National Estuary Program Coastal Watersheds Grant Program 2022 Request for Proposals; RAE

The National Estuary Program (NEP) Coastal Watersheds Grant (CWG) Program is a nationally competitive grants program designed to support projects that address urgent and challenging issues threatening the well-being of coastal and estuarine areas within determined estuaries of national significance. Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE) will be administering the NEP CWG Program in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a pass-through entity.

This grant program funds projects within the 28 NEP watershed geographic areas and selected adjacent areas, as defined by this map, and addresses the following urgent and challenging issues:

  • Loss of key habitats resulting in significant impacts on fisheries and water quality such as seagrass, mangroves, tidal and freshwater wetlands, forested wetlands, kelp beds, shellfish beds, and coral reefs;
  • Recurring harmful algae blooms;
  • Unusual or unexplained marine mammal mortalities;
  • Proliferation or invasion of species that limit recreational uses, threaten wastewater systems, or cause other ecosystem damage;
  • Flooding and coastal erosion that may be related to sea level rise, changing precipitation, or salt marsh, seagrass, or wetland degradation or loss;
  • Impacts of nutrients and warmer water temperatures on aquatic life and coastal ecosystems, including low dissolved oxygen conditions in estuarine waters; and
  • Contaminants of emerging concern found in coastal and estuarine waters such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and microplastics.

Priorities for this Request for Proposals

In order to address the critical issues facing our nation’s estuaries, each RFP round in the CWG Program will identify a unique combination of priorities. For this RFP, projects must address one or more of the following priorities:
• Proliferation or invasion of species;
• Flooding and coastal erosion;
• Loss of key habitats; and
• Unusual or unexplained marine mammal mortalities.

Geographic Boundaries

Projects must occur in their entirety within the geographic areas shown on this interactive map, which is located at:

Supporting activities, such as laboratory analysis, may occur outside of the geographic eligibility polygons but that all fieldwork and anticipated ecosystem improvements must occur within them.

Informational Webinars

Prospective applicants are encouraged to participate in one of two informational webinars:

• Thursday, March 24, 1:00 p.m. ET/ 10:00 a.m. PT: to participate, please register via; and
• Wednesday, March 30, 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT: to participate, please register via

The webinars will be recorded and posted online for those unable to participate live.

Process and Schedule

RAE will select grantees through a two-step process: 1) letters of intent (LOI); and 2) full proposals by invitation only. Both steps are competitive and a request for full proposal does not guarantee funding. LOIs are due on Friday, May 27, 2022 and must be submitted online via the submittal portal, which may be accessed at

Full proposals, if invited, must be received by Friday, September 23, 2022, and should be submitted online via

To view the entire RFP, go to: