Call for Applications: Barnegat Bay Mini-Grants (NJ)

Ocean County,NJ, 1/29/09: The Trust for Public Land announced today that grants will be offered to nonprofit organizations for projects which provide environmental education, planning, monitoring, research, and/or stewardship in the Barnegat Bay and its watershed.

The Barnegat Bay Environmental Grant Fund was established in 1994 to encourage local and regional projects directly benefiting the Barnegat Bay and its watershed. Eligible organizations can apply for funding for projects that incorporate these activities. Grants will range from $500 to $5,000. For 2009, TPL’s Barnegat Bay Environmental Grant Fund will award up to $25,000. TPL, a national nonprofit land conservation organization, has administered the grant program for sixteen years.

Download the grant application and other information here.

Proposals for 2009 Barnegat Bay Environmental Grants must be received by March 6, 2009 and awards will be announced the week of April 6. While only 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations are eligible, schools and government entities, such as municipalities and environmental commissions, are encouraged to partner with a qualifying nonprofit organization if they have a project that would benefit the bay.

How to Apply: Organizations interested in applying for a grant should request a copy of the application and guidelines or receive additional information by contacting Catherine Falzone at The Trust for Public Land, 20 Community Place Suite 7, Morristown, New Jersey, 07960, (973) 292-1100, extension 10, or on the on the website

Although any project application that helps to protect the bay is welcome, this year the priority of the BBEGF Board is to see projects that will protect and improve water quality in the bay and watershed. Last year’s grant to the American Littoral Society to create a Bay-friendly landscape demonstration garden on the grounds of the Maris Stella Retreat Center in Harvey Cedars on Long Beach Island is a good example. The garden shows residents what they can do in their own backyards to improve the health of the watershed. Bay-friendly landscaping uses attractive native plants, provides wildlife habitat and requires minimal maintenance. People interested in attending a workshop and tour of the “bayscape” garden should contact Helen Henderson directly via e-mail: or phone 732 575-5701 or see their website at

Other projects funded in 2008 included: Jersey Coast Anglers Association to produce a program that educates young people on the complexity and interrelated nature of Barnegat Bay Estuary; Save Barnegat Bay will identify and delineate various species of submerged macro algae and other vegetation found in established plots in the Barnegat Bay and prepare them for inclusion in the Emily de Camp Herbarium; and The Natural Resource Education Foundation of New Jersey will provide an outdoor learning station and curriculum materials to create awareness and understanding of the importance of protecting stream headwaters, vernal pools, and associated flora and fauna within the Barnegat Bay Watershed.

Funds for the Barnegat Bay Environmental Grant program are part of a $2.5 million contribution by the Ciba-Geigy Corporation (now Ciba Corporation) to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Since 1994, 120 grants have been awarded totaling $374,000 to support projects to protect the Barnegat Bay and its watershed.

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national, nonprofit, land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, community gardens, historic sites, rural lands, and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since its founding in 1972, TPL has helped protect more than 2.5 million acres of land in 47 states, including more than 23,000 acres in New Jersey.

The Barnegat Bay ecosystem encompasses 660 square miles of tidal shoreline, back bay islands, marsh creeks and pine-oak forest on the New Jersey shore. To date, TPL has published three reports on the Barnegat Bay ecosystem and has protected more than 10,000 acres of critical Barnegat Bay land. The goal of the program is to balance public access and recreation with the protection of water quality and critical wildlife habitat.