via Pensacola News Journal

FL - $200,000 in 'Mini-Grants' Available for Northwest Florida Environmental Projects

A new estuary program is providing $200,000 in grants to help launch projects that improve the local environment.

This week, the Pensacola and Perdido Bays Estuary Program announced the 2020-2021 mini-grant program funding opportunity. The program will award grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to support waterways initiatives that serve to restore, preserve, connect, inform or educate.

Local governments and non-state entities such as educational institutions and nonprofits are eligible to submit project proposals. The projects must be located within the Perdido or Pensacola watersheds within Escambia, Santa Rosa or Okaloosa counties.

Logan McDonald, community outreach coordinator for the Pensacola and Perdido Bays Estuary Program, said the grant approval process and project implementation timeline will move quickly, which will be both a benefit and a potential challenge. The projects have to be completed by June 1, 2021, "which in the grant world isn't a huge turnaround time," McDonald said. "So part of that is being a group that already has established community connections or expertise in the subject area to make these things happen."

The funding will be awarded to projects in eight eligible categories that support the Estuary Program’s core vision: water quality, habitat restoration, fish and wildlife conservation, watershed awareness and education, resilience, invasive species, citizen science and aquatic trash/marine debris.

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