The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has issued a Request for Proposals for its Chi-Cal Rivers Fund, a public-private partnership that is working to restore the health, vitality, and accessibility of the waterways in the Chicago and Calumet region by supporting green stormwater infrastructure, habitat enhancement, and public-use improvements.
The Chicago and Calumet watersheds comprise a highly engineered system of waterways that provide many benefits to the people and wildlife of the region. They move treated wastewater away from urban centers, help to manage flood waters, provide economically important conduits for commercial shipping, tourism and recreational boating, and offer vital habitats for many resident and migratory wildlife species. Despite these services, the waterways have been degraded by many stressors. Dangerous flooding, impaired water quality, habitat degradation, and limited safe public access have significantly reduced the ecological, economic and community values of the system.
The geographic focus of the fund includes the drainage areas of the Chicago River and tributaries in Illinois, the North Shore Channel, the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, Bubbly Creek, the Calumet Sag Channel, the Calumet River, the Grand Calumet River, the Little Calumet River, Burns Ditch, Salt Creek, Lake Calumet, and Wolf Lake. With an emphasis on these waterways, the fund will support programs focused on increasing stormwater storage capacity through green infrastructure; enhancing fish and wildlife habitat; and improving public-use opportunities.
Approximately $1 million is expected to be available for grants in 2018. Individual grants typically range between $100,000 and $300,000.
Pre-proposals must be received no later than May 15. Upon review, selected applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal by July 19, 2018.
For complete program guideline and proposal submission procedures, see the NFWF website.