Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida
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Conservation Grants

Grant Programs of the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida

Since 1994, the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida has raised and given away more than $30 million in grants to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and many other public and private partners. We are the largest private funder of the Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network, a consortium of 300+ public and private organizations that provide 200,000 Florida children annually with formative outdoor experiences. Conserving important wildlife habitat, preventing species extinctions, improving public access to hunting lands and shooting sports facilities, combatting invasive species like pythons and lionfish, and restoring Florida’s reefs are also major initiatives. While many of our grants are made to organizations with which we work closely to achieve our conservation goals, several times/year the Foundation also invites individuals, organizations, and agencies to apply for competitive grants funded via our specialty license plates and other sources. More information on these programs is below.

2019 Grant Applications Request

Conservation & Outdoor Recreation

The Foundation is now accepting applications for grants from the proceeds of sales of the “Wildlife Foundation of Florida” and “Protect Florida Springs” specialty license plates. Deadline for submittals is 6:00 pm ET on Friday, July 27th, 2018. Current grant window closed; watch for new cycle in spring 2019.

“Wildlife Foundation of Florida” Grants

Conserving and managing lands open to public hunting; improving access to and amenities on public hunting lands; supporting hunting stakeholder meetings; promoting gun safety programs for all ages, including youth hunting programs. Support generally for the shootings sports in Florida, including competitive shooting and archery.

Current Priorities:
a) Innovative programs that attract women and minorities to hunting and shooting sports.
b) Archery programs for youth and adults.
c) Ecological restoration and improvement of public hunting lands.
d) Gun and hunting safety programs for all ages.

Eligible Applicants and Projects

Federal, state or local government agencies, public and private colleges and universities and 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, including all-volunteer organizations (e.g., “Friends of…” groups). The Foundation may also, at its sole discretion, consider proposals that benefit the public from private, for-profit organizations. Per Florida Statute 320.08056 (10)(a), grant funds may be expended only for use in the State of Florida.

History

The Florida Legislature assigned administration of the WFF (aka “deer tag”) license plate to the Foundation in 2014, “to fund programs and projects within the state that preserve open space and wildlife habitat, promote conservation, improve wildlife habitat, and establish open space for the perpetual use of the public.”

The Foundation under these guidelines has focused its grant making on conserving and managing lands open to public hunting; improving access to, and amenities on, public hunting lands; supporting hunting stakeholder meetings; promoting gun safety and youth hunting programs; and generally fostering the shootings sports in Florida, including archery. These remain the principal interests of this program and grant cycle. A list of past grants can be found here for guidance.

Grant Size

“Wildlife Foundation of Florida” grant requests of up to $75,000 will be considered. Most grants will range from $1,000 to $25,000. The applicant’s ability to procure matching funds from other sources may have bearing on the possibility of being funded but is not a prerequisite. Multi-year projects will be considered, but funding is generally awarded for 18-month intervals. The project period will be from January 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 (18 months).

Apply Online

When you click here, you will need to sign up to create a user account by entering a unique e-mail address and a password. You will then be taken to the application form.

“Protect Florida Springs” Grants

The Foundation is seeking freshwater springs-focused projects in two areas; several priority needs within each area for the 2019 grant cycle are noted.

1. Research projects that lead to better understanding of or directly address one or more principal threats facing Florida’s springs. This can be site-specific research or research that has the potential to positively impact multiple springs.
(Examples: projects that identify the sources of stress for a particular spring; an innovative method of reducing nutrient pollution or controlling invasive species in one or more springs; research to ensure the continued survival of imperiled or declining spring species.)

Current priorities:
a) Quantification of the long-term economic benefits of springs preservation and restoration; e. g., nature tourism, ecosystem services (health of aquifer/clean drinking water, water for wildlife and agriculture, etc.)
b) Development of local and regional watershed maps for springs to foster better land-use planning, guide springs- and aquifer-related environmental policy and educate the public.
c) Start-up planning funding for communities and organizations working to preserve or restore springs.
d) “Completion” or ongoing funding for large springs research projects.
e) Research on native Florida species dependent on the springs ecosystems.
f) Research on control and removal of non-native or otherwise invasive plants and animals that further degrade springs ecosystems.

2. Community education and other outreach activities that foster adoption of best practices in the restoration, management and conservation of freshwater springs or alter public attitudes and practices detrimental to spring conservation.
(Examples: community education projects that encourage landowners to reduce non-point nutrient flow into springs via vegetative buffers, improved septic systems or sewage treatment; fostering and organizing community or interest-group (e.g., divers) springs clean ups, bank stabilization, exotic species removal and similar on-the-ground stewardship work.)

Current priorities:
a) Proposals that address the disconnect between an individual’s actions and the large-scale impacts on springs and the aquifer (for example, that dumping chemicals on the ground can show up in surrounding waters within weeks with little filtration and consequent impacts on human and wildlife health).
b) Creation of a best-practices manual of restoration and conservation strategies that have worked well at one or more springs.
c) Effective strategies based on current understanding of social behavior to change behaviors by Florida residents and tourists that degrade Florida’s springs.

The potential conservation impact of each proposal and its possible applicability to multiple springs will have strong bearing on the possibility of being funded. Questions to be answered in the springs grant application include:

a) Does the project have broad applicability? Could agencies and other communities take the results and apply them elsewhere?
b) Does the project have the potential to change minds and behaviors?
c) Are the anticipated results measurable or quantifiable? What is the grantee’s plan for publicizing the findings and having them influence work elsewhere?
d) Does the project or its anticipated results have the potential to attract new funding, partners or on-the-ground conservation agreements?

Eligible Applicants and Projects

Eligible applicants include federal, state or local government agencies; public and private colleges and universities; and 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, including all-volunteer organizations (e.g., “Friends of…” groups). The Foundation may also, at its sole discretion, consider proposals that benefit the public from private, for-profit organizations. Per Florida Statute 320.08056 (10)(a), grant funds may be expended only for use in the State of Florida.

History

The Florida Legislature established the Protect Florida Springs specialty license plate in 2007 to fund competitive grants for community-based springs research and conservation not currently available for state funding, as well as funding of community outreach programs aimed at implementing such research findings. The competitive grants are administered and approved by the board of directors of the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida, with input from a Springs Advisory Committee made up of springs experts and community members. A list of past grants can be found here for guidance.

Grant Size

Grant requests up to $75,000 will be considered. The applicant’s ability to procure matching funds from other sources may have bearing on the possibility of being funded but is not a prerequisite. Multi-year projects will be considered, but funding is generally awarded for 18-month intervals. The project period will be from January 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 (18 months).

Apply Online

When you click here, you will need to sign up to create a user account by entering a unique e-mail address and a password. You will then be taken to the application form.

For more information on either grant program, contact Ms. Erin Smart. 

Important Dates

July 27, 2018 – Deadline for all proposals to be submitted to the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida.

September 24, 2018 – The Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida Board of Directors determines grant awards.

October 1 – 7, 2018 – All applicants notified of the Board’s decisions. Successful applicants will receive formal award letters.

January 1, 2019 – Projects commence.

July 31, 2020 – Final reports and reimbursement invoices, if any, are due.

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