Hudson Raritan Estuary Urban Rain Garden Grant


Purpose of Funding
This competitive grant solicitation is to provide funds to design and construct urban rain gardens and similar small-scale types of bioretention facilities that use soils and vegetation to improve stormwater quality and reduce runoff.  Eligible government agencies or non-profit organizations proposing the design and construction or construction of a fully designed urban rain garden or small scale bioretention project in the Hudson-Raritan Estuary are eligible to submit a proposal.

Amount of Money in the Grant Program
This grant funding has been made available through Natural Resource Damage (NRD) settlements. The Office of Natural Resource Restoration (ONRR) will oversee the competitive application process and program. Please note that the maximum grant request for a single project is $300,000.00. There is no minimum grant request. There is a total of $2,000,000.00 available under this grant opportunity. ONRR reserves the right to make no award under this notice if grant funding is not available at the time of grant award.

Eligible Applicants
Applicants for the Hudson Raritan Estuary Urban Rain Garden Grant must be a New Jersey government agency or a non-profit organization proposing a rain garden or similar small-scale type of bioretention facility.

Qualifications Needed by an Applicant to be considered for Funding
To be considered for funding applicants must meet all of the following:

  •  Eligible applicant (as defined in Section D)
  •  Eligible project and project location (as defined in Section D and F)

The Hudson Raritan Estuary Rain Garden Grant is a competitive grant program. Grantees will use their own procurement procedures that reflect applicable State and local laws and regulations, and applicable State requirements shall be incorporated into any subcontracts under the grant agreement. The salaries or wages of an employee of the grantee are not eligible for reimbursement from grant funding, even though the employee may be engaged in work that is necessary for grant preparation or for the oversight or implementation of the grant. Costs associated with land acquisition are not eligible. Only costs associated with design or construction are eligible for reimbursement.

Eligible Projects
Funds are available only for the design and/or construction of a project. Projects must be located in New Jersey, and located with a water shed of the Hudson-Raritan Estuary as defined on the Area of Eligibility map.  Projects must consist of the construction (if design is already complete) or design and construction of a small-scale bioretention system, such as an urban rain garden or a bioswale.  Projects shall not be a project, project component, or activity associated with wetland mitigation required under the Freshwater Wetland Protection Act, N.J.S.A. 13:9B-1 et seq., the Coastal Wetlands Act, N.J.S.A. 13:9A-1 et seq., the Waterfront Development Act, N.J.S.A. 12:3-5 et seq., or by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.  Projects must also not be a component of a project that meets the definition of a major development as defined in the Stormwater Management Rules at N.J.A.C. 7:8 or necessary to meet the requirements for stormwater management for a proposed development and must not be a project required by any other authority. Projects may be determined to be ineligible based on the presence of known or suspected toxic substances.

Procedure to Apply, Application and Required Submissions
Information on the application process, the application, and all required information and documents for this grant program are posted on and . Required information and documents to be provided with the grant application shall include information such as the following:

  • Narrative describing the project and explaining how it directly supports the goals of the grant.
  • Work Plan
    • Project Location Map – Describe the project location, size, area of surface water runoff to be captured, and existing site conditions (i.e. soils, land use, topography, etc.).  Describe existing stormwater drainage or management systems, and location with respect to overburdened communities as identified by the NJDEP’s Office of Environmental Justice.  Include a map of the project site as it relates to locational landmarks such as nearby waterbodies or major roads.
    • Project Need – Describe the need to carry out the work, specific stormwater drainage issues being addressed, and how the proposed project will impact flow rates, infiltration, and water quality. Describe how native vegetation will be incorporated and any proposed changes to the substrate.  Describe any evaluations that have been performed to determine potential CSO reduction.
    • Describe any cost-benefit analyses that have been conducted.
    • If the proposal includes funding for design and permitting, provide conceptual site plans that detail, to the greatest extent possible, the proposed project concept and identify permits already acquired and additional permits that are necessary as well as the plan to obtain those permits.
    • If the proposal is for the construction of a fully designed project, 100% design plans and specifications, and all necessary permits are required.
    • Clearly identify the roles and responsibilities of any project partners.
    • Provide a project timeline/schedule via a diagram (i.e., Gantt chart) that clearly illustrates when project tasks and milestones will be carried out within the defined work period for this grant. Significant project milestones must be indicated. Milestones for design can include but are not limited to issuing an RFP for work, awarding a contract, obtaining permits, interim design, final design and construction specifications.  Milestones for construction can include start of construction, completion of earthwork, completion of work, and submitting reports. This schedule shall be updated on an as needed basis and will be used to ensure compliance with the work period defined above.
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Long-Term Maintenance Plan
    • Identify specific, significant, and measurable on-the-ground success criteria that will be used to measure the project outcomes.
    • Describe the project’s monitoring and evaluation plan.  The monitoring plan should directly relate to the expected project outcomes.
    • Describe the financial capacity, plans, and timeframe for long-term maintenance of the project and the capacity of the applicant to implement the maintenance plan, including the applicant’s ability to implement corrective action if monitoring indicates it is needed.
  • Applicants must complete the Grant Project Budget Form for estimated design and/or construction costs in its entirety. In addition, applicants must provide a detailed narrative describing each budget item and clearly demonstrate how the grant funds will be spent, any other funds that will be used to implement the project, and how those funds will be used.  The budget may include a line item for contingency, not to exceed 10% of the requested funds.  Applicants are reminded that all expenditures require prior ONRR review and approval, and project costs will be evaluated as part of the scoring of the overall application.
  • A completed Natural Resource Restoration Grant Application Form.
  • A governing body resolution will be required prior to signing the Grant Agreement if it cannot be provided at the time the application is submitted.
  • Letters of support from any project partners, clearly identifying their role in the project.
  • Applicants must demonstrate their capacity to conduct the scope and scale of the project, as indicated by the qualifications and past experience of the project leaders and/or partners in designing, implementing, and effectively managing and overseeing similar projects
  • If the applicant is not the owner of the property where the project will be constructed, proposals must include formal documentation of approval of the project from the property owner(s). If the project site requires access through properties the applicant does not control, a letter of concurrence from those property owners is also required.

Address for Application Submittal and Inquiries, and Filing Deadline
Any questions regarding this grant announcement may be submitted by email (preferred) to  or in writing to Emilie Snyder at the mailing address below.  Questions may be submitted until September 8, 2022. Questions and ONRR responses will be posted at . ONRR will not respond to questions by phone or to other email addresses.

Grant proposal applications shall be submitted via email (preferred) to or if email is unavailable via hand delivery or traditional post to:

Emilie Snyder
NJDEP Office of Natural Resource Restoration
Mail Code 501-03
PO Box 420
501 East State Street
Trenton, NJ 08625-0420

The complete grant proposal application must be received no later than Wednesday November 7, 2022.  Please be advised that hand delivered applications cannot be accepted after 5:00 P.M. The applications shall include all information required as identified in the Application Contents section of the Grant Solicitation. ONRR shall send a notice of receipt for each application received to the applicant. An applicant that submits an incomplete application shall be deemed ineligible.

Date by which Applicants shall be notified
Unless otherwise notified by NJDEP, applicants will be notified whether they will receive funds by May 8, 2023.

For More Information
Please follow the instructions in the Hudson Raritan Estuary Urban Rain Garden Grant Solicitation