​Chesapeake Estuary | Credit: Mike Land
  • Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund

    NFWF's Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund is dedicated to protecting the Bay by helping local communities clean up and restore their polluted rivers and streams. We advance cost-effective and creative solutions with financial and technical assistance.

    Working in partnership with government agencies and private corporations, the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund awards $8 million to $12 million per year through two competitive grant programs; the Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Grant Program and the Small Watershed Grants Program​. These programs benefit the communities, farms, habitats and wildlife of the Chesapeake Bay region.

    NFWF also makes targeted investments that support networking and information-sharing among restoration partners on emerging technologies, successful restoration approaches, and new partnership opportunities.

    From 1999 to 2018, the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund awarded more than 1,100 grants totaling nearly $150 million. These investments leveraged more than $210 million in local matching resources to support a wide range of conservation projects throughout the Bay basin. In total, these grants have:

    • ​Reduced annual nitrogen pollution loading by an estimated 21 million pounds
    • Reduced annual phosphorus loading by an estimated 4.5 million pounds
    • Reduced annual sediment loading by an estimated 800 million pounds
    • Restored more than 2,150 miles of streams
    • Treated stormwater runoff from 11,500 acres of impervious surfaces
    • Reached an estimated 2.4 million residents through outreach efforts
    • Restored more than 6,780 acres of wetlands and 1,870 miles of forested riparian buffers
    • Installed more than 360 miles of livestock exclusion stream fencing
    • Reconnected more than 270 miles of rivers and streams for fish passage
    • Established 315 acres of oyster reefs

    The Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund is a partnership with the Federal-State Chesapeake Bay Program. Major funding is provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Altria Group, the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and Forest Service, CSX, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


 Application Information

  • (Updated: 1/28/2019)


 Program Information

  • (Updated: 2/15/2019)

  • (Updated: 8/15/2017)


 Staff Representatives






 Due Dates

  • 8/13/2019
    INSR Full Proposal Deadline



  • Who can I contact if I have questions about a project I'm considering for submission?
    Ask us, and we'll try to answer any of your questions! Staff contact info is listed at left, or dial 202-857-0166.
  • What funding opportunities are available through the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund?
    We have two RFPs, one for Small Watershed implementation and Small Watershed planning, and one for Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction projects. Click 'Applying for Grants' to find out more!

 Our Grantees in the News