Your project may be more successful if you have partners. Partnering with other organizations, businesses, or government agencies may help you obtain funding, share expertise, create a better
project plan, spread the workload, and ultimately have a more successful project.
Partners with experience may be able to advise you on which regional action plans you should consider aligning your project with. Often, there are management plans that have been developed for an area and projects are expected to align with those plans to be considered fundable. These plans may be local, regional, state, or interstate.
These may be sponsored by your drainage or stormwater utility, public works department, natural resource agency, mayor’s office, or another local agency. Federal agencies typically only have the resources to assist in large projects, but may provide awards to your state or county.
To find your local, state, or tribal governments, type the following into a search engine: your state/county and then the type of agency you are wanting to connect with (e.g., local government, tribal representative, state government). For example, search for “Alabama beach restoration permitting” or “New Jersey environmental protection.” Also, try using terms that relate to your concern or solution. For example, “Florida coastal flooding help.” Try different terms, or combinations of, terms, such as “grants, restoration, invasive species, marsh, natural resources, volunteers, funding, etc.” It may take a few tries to find the site and information you are looking for.
To find a specific local county office, type the following into a search engine: your local county or city and then the department you are wanting to connect with (e.g., environmental, planning, natural resources). For example, search for “Escambia County coastal management” or “Destin FL natural resources.”
Are there programs to restore your local estuary or coastline? Are there initiatives to help threatened or
endangered fish and wildlife? These programs sometimes have grant dollars.
Many states have the following departments, divisions, or commissions, which you can use as internet search terms:
Many of these organizations are listed as members of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Your state’s land-grant university may host a SeaGrant program or a Cooperative Extension Service related to agriculture, conservation. Extension agents can direct you towards helpful resources for your project type.
Some may focus on local issues. Others may be local chapters of state or national organizations. Always ask who else you should be talking to, who might they recommend you contact. Network!
Search for “invasive species councils,” “estuary partnerships,” “national estuary programs,” “coastal invasive plants,” and similar terms to find local or regional groups. Below are some suggestions.
Restore America’s Estuaries is an alliance of 10 community-based conservation organizations focused on coastal restoration.
Gulf of Mexico Alliance. Established in 2004, the Gulf of Mexico Alliance addresses the regions priority issues and manages a large-scale oil spill research program. Their website provides information on the gulf, the distribution of funds following the Deepwater Horizon disaster, and resources on projects and other partners.
National Association of Invasive Plant Councils lists exotic pest plant councils by state.
Wikipedia lists environmental and conservation organizations in the United States.
Neighborhood organizations may be a resource for community outreach and volunteers.
Schools may be a source of volunteers.
Look for local businesses and business organizations that may have a stake in a cleaner environment.
Tribes and Indian Nations should be consulted about their interests in the area of the project.
Tribes and Indian Nations may have treaty rights that need to be observed and cultural resource concerns that apply to your project, especially if ground disturbance is involved in your project.
Tribes and Indian Nations often have resources that can help with your project. They often manage monitoring and research projects, and that information may be very helpful in the development of your project.
Contact the Tribe’s or Nation’s natural resource department early in the project. Click here for help finding recognized tribes and their leaders or here for help finding non-federally recognized tribes.