Chesapeake Watershed Investments for Landscape Defense (WILD) Grants 2024 Request for Proposals

This solicitation has closed.


Full Proposal Due Date: April 10, 2024 by 11:59pm Eastern Time


The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), is soliciting proposals through the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund (CBSF) to conserve, protect, and restore vital fish and wildlife habitat of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary rivers and streams. 

In 2024, NFWF estimates awarding up to $8.5 million in Chesapeake WILD Grants, contingent on available funding, for projects that enhance conservation, stewardship, and enhancements of fish and wildlife habitats and related conservation values in the Bay watershed. Major funding provided by FWS, along with important contributions by Altria Group, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the U.S. Forest Service. 

NFWF and FWS are offering two distinct grant opportunities through the 2024 Chesapeake WILD Grants program. All proposals must clearly address how the proposed project will directly and measurably contribute to the accomplishment of Chesapeake WILD PROGRAM PRIORITIES. Further details on each grant opportunity can be found later in this Request for Proposals under ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA and FUNDING AVAILABILITY AND MATCH.

  1. WILD Implementation grants of $75,000-$750,000 will be awarded for projects that result in direct on-the-ground conservation, stewardship, and enhancements of fish and wildlife habitats and related conservation values in the Bay watershed.
  2. WILD Planning and Technical Assistance grants up to $75,000 will be awarded for projects that enhance the capacity of local and regional partners to implement future on-the-ground actions conservation, stewardship, and enhancements of fish and wildlife habitats and related conservation values in the Bay watershed, through community-based assessment, planning, design, and other technical assistance-oriented activities. 

In developing and submitting applications, prospective applicants should select the most appropriate CBSF program based on the details of their proposed project and alignment with associated program details. Applicants are encouraged to review the CBSF Quick Reference Guide and Applicant Toolbox for further insight in selecting the appropriate program based on their proposed project.

While NFWF does not require consultation prior to application, we strongly encourage interested applicants to schedule a proposal lab with NFWF staff or contact its contracted field liaisons to discuss their proposed project to gather constructive feedback in developing a competitive proposal and to obtain guidance on the most appropriate program and funding opportunity for project consideration. Interested applicants can use this link to schedule a proposal lab with NFWF staff.


All projects must occur wholly within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. NFWF has developed a CBSF Applicant Toolbox with resources to help applicants target proposed actions to understand and maximize outcomes and benefits for associated program priorities. Applicants are also encouraged to consult NFWF’s Chesapeake Bay Business Plan mapping portal in informing potential geographic focus.


Consistent with broader goals to enhance diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) in Chesapeake Bay watershed and habitat restoration and conservation efforts, NFWF and FWS will prioritize proposals that directly and meaningfully engage and involve local people and communities in the identification, prioritization, selection, and implementation of proposed conservation actions. Examples of direct and meaningful engagement and involvement include:

  • Include community members and partners in co-design and co- implementation of projects
  • Empower community members with knowledge or decision-making authority
  • Ensure project teams include members representing and/or are a part of the community
  • Including specific, active engagement strategies such as participation in Citizen Science, interactive workshops, hands-on learning activities, field trips, and volunteering
  • Addressing a specific and localized harm such as pollution, flooding, fires
  • Create jobs in the target community or perform job training and certification
  • Directly engage in specific cultural activities with the community

Proposals from applicants or partnerships directly representing or resourcing historically underserved people and communities will receive priority consideration. To ensure a broad spectrum of community interests are represented and reflected in proposed activities, we explicitly encourage applications from (or ones that incorporate) community-based organizations as key project partners, regardless of an environmental or conservation-related mission. Furthermore, NFWF encourages more traditional environmental and conservation organizations and entities to use grant funding to enhance their internal capacity to engage with, mentor, and support diverse community partners. See a glossary of key terms related to DEIJ efforts under the NFWF’s Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund.

Developed by FWS in partnership with NFWF, Chesapeake Conservation Partnership, and others, Chesapeake WILD Grants is a competitive grant program that responds to a partner-identified need for coordinated action to restore, conserve, and protect a resilient and connected landscape of healthy lands and waters across the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Funding awards support projects to address 5 interrelated program pillars or priority areas (see below figure). Chesapeake WILD Program grant priorities are consistent with the Chesapeake WILD Framework, NFWF’s Chesapeake Bay Business Plan, and Chesapeake Bay Program partnership’s 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement

Figure 1. Chesapeake WILD Program Pillars

NFWF is soliciting proposals that align with one or more of the interrelated program pillars or priority areas. All proposals must clearly address how projects will directly and measurably contribute to the accomplishment of Chesapeake WILD Program Pillars enumerated below. Selection priority will be given to projects that include diverse partnerships who will collaboratively address one or more priority areas. 

Regardless of priority area, we encourage proposals that (1) leverage other funding opportunities to strengthen public-private partnerships in support of actions to connect, conserve, and restore wildlife habitats and/or (2) demonstrate nature-based benefits to underrepresented and/or historically underserved human communities.


Chesapeake Bay watershed is the country’s largest estuary and a mosaic of culturally and ecologically important natural resources: headwater creeks and streams flow into large rivers, intact forests and forested riparian buffers, grasslands and pollinator habitat, freshwater wetlands, tidal marshes, and submerged aquatic vegetation. 

Proposals that aim to restore, conserve, steward, and/or enhance important Chesapeake Bay watershed habitats and ecosystems for imperiled fish and wildlife are preferred. Proposals that enhance, connect, or expand existing habitat hubs and travel corridors for imperiled fish and wildlife are highly encouraged.

For the purposes of the Chesapeake Wild Program, imperiled species are fish, wildlife, invertebrate, and plant species of concern dependent upon important Chesapeake Bay watershed habitats and living resources, including:

  • Federal designated At-Risk Species (ARS) and/or Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed species;
  • Species identified in tribal stewardship or fish and wildlife plans; and
  • Species identified in State designated Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SCGN) in State Wildlife Action Plans (SWAPs) and Regional SGCN (NE Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies)

Competitive proposals should address (1) how the proposed activities will contribute toward the improved conservation of the priority fish and wildlife and habitats, (2) how project efficacy will be measured or monitored [refer to APPENDIX C: PROPOSAL METRICS for suggested metrics], and (3) how any potential adverse impacts will be addressed and mitigated. 

Proposal narratives should incorporate conservation action recommendations consistent with Federal, Tribal, or State habitat conservation or species recovery plans, or with actions listed for the species within state wildlife action plans, NFWF’s Business Plan, and/or fish and wildlife habitats identified as important by Chesapeake Bay Program. Prior coordination with and letters of support from Federal, Tribal, and/or State fish and wildlife representatives are highly encouraged.

Examples of non-regulatory projects that align with Chesapeake WILD Program Pillar 1:

  • Build organizational and community capacity to strengthen the ability of Tribes, Indigenous people of the Chesapeake, and people or communities of color to advance self-determined fish and wildlife habitat conservation, restoration, and stewardship activities and culturally appropriate ways to connect people and communities with living resources. For instance, provide expertise or training in conservation and restoration science and/or spatial science, organizational development and partnership management, and/or grant writing and administration responsibilities.
  • Permanently conserve (e.g., easement) high-value lands and waterways that connect and enhance habitats for imperiled fish and wildlife; especially, those identified in respective conservation plans.
  • Design and build, restore, or reconnect aquatic and terrestrial wildlife travel corridors and passages that imperiled fish and wildlife.
  • Restore habitat structures and ecological functions to terrestrial and aquatic habitat systems.
  • Deliver expertise and technical assistance to implement habitat management best practices, such as managing invasive species, creating forested riparian buffers, tidal and non-tidal wetland restoration, and floodplain and stream/river reconnection. 
  • Address science and research gap needs to effectively connect, conserve, and restore habitat quality and resiliency for imperiled fish and wildlife. 
  • Address science and research gap needs identified in respective imperiled fish and wildlife conservation plans, including surveys, propagation, and monitoring. 
  • Direct community/people outreach and involvement activities that result in conservation benefits to imperiled fish and wildlife, such as Citizen Science data collection and/or co-developing conservation plans and shared implementation of conservation actions.


Over 18 million live in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and about 75 percent get their drinking water from rivers and streams that flow into the Bay through three primary river systems: Susquehanna (New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland), Potomac (Maryland), and James (Virginia). The rivers and their tributaries also support a diverse suite of fish and wildlife that depend on high quality water.

Examples of non-regulatory projects that align with Chesapeake WILD Program Pillar 2:

  • Prioritize floodplain reconnection and restoration actions that provide direct benefit for fish and wildlife, as well as flood mitigation and water quality benefits to human and wildlife communities.
  • Emphasize water conservation and management measures with direct benefits to imperiled fish and wildlife.
  • Support water quality monitoring programs and outreach campaigns to promote clean water for fish and wildlife and empower local community scientists across rural, urban, and Tribal areas within the watershed. 
  • Complete instream restoration and streambank stabilization projects to enhance habitat, increase nutrient processing, and reduce erosion, sedimentation, and flooding impacts.
  • Reconnect stream channels to historic floodplains and adjacent wetlands to promote nutrient removal and reduce erosion.
  • Planning projects that result in shovel-ready designs for nature-based solutions, living shorelines, bioswales, and other designs that will improve water quality, mitigate pollution, and provide valuable habitats for fish and wildlife. 


Enhancing the resilience of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem to future climate change impacts requires design and install nature-based solutions that restore or expand natural features such as coastal marshes and wetlands, dune and beach systems, oyster reefs, forests, stream channels, floodplains, and forested buffers, which minimize the impacts of storms and other naturally occurring events on nearby communities and maximize benefits to fish and wildlife. Generally, this does not include green stormwater infrastructure, which can be funded through companion CBSF programs.

Examples of non-regulatory projects that align with Chesapeake WILD Program Pillar 3:

  • Projects that protect, restore, or reconnect important natural habitats for imperiled species that may be negatively impacted by climate change.
  • Plan for and equitably engage partners and communities to improve natural disaster tolerances for people, as well as for fish and wildlife, adapting to a changing climate.
  • Establish local finance authorities to focus on resilience, conservation, and investment planning activities to further long-term imperiled species habitat resilience efforts, including (but not limited to) efforts aligned with nature-based solutions that support protection and resilience for human communities.
  • Emphasize habitats that help protect coastal and inland communities from the impacts of storms, floods, and other natural hazards and enable them to recover more quickly (e.g., tidal marshes, nontidal wetlands, forested riparian areas, and floodplains); especially, habitats that benefit rural, urban, and Tribal communities by reducing nuisance flooding and decreasing stormwater runoff using nature-based solutions. 
  • Replace or right-size culverts or otherwise improve road and stream crossings to reduce downstream erosion of nutrients and minimize flooding.


Because of its location within a densely populated part of the country, the Chesapeake Bay watershed offers diverse mountains-to-sea outdoor recreation opportunities to millions of people. Chesapeake WILD Program supports projects that enable equitable recreational endeavors of communities through traditional and non-traditional outdoor experiences to improve people’s physical and mental health. Funded projects should be compatible with the conservation of natural resources and habitat needs of imperiled fish and wildlife species. 
Successful applications must integrate proposed public access activities that equitably connect people with nature and enhance awareness and engagement with ongoing fish and wildlife habitat conservation and restoration efforts.

Examples of non-regulatory projects that align with Chesapeake WILD Program Pillar 4:

  • Prioritize actions and investments that make public lands and open spaces more welcoming and accessible to diverse communities and user groups.
  • Develop new low or no-cost public access points and wildlife-associated recreation opportunities in the watershed through collaborative projects and programs that involve underserved communities.
  • Increase equitable public access and participation in wildlife-associated recreation activities (e.g., hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing) using fee simple purchase or permanent conservation easement.
  • Increase public awareness of the recreational, educational, and economic contributions made by the Chesapeake Bay and its ecosystems through experiential learning and actions to strengthen stewardship ethic by involving place-based or local communities in fish and wildlife habitat connectivity, conservation, and restoration planning and implementation.
  • Create new or enhance existing interpretive programming focused on the watershed’s natural history, especially emphasizing traditional, place-based, and/or Tribal Knowledge and Indigenous Science.
  • Invest in nature-based recreation infrastructure and maintenance that directly supports equitable access for urban and rural communities to networked trail systems (e.g., greenway and blueway recreational trails).
  • Create innovative public access, education, and cultural reconnection opportunities for rural, urban, and Tribal communities.
  • Incorporate volunteer opportunities or lead to job creation; especially ones that hire locally and/or minority-owned businesses/contractors.  


Achieving a shared vision for a healthy and connected network of lands and waters requires investments in collaboration and community partnerships, including building the capacity of organizations, communities, and people to engage in and support conservation actions that restore, conserve, steward, and/or enhance important Chesapeake Bay watershed habitats and ecosystems for imperiled fish and wildlife.

Examples of non-regulatory projects that align with Chesapeake WILD Program Pillar 5:

  • Capacity-building, organizational development, community engagement, and outreach for Tribal and Indigenous peoples and historically underserved communities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
  • Enhance existing conservation partnerships or develop new partnerships that will evolve projects, further social equity, develop different ways of thinking, and spur innovative conservation actions and implementation.
  • Enhance partner capacity to provide technical assistance and deliver habitat connectivity, conservation, and restoration outcomes for imperiled fish and wildlife. 
  • Enhance community and organizational capacity to coordinate imperiled fish and wildlife conservation across jurisdictions and landscapes, with an emphasis on involving underserved communities and organizations serving underserved communities.
  • Build organizational and community capacity to strengthen the ability of Tribes, Indigenous people of the Chesapeake, and people or communities of color to self-determine the conservation and enhancement of fish and wildlife habitats they steward, and culturally appropriate ways to connect people and communities with living resources. For instance, provide expertise or training in conservation and restoration science and/or spatial science, organizational development and partnership management, and/or grant writing and administration responsibilities.
  • Community led or co-created and co-implemented by community members.
  • Directly engaging in specific cultural activities with the community.
  • Active engagement and experiential learning strategies such as workshops, field-based activities, Citizen Science data collection and monitoring, and volunteering.


To better gauge progress on individual grants and to ensure greater consistency of project data provided by multiple grants, the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund has a list of metrics in Easygrants for proposal applicants to choose from for future reporting. For implementation projects, awardees will be required to report both project-level metrics via Easygrants and more detailed site and practice-level data via FieldDoc (see below for additional details), as applicable. 

We ask that applicants select only the most relevant metrics from the list for their project (all possible program metrics are shown in the table in APPENDIX C: PROPOSAL METRICS.

If you do not believe an applicable metric has been provided, please contact Jake Reilly at, Tori Sullens at  to discuss acceptable alternatives.



For Planning and Technical Assistance proposals: Non-profit organizations, local and municipal governments, Tribal governments and organizations and K-12 education institutions seeking potential service providers may visit our website for an updated listing of technical service providers operating in the region. State government agencies and institutions of higher education are eligible to apply for Planning and Technical Assistance proposals but must document support and/or request for proposed activities by appropriate non-profit organizations, local and municipal governments, Tribal governments and organizations and/or K-12 education institutions.

Ineligible Uses of Grant Funds 

  • Equipment: Applicants are encouraged to rent equipment where possible and cost-effective or use matching funds to make those purchases. NFWF acknowledges, however, that some projects may only be completed using NFWF funds to procure equipment. If this applies to your project, please contact the program staff listed in this RFP to discuss options.
  • Federal funds and matching contributions may not be used to procure or obtain equipment, services, or systems (including entering into or renewing a contract) that uses telecommunications equipment or services produced by Huawei Technologies Company or ZTE Corporation (or any subsidiary or affiliate of such entities) as a substantial or essential component, or as critical technology of any system. Refer to Public Law 115-232, section 889 for additional information. 
  • NFWF funds and matching contributions may not be used to support political advocacy, fundraising, lobbying, litigation, terrorist activities or Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations.
  • NFWF funds may not be used to support ongoing efforts to comply with legal requirements, including permit conditions, compensatory mitigation and settlement agreements. However, grant funds may be used to support projects that enhance or improve upon baseline legal and permit compliance efforts (e.g., Projects that go above and beyond minimum legal compliance benefitting both stormwater management and fish and wildlife habitat).


*     Up to 50% of Implementation grants match requirement may be met through federal match from non-Department of Interior sources.

All proposed projects must begin on or after September 1, 2024, to facilitate necessary grant contracting, quality assurance, and environmental compliance activities. In order to qualify, match must be expended during the proposed period of performance. 


All proposals will be screened for relevance, accuracy, completeness, and compliance with NFWF and funding source policies. Proposals will then be evaluated uniquely based on the extent to which they meet the following criteria:

Criteria #1 – Conservation Outcomes

  • Implementation: Project will clearly and demonstrably result in meaningful on-the-ground implementation of conservation and/or restoration actions that contribute to one or more of the identified program priorities. Where possible and appropriate, the proposal simultaneously contributes measurable and meaningful implementation actions supporting multiple priority outcomes.
  • PTA: Project will result in the delivery of planning and technical assistance products and services that meaningfully advance potential conservation or restoration implementation efforts that would contribute to one of more of the identified program priorities. In considering who benefits from requested services, there is a demonstrated need for services and a clear commitment to utilize services to support future implementation efforts. 
  • All Funding Opportunities: Project incorporates meaningful engagement of affected communities, furthers established community interests, and incorporates community members and stakeholders in project activities. 
  • All Funding Opportunities: Project supports new and existing partnerships working to advance conservation and restoration actions in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. 
  • All Funding Opportunities: Project incorporates plans and approaches to implement, verify and sustain conservation and restoration actions and outcomes beyond the timeframe of the grant.

Criteria #2 – Partnership and Community Impact

  • The applicant organization partners and engages collaboratively with diverse local community members, leaders, community-based organizations, and other relevant stakeholders to develop and implement the proposed project. This ensures long-term sustainability and success of the project, integration into local programs and policies, and community acceptance of proposed restoration actions. 
  • Non-traditional partners or communities are enlisted to broaden the sustained impact from the project. 
  • Community characteristics of the project area are described, any communities impacted are identified, outreach and community engagement activities are described, as well as how those will be monitored and measured.
  • Proposal uses demographic data to support descriptions and includes letters of support from community partners and/or collaborators demonstrating their commitment to the project and engagement in project activities as proposed.

Criteria #3 – Budget

  • The quality and level of detail in the budget and budget narrative provide a clear and detailed understanding of the proposed funding request. 
  • Proposal demonstrates cost-effectiveness in achieving its proposed outcomes, considering both direct and indirect costs in the proposed budget.
  • Proposed costs are reasonable based on the work plan, local or regional costs for similar activities, and commensurate with project outcomes.
  • Budget clearly indicates the degree of partnership in conducting the proposed work, including funding for project partners, stakeholders, and community members, as appropriate.
  • Proposed funding request is well leveraged by the partners and other contributors through cash-, in-kind, and other match. 
  • The federal government has determined that a de minimis 10% indirect rate is an acceptable minimum for organizations without a negotiated indirect cost rate agreement (NICRA), as such NFWF reserves the right to scrutinize ALL proposals with indirect rates above 10% for cost-effectiveness.  

Criteria #4 – Technical

  • Project is technically sound and feasible, and the proposal sets forth a clear, logical, and achievable work plan, milestones, and timeline. All proposed projects must begin on or after September 1, 2024, to facilitate necessary grant contracting and quality assurance activities. 
  • Project engages appropriate technical experts throughout project planning, design and implementation to ensure activities are technically sound and feasible. Proposal demonstrates an understanding of necessary permitting and environmental compliance requirements and the ability to obtain necessary approvals consistent with the proposed work plan and timeline. 
  • Applicant organization has demonstrated an ability to manage and implement similar projects on time and within budget.


Compliance Requirements – Projects selected may be subject to requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act (state and federal), and National Historic Preservation Act. Documentation of compliance with these regulations must be approved prior to initiating activities that disturb or alter habitat or other features of the project site(s).  Applicants must budget time and resources to obtain the needed approvals. As may be applicable, successful applicants may be required to comply with additional Federal, state, or local requirements and obtain all necessary permits and clearances.

Nutrient and Sediment Load Reductions – All projects proposing to implement water quality improvements for the purposes of nutrient and sediment load reduction must provide credible estimates of associated load reduction outcomes. To assist applicants, NFWF has partnered with the Chesapeake Commons to develop FieldDoc, a tool that allows for consistent planning, tracking, and reporting of water quality improvement activities and associated nutrient and sediment load reductions from proposed grant projects. 

FieldDoc currently includes functionality for a significant share of water quality improvement practices approved by the CBP for the purposes of TMDL crediting. NFWF expects all projects proposing to implement on-the-ground water quality improvements to utilize FieldDoc to calculate estimated load reductions included in their application. When setting up proposed projects in FieldDoc, please be sure to list your application’s 5-digit Easygrants number in the FieldDoc project title.

Upon grant award, NFWF will require all projects submitted under this solicitation to utilize FieldDoc for tracking and reporting of applicable water quality improvement activities during the course of their grant project. For technical support on FieldDoc utilization during the proposal development process, please contact the Commons at Further help documentation can be found on our website

Practice Specifications – Unless otherwise noted, all water quality improvement practices implemented must conform to established and recognized standards and practice specifications (e.g., NRCS practice standards, state stormwater manuals and retrofit guidance, approved CBP BMP Expert Panel reports). Applicants must note where proposed practices will deviate from established standards and provide reasonable justification for why an alternative is necessary. 

Monitoring – NFWF may implement independent monitoring efforts in the future to measure the environmental outcomes from projects funded under this solicitation. Award recipients may be asked to facilitate granting of access to project sites for NFWF or its designees for future environmental monitoring purposes. Applicant implementing community and/or habitat resilience are encouraged to review NFWF’s broader resilience monitoring approaches, standard metrics and protocols in building their own potential resilience monitoring activities. 

Applicant Demographic Information – In an effort to better understand diversity in our grantmaking, NFWF is collecting basic demographic information on applicants and their organizations via a voluntary survey form (available in Easygrants). This information will not be shared externally or with reviewers and will not be considered when making grant decisions. For more details, please see the tip sheet and the Uploads section of Easygrants.

Budget – Costs are allowable, reasonable and budgeted in accordance with NFWF’s Budget Instructions cost categories.  Federally-funded projects must be in compliance with OMB Uniform Guidance as applicable.

Environmental Services – NFWF funds projects in pursuit of its mission to sustain, restore and enhance the nation's fish, wildlife, plants and habitats for current and future generations. NFWF recognizes that some benefits from projects may be of value with regards to credits on an environmental services market (such as a carbon credit market). NFWF does not participate in, facilitate, or manage an environmental services market nor does NFWF assert any claim on such credits. 

Intellectual Property – Intellectual property created using NFWF awards may be copyrighted or otherwise legally protected by award recipients. NFWF may reserve the right to use, publish, and copy materials created under awards, including posting such material on NFWF’s website and featuring it in publications. NFWF may use project metrics and spatial data from awards to estimate societal benefits that result and to report these results to funding partners. These may include but are not limited to: habitat and species response, species connectivity, water quality, water quantity, risk of detrimental events (e.g., wildfire, floods), carbon accounting (e.g., sequestration, avoided emissions), environmental justice, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Matching Contributions – Matching Contributions consist of cash, contributed goods and services, volunteer hours, and/or property raised and spent for the Project during the Period of Performance. Larger match ratios and matching fund contributions from a diversity of partners are encouraged and will be more competitive during application review.

Procurement – If the applicant chooses to specifically identify proposed Contractor(s) for Services, an award by NFWF to the applicant does not constitute NFWF’s express written authorization for the applicant to procure such specific services noncompetitively.  When procuring goods and services, NFWF recipients must follow documented procurement procedures which reflect applicable laws and regulations.  

Publicity and Acknowledgement of Support – Award recipients will be required to grant NFWF the right and authority to publicize the project and NFWF’s financial support for the grant in press releases, publications and other public communications.  Recipients may also be asked by NFWF to provide high-resolution (minimum 300 dpi) photographs depicting the project.

Receiving Award Funds – Award payments are primarily reimbursable.  Projects may request funds for reimbursement at any time after completing a signed agreement with NFWF.  A request of an advance of funds must be due to an imminent need of expenditure and must detail how the funds will be used and provide justification and a timeline for expected disbursement of these funds.

Permits – Successful applicants will be required to provide sufficient documentation that the project expects to receive or has received all necessary permits and clearances to comply with any Federal, state or local requirements.  Where projects involve work in the waters of the United States, NFWF strongly encourages applicants to conduct a permit pre-application meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers prior to submitting their proposal.  In some cases, if a permit pre-application meeting has not been completed, NFWF may require successful applicants to complete such a meeting prior to grant award.

Federal Funding – The availability of federal funds estimated in this solicitation is contingent upon the federal appropriations process. Funding decisions will be made based on level of funding and timing of when it is received by NFWF.


Dates of activities are subject to change and contingent on the availability of funding.  Please check the Program page of the NFWF website for the most current dates and information (

Applicant Webinar (Registration)   Tuesday, February 20, 10:00am ET
FieldDoc Webinar (Registration) Thursday, February 15, 10:00am ET
Proposal Due Date  Wednesday, April 10, 11:59pm ET
Proposal Review Period April – August
Awards Announced  September (anticipated)



All application materials must be submitted online through National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Easygrants system.

  1. Go to to register in our Easygrants online system. New users to the system will be prompted to register before starting the application (if you already are a registered user, use your existing login). Enter your applicant information. Please disable the pop-up blocker on your internet browser prior to beginning the application process.
  2. Once on your homepage, click the “Apply for Funding” button and select this RFP’s “Funding Opportunity” from the list of options.
  3. Follow the instructions in Easygrants to complete your application. Once an application has been started, it may be saved and returned to at a later time for completion and submission.


A Tip Sheet is available for quick reference while you are working through your application. This document can be downloaded at

Additional information to support the application process can be accessed on the NFWF website’s Applicant Information page. 
For more information or questions about this RFP, please contact Jake Reilly ( or Tori Sullens ( via e-mail.

For issues or assistance with our online Easygrants system, please contact:

  • Easygrants Helpdesk
  • Email:
  • Voicemail:  202-595-2497
  • Hours:  9:00 am to 5:00 pm ET, Monday-Friday. 
  • Include:  your name, proposal ID #, e-mail address, phone number, program you are applying to, and a description of the issue.


A Tip Sheet is available for quick reference while you are working through your application. This document can be downloaded at Additional information to support the application process can be accessed on the NFWF website’s “Applicant Information” page ( Please disable the pop-up blocker on your internet browser prior to beginning the application process.

NFWF also offers on-demand, field-based project and partnership development support through field liaisons, providing broad geographic coverage across the Bay region for agricultural conservation, urban stormwater management, wetland and watershed science, and habitat experience and expertise relevant to Bay restoration goals. Applicants may also contact these field liaisons using the information below to discuss potential projects:

Liaison Contact Email Phone Sector Expertise
Kristen Saacke Blunk (814) 360-9766 •    All Sectors
Sarah Clark (240) 472-1772  •    Partnerships and Collaborative Leadership
Kristen Hughes Evans (804) 554-3403 •    Agricultural Conservation
Liz Feinberg (610) 212-2345 •    All Sectors
David Hirschman (434) 409-0993 •    Stormwater/Urban Sector
Katie Ombalski (814) 574-7281 •    Agricultural Conservation
•    Habitat Restoration