Nonpoint Source Watershed Restoration and Protection

Photo of the Missouri River with morning fog.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has grant funding available to assist organizations with watershed planning or implementation of activities as described in a department and EPA accepted 9-element watershed based plan (or alternative plan under certain specific conditions). The purpose of the funding is to support planning for and the implementation of on-the-ground practices that control, reduce or manage nonpoint source pollution as described in the Missouri Nonpoint Source Management Plan.

Grant Fund Source and Subgrant Use

Funding for this federal grant is authorized by Section 319 of the Clean Water Act and is intended to help restore and protect waters that have been impaired or threatened by nonpoint source pollution. The funding is provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as subgrants through the Department of Natural Resources. Section 319 subgrants may be used to develop or update a 9-element watershed based plan or to implement practices as detailed in an existing department and EPA accepted watershed based plan.

Request for Proposals

The department issues a Request for Proposals (RFP) soliciting applications for potential nonpoint source watershed planning and/or watershed based plan implementation subgrant projects from eligible entities annually on October 1. Eligible sponsors include state agencies, local governments, regional planning/governmental organizations, higher educational institutions and nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) status. Projects are selected on a competitive basis; projects located in watersheds that have been prioritized for planning or implementation will be given preference in the selection process (priorities and other selection criteria are listed in the RFP). Higher priority for selection is given to projects located in disadvantaged communities. Full application preparation and submission instructions are included in the RFP. Funding of projects is contingent on annual federal funding of the state grant.

Responses to a Request for Proposals must be submitted through the department’s online Funding Opportunities Portal. Interested parties should create a Portal account. Once registered, users should request access to the Soil and Water Conservation Program to see available funding opportunities.

FY 2020 Request for Proposals

Responses to the FY 2020 RFP were accepted from Oct. 1, 2019 through Nov. 15, 2019. The FY 2021 RFP is expected to be announced on Oct. 1, 2020.

FY 2020 Request for Proposals and watershed planning and implementation grant application requirements are provided for reference:

Section 319(h) Funding Opportunity RFP – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


To be considered, proposed projects must have:

  • Existing strong, diverse and committed partnerships to ensure project implementation as well as long-term operation and maintenance for installed best management practices. Partnerships must be demonstrated by established commitments or agreements among organizations, government entities, and watershed residents to implement the project in a timely fashion. Partnership agreements with local Soil and Water Conservation Districts, University Extension, Natural Resources Conservation Service, local and state governments or other organizations are strongly encouraged.
  • For implementation projects: A water quality monitoring and/or modeling component, whether performed by recipient, contractor, the department, or another partnering agency. The monitoring or modeling component, new or existing, must be capable of documenting major water quality improvement or decline. Other measures or indicators that may be used to show progress toward water quality improvements must be approved by the department.
  • The ability to track and report the load reduction that results from the project using simple best management practice estimates or watershed models.
  • Clear measurable milestones and an implementation schedule that clearly demonstrates interim steps, timely implementation of the project, and fund usage.
  • For implementation projects: A cost effective approach to achieving measurable water quality benefits through the implementation of management practices; only high ratios of on the ground best management practice costs to administration or salary costs will be considered.
  • A limited, low cost information and outreach component that does not exceed 10 percent of the subgrant.
  • A complete, well developed budget that links costs to specific activities or milestones. All administrative costs and salaries should comprise no more than 10 percent of the federal subgrant.
  • Staff with the capability, expertise, resources, and experience to perform the proposed work and grant administration. Must have written organizational policies and procedures in place prior to applying.
  • For former federal subgrant recipients: A documented history of meeting grant requirements and successfully fulfilling subgrant agreements, including: fiscal accountability, achieving project milestones, best management practice implementation and projected pollutant load reductions.

Grant Amount and Match Requirement

Variable award amounts are based on the number of applicants and the amount of funding available, and will depend on the ability of the recipient to mobilize, remain on schedule, and achieve the project milestones. Project periods of up to three years are considered. Costs and scopes of work will be refined prior to final approval of a project. The project sponsor is required to provide match to the federal grant amount in a 60/40 match ratio; match can be in the form of non-federal dollars or in-kind activities. Applicants will be required to maintain a 60/40 federal to nonfederal contribution ratio on a semiannual basis through the duration of the project and should develop the project budget accordingly.

Funding is based upon performance. Funding restrictions will occur if projects fall behind on meeting their scheduled milestone deadlines.

By applying for this award, the applicant verifies that it, its board of directors, and all principals are currently in compliance with all state and federal environmental laws and court orders issued pursuant to those laws, and that all environmental violations have been resolved at the time of this application.

Additional resources
319 Project Examples

For more information contact:
Trish Rielly
Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Soil and Water Conservation Program
P.O. Box 176
Jefferson City, MO  65102
573-751-4932 or by email