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 Unassessed Waters 2014 Request for Proposals

All proposals must be received by May 22, 2014

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission and the R.K. Mellon Foundation, is soliciting proposals to sample previously unassessed waters in identified priority watersheds throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The goal is to identify those waters that contain populations of Eastern Brook Trout and other wild trout, indicating exceptional water quality.  This information will enable the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to set protection standards that are used to permit development activities in watersheds.  Wild trout streams should be protected at a minimum under the Cold Water Fishes (CWF) designation in 25 Pa. Code Chapter 93 because of their ability to support or maintain a population of wild trout.  Wetlands located in or along the floodplain of wild trout streams are protected as Exceptional Value Wetlands in 25 Pa. Code Chapter 105.


Funds will be awarded to sample unassessed streams using 2014 Sampling Protocols developed by the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission (PFBC).  Applicants will consult with PFBC on sampling priorities prior to beginning field work. For 2014, see the priority areas 2014 Map.  Also, see the list of HUC-10 Priority Watersheds


1)     There are three levels of grants, each requiring the sampling of a minimum number of sites, each site representative of a stream:                       

  • $5,000 – Requires sampling of a minimum of 20 unassessed streams.
  • $10,000 – Requires sampling of a minimum of 40 unassessed streams.
  • $20,000 – Requires sampling a minimum of 75 unassessed streams.

2)     Additional funds for travel to more remote sites, up to 10% of the awarded amount, may be requested as needed.

3)      Sampling is to be completed no later than October 15, 2014.

4)     All data must be submitted to the PFBC through the Scientific Collectors permit reporting system

5)     All grantees will be required to participate in a brief orientation to review and discuss sampling protocols and data entry procedures prior to sampling.  The orientation will also include a field demonstration of sampling protocols.

Ineligible Uses of Grant Funds

Neither grant funds nor matching contributions may be used to support political advocacy, lobbying or litigation.

Grantees may not use grant funds to support ongoing efforts to comply with legal requirements, including permit conditions, mitigation and settlement agreements. However, grant funds may be used to support projects that enhance or improve upon existing baseline compliance efforts.


 1)     Applicants must be able to document prior experience in sampling streams using appropriate electro-fishing equipment.

2)     Applicants must have a valid scientific collector permit. Experience with electro-fishing is required to receive a scientific collector permit for this project.

3)     Applicants must be familiar with Pennsylvania’s water quality criteria and ranking system.

4)     Applicants must be able to document sampling locations using GPS or GIS.

Eligible Applicants

Organizations that have 501(c)(3) non-profit status in Pennsylvania, such as universities, research entities and conservation organizations.

Individuals, state and federal government agencies and for-profit entities are not eligible for funding.


Go to to register in our Easygrants online system. (If you already are a registered user, use your existing login.) Enter your applicant information.

  • Select the “Unassessed Waters Initiative” from the list of “Funding Opportunity” options.  

  • Follow the instructions in Easygrants to complete your application. Once you get started, you may save your application in progress and return another time to complete and submit it.  

  • Refer to the Application Tips for quick reference while you are working through your application.

Proposals are due by Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 11:59 PM and must be submitted through NFWF’s online application at


May 12                            Webinar for applicants              REGISTER HERE

May 22                             All Proposals Due

Late May                          Anticipated announcement of awards*

*Please do not contact the Foundation regarding the status of your proposal until after the announcement date.


Please visit

Or contact:

​John Wright

National Fish and Wildlife

(202) 595-2478

​Bob Weber

Pennsylvania Fish and Boat

(814) 259-5164