As part of its Strategic Planning process, the Virginia Environmental Endowment’s Board of Directors adopted the following grant-making priorities in 2013. Current grant-making priorities in the Virginia Program are focused on improvement of local rivers and protection of water quality, restoration of the Chesapeake Bay, innovative land conservation and sustainable land use practices, environmental literacy and public awareness, and emerging issues of concern.
- Improve local rivers and protect water quality throughout Virginia: With a focus on tangible improvements to water quality, pollution reduction and pollution prevention, preference will be given to projects and policies that promote implementation of best practices for advancing agricultural stewardship, address local and regional stormwater infrastructure needs and achieve on-the-ground improvements that contribute to healthy watersheds.
- Restoration of the Chesapeake Bay: With a focus on implementation of Virginia’s Watershed Implementation Plan to meet the Bay’s total maximum daily load (TMDL) interim and final goals by 2017 and 2025, respectively, preference will be given to innovative and creative strategies designed to reduce implementation costs and pollution and accelerate progress, when possible. Improved fisheries management, restoration of keystone fisheries and expanded recreational access are also an interest.
Land Conservation and Use
- Enhance land conservation and sustainable land use: Special emphasis is placed on strategies, policies and projects focused on conserving large landscapes, restoring and protecting riparian buffers and headwater streams, establishing conservation practices on land previously placed under protective easement, and establishing local land trusts in areas where a gap exists. A nexus with water quality protection is important. The Endowment does not provide grant funds for land purchases.
Environmental Education and Public Awareness
- Advance environmental literacy and public awareness: Preference will be given to outcomes-based proposals that incorporate best practices related to student learning and teacher/principal training, including regional standards and Next Generation Science Standards, and those that offer meaningful experiential learning opportunities which connect students and families to nature. Regarding public awareness, projects that tie environmental stewardship to jobs and those that use innovative, collaborative, and creative approaches such as media messaging to reach non-traditional environmental supporters are also encouraged.
- The Virginia Environmental Endowment is interested in using its strategic investments to make a difference on emerging issues, such as climate adaptation for coastal communities and projects that advance water supply planning and implementation, and efforts to mitigate environmental impacts due to hydraulic fracturing.
Applications are accepted biannually, with deadlines of June 15th and December 1st. See the Proposal Submission page for detailed information and requirements. June applications are typically acted on in October. December applications are reviewed by the Board of Directors in April.