Grant proposals due Sept. 9 for $5M Windy Gap Environmental Fund
Proposals are due for a new Windy Gap Environmental Fund grant program aimed at improving conditions on the Colorado River near Windy Gap Reservoir.
The program will tap into $5 million now available through a federal appeals court settlement agreement between the Municipal Subdistrict, Northern Water and plaintiffs who challenged the Windy Gap Firming Project permit in federal court. Over the course of the agreement, $15 million will be available for grants.
Grants are available to nonprofit organizations to fund projects that improve aquatic and riparian habitat or water quality in the Colorado River upstream from Windy Gap Reservoir and below to its confluence with Williams Fork.
Evaluators will consider projects that address impacts caused by the Windy Gap Project such as increased Colorado River water temperatures, sediment transport and aquatic health, as well as nutrient levels in Three Lakes.
Funding will also be considered for proposals that provide benefits such as improving aquatic species diversity, reducing silt releases from Windy Gap Reservoir, reducing rooted vegetation, improving fish movement and enhancing waterfowl and migratory birds habitat.
Projects that address wildfire, wildfire resilience and post-fire restoration, drought resilience or maintenance of groundwater levels are also of interest.
Pilot projects will be considered, and there is no cap on project funding. Grant money will be used for the design, construction and maintenance of awarded projects.
A six-member committee consisting equally of municipal subdistrict representatives and lawsuit plaintiffs will collaboratively choose the projects that receive funding.
The committee will consider the geographic distribution of the projects when making funding decisions but is not prioritizing any sub-watershed or stream segment at this time. The committee wants to leverage the grant allocations to create the highest impact in terms of environmental restoration and geographic scope and encourages long-range planning in project development.
Project proponents should submit a letter of interest by Sept. 9.
More information can be found at GrandFoundation.com/Grants/Windy-Gap-Fund
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