Supporting Watershed-Wide Research, Policy, and Practice

What We Fund

We consider opportunities to:

  • Fund scientific research and analysis to provide information on water quality.
  • Advance policies and practices that accelerate, strengthen, or expand public and private watershed protection.

Our goal is to better understand the baseline data, progress over time, emerging threats, policies, and practices that can advance private and public watershed-protection efforts, with an emphasis on protection of forests; reduction of agricultural run-off and polluted stormwater; and protection of critical aquifers. To accomplish this, we consider funding for:

  • Research, baseline mapping, and data analysis that will be made publicly accessible and can be inform programs and policy options used to advance targeted research and advocacy.
  • Research on and analysis of innovative policies and practices with the potential to significantly affect water quality.
  • Science- and data-driven monitoring programs.
  • Science- and data-driven public and policymaker education efforts about campaigns, including targeted advocacy for effective federal, state, and regional policies and practices that promote protection or restoration of watershed resources.
  • Under no circumstances may the Foundation’s funds be used for lobbying at the Federal, state, or local level.

What We Do Not Fund

  • Work that is not grounded in credible science or other relevant data.
  • Work with primary impact outside of the Delaware watershed.

Funding will not be considered to any organization that discriminates on the basis of race, ethnicity, creed, gender, or sexual orientation in policy or practice.

 

Evaluating Proposals and Grants

How do we select grantees?

Selections are based on the potential for a proposed project to significantly improve water quality in the Delaware River watershed, as well as an applicant’s capacity to implement the proposed work, secure desired outcomes, measure change and progress, and contribute to collaborative or cooperative efforts with other key stakeholders.

How do we measure success?

We assess the success of the watershed-wide strategy in the near-term by monitoring progress toward the adoption and implementation of policies and practices that address key stressors to protect or restore water resources, and over the long-term by measuring indicators of watershed health, such as land cover, biological, chemical and environmental metrics, and stream regulatory status.

 

 

Protecting and Restoring Ecologically Significant Sub-Watersheds

What We Fund

We consider opportunities to:

  • Develop and implement conservation and restoration models.
  • Provide capital for land acquisition to promote conservation and protect water quality.
  • Provide capital for stream and upland restoration to restore water quality.

In 2013, the Foundation invited organizations to develop targeted sub-watershed restoration or protection plans that promote aligned, collaborative work of multiple stakeholders. These three-year plans, which address local stressors and include data collection and water-quality monitoring, form the basis of the Foundation’s current sub-watershed funding (see description of implementation projects below).

Funding may be used for:

  • The implementation of innovative, transformative, or model conservation and restoration projects.
  • Fee or easement acquisition of priority watershed lands.
  • Research, analysis, and communications about threats and successes in targeted sub-watersheds and their relevance to the Delaware River watershed.
  • Technical assistance for and coordination of local stakeholders, including landowners, municipalities, and watershed associations to advance plan implementation.
  • Data collection and monitoring of relevant water quality indicators to assess progress (or lack of progress) and refine interventions to more effectively restore or preserve water quality.

To further enhance successful interventions, the Foundation also seeks opportunities to fund science-based outreach and advocacy campaigns supported by targeted communications strategies. The Foundation will consider funding for strategies that focus on increasing support for watershed protection and restoration, highlighting innovative practices and effective implementations, and driving replication of successful sub-watershed work locally and across the Delaware River watershed.


What We Do Not Fund

  • Work that is not targeted to specific sub-watersheds.
  • Work that is not designed to respond to specific local stressors.
  • Work that is not grounded in credible science or other relevant data.
  • Work with primary impact outside of the targeted sub-watersheds identified above.
  • Work that is not aligned with basin-wide improvements.

Funding will not be considered to any organization that discriminates on the basis of race, ethnicity, creed, gender, or sexual orientation in policy or practice.

 

Evaluating Proposals and Grants

How do we select grantees?

The Foundation invites applications for planning and implementation in the priority sub-watersheds identified above. As part of the application process, the Foundation makes data and analysis available for each priority sub-watershed so that applicants can respond to specific local challenges and opportunities. Although most work in the sub-watersheds is supported through this structured invitation process, in some cases the Foundation may support complementary work outside of these efforts.

Strategies selected for each targeted sub-watershed area must address the abatement of specific stressors in the geography or, for preservation efforts, the protection of specific high-value resources. Plans must articulate specific indicators that will track and measure change directly associated with these stressors/conditions and include a plan for data collection and analysis. Sub-watershed stressors are likely to include one or more of the following:

  • Forest fragmentation and loss in headwaters
  • Stormwater
  • Agricultural run-off
  • Aquifer depletion

How do we measure success?

Grantees are responsible for tracking data related to the stressor(s) that they are targeting. The Foundation funds grantees to work with experts on this data collection and monitoring to ensure that sub-watershed indicators are appropriately aligned with watershed-wide indicators to enable the comparison of the change arising from targeted intervention to watershed-wide trends.

 

 

Empowering Constituencies to Act

What We Fund

We consider opportunities to:

  • Secure funds to complete “the Circuit,” Greater Philadelphia’s regional trail network.
  • Strengthen existing and emerging environmental education and outdoor recreation centers by encouraging shared programming and coordinated outreach.
  • Support programs that make use of targeted trails and rivers and provide outdoor enthusiasts with information about water.

Completion of the Circuit

Complete and increase visibility of the Circuit, Greater Philadelphia’s regional trail network, as a platform to engage people in outdoor activities and encourage them to take advantage of the benefits of the region’s waterways. Funding may support: efforts to secure public and private funding for priority trail infrastructure; development and early implementation of programming to increase near-water trail usage; communications strategies aimed at increasing trail usage and conveying the importance of clean water to Circuit users; and strategic development of trail networks that are outside, but connected to, the Circuit with access points along rivers and waterways.

River and Trail Related Centers

Develop a strategic network of existing and emerging environmental education and habitat preservation centers at key portals to trails and rivers, encouraging shared programming and coordinated outreach related to water quality. Funding may support: strategic and business planning; curriculum and programming development; branding, marketing, and other outreach efforts, including an emphasis on connections to the Circuit and regional watersheds; direct programming costs; and analysis of program efficacy.


What We Do Not Fund

  • Work with primary impact outside of the Delaware River watershed.
  • General environmental education or outdoor recreation programs not directly tied to watershed protection.
  • General operating support, except as it supports targeted constituency building initiatives.

Funding will not be considered to any organization that discriminates on the basis of race, ethnicity, creed, gender, or sexual orientation in policy or practice.

 

Evaluating Proposals and Grants

How do we select grantees?

We select projects based on place-based criteria including:

  • For the Circuit, relationship of work to completing gaps in the approved trail network, enhancing connections among trails within the network and between these trails and adjacent waterways, and increasing the visibility and use of and support for completion and stewardship.
  • For trails that are not within but do connect to the Circuit, relationship of work to enhancing connections between those trails and the Circuit and adjacent waterways, and increasing the visibility and use of and support for completion and stewardship.
  • For environmental and recreation centers, relationship of work to fostering connections among, increasing the visibility of, or strengthening the capacity of individual centers that are on both a trail and a waterway.
  • For programs, relevance to increasing the visibility and use of the trails and centers we are targeting, and the extent to which explicit messages or lessons about water quality are included as primary components.
  • Potential to advance the constituency building strategies described above.
  • Organizational capacity and track record of successful implementation.
  • Applicant organization’s ability to report baseline information and incremental change in the targeted constituency base and the actions they take to advance improvements in watershed health.

How do we measure success?

To assess impact, we support polling and other survey tools to measure the incremental number of people who participate in the types of outdoor activities we support, who view water quality as important, and who act on that view to generate positive change in behavior, policy, and practice. We also support ongoing collection of user data on the Circuit and at targeted river access locations and recreation and environmental centers, to gauge community use of these facilities.

 

 

Grant Search