Funding Opportunities

Becoming more flood resilient, through restoring, protecting and conserving river corridors and floodplains has several benefits.  Avoiding human encroachment in areas susceptible to flooding and erosion mitigates the loss of life and property during floods.  River corridors and floodplains also provide important terrestrial and aquatic habitat and help to maintain and improve water quality.  Additional incentives for communities to take actions to become more flood resilient include receiving priority rating in several competitive grant programs administered by the Agency of Natural Resources, Vermont Emergency Management, and Agency of Commerce and Community Development, as well as receiving enhanced state match through the Emergency Relief Assistance Fund. 

Emergency Relief Assistance Fund (ERAF)

Administered by Vermont Emergency Management.
ERAF provides State funding to match Federal Public Assistance after federally-declared disasters.  State contributions can range from 7.5% to 17.5% depending on the mitigation measures adopted by an individual community.  Adoption of River Corridor regulations is one of the measures municipalities must take in order to receive the 17.5% match.

Ecosystem Restoration Grants

Administered by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. 
These grants support the design and construction of projects aimed at improving water quality by mitigating nonpoint sources of pollution.  Applications for floodplain and river corridor projects should address how they will reduce sediment and nutrient pollution.

River Corridor Easement Conservation Easements Block Grants

Administered by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. 
These grants fund the acquisition of critical river corridors and floodplains.  River corridor easements ensure no new structures or development within the river corridor, support passive restoration by restricting intervention of the river adjustment processes, and provide for the development of a minimum riparian buffer of native woody vegetation.

Woody Buffer Block Grants

Administered by a grantee selected by and funded through the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. 
Sub-awards/sub-contracts typically fund the development and implementation of high-priority, cost-effective, native riparian woody buffer plantings.

Vermont Watershed Grants  

Co-administered by the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Awards are intended for complete projects or for portions of larger projects.  Awards are granted to three project category types: 1) Education and outreach, 2) planning, assessment, inventory, and monitoring, and 3) on-the-ground implementation.

Municipal Planning Grants 

Administered by Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development.
Typical projects include drafting and updating town plans to identify opportunities for improved flood resiliency and drafting and updating flood hazard area and river corridor bylaws.

Hazard Mitigation Assistance Programs

Administered by Vermont Emergency Management.
Depending on the individual program, federal funding for up to 75 percent of eligible costs may be available for developing, prioritizing, and/or implementing flood mitigation strategies.  Typical projects include mitigation of local roads and bridges, home acquisitions (buyouts), structural elevations or relocations, replacement of undersized culverts, floodplain restoration, drafting hazard mitigation plans, and mitigation outreach and education.  The Vermont Emergency Management Team supports other state agencies, non-profits, Regional Planning Commissions and municipalities in applying for and implementing projects under the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant programs.