The Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District’s Board of Directors established the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Clean Stormwater Grant Program in January 1997. The program promotes District partnerships with local community groups and schools by funding, in whole or in part, projects that preserve, protect, or educate citizens about stormwater quality.
At their October 2023 meeting, the Board of Directors will consider the authorization of $30,000 in Clean Stormwater Grant program funds for distribution to eligible applicants, with per project funding up to $4,000.
Volunteer groups, environmental organizations, schools, neighborhood improvement groups and other not-for-profit associations are encouraged to apply. Projects must take place within the District’s service area, which is generally described as the Fresno-Clovis metropolitan area.
The Clean Stormwater Grant Program effectively has three types of grants: river field trips, general priority projects, and high-priority projects.
Information & Applications
2024 CLEAN STORMWATER GRANT INFORMATION
Funds for Stormwater Quality Education & Improvement Projects
Please read through the following information, in it’s entirety, prior to beginning any grant application.
What does the Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District Do and Why Do They Offer Grants?
The Clean Stormwater program is an area-wide effort to protect the quality of our water resources by preventing urban runoff pollution.
Urban runoff is water from rainfall and outdoor watering. Urban runoff can become polluted by picking up motor oil, hazardous household products, garden chemicals, dirt, litter and other materials that have been left, spilled or dumped into gutters, streets or on the ground. In the Fresno-Clovis metropolitan area, urban runoff flows from streets, through the District’s storm drains, and into ponding basins, canals, creeks and the San Joaquin River. All of these replenish groundwater – our drinking water supply. Because runoff reaches the water resources that people and wildlife depend on, it is important to keep it clean!
The District is a public agency created by voters in 1956 to provide flood control and urban stormwater drainage within the Fresno-Clovis metropolitan area and northeastern Fresno County. The District also provides stormwater quality management, water conservation and recreation services. The District is the lead agency responsible for implementing the Clean Stormwater program in cooperation with the Cities of Fresno and Clovis, the County of Fresno and California State University, Fresno. The Clean Stormwater Grant Program is required and being implemented in response to federal and state regulations. The Clean Stormwater Program is sponsored solely by the District.
Project Types, Applications, and Checklists
The Clean Stormwater Grant Program effectively has three tiers: grants for river field trips, grants for general projects, and grants for high-priority projects:
The District will award up to $2,000 per field trip or general project and $4,000 per high priority project. The FMFCD Board of Directors has authorized up to $30,000 in grant funds to be awarded this funding cycle.
- River Field Trip Grants – Provides funding for students to go to Scout Island Outdoor Education Center to learn about the water cycle, local water resources and quality, and the importance of keeping stormwater clean.
- General Grants – Projects must focus on one or more of the following topics: stormwater quality and education, household hazardous waste information and education, stormwater pollution prevention assistance and education for businesses, environmental restoration, or enhancement and preservation.
- High Priority Grants – Projects must focus on one of the following: urban trash reduction and elimination, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Low Impact Development (LID), or, stream/river cleanup(s) or restoration, or research related to stormwater pollutants.
However, the District is always open to new ideas and encourages innovation! If you have an idea for a project that does not fit the list above, please reach out to us to discuss.
Grant Timeline and Deadlines
Projects must be completed and documented within twelve months of receiving the grant award determination (i.e. by December 31, 2024). If your project cannot feasibly be complete within this time frame contact the District to determine if an extension may be considered.
The District will accept grant applications from schools and universities, student groups, community groups, service clubs, youth organizations, churches, and other not-for-profit organizations located within the District/NPDES Boundaries. Grants will not be awarded to individuals, for-profit businesses or organizations, or to public agencies proposing projects necessary to comply with federal, state and local regulations, such as to develop or implement stormwater pollution prevention plans, monitoring or other activities required by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System stormwater permits.
Projects must provide a direct benefit or service to the residents of the greater Fresno-Clovis metropolitan area, and be proposed within the District/NPDES Boundaries. The District’s service boundaries encompass the Fresno-Clovis metropolitan area, Easton, and extends to the northeastern foothills.
Eligible Expenses and Payment Method
Eligible uses of grant funds include, but is not limited to: purchase of materials, supplies and nursery stock; equipment rental; printing and postage of publicity and promotional materials; refreshments and other incentives for volunteers; bus transportation for river field trips; honoraria for workshops, stipends for planning and development, conferences and in-services.
Ineligible expenses include, but is not limited to: wages or salaries for research or manual labor; administrative overhead; and permit fees.
This is a reimbursement grant program: grant recipients will be reimbursed for eligible expenses upon providing the District with invoices, receipts or other appropriate documentation. Generally, and at the District’s discretion, reimbursement of expenditures will be limited to the itemized amounts specified in the approved grant application form. If a grantee requires funding for specific items in advance, the District will consider issuing a check directly to the vendor.
In addition to meeting the eligibility requirements and accomplishing at least one of the grant program’s objectives as discussed above, grant recipients must:
- Obtain all appropriate permissions and permits for the project, if any;
- Provide the District with copies of any documents or materials produced for the project;
- For school projects, provide the District with examples of student work prepared through the project;
- Acknowledge District grant funding in all project promotional materials, printed programs or reports;
- Photograph project activities and provide the District with copies of the photographs;
- Enter into an agreement that holds harmless and indemnifies the District against any damages resulting from the project. The District may also require insurance coverage as appropriate.
- Upon project completion provide the District with a final project report.
Application Evaluation Process
The District reserves the sole discretion to determine if an applicant or project meets eligibility requirements, whether proposed expenses are an appropriate use of grant funds, and whether an application is complete. To this end, the District may request supplemental information regarding the project.
Staff’s evaluation, selection, and recommendations for funding will be based on the extent to which:
- The proposed project meets one or more grant objectives and closely relates to the Clean Stormwater program’s purpose and objectives.
- The project description, tasks and schedules are clear and complete.
- The budget is adequately detailed and appropriate.
- The project is fully funded. Non-grant funds necessary to complete the project should be available, or be realistically projected to become available within the grant period.
- The applicant demonstrates the ability to coordinate, manage and complete the project.
- The project reaches the general public or specific groups through publicity, educational efforts, or participation.
- The project will result in or contribute to ongoing or long-term efforts, activities and benefits within the community it will serve.
All project funding recommendations are presented to the District Board of Directors for approval or amendment.
District Clean Stormwater Grant Coordinator Contact Information
If you have any questions about the Clean Stormwater Grant Program or need assistance with your application, please reach out via phone, email, or fax, to:
Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District
5469 E. Olive Avenue
Fresno, CA 93727
(559) 456-3292, fax (559) 456-3194
Field Trip Grants
To be eligible for a Field Trip Grant the applicant (School/Organization) must be located within the District/NPDES Boundaries, which is generally described as the greater Fresno-Clovis metropolitan area. This grant provides funding for students/participants to go to Scout Island Outdoor Education Center to learn about the water cycle, local water resources and quality, and the importance of keeping stormwater clean. The grant package also covers transportation to and from Scout Island. The field trip has been designed to directly correlate to NGSS school curriculum the District has designed and offers, at no cost, to classrooms and interested parties within the District NPDES boundary (available on the District websitefor order or download). While all grade level classrooms and participants are welcome to apply, 2nd through 8th grade classrooms will typically receive priority as the District classroom curriculum specifically caters to those grade levels.
If awarded a Field Trip Grant, it is recommended that Schools/Organizations prepare by ordering free activity books, infographics, pencils, and a local water cycle poster. Upon request (as it is optional), a District environmental expert is available to come, in-person or virtually, and give an presentation about local water resources and conservation before your trip.
Scout Island is open for river field trips during the months of April, May, June, September and October.
To be eligible for a General Grant, with funding up to $2000, projects must focus on one or more of the following topics:
- Stormwater Quality Information and Education – Inform and educate the general public, specific members of the community, or students about the following: 1) local water resources, supplies and sources; 2) water quality and water pollution prevention; and 3) urban stormwater runoff (where it goes, how it becomes polluted and how citizens can help keep it clean).
- Household Hazardous Waste Information and Education – Inform and educate the general public, specific members of the community or students about: 1) reducing household hazardous wastes through use of alternative practices or products; and 2) proper use, storage and recycling or disposal of household hazardous wastes, including but not limited to used motor oil, paint wastes and garden chemicals.
- Stormwater Pollution Prevention Assistance and Education for Businesses – Inform and educate businesses about any or all of the following: 1) water quality and stormwater pollution prevention, 2) compliance with stormwater quality regulations, 3) and urban stormwater runoff (where it goes, how it becomes polluted, and how businesses can help keep it clean).
- Water Resources Field Trips – Field trips to local facilities to educate students about water quality, water resources, local water supplies and stormwater, including, 1) field trips at the San Joaquin River with Scout Island, San Joaquin River Stewardship Program and the San Joaquin River Parkway Trust, and 2) Field trips to other local attractions that include a strong focus on water resources education (such as waste water treatment facilities, etc.).
- Environmental Restoration, Enhancement and Preservation – Enhance, restore or preserve the quality of a wetland, riparian (creek and river bank), including, but not limited to 1) the removal of litter and wastes, 2) planting appropriate trees or other vegetation, and 3) working with the Department of Fish and Game on a Salmonids in the Classroom project.
The following are examples of, and ideas for, general grant projects:
Public Information Projects
- Develop and distribute a public service announcement about storm water pollution prevention
- Develop and distribute fact sheets about preventing pollution, such as how to read and follow pesticide labels, including how to properly dispose of empty containers
- Create a calendar about water quality or pollution prevention
- Take a class on a field trip to learn about storm water ponding basins, creeks, and the San Joaquin River
- Purchase watershed or groundwater educational resources your school or district
- Conduct teacher in-services to learn about water resources and available curricula
- Create a local version of a pollution prevention computer game or learning materials from other areas
Community Involvement Projects
- Conduct watershed tours or field trips
- Recruit volunteers to adhere “No Dumping – Protect Our Water” signs on storm drain inlets
- Hold a watershed or pollution prevention symposium
Business Outreach Projects
- Sponsor workshops to assist businesses in understanding environmental protection laws and regulations
- Create and distribute promotional items to remind employees of the need to prevent pollution
Enhancement and Restoration Projects
- Remove non-native species and re-vegetate an area along the San Joaquin River, local creek or trail
- Coordinate clean-up days along a trail, a creek or at the San Joaquin River
Environmental Assessment Projects
High Priority Grants
High Priority grant status applies to projects that focus on topics that District Staff has identified as relevant to current issues and correlating with additional NPDES permit requirements. The High Priority project list can change from year to year. Applicants in this category can receive up to $4,000 per project. The High Priority eligible projects are those that focus on one, or more, of the following:
- Urban trash reduction and elimination – Trash has been identified as the most prevalent pollutant in stormwater in the greater Fresno-Clovis area. Projects may consider focusing on source control strategies, improved removal, etc.
- Integrated Pest Management (IPM) – IPM is an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, and use of resistant varieties. Pesticides are a common source of pollution in stormwater.
- Stream or River cleanup(s) – Projects should focus on restoring and/or enhance the San Joaquin River, or local streams/tributaries. This project can include removing trash and debris from the River, planting along or near the river, and/or removing invasive plants.
- Low Impact Development – The term Low Impact Development (LID) refers to systems and practices that use or mimic natural processes that result in the infiltration, evapotranspiration or use of stormwater in order to protect water quality and associated aquatic habitat. Demonstrations that focus on decreasing the amount of stormwater runoff from individual lots or tract developments by mimicking predevelopment conditions are of particular interest. For more information on LID go to this fact sheet. LID could include infiltrating the stormwater on site, replacing impervious areas with pervious alternatives, such as pavers and pervious concrete, directing downspouts to landscaped areas, and/or creating rain gardens with low water use, native plants and appropriate irrigation. This project should preferably develop said LID demonstration area in a publicly accessible location, such as common area within an established development, business, complex, school, or model home lot.
- Research related to stormwater pollutants – Projects overseen and conducted by classrooms and professors associated with higher level academic institutions are particularly desired.