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Community Stormwater Solutions Grants

RiverSmart Projects

The 2024 Community Stormwater Solutions Request for Applications (RFA) is now open!
Applications are due March 28 at 4pm. Get more details and a copy of the RFA.

The Community Stormwater Solutions Grant Program provides funding for innovative and community-centered improving community-centered projects to improve our waterways in the District. Another goal is to create new community partners and strengthen existing relationships with community-based organizations and small businesses. This program supports community-oriented and inspired projects designed to increase knowledge and lead to behavior change as it relates to watershed and stormwater-related issues. Since 2016, DOEE has awarded 78 grants totaling $1,722,704. The program is currently administered through a partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Trust (Trust).

Project areas include environmental justice, environmental education, green infrastructure, green jobs, habitat restoration, litter and pollution reduction, and out-of-school time programming. Applicants are encouraged to think outside of the box and create projects that involve creativity as a viable tool for affecting change and establishing or deepening participants’ connection to the environment. All projects should be inspired and led or supported by the priority community within the District.

Email Updates

To receive updates about grants and other funding opportunities please enter your contact information below:

Program Contacts:

Department of Energy and Environment
Emily Rice | 202-480-0946
[email protected]

Chesapeake Bay Trust
Marylin Veiman-Echeverria
[email protected]


2022 Community Stormwater Solutions Grantees

9 grants totaling $320,736

Friends of Anacostia Park
The Friends Corps RSTOR initiative: Community-led watershed rehabilitation - $35,000

The Friends of Anacostia Park's  (FoAP) project will enable FoAP to grow the Friends Corps, partner with Casey Trees and Ward 8 Woods to broaden watershed restoration expertise, pilot a community-driven stormwater management campaign, and educate youth and park-goers on the importance of watershed rehabilitation. The Friends Corps is FoAP’s workforce development program trains returning citizens and Ward 7 and 8 residents to lead the revitalization charge in Anacostia Park. Comprised of Park users from Anacostia, the Corps is uniquely positioned to lead the community in the rehabilitation of the watershed because they couple strong, personal ties to Anacostia neighborhoods with technical expertise in land and water management. The Corps RSTOR initiative, or “Reconnecting Stewards to Our River”, is a new initiative that will put Anacostians at the helm of the trash removal, invasives eradication, and tree planting effort in the Park—three focus areas that impact stormwater management and the health of the River.

Urban Learning and Teaching Center
Writing and advocacy in the Anacostia watershed: Wheatley Middle schoolers investigate environmental justice in Trinidad D.C - $25,000

Urban Learning and Teaching Center/Urban Adventure Squad’s project with Wheatley Education Campus will engage over 60 middle schoolers in a classroom-based, environmental justice project that moves watershed education into the English Language Arts curriculum. Through creative writing, outdoor science experiments, and neighborhood investigations, students will 1) explore the historical and current challenges to the Anacostia River, 2) understand the significance of stormwater runoff mitigation, and 3) practice environmental advocacy by creating written capstone projects.

The Anacostia Watershed Society
Mussel Power: Engaging DC students and community members in mussel restoration - $34,000

The Anacostia Watershed Society’s Mussel Power program will engage students and community members in a hands-on, authentic opportunity to help restore the population of native freshwater mussels in the Anacostia River. The school-based program will engage 6 DC schools in raising mussels in their classroom and releasing them into the Anacostia River. Community members will be engaged during a "Mussel May" month of outreach and educational activities in May 2023.

After School All-Stars
Let’s keep owning our communities! - $35,000

After School All-Stars’ project will build on the success of their previous “Own Our Communities” project by bringing programming to two new schools and a new watershed. Students from Hart Middle School and Kramer Middle School will explore the Oxon Run and Anacostia Watersheds, respectively, and then share, compare, and contrast their findings in “A Tale of Two Watersheds” culminating event. Students will research their neighborhood environments and draw connections between the history of how the environment and marginalized social groups intersect, and how they see their communities engaging with their physical environments today. Students will then create artistic projects to get their messages out into their networks and come together to build community and grow the reach of their calls to action.

Ward 8 Woods Conservancy
Ward 7 Woods remediation - $34,755

Ward 8 Woods Conservancy’s project will increase access to nature and creates green jobs for underserved communities in the District of Columbia by reclaiming a key woodland corridor on Federal Parkland in the Anacostia River watershed, currently beset by pollution and invasive plants. The removal of 100,000 pounds of trash and invasive vines choking hundreds of native trees will be accomplished by participants in the Park Steward program, which employs Ward 8 residents who face barriers to employment. The project will include door-to-door canvassing to raise ecological awareness among residents, discourage littering, and recruit at least five households or volunteers to “adopt” and steward wooded areas near their homes.

The Green Scheme
Ward 8 Water Watchers (W8WW) - $32,028

The Green Scheme’s project will offer an expanded series of family-oriented watershed events, further engaging and empowering the community, as well as strengthening our W8WW Ambassadors program and preparing residents to actively participate in planning for the restoration of Oxon Run and Oxon Run Park. The events include nature walks, water quality monitoring, a boat ride, litter pick-up, harvesting produce, and a final celebration to commit to staying a Ward 8 Water Watcher.

Capitol Rowing Club
Capitol Rowing Club: Row and clean the Anacostia Project - $34,677

Capitol Rowing Club’s project will increase access to rowing and organize workshops on cleaning up and protecting rivers for the disabled community and for students. This project will increase diversity in rowing; develop and implement new student-conceived and implemented technologies and ways to clean up and protect the Anacostia River; incentivize and provide mentoring to students to produce new social media and video content on the Anacostia Watershed and rowing; provide new pathways to internships and jobs in the “green economy” and social media sectors; and it will create a best practice model that can be replicated elsewhere in the United States and abroad.

Right Directions
Right Directions stormwater project - $30,000

Right Directions’ project will engage youth from the Washington Highlands community in Ward 8 by providing them with the technical support to test the water streams for quality and pollution running through the Anacostia and the Oxon Run waterway. The youth will take boat trips along the Anacostia River while learning how the trash from our community ends up in the water. Under this grant, approximately 450 pounds of trash and debris will be removed from our waterways. 

My Seniors Keeper Foundations
Hybrid stormwater solutions hands-on workshops - $30,000

My Seniors Keeper Foundations’ project will conduct green workforce training for residents in Ward 7, returning citizens, and veterans on how to design, install and maintain green infrastructure projects. The training will focus on the Agritecture of installing a storm capture pavilion, solar panels, and turbines. Participants will also be involved in the design of a stormwater capture irrigation system. The results will be individuals who are trained in protecting their environment while developing transferable and marketable 21st-century green infrastructure workforce skills.

Homes for Hope
Let it rain! - $30,276

Homes for Hope’s project will raise awareness throughout the greater Anacostia neighborhood of DC about water conservation and green infrastructure in an effort to preserve and protect the Anacostia watershed from pollution. Homes for Hope clients and additional members of the community will participate in an educational program about water conservation that will occur twice a week for four months. Participants will also place 50 rain barrels on our site to collect fresh rainwater, and plant 10 trees to beautify the community and prevent surface runoff into the Pope Branch tributary. This will engage the community in beneficial conservation activities and facilitate a community-led green infrastructure project.

- The Grant Writing Workshop Series guidance materials are attached below.