DEQ Call for Grants: Water Quality Improvement

By Beacon Staff

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality’s Watershed Protection Section now has two programs available to aid local groups working on water quality improvement projects.

The first program is to assist local volunteer monitoring groups with analytical laboratory services. These groups include, but are not limited to, watershed groups, 319 grantees, conservation districts, water quality districts, 501(c)(3)s, and schools. The DEQ will offer support on surface water sampling, water quality trends and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) follow-up.

Applications for this program will be accepted all year and will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. The DEQ has approximately $15,000 available, and each group will have a maximum amount of $2,000 for laboratory analyses for up to a one-year period. Applications will be accepted until July 1, 2009.

The second program offers “mini” grants of $1,500 to fund local education and outreach efforts that address water quality issues. DEQ has approximately $12,000 available for this program. Examples of projects include workshops, conferences, equipment and training. Projects must address larger watershed efforts in the applicant’s region.

Applicants for this program may be local watershed groups, conservation districts, a county extension service, counties, schools, etc., but must have the ability to manage federal funding. Applicants must provide a minimum 40 percent local non-federal, in-kind or cash match. Each application will be reviewed and approved by a panel from the Montana Watershed Coordination Council’s Education and Outreach Committee that includes individuals from a range of organizations.

Both programs are funded by the federal Clean Water Act. For more information, contact: Kristy Zhinin, Nonpoint Source Outreach and Education Coordinator, Watershed Protection Section, at (406) 444-7425 or by e-mail at [email protected], or visit the DEQ Web site.

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