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You are here: Home / Projects / EBTJV Funding Opportunities / 2025 Project Application Information / 2025 RFP Announcement - 11/20/2023

2025 RFP Announcement - 11/20/2023

Our FY25 RFP will be open November 20 through February 9, 2024

Allopatric and Sympatric brook trout patches. A “patch” is defined as a group of contiguous catchments occupied by wild trout (Hudy et. al. 2013). Patches are not connected physically (i.e., they are separated by a dam, unoccupied warm water habitat, downstream invasive species, etc.) and are generally assumed to be genetically isolated.Allopatric refers to eastern brook trout only in a catchment.  Sympatric refers to brook trout co-residing and competing with brown and rainbow trout.Note: are you looking for all of EBTJV's interactive patch and catchment layers, and the GIS data to download? See related items below.

Announcement of RFP

The Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture (EBTJV), as one of the 20 partnerships under the National Fish Habitat Partnership, is requesting project proposals that are focused on Brook Trout conservation actions in its 17 state eastern native range. Federal funding is available through the National Fish Habitat Partnership as outlined under the America’s Conservation Enhancement Act of 2020. You can find the full Act here.

This RFP opens on November 20, 2023.  The deadline for submitting your Brook Trout conservation project proposal is 11:59 pm (Eastern Time) on February 9, 2024. Incomplete applications will not be considered, and late applications will only be considered in rare circumstances. Funding for FY2024 projects will likely not be appropriated by Congress until after January 2025 and will likely not be available to project leaders until March 2025 or later.

The maximum award amount for an individual project is $50,000.  EBTJV expects to fund 3-5 projects for FY25. These funds can only be used for on-the-ground brook trout conservation and restoration projects in the native eastern range, and related design and monitoring activities; they may not be used for research projects.  If you have a question about an eligible activity, please contact the Coordinator or your state agency representative (see below).

To ensure available funding is being directed most effectively, proposed projects must be geared toward meeting the EBTJV’s range-wide habitat goals and objectives, as well as its key conservation  actions.  Projects must also fall under at least one of the NFHAP National Conservation Priorities. EBTJV prioritizes projects that are most likely to be fully implemented in the 2-year EBTJV/NFHAP project performance period. Additionally, the ACE Act places an emphasis on projects that increase recreational fishing opportunities through habitat improvements, that benefit the local economy, and that have a public educational component.  EBTJV projects have historically incorporated each of these elements. 

Examples of eligible projects include (but are not limited to):

  • restoring aquatic connectivity by removing small dams and replacing undersized culverts;
  • executing strategies that eliminate competition from non-native species (including removal);
  • planting native shrubs and trees in riparian zones to provide shade and stream bank stabilization;
  • adding large woody material to streams to add complexity, improve sediment sorting, and reconnect groundwater;
  • restoring native brook trout to watersheds where it has been extirpated; and
  • implementing watershed conservation practices that reduce sediment and nutrient pollution.

This is not a complete list, and furthermore, specific project actions may be deemed appropriate in one location and not in another. Projects are evaluated in context of whether the root causes of brook trout decline have been or will be addressed as a first step, and if available physical and biological data have been considered: e.g. data on population genetics, invasive species, stream temperatures, and available habitat and watershed variables. Additionally, efforts to maintain or improve public access, educate the public and other stakeholders about the conservation actions, and monitor project outcomes should ideally be included as components of a successful project (but are not eligible as a stand alone project).


We also strongly encourage you to look at the EBTJV’s 2024 Project Scoring Criteria.  This outlines how applications will be scored, and should help you know if your project will rank well.  Consultation with your state biologist is also meant to help you in this process.

Eligible applicants:

State, county, and local governments

Private, Public, and State controlled institutions of higher education

Nonprofits having a 501 (c)(3) status with the IRS

Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)

Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized)

A note on the timeline: EBTJV will forward a ranked project list to the National Fish Habitat Partnership at the end of March, 2024.  NFHAP will forward their funding list to the FWS, who will make its decisions in the fall. Funding for projects is dependent on the federal budget cycle and will likely not be appropriated by Congress until after January 2025 and will likely not be available to project leaders until March 2025 or later. Following this announcement, winning applicants will need to sign grant award documents with the FWS through GrantSolutions; this begins the project period and pre-award expenses will not be reimbursed. EBTJV will prioritize projects whose deliverables are expected to be completed within two years of the start of the project period, although there is flexibility on a case-by-case basis, and the timeline is set at the step of signing grant agreement paperwork.

Match: All projects must also have a minimum of a 1:1 contribution from non-federal funding sources. To meet the 1:1 non-federal match requirement, non-federal funds contributions must not come from, be matched to, or otherwise tied to a federal source. Match may include cash, time, materials, or other in-kind services.  Match can be generated at any time but must be spent during the project performance period, which is expected to begin in the summer of 2025. Successful proposals must demonstrate a 1:1 or greater non-federal match,. Greater match funding among all sources will result in a more competitive project proposal; our goal is to exceed a 3:1 match ratio (potentially including federal sources) across the portfolio of funded projects. Match must occur during the project period. Please contact us if your project will be implemented by a Tribe or with tribal funds, as these have different match requirements.

New requirements under the ACE Act include the 1:1 nonfederal match and an evaluation plan for assessing the results of the project and for measuring the associated improvements to fish populations, recreational fishing opportunities, and the local economy.  Project applications will be reviewed and ranked based on their ability to meet these and other key factors that can be found in the EBTJV’s 2024 Project Scoring Criteria (please note there are no changes to scoring values from the 2024 RFP).

 Special considerations

The ACE Act allows a state, local government, or other non-federal entity to receive NFHP funds for the acquisition of real property from willing sellers if the acquisition ensures public access for fish and wildlife-dependent recreation or contributes a scientifically based, direct enhancement to the health of fish and fish populations as determined by the NFHP Board.  All real property acquisition projects funded with NFHP funds must be approved by the state agency in the state in which the project is occurring.   EBTJV has not yet incorporated property acquisition into its project selection. Please contact the EBTJV coordinator if you have a project request that includes real property acquisition.

Applicants will be notified of their project’s ranking and funding status as that information becomes available. Successful applicants will be required to complete a separate series of documents to receive the funds, in coordination with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).  NFHP funds are federal funds, administered through the FWS. All organizations that receive NFHP funding are required to complete all requirements for federal grants, including registration on the federal System for Award Management (, Automated Standard Application for Payments (ASAP), Grants Solutions grant management system, and provide interim and annual reports to the FWS and EBTJV. If your organization is not yet registered in the SAM system, please do so as soon as EBTJV notifies you of your award. NFHP funds are processed through a grant agreement completed through the USFWS Regional Offices or local FWCO office. Grants are paid on a reimbursable basis. If requesting indirect funds, applicants will need to submit a negotiated indirect cost rate agreement, take the de minimis cost rate, or bill everything directly.  All applicants are required to complete environmental compliance documents, including National Historic Preservation Act Form, National Environmental Policy Act, and section 7 of the Endangered Species Act in collaboration with US FWS. EBTJV will also require a project end report with photos. Please see U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Fish Habitat Partnership Program (NFHP) Application & Award Requirements October 2021 for more information.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact their state EBTJV representative early in the process (EBTJV State Contact List).  Applicants are also encouraged to contact their regional Fish and Wildlife Service office, although formal coordination with FWS during the application process is no longer a requirement. However, applicants that plan projects in coordination with or with input from these experts are much more likely to be successful.

Project application requirements

  • 1.     2024 Project Application Form, available via the full instructions document.
  • 2.     Letter of Support from the State Fisheries Management Agency -  You must obtain a letter of support from the appropriate State Fisheries Management Agency for your project in advance of the application deadline. You should initiate contact your Agency early in the process of designing your project and have a conversation with the appropriate representative in your Agency no later than January 9, 2024. This should be the individual that represents the state in the EBTJV whenever possible (EBTJV State Contact List). You will need to also request a letter of support from this person to be attached to your application by the due date of February 9, 2024.  This letter will address multiple aspects of the project and applicant’s readiness, including the objectives, location (including if the habitat can or will support brook trout, and if invasive species that could access the project site are considered), whether genetic data have been collected or referenced where appropriate, thoughtfulness of a monitoring plan, and potential for long-term success. In addition, if project is located on private land, a landowner consent letter is needed. EBTJV does not currently have a template landowner consent letter, but you may provide your own.
  • 3.     Photographs and USFWS Copyright Release Agreement - Photographs in JPEG or TIFF format should be uploaded into your project folder independently of the application.  A USFWS Copyright Release Agreement needs to be completed and uploaded for each photo submitted.

Project application packets must be submitted electronically via the EBTJV website in the folder labeled Upload your 2025 Project Application Packet Here . Only the Coordinator and you will be able to see the folder you create.

Please contact the Coordinator immediately if you experience technical difficulties with the website or need assistance with your application. If you are a first time user of the website, you will need to create a username and password. Please register here.

Please carefully read the application and scoring criteria to ensure you can meet the requirements by the deadline.  Successful applications are well thought out with input from partners and state and/or federal agency biologists.

Thank you for your interest in partnering with EBTJV to help us fulfill our mission to secure resilient populations of wild Brook Trout by protecting, enhancing, and restoring aquatic habitat and increasing human connections to, and stewardship of, our natural environment.

For questions, please contact:

Lori Maloney, EBTJV Coordinator


RFP instructions

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Underwater photo by Ryan Cooper, blueline_angler on Instagram. Ryan is a conservation Planner for TU in The Potomac Valley of WV and an avid fisherman in his spare time. Photo taken on a weekend backpacking trip in WV.

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