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December 28, 2010 > Water district requests grant applications

Water district requests grant applications

Submitted By Marty Grimes

On Wednesday, Dec. 15, the Santa Clara Valley Water District released Requests for Proposals (RFP) for three grant programs, offering $4.46 million in available funds. The majority of this funding is coming from the voter-approved Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection Plan (Clean, Safe Creeks). Eligible applicants will compete for grants to create new trails and open spaces, construct environmental enhancement projects, and implement watershed stewardship projects.

"Not only does our grant program help to meet specific objectives passed by the voters; it also helps us to fulfill our district mission," said Board Chair Richard Santos." As watershed stewards of Santa Clara County we work hard to manage the environment and natural resources and providing these grants helps us reach more communities."

Trail and Open Space Grant Program - The objective of the trails element is to provide public access to 70 miles of trails or open space along creeks and in the watersheds. Approximately $2 million in funding is available for this year's grant cycle.

Environmental Enhancement Implementation Grant Program - Creation of additional wetlands, riparian habitat and favorable stream conditions for fisheries and wildlife (equivalent to 100 acres of tidal or riparian habitat created or restored). Approximately $1.8 million in funding is available for this year's grant cycle.

Watershed Stewardship Grant Program - Focus on continued reduction of pollutants from urban runoff, general surface water quality protection, healthy creek and bay ecosystems, creations of additional wetlands, and open spaces, trails and parks along creeks. Approximately $660,000 in funding is available for this year's grant cycle.

Since its inception, the Environmental Enhancement Implementation Grant Program has funded the creation or restoration of 358 acres of habitat, exceeding the Clean, Safe Creeks outcome of 100 acres. To date, the Watershed Stewardship Grant Program has awarded approximately $943,000 in funding to 52 projects.

The following entities are eligible to submit grant applications: Cities; Towns; Santa Clara County; Open space districts; Internal units of the Santa Clara Valley Water District; Local non-profit organizations with a 501(c)(3) tax exempt status

All RFP responses are due March 15, 2011. To assist entities interested in applying for these grants, the water district will be holding workshops in January.

RFPs are now available at http://www.valleywater.org/Services/HealthyCreeksandEcoSystems.aspx. Please direct all inquiries, correspondence and grant applications to Brian Mendenhall, Project Manager, at (408) 265-2607, ext. 3093 or via email at bmendenhall@valleywater.org.

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