Massachusetts Environmental Trust FY21 Drive for a Better Environment Grants Program

Below please find a limited submission opportunity from the Massachusetts Environmental Trust with only one nominee allowed per institution. If you are interested in submitting to this program please email me with a single PDF by November 21st with the following Limited Submission Pre-proposal Requirements:

1.      A two-page summary that must include your research/project:
            a.      goals
            b.      objectives
            c.       methods, and
            d.      a short statement of competitiveness (i.e., what you think will discriminate your proposal from the competition, including anything you have done to pre-position yourself/your team for this funding opportunity)

2.      A pro forma budget, including any cost-sharing and facilities requirements and how you plan to meet them; use template:

3.      A short-form CV for the PI and each senior staff person

4.      Current and Pending Support of PI’s


Massachusetts Environmental Trust FY21 Drive for a Better Environment Grants Program

Program Description:

The Massachusetts Environmental Trust (MET or Trust) is soliciting proposals under the FY21 Drive for a Better Environment Grants Program (DFBE) for projects that protect endangered marine animals, and activities that restore and improve critical aquatic ecosystems.  The DFBE Grants Program provides funding to novel and evident projects that support the advancement of marine animal conservation efforts and restoration and enhancement of aquatic ecosystems within Massachusetts.  Revenues for the grants program are generated from the sale of the Trust’s three environmentally-themed license plates issued by the Registry of Motor Vehicles – the Right Whale Tail/Roseate Tern, Leaping Brook Trout, and Blackstone Valley Mill.  Grantees will be required to fulfill certain conditions of funding to promote the sales of the license plates. 


  • Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Conservation – Combined Grant Awards totaling no more than $150,000
  • Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration and Enhancement – Combined Grant Awards totaling no more than $150,000

Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Conservation 

MET is the primary sponsor and the only state funding for the Atlantic Large Whale (and Sea Turtle) Disentanglement Network (ALWDN).  The ALWDN program fulfills a mandate of the state to protect and help ensure the survival of endangered marine animals under the federal Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act.  MET achieves this objective by partnering with the Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF), the Center for Coastal Studies (CCS) and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to respond to a timely and critical need to ensure the survival of at-risk marine animals dependent on safe habitat and healthy ecosystems for feeding, places to breed, and migration stopovers. 

The Trust encourages project applications that advance and fortify the efforts of this decades-long partnership of working to protect marine animals and habitat and contribute to the management and conservation of marine mammals and sea turtles that are endangered, threatened, or of critical concern.  

 Examples eligible project concepts: 

  • Research activities to better understand marine mammal ecological, biological, and behavioral needs and the dissemination of information for the purpose of preserving and safeguarding marine mammal populations;
  • Protecting and designating critical habitat for marine animals at risk (predominantly populations of North Atlantic right whales and humpback whales) that inhabit, utilize, or migrate in state waters;
  • Advancement of progress in developing fishing gear to reduce the risk for injury and mortality of marine life;
  • Expansion of methods of monitoring whale movements that may provide additional early-warning detection systems and advance notification that will help prevent accidental boat/ship strikes to marine animals;
  • Marine animal rescue and rehabilitation and research on the best practices for reintroduction of rescued and/or rehabilitated mammals into the wild;

Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration and Enhancement

The Trust seeks applications for projects that protect and restore fish habitat, estuaries, and freshwater and marine ecosystems.  Preference will be given to cold-water species and rivers of concern in the central and western regions of the state including underserved areas of the commonwealth; and to projects deemed as urgent or in need of immediate attention by the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game (DFG) and its Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and its Division of Ecological Restoration (DER).

Examples of eligible project concepts:

  • Initial stage project approaches from planning, feasibility assessment, and permitting; for river and estuary continuity and restoration efforts to restore natural biodiversity;
  • Protection, enhancement, and improved aquatic and riparian habitat and related water quality affecting areas that support nurseries, feeding, migration and spawning for at-risk fish and aquatic wildlife;
  • Documentation and dissemination of results of monitoring and modifying marine, estuarine, and freshwater systems that demonstrate an increased understanding of the aquatic environment and the effects of human activities upon them.