Capital Project Grants
Capital Project Grants are designed to support final engineering and construction of large-scale, innovative projects that protect or improve water quality and habitat within the MWMO watershed. The MWMO provides both technical and financial assistance to eligible projects. (Smaller-scale projects may be eligible for a Stewardship Fund Grant.)
For past project examples, see our Projects section and filter by project type.
Capital Project Grants are intended for large-scale projects either on public land within an MWMO member community or on (preferably publicly accessible) private land within the MWMO’s boundaries.
Eligible projects include those that: 1) provide public benefits in terms of improved stormwater management or habitat enhancements, and 2) would not happen but for MWMO’s funding and guidance to move forward a project highly beneficial to the public. Funds cannot be used to fund project components required by a regulating authority.
Examples of projects not eligible for funding under this program include: paving (impervious roads, trails), maintaining or replacing pipes or other gray infrastructure (if this is the main focus of the project), road reconstruction projects with status-quo stormwater design, and projects on private property without a demonstrable public benefit.
The MWMO will look for alignment with its mission, Watershed Management Plan goals, learning and education potential, and water quality standards. Projects awarded funding through this grant program typically provide one or more of the following benefits: improved water quality, surface water rate and volume control, water conservation, increased habitat connectivity and restoration of natural areas, stabilization of eroding riverbanks, and improvement of riparian habitat using bio-engineering techniques. The MWMO also values technological advancement of innovative stormwater management solutions that are cost-effective and can be replicated in other areas of the watershed.
There are up to two capital project grant cycles per year: one with a March deadline, and if funds still remain, a second cycle with an August deadline.
The MWMO funding request should be a minimum of $50,000. Capital Project Grants awarded in the past have been as high as $750,000, with an average of approximately $370,000. Projects under $50,000 may potentially be referred to the Stewardship Fund Grants program. Final budgets are dependent on final bids and are subject to MWMO review and approval.
Capital Improvement Project Funds vs. Greening Program Funds
There are two funding sources for MWMO Capital Project Grants: Capital Improvement Project (CIP) Funds and Greening Program Funds.
CIP Funds are available to all eligible applicants, whereas Greening Program Funds are only available for green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) projects within the public right-of-way, coinciding with projects such as the construction or reconstruction of public roads, trails, sidewalks, rail lines, or parking lots. Examples of GSI for linear projects include bioswales, bioretention, infiltration trenches, and constructed wetlands. (For more information on our Greening Program, click here.)
Approximately $1 million in CIP Funds and up to $1 million in Greening Program funds are anticipated to be available for the 2023 application cycles.
Please note that the same application form is used, regardless of which funding source ultimately funds your Capital Project Grant. Feel free to reach out to us (contact info below) with any questions regarding funding.
How to Apply
Applications for capital project grants are submitted through the Capital Improvement Project Grant Application (DOC, 8 MB, 8 pages) and the Capital Project Grants Budget Template (XLS, 0.4 MB, 1 page).
Information and tips on how to complete the application can be found in the Application Guidance Document (PDF, 0.1 MB, 4 pages).
The next deadline for applications is Feb. 17, 2023. Please use the subject line “Capital Project Grant Application” in your email.
Applicants are encouraged to contact the MWMO as soon as possible to discuss their potential project and its eligibility for the grant program. Early coordination with the MWMO is valuable for ensuring sufficient information is available to move forward with an application and a project. Technical guidance on eligible projects is available year-round.
Applications will first be reviewed by MWMO staff. The MWMO will invite selected applicants to meet to discuss their proposal in more detail. If the project is not seen as aligning with the grant program goals, the applicant will be notified. The recommendations for grant award are reviewed and must be approved by the MWMO Board of Commissioners. Design and cost estimates must be detailed enough to determine a not-to-exceed funding amount. Notification of award for the first cycle followed the May 2022 board meeting. Notification of award for the second cycle is anticipated to follow the November 2022 meeting.
Nancy Stowe, PE
Projects and Outreach Director
612-746-4978 or email@example.com