Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Program


The objective of the Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Program is to work cooperatively with states, Tribes, and other entities as they study, design and construct aquatic ecosystem restoration projects that are collaboratively developed, have widespread regional benefits, and result in the improvement of the health of fisheries, wildlife, and aquatic habitat through restoration and improved fish passage. As used here, aquatic ecosystem refers to freshwater and brackish water habitats such as lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, wetlands, swamps, and estuaries and the adjacent floodplains, riparian corridors, deltas, and shallow aquifers that interact with surface water.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Bureau of Reclamation, Department of The Interior
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Not applicable.
Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration, Title Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, Part FF, Section 1109, Public Law 116-260, 33 U.S.C. 2330(c)
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
In accordance with P.L. 116-260, Sec. 1109(a), eligible applicants include States, Tribes, irrigation districts, or water districts; State, regional, or local authorities, the members of which include one or more organizations with water or power delivery authority; agencies established under State law for the joint exercise of powers; and other entities or organizations that own a dam that is eligible for upgrade, modification, or removal. Nonprofit conservation organizations are also eligible to apply if they are acting in partnership with and with the agreement of an entity described above with respect to a project involving land or infrastructure owned by the entity. Applicants must also be located in the western U.S. or Territories as identified in the Reclamation Act of June 17, 1902, as amended and supplemented; specifically, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands.
Beneficiary Eligibility
The Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Program benefits a diverse array of stakeholders, which may include but is not limited to, private property owners, Federal, State, or local agencies, and Indian tribes that are located in the Western United States or United States Territories including Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands.
(1) A detailed written technical proposal including a detailed scope of work separating the work into major tasks, including any engineering or design work already completed, and describing data responsive to the evaluation criteria listed in the funding opportunity. (2) A project cost proposal and detailed narrative that provides an explanation for project cost proposal, including a budget with the estimated project costs, including salaries and wages, fringe benefits, travel, equipment, supplies, contracts, and indirect costs, an estimate of annual operation & maintenance costs, and the value of in-kind contributions of goods and services. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program. (3) When applicable, a funding plan showing how the applicant will pay for its 35% cost share requirement. Applicants proposing the study and design of a project that removes or modifies a dam in a manner that reduces storage or diversion capacity, must provide written consent of the owner of the dam. Applicants proposing the construction of a dam removal or modification project must a) identify any eligible entity that receives water or power from the facility that is under consideration for removal or modification, b) notify each eligible entity that the dam removal or modification project was requested, and c) not receive by the date that is 120 days after the date on which all eligible entities were notified, written objection from 1 or more eligible entities that collectively receive 1/3 or more of the water or power delivered from the facility that is to be removed or modified.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. An environmental impact statement is required for this listing. An environmental impact assessment is required for this listing.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Funding opportunity announcements for this program are posted on Submission of a complete technical proposal and budget is mandatory by the due date identified in the announcement. In addition, applicants must submit all applicable SF 424 forms referenced in the announcement.
Award Procedure
Proposals received in response to the funding opportunity are reviewed on the basis of a competitive, merit-based review process, and are rated in accordance with the evaluation criteria stated in the funding opportunity. Reclamation will make awards to the highest rated proposals based on the amount of funding available each year. Awards made under this Assistance Listing may be made competitively or non-competitively.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 120 to 180 days. The review, scoring and announcement of the recipients typically take five to six months.
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Specific evaluation criteria will be included in the funding announcements posted on All applications will be evaluated on the technical merit of the project using criteria that give priority to projects that are (1) jointly developed and supported by a diverse array of stakeholders including representatives of irrigated agricultural production, hydroelectric production, potable water purveyors and industrial water users, Indian Tribes, commercial fishing interests, and nonprofit conservation organizations; (2) affect water resources management in 2 or more river basins while providing regional benefits not limited to fish restoration; (3) are a component of a broader strategy or plan to replace aging facilities with 1 or more alternate facilities providing similar benefits; and (4) contribute to the restoration of anadromous fish species listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).
How may assistance be used?
The Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Program provides cost-shared financial assistance for the study, design, and construction of aquatic ecosystem restoration and protection projects that improve the health of fisheries, wildlife or aquatic habitat, including through habitat restoration and improved fish passage through the removal or bypass of barriers to fish passage (e.g., dams).
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
All recipients of Federal awards shall maintain project records in accordance with 2 CFR 200.333 Retention requirements for records. Financial records, supporting documents, statistical records, and all other non-Federal entity records pertinent to a Federal award must be retained for a period of three years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report or, for Federal awards that are renewed quarterly or annually, from the date of the submission of the quarterly or annual financial report, respectively, as reported to the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity in the case of a subrecipient. Federal awarding agencies and pass-through entities must not impose any other record retention requirements upon non-Federal entities, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.333.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching is mandatory.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
In general, study and design projects should be completed within 1-2 years of award. Construction projects should be completed within 5 years of award. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: Payment terms vary by agreement awarded under this program. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: Payment terms vary by agreement awarded under this program.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None/Not specified.
Headquarters Office
Avra Morgan
Bureau of Reclamation, Water Resources and Planning Office, Mail Code: 86-69200, P.O. Box 25007
Denver, CO 80225 US
Phone: 3034452906
Fax: 7205444207
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Cooperative Agreements (Discretionary Grants)) FY 22 Estimate Not Available FY 23 est $45,000,000.00; FY 24 Estimate Not Available - BIL $45,000,000
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Study and design project awards range from $500,000 to $2,000,000. Construction awards range from $3,000,000 up to $20,000,000.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
2 CFR 200 UNIFORM ADMINISTRATIVE REQUIREMENTS, COST PRINCIPLES, AND AUDIT REQUIREMENTS FOR FEDERAL AWARDS and the applicable OMB Circulars. These documents may also be obtained by contacting the Bureau of Reclamation Office listed below.


Federal Grants Resources