Potomac Highlands (MD, PA, VA, WV) Restoration

American Rivers – EPA Potomac Highlands Implementation Grant Program

Request for Proposals Coming Spring 2011

The Potomac Highlands region hosts some of most diverse and globally important resources on Earth, supporting more than 116 different fish species. The Potomac River provides drinking water to 86 percent of the region’s five million residents and supports recreation opportunities for citizens across the Mid-Atlantic.  But rivers and streams in the Highlands suffer from a long history of logging, mining, and dam construction.

In 2002, Congress directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish and implement the Mid-Atlantic Highlands Action Program by working with other federal agencies, states, local governments, and non-governmental organizations. In 2006, the states of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia joined the program. Using the best available science, the goal is to improve the natural resources and socio-economic conditions in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands. More recently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has provided support for the state programs. 

In 2011, and after a competitive process, the EPA selected American Rivers to implement a new grant program in the Potomac Highlands region. The American Rivers – EPA Potomac Highlands Implementation Grant Program will provide financial support for a wide variety of projects that protect and restore the Potomac Highlands ecosystem, while benefiting its human communities. Eligible projects will include:

  • Conservation of unfragmented forestlands
  • Wetlands protection and restoration
  • Conservation easements
  • Protection of non-impaired streams
  • Protection of headwater streams
  • Aquatic habitat improvements (physical and chemical)
  • Watershed protection and restoration
  • Stream and floodplain barrier removal
  • Riparian corridor/buffer improvements
  • Best management practice projects
  • Floodplain restoration and protection
  • Non-traditional reclamation of abandoned mine land
  • Traditional reclamation of abandoned mine land

Projects that will be considered ineligible for funding include: construction and/or operation and maintenance of fish passage facilities; installation of artificial habitat creation/management structures; constructed whitewater parks or “nature-like” rapids; and construction of new dams or other stream/floodplain barriers including berms and levees.

The partnership plans to conduct a single grant round, with proposals likely to be due in August 2011. Grants are anticipated to range between $150,000 – $300,000, and will be restricted to the implementation (e.g., purchase, construction) phase of projects only. Proposals for the planning and design phase of projects will not be eligible for funding. A 1:1 federal-to-non-federal match will be strongly preferred.  

Eligible project locations must be within the Potomac watershed in the following states and counties:

  • Maryland (Allegany, Frederick, Garrett, Washington);
  • Pennsylvania (Adams, Bedford, Franklin, Fulton, Somerset);
  • Virginia (Augusta, Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Loudoun, Page, Rockingham, Shenandoah, Warren) and
  • West Virginia (Berkeley, Jefferson, Morgan).
  • In addition, projects located in the entirety of the following West Virginia counties are eligible: Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Mineral, Randolph, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Tucker.

Full and final details on all eligibility criteria will be provided in the forthcoming Request for Proposals.


Email Notification 

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