You can make a big impact on stormwater pollution by increasing the amount of stormwater runoff absorbed on your nonprofit property. Plus, you'll also reduce your Watershed Protection Fee.
Community Stormwater Partnership Grant
Howard County strives to improve stormwater management and water quality on private property owned by nonprofits and HOA’s. Howard County recognizes the unique challenges nonprofits and HOA’s have that may impact access to stormwater treatment and resources. The Office of Community Sustainability have provided grant opportunities for funding on-the-ground stormwater practices on nonprofit and HOA properties.
2023 Community Stormwater Partnership Grant opportunity is currently CLOSED.
Why should you apply?
- If you are a nonprofit or HOA looking to improve stormwater quality and/or quantity on you should apply for this grant opportunity. Howard County may fund up to $50,000 for your project ideas. Eligible projects include tree plantings, Best Management Practices installations, conservation landscaping, and more. For nonprofits, applying for this grant is an opportunity to get stormwater treatment in the ground for your nonprofit to reach the Maximum Extent Practicable
What is the difference between the Community Stormwater Partnership Grant program and the Nonprofit Watershed Protection Partnership?
- The Partnership is entirely different than the grant program. The grant program provides funding to nonprofits and HOA’s for implementation of practices that improve water quality and quantity. The Nonprofit Watershed Protection Partnership is for nonprofits, HOA’s are not eligible for the Nonprofit Watershed Protection Partnership (“the Partnership”) described below because they do not receive a Watershed Protection Fee and the Partnership below provides a credit toward the Fee. Without a Fee, we cannot provide a credit to HOAs.
Who is eligible for the Community Stormwater Partnership grant?
Nonprofits who are in the Nonprofit Watershed Protection Partnership
Is this grant competitive?
Are you a nonprofit not in the Partnership but are interested in applying for the grant?
- You may still apply, but you will be asked to join the partnership.
Are you unsure if you are in the Partnership?
- If you received an email directly from Avery announcing the grant, you are in the Partnership. If it was forwarded to you or you saw it online, then you are likely not yet a Partner. Still unsure? Just check "unsure" on the grant application and we will check as we review your application. You may also reach out to Avery to check.
Who should you contact for more information?
- Contact Avery's email firstname.lastname@example.org
Watershed Protection Fee
The Watershed Protection Fee aims to improve the water quality of streams and rivers in your neighborhood and the Chesapeake Bay by funding projects that treat Howard County stormwater runoff. All property owners are charged a fee based on the size of their property or the amount of impervious area on their property that allows untreated stormwater to flow off.
All non-residential properties, including nonprofits, are charged at a rate of $15 per 500 square feet of impervious surface based on aerial photography. However, the Watershed Protection Fee legislation established a unique partnership program option for nonprofit properties that reduces the financial impact to the organization while also improving stormwater runoff controls on the property.
Nonprofit Watershed Protection Partnership
Nonprofits are eligible for the Nonprofit Watershed Protection Partnership which is designed to alleviate hefty stormwater fees. Once you complete a partnership agreement with the County, the County can conduct site assessments to provide on-site stormwater treatment opportunities to the Maximum Extent Practicable (MEP), which may be less than 100 percent of the total site's stormwater treatment needs given space limitations. The property owner agrees to implement identified practices and then 100% of the Watershed Protection Fee is credited to the owner. HOA’s are NOT eligible to become a partner but may apply for the Community Stormwater Partnership grant.
IF YOU ARE AN EXISTING PARTNER, UPDATE YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION HERE:
please update your contact information here so that your nonprofit can know of future opportunities for installing best management practices, planting trees, and more. Thank you!
The process includes:
- Step 1: Complete a Partnership Agreement (after this point, a 100 percent credit to the fee is awarded for future billings contingent on implementation of the BMPs. The credit is not awarded retroactively to past payments. You only need to apply to the Partnership once, it automatically renews each year as long as you are complying with the Partnership Agreement.).
- Step 2: The County (or its consultant) conducts a site assessment.
- Step 3: The County and the nonprofit agree to on-site practices that will meet the maximum extent practicable (MEP), based on site assessment. (This is the last opportunity for a nonprofit to withdraw from the partnership. If they withdraw, the fee will resume at the next billing cycle.)
- Step 4: The County and the nonprofit sign a Scope of Work that outlines the implementation and maintenance of the practices to be installed.
- Step 5: The practices are installed on the nonprofit property (solidifying their partnership and the 100 percent credit to the fee).
- Step 6: The County verifies that the practices are functioning as intended while the nonprofit oversees maintenance. Every three years the nonprofit will submit documentation to the County, confiming the practices are still functioning as intended, with the option for a County site visit to confirm.
The County may work with nonprofit property owners to assist in the cost of implementing the identified stormwater management practices.
If a nonprofit organization does not agree to an MOU, or later opts out of the partnership, then the Watershed Protection Fee will be calculated at the non-residential/commercial rate described above. Should a nonprofit organization without an MOU install stormwater control practices, they can be credited at the percent equivalent to the impervious square footage treated to current standards under commercial property credit guidelines.
The deadline for completion of the Partnership Agreement is February 1 of each year to receive a 100% credit to the July 1 Fee of that same year. Agreements accepted after February 1 will be applied to the following year's bill and not retroactively awarded to past bills.