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 be considering 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 to be 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 “Seattle WA 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 if there is anyone else you should be talking to, and who their recommended contact is. 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 habitat restoration.
The Nature Conservancy works to conserve lands and waters on which all life depends.
The Maui Invasive Species Committee is working to prevent, control, or eliminate the most threatening invasive plant and animal species to protect Maui’s watersheds, ecological resources, agriculture, and community.
The Hawaii Invasive Species Council provides policy level direction, coordination, and planning for the prevention, control and eradication of harmful invasive species infestations throughout the State.
Eyes of the Reef Hawai’i aims to inform, engage and train community members, ocean user groups, managers, NGOs and others in identification of coral bleaching, disease or COTS outbreaks and aquatic invasive species.
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.