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Home > The Gateways Network > Gateways Financial Assistance > Preliminary Information on the 2009 Gateways Grant Program
Preliminary Information on the 2009 Gateways Grant Program

The Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network has NOT received an appropriation for fiscal year 2009, and we are currently operating on a continuing resolution. However, we remain optimistic there will be a resolution of our budget soon, and that we will once again be able to solicit proposals for Gateways Grant projects.

Until we have a confirmed budget for fiscal year 2009 we cannot establish a set deadline for submission of proposals for Gateways Grants. So the likelihood is increasing that we will have to provide a short turnaround time for proposals. Because you should expect a short turnaround, it may be helpful to begin strategizing on project proposals.

Complete details on the submission requirements and deadlines will be included in the Grant Guidelines as soon as they are available. However, the eligibility requirements for Gateways Grants will be as follows.

Special Priorities for 2009 Gateways Grants

In 2009, we will ONLY accept grant proposals in the following categories:

Projects that promote a broadly applicable stewardship ethic and actively foster citizen stewardship of the Chesapeake.

What kinds of projects are eligible?

  • Projects that demonstrate and promote exemplary conservation stewardship and sustainability and serve as models for others to follow.
  • Restoration, conservation and preservation projects that incorporate and build on-going volunteer/visitor involvement.
  • Interpretive or educational programming at sites that provide visitors with information on their role in Chesapeake stewardship.

Projects that clearly aid in telling your Gateway’s part of the Chesapeake Bay story.

What kinds of projects are eligible?

  • Planning projects that help new or developing Gateways evaluate and establish thematic priorities, visitor experience objectives and interpretive techniques for connecting their resources and stories into the larger context of the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Clearly defined products (especially ones prioritized in an interpretive plan) that help people understand how your Gateway relates to the Chesapeake Bay.

Note: All projects involving any interpretation must in some way relate stories or themes to the Chesapeake Bay and/or the Bay watershed. In other words “the Chesapeake Connection” must be clear to both the grant reviewers and ultimately to visitors. For more information, the interpretive themes outlined in the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network Framework at help organize these relationships.

Projects to further the development and sustainability of water trails throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

What kinds of projects are eligible?

  • Projects that help developing water trails fulfill baseline developmental needs (including a complete map & guide, safety and orientation signage at access points and sufficient access points and services for anticipated visitor use).
  • Projects that incorporate and build on-going volunteer/visitor involvement, particularly in restoration, conservation and preservation of the water trail.
  • Projects that create innovative and substantial interpretation conveying the route’s themes and drawing clear relationships to the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed.

Projects to improve access, interpretation and education at Gateways along the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historical Trail (CAJO) or the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail (STSP).

What kinds of projects are eligible?

  • Access to resources on the historic routes; including
    • Land to water and water to land access
    • Waterfront recreational features
    • Walking trails or driving loops to land-based resources (including but not limited to Gateways)
  • Interpretive or educational programming at sites that are on the routes or near the routes.

Note: For projects that develop new interpretive or educational programming related to CAJO or STSP, the NPS may be interested to work with grantees to incorporate material whole or in part into CAJO- or STSP-related web sites or to adapt for other interpretive programming.


In all cases, grant project proposals will be judged strongest when they:

  • Support multiple Network goals as described above. For example:
    • a stewardship project that has an interpretive component;
    • an access enhancement project that is constructed by volunteers; or
    • a project to develop a new segment of water trail that will be a contributing segment of the CAJO and/or STSP
  • Enhance the Gateways and Watertrails Network as a whole. For example:
    • Cooperative project proposals that involve multiple Gateways in development and implementation to build working relationships;
    • projects that have clear demonstration value for other Gateways; or
    • products that are transferable or easily customized for use by other Gateways
  • Directly involve citizen volunteers in project development and implementation to build their understanding and appreciation of Chesapeake Bay resources and stewardship.
  • Include specific objectives to “green” the project, such as developing environmentally sensitive designs, incorporating low impact development approaches (e.g., incorporating green roofs and rain gardens, reducing impervious surfaces, etc.), incorporating eco-friendly materials into structural elements of your project, and using green procurement practices (e.g., buying recycled and recyclable materials and/or recycling existing materials for use in your project).
  • Offer a significant leveraging of Federal funds in excess of the minimum qualifying requirement of a 1:1 non Federal match

What Is Not Funded?

Activities that Gateways grants do not fund include the following:

  • general operating budgets or routine operational costs of a Gateway, facility or program (this means anything not directly part of producing the specific outcomes or products of the proposal)
  • routine or deferred maintenance
  • construction of new buildings or major renovation of existing buildings (such as visitor or interpretive centers, restrooms, pavilions, etc.)
  • basic park or streetscaping amenities (e.g., gazebos, streetlights, benches)
  • construction or purchase of vehicles, boats or other watercraft
  • land acquisition
  • projects not associated with a designated Gateway

With rare exception, the above activities should also not be included as part of the proposed non-federal match.

What Are the Grant Levels & Funding Requirements?

The minimum grant request is $5,000. The maximum grant request is $150,000. All grant proposals must demonstrate a reasonable budget analysis ensuring the project can be completed within the proposed budget.

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