State of New Jersey Seal Official Site of The State of New Jersey

Conserve Wildlife Matching Grants Program

We are not offering new grants at this time. Thanks for your patience while we make a few changes! To be added to our notification list, please e-mail

Conserve Wildlife Matching Grants Program

With funding from the Conserve Wildlife License Plate renewal fund, the Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP), within the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Fish and Wildlife Program, offers small matching grants for one-year projects that advance endangered, threatened, and nongame wildlife conservation and education. Approved projects are funded on a reimbursement basis and must be located in New Jersey. Grants are awarded every few years. Since its launch in 2008, this grant program has awarded 92 grants totaling $272,000 for projects across NJ!

We are not offering new grants at this time. The maximum request per proposal is $3,500 ($1,000 is the minimum). This is a 1:1 matching grant; therefore grant funds cannot exceed 50% of the total project cost. At least 25% of the grantee’s share of project funding must be monetary, and the remainder may be from in-kind support.

Nonprofit 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) organizations are eligible to apply and are welcome to apply for, and receive, more than one grant per cycle.


Eligible projects will benefit New Jersey’s endangered, threatened, and nongame wildlife through education, outreach, research, species protection, habitat management, or any combination of such actions. Projects should help to address an important threat or action highlighted in New Jersey’s State Wildlife Action Plan.

Examples of eligible projects include, but are not limited to:

1. Education/outreach projects, such as classroom wildlife programs, interpretive signage or online resources;

2. Research projects, such as animal surveys or censuses, habitat monitoring, or public attitude surveys;

3. Management projects, such as habitat creation, improvement, or restoration;

4. Habitat protection projects, such as securing wildlife corridors or sensitive wildlife breeding areas.

Projects that complement new or significant ENSP initiatives or that might inform the ENSP’s future work are encouraged. Examples of such complementary projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Promoting/marketing of NJ’s Wildlife Action PlanLandscape Project, and/or Connecting Habitat Across New Jersey (CHANJ) project;
  • Performing road segment assessments based on CHANJ mapping;
  • Creating pollinator gardens or Monarch waystations along migratory routes;
  • Creating distribution maps for NJ’s moth and/or Tiger Beetle species of greatest conservation need (including literature reviews and consultation with experts);
  • Enhancing Horseshoe Crab spawning habitat through beach restoration or cleanup;
  • Establishing a long-term Horseshoe Crab egg sampling effort as an index of shorebird food availability;
  • Investigating the possible impacts of aquaculture structures on shorebirds and Horseshoe Crabs;
  • Implementing approved strategies or developing new technical guidance to control invasive species that threaten nongame wildlife (e.g. Chinese Pond Mussel, invasive plants);
  • Reducing mortality of Diamondback Terrapins and other estuarine/marine species by locating and removing ghost crab pots in coastal waterways;
  • Reducing road mortality of Diamondback Terrapins and enabling females to safely access nesting sites, particularly at problem areas in Fortescue, NJ;
  • Summarizing or showcasing multi-level, species-specific habitat change information;
  • Minimizing human-wildlife conflicts (ex: venomous snakes interactions, impacts of roads);
  • Implementing approved strategies or developing new strategies to limit the spread of wildlife diseases or pathogens affecting nongame wildlife (e.g., White-nose Syndrome, chytrid fungus, Ranavirus, snake fungal disease, West Nile virus);
  • Gathering, compiling, or confirming location/survey data for under-represented rare species (e.g. Corn and King Snakes, invertebrates, small mammals, Barn Owls, vernal pool herpetofauna) or Priority/Focal Species of Greatest Conservation Need (see NJ’s Wildlife Action Plan (pdf, 34 mb), Appendix B on page 173) for inclusion in ENSP’s Biotics database.

See Successful Grant Recipients (pdf, 250kb) for examples of projects that have received funding since 2008.


Proposals should be concise – no more than two pages in length (not including attachments). Proposals must contain the following:

1. Title – Title of the project

2. Area – Describe the geographic area and context where the project will take place. Identify any Conservation Focal Area(s) that your project falls within.

3. Objectives – Describe the measurable goals of the project.

4. Procedures – Explain the methods that will be used to accomplish the project objectives. Briefly detail the relevant experience or expertise of key project personnel with the species, habitat type, or activity proposed. Describe any partnerships involved.
NOTE: Grantees must obtain a Scientific Collecting permit before commencing work on any projects involving direct handling of animals. The Permit fee can be included in the project budget.

5. Deliverables – Outline the products that will be provided to ENSP at the conclusion of the project. Data submissions must follow an approved format and meet ENSP mapping standards.

6. Wildlife Action Plan Connection – Identify the action(s) from NJ’s Wildlife Action Plan (pdf, 34 mb; see Appendices I and J) that the project will address.


The following attachments must also be provided:

1. Budget – Itemize costs for the entire project. Be sure to specify the amount being requested. Matching funds must be identified and the sources of those funds named. Again, the request cannot exceed 50% of the total project cost, and at least 25% of the grantee’s match must be monetary.

2. Calendar – List your timeline and completion date. Projects must be completed within one year of the start date.

3. An IRS letter of determination stating the organization’s nonprofit status.

4. Samples of past work if applying for education/outreach material development.

5. Letters of endorsement from partners or stakeholders are encouraged and will be considered in the review process.

The ENSP will confirm receipt of each proposal.


All proposals will be reviewed by an ENSP technical review committee. Applicants can view the Ranking Criteria Form (pdf, 130kb) used by the committee.


Successful applicants will have 30 days from the award notification date to submit a signed Resolution by their governing body authorizing the organization to enter into a grant agreement and certifying that the required matching funds and in-kind support will be provided for the project.

Blank Resolution Form (pdf, 13kb)

Sample Completed Resolution (pdf, 16kb)  (entries in red).

All grantees must be registered vendors with the State of NJ. Please visit to register or to check your organization’s status.

Grant Agreements will be created with successful applicants to formalize the award amount, Scope of Work, project period (not to exceed one year), and work products/deliverables to be submitted by the conclusion of the project.


This is a reimbursement grant. The entire grant amount will be paid to the grantee in one sum, following receipt and acceptance by the ENSP of all agreed work products/deliverables, documentation of costs and match, and upon compliance with all terms of the Grant Agreement.

For information contact:

MacKenzie Hall
NJ DEP Fish and Wildlife
Endangered and Nongame Species Program


Conserve Wildlife License Plate
Banded kestrel
American Kestrel, outfitted with a geolocator to track its movements throughout the year.
Photo by Melanie Mason
Herp tunnel
Natalie Sherwood and Nicole Bergen of Montclair State University monitor NJ’s first under-the-road herptile tunnels in Somerset County.
Photo by Mike Peters, MSU
Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space test forest treatments to benefit Northern Copperheads.
Photo by Tyler Christensen
Marking terrapin
Carly Sibilia marks a Diamondback Terrapin as part of a Conserve Wildlife Foundation project to address roadkill of the animals in coastal NJ.
Photo by Ben Wurst
Chinese Pond Mussel
The NJ Invasive Species Strike Team aims to eradicate North America’s first occurrence of Chinese Pond Mussel, in Hunterdon County, NJ.
Photo by Tim Morris
Analyzing wood turtle samples
East Stroudsburg University analyzes Wood Turtle genetic samples.
Photo by Meaghan Bird
Tiger Salamander Egg Survey
Conserve Wildlife Foundation team searches for Tiger Salamander egg masses in a vernal pool.
Photo by Wayne Russell
Edward Egret in flight
“Edward” the Great Egret wears a solar transmitter to track his movements as part of a NJ Audubon research and education project.
Photo by Natalie Gregorio

myNJ Portal Logo

Twitter Facebook Instagram YouTube

Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2022
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 420
Trenton, NJ 08625
Last Update: May 16th, 2022