Aquatic Resource Mitigation 2019 Grant Announcement- $1,680,000 available in the Merrimack River Service Area

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) Aquatic Resource Mitigation (ARM) Fund is now accepting pre-proposals for a 2019 Grant Round for wetland and stream preservation and restoration projects in the Merrimack River Service Area. The ARM Fund has $1,680,000 to award for this grant round.

The ARM Fund Program provides wetlands permit applicants with the option to contribute payments to this fund in lieu of implementing a permitee-responsible mitigation alternative. These 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 a successful option for permit applicants and has resulted in the funding of many significant wetland and stream preservation and restoration projects across the state. Since 2006, the ARM Fund has awarded grant money to 106 projects that include preservation and habitat restoration as well as stream passage improvement projects. These projects have resulted in approximately 16,000 acres of land conservation, 100 acres of restoration,, protection of 290 vernal pools, and 50 miles of stream passage improvements.

NHDES accounts for ARM Fund payments on a major watershed basis. Projects must consider the specific goals of the service area and replace, restore or protect similar wetlands and streams, and their functions and values, lost in the watershed. The functions and values to be replaced in the Merrimack service Area for 2019 are: wildlife and fish habitat, water quality, flood storage, shoreline stabilization, shoreline anchoring, bank impacts and vernal pool buffer impacts.

Pre-proposals are due May 31, 2019. The pre-applications will be reviewed the month of June and feedback given to each applicant. Full applications are due August 30, 2019. Please see our website https://www.des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/wetlands/wmp/index.htm for application forms and for additional information about the program. For more information, please contact Lori Sommer, NHDES Wetland Mitigation Coordinator, at lori.sommer@des.nh.gov or (603) 271-4059.

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