SANDUSKY, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is seeking proposals for acquisition and/or conservation easement projects that will improve water quality within Ohio’s four Areas of Concern (AOCs).
Interested applicants have until 5 p.m. Jan. 13 to submit proposals to the ODNR Office of Coastal Management for projects requesting from $100,000 to $800,000 per acquisition/easement project from willing sellers.
The Great Lakes AOCs are geographic areas within the Great Lakes Basin where the beneficial uses, including the ability to support aquatic life, are impaired. Ohio AOCs include portions of the Maumee, Black, Cuyahoga and Ashtabula rivers and their watersheds. The ODNR Office of Coastal Management has a record of success in receiving AOC grant funding.
In federal fiscal year 2013, more than $560,000 in federal funds were awarded and matched with approximately $1 million in state and local funds to acquire more than 58 acres in Lucas and Cuyahoga counties. Periodically, regionally-competitive grants are awarded to fund projects that remove water quality impairments as part of an AOC Remedial Action Plan.
Projects eligible for funding must be located within a designated area, be endorsed by the associated Remedial Action Plan implementation group and assist in restoring fish and wildlife habitats. After the land is acquired, it must be owned by a non-federal public entity (state, local or regional unit of government) and preserved in perpetuity for conservation purposes.
Complete grant information and an application can be obtained by contacting the Office of Coastal Management or downloaded at www.ohiodnr.com/tabid/23157/default.aspx.
ODNR will submit competitive projects to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to be considered for funding during federal fiscal year 2014. Projects should be “implementation ready” and completed within 18 months from the date of the award, anticipated to be Oct. 1, 2014.
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