Grants & Other Funding


Funding and Resources

For your maintenance, repair and restoration projects, you may need both technical assistance and funding. Start by asking for assistance first, before asking for funding.  In many cases, the local, state or federal contact persons will be able to provide technical assistance and/or direct you to the best funding sources for your project..




Technical assistance:  


Here’s the recommended sequence for seeking help:   


The very first step when considering a diadromous fishway or habitat project is to contact the state Division of Marine Fisheries for advice and assistance.  MarineFisheries staff will coordinate with Town Herring Wardens to evaluate the status of existing fishways and feasibility of new projects.

       Contact: Brad Chase, Diadromous Fisheries, 508-990-2860, ext. 118;


Other agencies that may be able to help with technical assistance on restoration are:  


-For stream or wetland restoration or dam removal, contact the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration:

  1. Tim Purinton, Director, 617-626-1542
  2. Hunt Durey, Acting Deputy Director, 617-626-1245.


-For wetland restoration or fish run restoration projects and funding, contact the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Massachusetts Office (also see Funding, below).  On Cape Cod contact: Mia Halter, NRCS District Conservationist for Cape Cod at 508-771-6476 .


-For fish run restoration, contact NOAA’s Habitat Restoration Center: Contact Eric Hutchins at 978-281-9313, or Steve Block at 978-281-9127.  Also see Funding, below.




If you need funding to carry out the project, there are many different sources.  The amount of funding you require will determine whether a single source will be enough, or if you’ll need to find several sources. For example, if you need several hundred or several thousand dollars for a minor repair, there may be local sources such as the town, local non-profit organizations, or local agencies.  If you need several tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars for major restoration work, you’ll likely need to find several sources of funding.  Here are some ways to find funding, and sources of funding that have been successfully used by herring wardens and natural resource directors:



  • Ask the town manager if town funds are available or whether it may be feasible to ask Town Meeting to approve funding;
  • Community Preservation Act (CPA):  Ask the local Community Preservation Committee (CPC) if they have CPA funds available for management and protection of the run. This approach works best when there is conservation land next to the fish run where you want to conduct work

Local non-profit organizations 


  • Contact local non-profit organizations who may be able to assist through grant-writing or directing you to foundations that may be able to provide funds or other assistance.  Examples of local organizations include the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermens' Alliance, Association to Preserve Cape Cod, Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies, etc.)



  • Barnstable County Coastal Resources Committee (CRC):  The Coastal Resources Committee, or CRC, is the County’s advisory committee on coastal issues and serves as a liaison between the towns and the County and regional, state and federal agencies on Cape Cod.  For advice on funding sources, contact the CRC, either through the co-chairmen (Steve McKenna at 508-362-1760 or Bob Duncanson at 508-945-5165) or the staff (Jo Ann Muramoto at 508-362-4227, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).



  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  NRCS has several programs which help landowners to restore habitat such as fish runs and shellfish areas.  These include the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) and others.  On Cape Cod, a restoration program called the “Cape Cod Water Resources Restoration Project” got underway in 2010, with the goal of restoring two dozen impaired fish runs, two dozen tidally-restricted salt marshes, and remediating two dozen stormwater discharges into shellfish beds. Contact: Mia Halter, NRCS District Conservationist for Cape Cod at 508-771-6476 


  • NOAA’s Habitat Restoration Center: Contact Eric Hutchins at 978-281-9313, or Steve Block at 978-281-9127.  NOAA provides funding for a number of national grant programs.  They are competitive and it’s important to garner as much support as possible when applying for such grants.  Check out the NOAA Habitat Restoration Center’s website at:, and look for “Funding Opportunities”.  

Examples of NOAA-based grant programs are:


  • Massachusetts Bays Program Research and Planning Grants: intended to support non-construction projects such as planning, applied research projects which further the goals of restoring and protecting coastal ecosystems of Massachusetts Bay and Cape Cod Bay (annual grant program).  Contact: Pam DiBona, Executive Director, Mass Bays Program, at 617-626-1204 or your local Mass Bays Program Regional Coordinator (Sara Grady, South Shore Region, 781-659-8168, and Jo Ann Muramoto, Cape Cod Region, 508-362-4226). Also check the MBP website for more information, at
  • CZM grant programs:                            

Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grant Program  

This is an annual grant program that funds stormwater remediation projects or boat pumpout projects.  If you need to treat stormwater runoff discharging into your herring run, this may be a good source.  Contact Todd Callaghan, the CZM nonpoint source coordinator, at 617-626-1233;


Other grants:  

Occasionally as state funds are available, there may be one-time-only grant opportunities for different kinds of projects.  Keep track of state grant opportunities by subscribing to the CZM monthly newsletter. The most likely agency that would have relevant grant programs is the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA).


Finally, remember that volunteer labor counts as valuable match; that is, the hours spent by volunteers count as in-kind labor that has a dollar value.  This is important to document because when you’re looking for grants from agencies or foundations, it helps to show that there is grass-roots support.  There is information on the Internet about the value of volunteer labor.  For example, the website at,  gives the values of volunteer labor by state.  As of 2009, the value of volunteer labor in Massachusetts was $26.18 per hour.  If volunteers spend 100 hours maintaining and repairing a run, that amounts to an impressive $2,600 in in-kind labor.