicant, the Applicant has the responsibility to advise DOEE in writing of this change in material conditions. Another example of change in material conditions that could result in the loss of eligibility would be the loss of the Applicant’s tax-exempt status.

Non-Allowable costs include:
1. Most major equipment, like vehicles;
2. Lobbying, including salaries and overheads and out-of-pocket expenses;
3. Entertainment;
4. Interest payments on loans;
5. Most food; and
6. Land purchases.

Pre-proposal Conference:

DOEE will host the following public information sessions:

- December 10th: Woodridge Library - 1801 Hamlin St NE, Meeting Room #2 at 7pm
- December 12th: DOEE Headquarters - 1200 First St NE, Room 509 at 1pm
- January 7th: Anacostia Library - 1800 Good Hope Rd SE, Ora Glover Comm. Room at 7pm
- January 8th: Francis Gregory Library - 3660 Alabama Ave. SE, Conf. Room #2 at 7pm
- January 9th: DOEE Headquarters - 1200 First St NE, Room 509 at 1pm

Pre-Application Information:

All applications must be received by 6:00 PM on January 25, 2019.

An application must be submitted online. DOEE will not accept hard copy, emailed, or faxed submissions. Exception: DOEE will accept paper in a case of hardship, at DOEE’s sole determination. Please contact DOEE at least two (2) weeks in advance of the deadline to determine if you can receive permission to submit paper.

The cut-off date for receipt of any questions is 12 p.m. (noon) on the date of the application deadline.

DOEE expects to notify each Applicant in writing of its award status within 12 weeks after the application due date.

Grant funds related to work performed will be provided on a reimbursement basis, except that an advance of funds may be provided for grant administration expenses in limited circumstances for good cause approved by DOEE at its sole discretion.

Watch this video to learn more about ZoomGrants:

Community Stormwater Solutions Grants page:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online through ZoomGrants:

DOEE can be contacted about this RFA (use the RFA’s short name and number whenever possible) by:

(a) Emailing with “RE: RFA 2019-
1903-WPD" in the subject line;
(b) In person by making an appointment with (Emily Rice at (202) 535-2679 and mention this RFA by name); or
(c) Write DOEE at 1200 First Street NE, 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20002, Attention: Emily Rice RE: RFA 2019-1903-WPD on the envelope.

Funding or Pin Number:

RFA # 2019-1903-WPD

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Washington, DC