James River Water Quality Improvement Program


In the spring of 2018, VEE will begin soliciting proposals for projects designed to help improve the water quality of the James River, Virginia’s longest and most historic river.  A new $15.5 million fund, the James River Water Quality Improvement Program, will focus on producing significant on-the-ground water quality benefits through such means as riparian buffer creation, restoration and enhancement; erosion and sediment management and control; toxic improvements; and other water quality initiatives. Projects located within the entire James River watershed will be eligible to receive grant funding.

VEE is currently developing a strategic investment plan which will help guide its funding decisions.  This comprehensive assessment of needs and opportunities within the James River watershed will look at the current threats to the water quality of the James (not just nutrients and sediments) as well as strategic ways to respond to those threats.  When completed, VEE will make the strategic investment plan publicly available, providing grant applicants with additional information on potential priorities.  VEE intends to complete the plan by the spring and thereafter begin its grant application process.

The current schedule looks to having VEE receive proposals in June 2018 with the VEE Board of Directors awarding its first grants in October 2018.  The Endowment anticipates receiving proposals for the James River Program once a year – each June.

Only projects located within the James River watershed are eligible under this Fund.  Projects outside of the watershed remain eligible for funding under VEE’s general Virginia Program, as do other James River projects that do not meet the criteria for the new James River Water Quality Improvement Program.  VEE plans to place a priority on project implementation costs over project planning and project maintenance costs and is looking to receive proposals that demonstrate significant and measurable water quality improvements, such as reductions in nutrient, sediment, or toxic pollution.

Eligible grant recipients will include non-profit, tax-exempt charitable organizations and institutions, local governments, soil and water conservation districts, state and federal agencies, state and federally recognized tribes, and educational institutions. Individuals and for-profit organizations will not be eligible.

VEE has historically leveraged its dollars to achieve maximum environmental improvement.  While VEE will not require the use of matching funds from partners and donors to support the cost of projects funded in this program, it will encourage such. VEE anticipates that projects with matching funds, either public or private, will receive higher priority consideration.

More information will be available in 2018.  If you have any questions, contact info@vee.org.