The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Aquatic Resources Mitigation (ARM) Fund is now accepting pre-proposals for the 2016 Grant Round.
The Aquatic Resource Mitigation (ARM) Fund grants are available for eligible wetland restoration, land protection or habitat improvement projects. The ARM Fund is soliciting grant proposals for $2.4 million dollars which is available in the nine watersheds throughout the state (see map). The 26 communities surrounding Interstate 93 will be given a preference for a distinct source of funds due to the impacts associated with that project. The funds will be targeted for those communities identified but will not be exclusively limited to them.
The ARM Fund Program provides wetlands permit applicants with the option to contribute payments to this fund in lieu of implementation of several other possible and more traditional compensatory mitigation alternatives. These other wetlands mitigation options might include restoration of existing impaired wetlands, land acquisition and preservation, or construction of new wetlands. In many circumstances, these other options may be more costly, time consuming or complex to implement for the wetlands permit holder as compared with an ARM Fund contribution.
The ARM Fund program has been very successful for permit applicants and has resulted in the funding of many significant wetland preservation and restoration projects across the state. Projects that have been awarded funds include those that provide significant wetlands restoration or land conservation and are focused on areas of important and/or vulnerable wetlands with regional significance. In the past seven years the ARM Fund has funded 61 projects that include preservation and restoration opportunities as well as stream passage improvement projects. These projects have resulted in approximately 12,275 acres of land conservation, 18 acres of wetland restoration and enhancement, and over 49 miles of stream connectivity improvement.
NHDES accounts for ARM Fund payments on a major watershed/service area basis. When sufficient funds are accrued for a watershed, NHDES issues a request for proposals, evaluates the proposals received, and awards grants for the projects determined to have the highest long-term environmental benefits in the specific watershed.
Pre-proposals are due April 29, 2016. The pre-applications will be reviewed in the month of May and feedback given to each applicant. Full applications are due August 31, 2016. For more information, please contact NHDES Wetland Mitigation Coordinator, Lori Sommer at: (603) 271-4059.
Please see our website: http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/wetlands/wmp/index.htm for more information.