Save Local Waters

Climate Funding Opportunities

NOTE: These opportunities represent a snapshot of what is currently available (as of April 23, 2012).  Future grant opportunities are contingent upon funding appropriations.

National Scale Opportunities

NSF’s Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (NSF-wide investment area)

NSF’s Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (SEES) program addresses the challenge of building a sustainable future through promoting research and education. SEES is expected to extend into FY15 with continuing research efforts to include global community sustainability; sustainable energy; modeling; vulnerability, resilience, and sensitivity to regional change; and public engagement. Since SEES is a NSF-wide investment area rather than an individual program, applicants are encouraged to check for updates to the collection of new and existing activities. Budget permitting, the Climate Change Education Partnership Program (CCEP), as well as the Ocean Acidification (OA) and the Water Sustainability and Climate (WSC) programs are expected to hold competitions in FY12.

Eligibility: Unrestricted


NSF’s Paleo Perspectives on Climate Change program

Funding Opportunity Number: 10-574

The National Science Foundation’s Paleo Perspectives on Climate Change program utilizes key geological, chemical, and biological records of climate system variability to provide insight rates of change that characterized the Earth’s historical climate variability, the responses of key Earth system components, and the sensitivity of the Earth’s climate system to forcing changes. The scientific objectives of this program are to 1) provide comprehensive paleoclimate data sets that can serve as model test data sets analogous to instrumental observations; and 2) enable transformative syntheses of paleoclimate data and modeling outcomes to understand the response of the long-term variability of the Earth’s climate system. The NSF is expecting to award 35 grants, ranging between $20K and $1 Million.

Eligibility: No Restrictions

Application deadline is 5pm (proposer’s local time) on October 18, 2012;jsessionid=p6nzP5tVyVmyQnLJ7GyQG836FQmVR5c1JkRwvQcHTZ4YM3bgJLL3!712472910?oppId=55215&mode=VIEW

National Science Foundation, U.S. Dept. of Energy, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

Decadal and Regional Climate Prediction using Earth System Models

Funding Opportunity Number: 12-522

This funding opportunity supports interagency cooperation in dealing with climate change, how it is likely to affect our world, and how we can plan for its consequences. This opportunity calls for the development and application of “next-generation” Earth System Models that include coupled and interactive representations of such things as ocean and atmospheric currents, human activities, agricultural working land and forests, urban environments, biogeochemistry, atmospheric chemistry, the water cycle, and land ice. This opportunity seeks scientists from varying disciplines (e.g. geosciences, social sciences, physics, chemistry, statistics, mathematics, and biological sciences). The long-term goal of this opportunity is to extend current Earth System Modeling capabilities to improve regional predictions regarding climate change through advanced understanding of the many different aspects of the climate system. National Science Foundation anticipates awarding 7 to 12 projects. Awards are expected to be in the range of $300K to $1M per year. Budgets are to be no more than $3M, $4M, and $5M for 3-year, 4-year, and 5-year projects.

Eligibility: Universities and colleges, non-profit organizations, for-profit organizations, other federal agencies, and federally funded research and development centers.

 Full proposal deadline is 5:00pm applicant’s local time on May 11, 2012

 Department of Commerce: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

FY 2012-2013 Broad Agency Announcement (BAA)

Funding Opportunity Number: NOAA-NFA-NFAPO-2012-2003133

The purpose of this notice is to request applications for projects associated with NOAA’s strategic plan and mission goals. The funded research, projects, or sponsorships must address one or more of the four mission goals in NOAA’s strategic plan (Climate adaptation and mitigation and responding to climate and its impacts; Weather-Ready nation – society is prepared for and responds to weather-related events; marine fisheries, habitats, and biodiversity sustained within healthy and productive ecosystems; and resilient coastal communities and economies – environmentally and economically sustainable). Funding appropriation is dependent on FY 2012, 2013, and 2014 appropriations.

 Eligibility: Institutions of higher learning, non-profit organizations, commercial organizations, international or foreign organizations or governments, individuals, state, local and tribal governments. (Universities with a NOAA joint or Cooperative Institute (CI) should submit an application through the CI).

 Application deadline is 11:59pm Eastern Daylight Time on September 30, 2013;jsessionid=72TbT8WHVvB1QnwMvs112lnBYmB3F9vMjQrkRJHygmnbBW0vw4sV!-408580364

 U.S. Department of Interior – Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)

Funding Opportunity Number: F12AS00044

CFDA: 15.614

The U.S. FWS’s National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program offers funding to protect and restore coastal wetlands around the country. Projects can include: 1) acquisition of real property interest in coastal lands or waters, or 2) restoration, enhancement, or management of coastal wetland ecosystems. The program information link below lists examples of acceptable projects. The FWS expects that approximately $17.5 Million will be available for this program in FY13. The maximum federal cost share for this program is 75% with awards typically ranging between $200K and $1M.

 Eligibility: Any state agency or entity designated as eligible by the Governor of a coastal state. If uncertain of agency eligibility, applicants can contact the Regional Fish and Wildlife Service WSFR office (listed in Section IV of the announcement below).

 Application deadline is (by mail) 4pm local time on June 29, 2012 and (e-mail and 11:59 EDT on June 29, 2012

 Program information:

 Funding announcement:

 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Climate Change and Health: Assessing and Modeling Population Vulnerability for Climate Change

Funding Opportunity Number: PAR-10-235

This funding opportunity focuses on research applications to examine the risk factors of populations that are associated with increased vulnerability to exposures, diseases, or other adverse health effects related to climate change. These research applications may either involve applied research on specific hypotheses or research projects that develop general models or methods to address vulnerability. The ultimate goal of this funding opportunity is to inform climate change adaptation and public health decision-making. Applications are anticipated to involve multi-disciplinary research teams. In addition, partnerships with public health officials, urban planners, and advocacy organizations are encouraged. The proposed project may not exceed two years in length. Since the size and duration of research projects are expected to vary, the total amount awarded will depend on the number, quality, duration, and costs of the applications received; however, no more than $200K in direct costs allowed in a single year.

 Eligibility: Institutions of higher learning; non-profits organizations (with and without 503(c)(3) designation); small businesses; tribally controlled colleges and universities; historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs); state, county, city, and tribal governments; public housing authorities; regional organizations; school districts; and non-domestic (non-US) entities (foreign organizations).

 Application deadline is 5:00pm applicant’s local time on May 24, 2012

 U.S. Department of Agriculture

Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG Program) FY12

This program is designed to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation technologies and approaches, while leveraging federal investment in environmental enhancement in conjunction with agricultural production. The CIG program does not fund research projects, rather it is used to apply or demonstrate previously proven conservation approaches that have a high likelihood of success. The CIG program funds projects that target innovative, on-the-ground conservation, such as pilot projects and field demonstrations. A proposed project must encompass the development, testing, evaluation, and monitoring of: 1) conservation adoption approaches or incentive systems; 2) promising conservation technologies, practices, systems, procedures, or approaches; or 3) environmental soundness with goals of environmental protection and natural resources enhancement. The NRCS anticipates supporting this program in FY12 with $20 Million with individual grants not to exceed $1 Million (with a mandated 50% funding match). Grants are typically awarded to projects between 1 and 3 years in duration.

Eligibility: State, local, or Tribal governments; non-governmental organizations; or individuals

Application deadline for pre-proposals is 4:00pm EST on January 31, 2012

 (While this application deadline has already passed, it is an example of a program that has offered climaterelated funding opportunities in the past. Interested applicants should check back with this website for future opportunities).

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Climate Adaptation Fund

In FY2012, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) provided 1-2 year grants ranging from $50K to $250K. The grants required a 1:1 match with a maximum of 50% of match funding from in-kind sources. WCS funded on-the-ground projects that focused on implementing conservation actions for climate adaptation at a landscape scale. WCS has not yet determined funding for FY2013; however, WCS has provided funding in the past and interested applicants should check with the website for future updates. The link below offers information regarding the FY2012 funding opportunity, along with a link to the FY2012 RFP.

 Eligibility: U.S.-based (all 50 states and 6 territories) non-profit organizations with approved IRS 501(c)(3) status. Public agencies, tribal governments, and universities may partner with eligible non-profits to submit proposals

 Honor the Earth

Building Resilience in Indigenous Communities Initiative

Honor the Earth is a Native-led organization that works toward breaking the geographic and political isolation of tribal communities, as well as increasing financial resources for organization and change in the environmental sector. In conjunction with the Tides Foundation, Honor the Earth will award between $1K and $5K to Tribal non-profit (with 501(c)(3) status) organizations. The proposed project must address two goals: 1) supporting and forwarding development of culturally-based, indigenous solutions to climate change based on re-localizing food and energy economies, and 2) fostering restoration of traditional knowledge as a key adaptation and mitigation strategy to ensure a safe and healthy future for the next seven generations. Projects will be funded in two project areas: 1) Implementing renewable energy and energy efficiency/weatherization improvements, and 2) creating food security utilizing indigenous varieties and organic production.

Eligibility: Tribal non-profit organizations

Application deadline is October 17, 2012 (decisions made by late December).

Additional information regarding application process:

 The Rockefeller Foundation

One of the foundation’s current initiatives is developing climate change resilience in the areas of Asian urban environments, African agriculture, and US policy. As the foundation is a “proactive grantmaker,” it does not accept proposals without staff invitation. The grant seeker must first submit a “funding inquiry form.”

Eligibility: The foundation partners with governments, foundations, donors, NGOs, and private sector groups

 Funding inquiry form:

General information:

 The Kresge Foundation

 This foundation’s Environment program invests in projects within the U.S., as well as selects initiatives in Canada. Projects must revolve around the following strategies: (1) building the field of climate change adaptation, (2) fostering development of place-based adaptation strategies, and (3) informing and promoting climate-wise policies and practices. The foundation primarily accepts grants by invitation; however, preliminary applications can be submitted that includes background information about the proposal. If program staff determine that the project has potential for funding, the grant seeker will be asked to provide additional information.

Eligibility: U.S. based 501(c)(3) organizations (and Canadian equivalents), government entities

Surdna Foundation

This foundation invests in projects that support their program areas of Sustainable Environments, Strong Local Economies, Thriving Cultures, Community Revitalization, and Effective Citizenry. An example of a previous grant award is $200K to the American Planning Association in FY2008 to aid U.S. planners with initiatives to integrate energy sustainability and climate change into contemporary planning practices. Another example is $200K to the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana in FY2010 to increase/strengthen local and national collaboration for the benefit of Louisiana coastal protection. Organizations are eligible for a max of three consecutive years of funding.

Eligibility: U.S. based non-profit organizations

There are no application deadlines. Grants are assessed three times a year (February, May, and September), and must be submitted three to four months prior to staff review.

FAQ webpage:

 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

This foundation offers grant assistance in 6 major program areas. Two such areas are the “Public Understanding of Science,” and the “Basic Research” areas. Through these programs, the foundation offers grants for high-quality, original STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) research that benefits the scientific community, as well as increases the public understanding of relevant and complex scientific issues. The Public Understanding of Science program promotes using books, television, radio, film, theatre, and other media in order to engage the public in science and technology. A grant applicant must first submit a letter of inquiry that outlines the idea of the grant, since the foundation does not accept unsolicited grant proposals. If accepted, the applicant will receive notice to submit a full proposal for evaluation.

Eligibility: The foundation does not make grants to individuals, for-profit institutions, endowments, fundraising drives, political campaigns, or lobbying efforts for/against legislation. Institutions of higher learning and government entities have received project funding in the past. There are no application deadlines. The foundation makes grants year-round.

 Grant process information:

 The Rockefeller Family Foundation

 This foundation focuses on public education of the risks of global warming, conservation of natural resources, protection of health as affected by the environment, meaning implementation of environmental laws, and public participation in national environmental policy debates. Grant applicants must submit a letter of inquiry online. If accepted, the applicant will be invited to submit a full proposal for evaluation. Grants are usually in the range of $25,000 – $30,000 and are normally made to the same organization for no more than two consecutive years.

Eligibility: United States non-profit organizations engaged in activities of national significance

Program information:

Regional Scale Opportunities

Department of the Interior – Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs)

 LCCs are a network of partnerships working for the sustainability of America’s land, water, wildlife, and cultural resources. Partnerships include federal, state, and local governments, tribes, universities, NGOs, landowners, as well as other stakeholders. These cooperatives (21 in total, representing different geographic areas of the country) build upon existing science and conservation efforts that preserve water and land resources, as well as cultural partnerships. Periodically, LCCs offer grants that support their core functions.

U.S. EPA – Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

Funding opportunity number: EPA-R5-GL2012-1

EPA recently released the 2012 Request for Applications for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) funding. The projects must provide numerous benefits, including: 1) Increase in on-the-ground restoration/protection actions; 2) reduction in phosphorous loading from agriculture and urban lands that contributes to harmful algal blooms; 3) reduction in the amount of toxic substances entering the Great Lakes; 4) safer Great Lakes beaches; and 5) Additional invasive species control. Note that focus area #5 (Accountability, Education, Monitoring, Evaluation, Communication, and Partnerships) now includes a climate component (“Increasing climate change resiliency in Great Lakes communities”). Application deadline is 11:59pm Eastern Daylight Time on May 24, 2012. Webinars explaining the Request for Proposals will be held on May 3rd and May 14th. Webinar registration, as well as the RFA is available at the link below.

 Sustain our Great Lakes

Community Grants / Stewardship Grants Programs

Sustain our Great Lakes is a public/private partnership between ArcelorMittal, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and several US federal entities (such as the FWS, NOAA, EPA, NRCS, and Forest Service). This organization offers grant programs to promote both in-the-water and on-the-ground restoration and enhancement projects. Two such programs offered by Sustain our Great Lakes are the Community Grants Program, which supports “on-the-ground” habitat restoration and enhancement projects that work to improve local habitat conditions and build local conservation capacity and the Stewardship Grants Program, which supports large scale “on-the-ground” habitat restoration and enhancement projects that will have an enduring positive impact on the ecological condition of the Great Lakes basin. More information regarding these two programs is available at the link below. In the past, awards for the Community Grants Program ranged from $25K to $100K. Awards for the Stewardship Grants Program ranged from $150K to $1.5M.

Eligibility: Nonprofit 501(c) organizations; local, state, Tribal, and provincial governments; and education institutions. Federal agencies, individuals, and for-profit organizations are NOT eligible. The application deadline for 2012 grant awards has past, but interested applicants should check back for future funding opportunities.

 GLISA – Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments

 2012 Great Lakes Climate Assessment Grants

GLISA (a NOAA funded partnership between University of Michigan and Michigan State University) will award 2 to 4 grants of up to $50K to organizations that will work with GLISA to address the risks of climate change and variability in the Great Lakes Basin. Projects should address a specific problem, decision, policy, or management issue facing a specific sector or geographic area in the Great Lakes. Projects that address adaptation AND mitigation will be considered (projects that address only mitigation will not). Applicants are expected to 1) Produce a 5-10 page white paper, which summarized the results of the project process; 2) present about the project at the upcoming GLISA annual meeting; and 3) cooperate with GLISA researchers who are conducting ongoing evaluation studies of climate adaptation in the region.

Eligibility: community, non-governmental, academic, non-federal government, trade associations, and other not-for-profit organizations with an active presence in the Great Lakes Basin (US and Canada). Letters of Interest should be submitted to by 6:00pm EDT on May 4, 2012.

Lake Erie Protection Fund

The Lake Erie Protection Fund provides small grants, up to $15K, for projects which will provide a direct benefit to Lake Erie or its tributary watersheds in Ohio. This grant program requires at least a 25% match in funds. Projects must assist with the implementation of the Lake Erie Protection and Restoration Plan (2008), leading to better management decisions for environmental and economic development.

Eligibility: Nonprofit organizations (501(c)3); federal, states, and local governments; colleges and universities; local community groups

Applications are due by May 3, 2012 for consideration at the June commission meeting.

 Healing Our Waters

The grant program through Healing Our Waters (HOW) offers financial support to aid in the development and implementation of Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) and other federal proposals working to directly impact the HOW priority areas. These priority areas include the St. Louis Bay and St. Louis River, Chicagoland, Saginaw Bay, Western Lake Erie, and Eastern Lake Ontario. Project awards are up to $15K.

Eligibility: Any grassroots initiative (an organization with limited funds, which relies on volunteers for the majority of their work) working to protect Great Lakes waters. Applicants without a 501(c)(3) status must have a sponsoring organization with 501(c)(3) status or a sponsoring, registered charity. Governmental entities are NOT eligible.

Application deadline is midnight on May 13, 2012

 Freshwater Future’s Climate Grants

Freshwater Future’s Climate Funding Program encourages local community decision-making to take climate change related impacts into account. The projects awards range between $500 and $5,000 and should 1) Identify how project funds will make the community better prepared to handle climate change related impacts; and 2) communicate this information to the community, or work to embed this information into local decision-making (e.g. permits, regulations local land use decisions, etc.) processes. A webinar and Climate Symposium are available to train past, present, and potential grant recipients on the subject of climate change, and to effectively incorporate it into decision-making processes. Attendance at this symposium is REQUIRED for applicants. Email Julie O’Leary ( to be placed on a priority notification list for future symposium and training opportunities.

 Eligibility: Any grassroots initiative (an organization with limited funds, which relies on volunteers for the majority of their work) working to protect Great Lakes waters. Applicants without a 501(c)(3) status must have a sponsoring organization with 501(c)(3) status or a sponsoring, registered charity. Governmental entities are NOT eligible.

Climate Grant application is due on June 1, 2012.  Before submitting a proposal, it is mandatory to contact Freshwater Future staff to talk through the proposal.

 The Great Lakes Fishery Trust

The Great Lakes Fishery Trust offers grants in broad investment areas relating to Great Lakes fishery health and access. These investment areas include 1) Access to the Great Lakes Fishery; 2) Ecosystem Health and Sustainable Fish Populations; 3) Great Lakes Stewardship; and 4) Special Projects.

Eligibility: Organizations with a 501(c)(3) status, as well as educational and governmental (including tribal) organizations.

Important Dates: Fishery Access proposals are due on August 23, 2012 (RFP will be posted on or before June 8th); Great Lakes Stewardship proposals are due by January 4, 2013 (RFP will be available in November2012); Ecosystem Health and Sustainable Fish Populations ecology and biology research proposals are due January 22, 2013 (RFP will be available in November 2012); and Ecosystem Health and Sustainable Fish Populations Habitat protection and restoration proposals are due March 6, 2013 (application will be available in January 2013)

 Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation

This foundation offers grant opportunities to advance work in land conservation and artistic vitality in the 13-county Chicago Region and the 9-county Lowcountry of South Carolina. Eligible counties are shown on the maps here( – Chicago region; – South Carolina lowcountry). Their land conservation efforts focus on 1) preserving, restoring, and protecting strategic lands that contribute to regional ecosystem health; 2) building and supporting constituencies that value land stewardship by sustaining appropriate land uses (e.g. limiting sprawl, fostering regional land use planning); and 3) engaging young people with the natural world. If applicants believe that their project fits the foundation’s interests, they must submit an application (rather than a formal proposal or letter of inquiry). If unsure, contact either John Sands (South Carolina or Paul Botts (Chicago region – to discuss next steps.

Eligibility: The foundation does not typically make grants to public entities (therefore, unsolicited proposals are not accepted). Public entities should contact the foundation to discuss a project. Also, non-profit “operating foundation” groups (Type III organization under 509(a)3) are not eligible.

Application deadline is 12am Eastern Time on August 3, 2012 (for review in November 2012).


Grant information:

 The Joyce Foundation

This foundation supports funding opportunities in Great Lakes protection and restoration. The foundation supports opportunities in the following areas: on-the-ground restoration work that can be monitored, documented, and replicated; efforts to drive policy change by connecting policy advocates with decision makers and nontraditional stakeholders; Efforts to advocate for collectively developed policies at the federal, state, and local levels. Submitted proposals must address one of four areas. 1) Reduce polluted, non-point source runoff from both agriculture and built areas. 2) Protect and restore critical habitats such as wetlands through improved hydrology and other means. 3) Improve coastal health through increased use of green infrastructure and financing conventional infrastructure. 4) Implement the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact. The foundation will also consider proposals relating to implementation of local, state, and regional climate and energy plans.

 Eligibility: Non-profit organizations

Application process:

Program information:

 The Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation

This foundation supports funding opportunities in the Detroit, MI area (Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties) that work to improve water quality in the watersheds affecting Metro Detroit and Bayfield Ontario. The foundation supports efforts to restore ecological integrity in these watersheds, by emphasizing local implementation of regional Great Lakes strategies for reducing non-point source pollution and promoting water conservation and efficiency. The foundation considers multi-year projects where appropriate, but will not provide support for loans, grants to support religious activities, capital projects, research (unless solicited by the Foundation), fundraising events, or conferences.

Eligibility: a non-discriminatory 501(c)(3) organization with revenues exceeding $100K in the previous year. The foundation does NOT provide support to individuals or units of government

Bullitt Foundation

The mission of the Bullitt Foundation is to protect the natural environment through promotion of responsible human activities and sustainable development in the Pacific Northeast. The foundations program areas include Ecosystem Services; Energy, Industry, and Technology; Urban Ecology; and Leadership and Civic Engagement. The foundation currently focuses grant making on the following strategies: 1) Fostering environmental coalitions and furthering collaboration 2) Encouraging strong partnerships between grantees and local groups in the private, public, and tribal sectors to achieve broad consensus on issues of public interest 3) Supporting state and regional offices of national environmental organizations whose resources can lend valuable expertise to make sure that local efforts are coordinated with regional and national efforts 4) Supporting credible research, monitoring, and analysis to ensure advocacy campaigns are grounded in the best available science 5) Developing and promoting appropriate messages for public education. Previously funding projects include creation of a climate action plan for Montana (2006-2008). Grant applicants must submit a letter of inquiry online. If accepted, the applicant will be invited to submit a full proposal for evaluation.

Eligibility: Non-profit organizations in the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, British Colombia, western Montana, and Coastal Alaska from the Cook Inlet to the Canadian border)

Grant making process:

Prepared for NOAA by: Brent Schleck

Last updated April 23, 2012


Leave A Comment

Copyright 2013