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Gulf of Mexico Funding

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Gulf of Mexico Project Funding Sources

Funding may be available for your project. Many local, state, and federal agencies offer funding to community organizations, neighborhood groups, homeowners, and others. Navigating the funding process is not easy. Here are some resources to get you started. When speaking with representatives from one funding source or non-profit organization, make sure to ask for other recommendations and potential funding sources. Network!

Federal Government Grants

NOAA’s Community-Based Restoration Program supports restoration projects that use a habitat-based approach to rebuild productive and sustainable fisheries, contribute to the recovery and conservation of protected resources, promote healthy ecosystems, and yield community and economic benefits. Since 1996 the program has funded more than 1,500 projects to restore coastal habitat.

NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management has multiple funding opportunities for coastal restoration and resilience.

US EPA’s Environmental Education Grants Program provides funding to support environmental education projects that promote environmental awareness and stewardship and help provide people with the skills to take responsible actions to protect the environment.

US EPA Environmental Justice Small Grants Program—The Environmental Justice Small Grants Program supports and empowers communities working on solutions to local environmental and public health issues. The program is designed to help communities understand and address exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks. Environmental Justice Small Grants fund projects up to $30,000, depending on the availability of funds in a given year.

US Fish and Wildlife Service offers resources for invasive species and administers many grant programs.

Grants.gov is a searchable database of federal grant opportunities. It also provides information on how to apply for grants and the grant-making process.

Call your Congressional Representatives and Senators to ask about federal funding.

State and Regional Government Grants & Funding

Restore the Gulf is the official website of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council. The RESTORE Act established a trust fund that receives money from civil penalties related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Money from the trust fund is available for programs and projects that restore and protect the environment and economy of the Gulf Coast. Our Restoration Partners page has information on potential funding sources.

Many states offer funding to manage invasive species. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a list of health and environmental agencies in every state. You may find grant opportunities by searching the websites of your state agencies.

Local Government Grants & Funding

Ask your governor’s office about state agency grant funding. Some local governments have funding programs for community-based environmental projects.

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 nuisance aquatic species funding” or “Louisiana invasive species grant program.”  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.”

Check with the Sea Grant programs in your coastal area. They are often associated with a university and often offer small grants for research or monitoring projects.

Extension Offices work closely with university-based Extension specialists to deliver answers to your questions about gardening, agriculture, and pest control.

Conservation Districts  work directly with landowners to conserve and promote healthy soils, water, forests, and wildlife.

Foundations and Other Private Sources

The National Academies of Sciences Engineering Medicine Gulf Research Program funds projects that benefit the Gulf of Mexico. The Grants page has more information on funding.

Laura Jane Musser Fund’s Environmental Initiative Program promotes public use of open space that improves a community’s quality of life and public health, while ensuring the protection of healthy, viable and sustainable ecosystems by protecting or restoring habitat for a diversity of plant and animal species.

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) awards competitive grants to protect and conserve our nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats.

Foundation Directory Online, from the Foundation Center, lists 140,000 foundations and other donors worldwide. Some basic information is free; more requires a subscription. Get access at your local library.

NOZAsearch has a large searchable database of charitable donations. Searches for foundation are free. Individual and corporate philanthropy searches require a subscription. Get access at your local library.

Contact local banks, businesses, and community foundations. Many have money budgeted for community service.

Consider crowdfunding through social media, individual donations from members of your organization, or a special event.

How to write a successful funding proposal

Grantspace, a service of Foundation Center, offers in-person and online classes on finding and writing grants, a knowledge base, examples of winning proposals and other documents, and more.

The Grantsmanship Center offers training and resources to help find grants and write effective grant proposals.

Classes. Many community colleges and universities offer classes on grant writing. Check the catalogs and academic schedules for your local schools.

Books. There are many books on grant writing. Check out your local library to see what might be available.

Gulf of Mexico Project Resources: