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Grants available for water quality, improvement projects in Florida

 One focus of the more than $300 million in grants is to help pay for septic-to-sewer conversions so people's homes send effluent to be treated at facilities like this
Julio Ochoa/WUSF
One focus of the more than $300 million in grants is to help pay for septic-to-sewer conversions so people's homes send effluent to be treated at facilities like this

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is now accepting requests for water-quality grants from local governments, academic institutions and nonprofits.

More than $390 million is available to plan and implement projects that protect Florida’s water resources.

The DEP is seeking project proposals to bolster existing efforts to protect and restore Florida’s water resources, new ideas and new programs that came out of Tallahassee during the most recent legislative session.

READ MORE: Florida environmentalists want this water management board member reappointed

The DEP said various grant programs have different closing dates, so those interested should learn of the closing date for each grant program on ProtectingFloridaTogether.gov.

The agency said the grant opportunities include:

  • Water Quality Improvement Grants: to address stormwater and agricultural sources of nutrients in waterbodies that are polluting them or are located within a basin management action plan area, a reasonable assurance plan area, an accepted alternative restoration plan area, or a “rural area of opportunity.”
  • Alternative Water Supply Grants: to help communities plan for and implement water conservation, reuse, and other water supply and water resource development projects. Priority is given to regional projects in the areas of greatest need and for projects that provide the greatest benefit. 
  • Florida's Coral Reef Restoration and Recovery Initiative Grants: to assist academic and private partnerships implement Florida's Coral Reef Restoration and Recovery Initiative. These can include initiatives to establish, expand and maintain in-state propagation facilities, restoration plans for damaged areas including training for workers, and reinforce and expand restoration efforts across Florida's Coral Reef. 
  • Source Management Grants: to support “shovel-ready” stormwater treatment projects that reduce or eliminate the sources of nutrient pollution in impaired waterways, for pollution-prevention programs, and to help with the cost of paying for septic systems on private property to be connected to a municipality’s sewer system.  
  • Harmful Algal Bloom Grants: for support of projects that evaluate and implement new technologies and short-term solutions to combat harmful algal blooms and nutrient enrichment, restore and preserve Florida’s fresh waterbodies, and implement certain water quality treatment technologies. 

The DEP is also accepting grant applications for projects to prepare coastal and inland communities for the adverse impacts of flooding and storm surge.

Environmental reporting for WGCU is funded in part by VoLo Foundation, a non-profit with a mission to accelerate change and global impact by supporting science-based climate solutions, enhancing education, and improving health. 
Copyright 2023 WGCU

Tom Bayles
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