Helena - The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is seeking applicants for "mini" grants of up to $1,500 to fund local education and outreach efforts that address water quality issues.  The DEQ has $20,000 of federal Clean Water Act Section 319 funding available for local groups working on water quality and nonpoint source pollution projects. Focusing on education and outreach, the grants provide a mechanism to increase awareness of local nonpoint source pollution issues and to improve water quality through educational activities.

Successful projects will focus on an activity addressing water resource needs. Examples of projects include workshops, conferences, training, videos, or brochures. Projects must address larger watershed efforts in the applicant's region. The project applicant can be a local watershed group (if a legal entity), conservation district, county extension service, school, etc. and must have the ability to manage federal funding. The DEQ encourages not only entities that have previously used this program, but also newcomers.

Successful applicants must demonstrate effective use of grant money through projects that highlight water quality and nonpoint source pollution topics in their area. Applicants must also provide a minimum 40% local non-federal in-kind or cash match. Each application will be reviewed and approved for funding by a panel from the Montana Watershed Coordination Council's Education & Outreach subcommittee that includes individuals from a range of organizations.

Applications will be accepted during two rounds in 2006-2007, with approximately $10,000 available during each round. The first round began on June 1, 2006 and applications for this round must be received by July 1, 2006. The second round will begin on January 1, 2007 with application due by February 1, 2007.

For more information on the mini-grants, application forms or for assistance in preparing the grant application, please contact: Andrew Jakes, Nonpoint Source Education and Outreach Coordinator, DEQ Watershed Protection Section, at (406) 444-7425 or by e-mail at ajakes@mt.gov or visit the DEQ website at www.deq.mt.us.

Janet Bender-Keigley
Program Assistant
Montana Watercourse

PO Box 170575
Bozeman, MT 59717-0575

Phone: 406-994-6671
Fax: 406-994-6889

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