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Funding a Dam Removal Project

See below for resources, links, tips, and a video recording on dam removal funding. Webinar originally held December 6, 2023.

Explore financing options by learning about potential federal, state, local, and even private funding sources.


2:01- Beginning of presentation
6:33- Panelist #1: Chris Hirsch, MassDER
16:40- Panelist #2: Bill Hinkley, EEA
23:56- Panelist #3: Carolyn Norkiewicz, MA MVP Program
32:26- Panelist #4: Brian Kelder, NOAA Restoration Center
42:53- Q&A

Download the first two presentation slides here


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MassDER Support Opportunities

DER Logo_no_background.png

Presented by: Chris Hirsch, Dam Removal Program Manager, MA Division of Ecological Restoration

Overview of Priority Projects
offered every 1-2 years

More Information >>

Tips for a Successful Application

Emphasize BOTH environmental and community benefits of dam removal

-Utilize DER's RPM Tool, MassMapper, and the State's EJ Mapper Tools

Demonstrate community or local support for the project

-Attach letters of support with your application

Think big picture about how the project fits into larger plans or the broader watershed context

Overview of Dam Recon Studies
offered annually

EEA Dam and Seawall Program Opportunities

Presented by: Bill Hinkley, Grants Manager and Dam and Seawall Grant/Loan Program Manager, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Dam and Seawall Program Website

The Dam and Seawall Repair or Removal Program's goal is ensuring dams are in compliance with dam safety regulations or are removed. The program prioritizes high or significant hazard dams and dams with poor or unsafe physical conditions. While important, the ecological benefits are lower priority.

Upcoming Opportunities

Who is eligible to apply? 

Municipalities, nonprofit organizations, and other instruments of government


#1 Design & Permitting: There is a grant opportunity for eligible organizations to complete planning, designs, and permitting for the repair or removal of dams, levees, seawalls, and other forms of inland and coastal flood control. 

#2 Construction: There is a grant opportunity for eligible organizations to complete repair and/or removal of dams, levees, seawalls, and other forms of inland and coastal structures. 

#3 Loan Program: There is an opportunity for eligible organizations to provide loans for implementation of projects that repair or remove dams, levees, seawalls, and other forms of inland and coastal flood control.

Learn More>>

Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program Opportunity

Presented by: Carolyn Norkiewicz, Mass MVP Program

The MVP Program seeks to fund projects that build climate resilience across the commonwealth at the local level.


Funding decisions are based around how well a project incorporates the following 10 MVP Core Principles:

Timeline for 2024 MVP Action Grant

Sign up for the MVP Newsletter >>

Tips for a Successful Application

Ensure applications describe how projects fit with the 10 core MVP principles

Reach out to your regional MVP coordinator to discuss a project. Find your coordinator here.

NOAA Community Based Restoration Program 

Presented by: Brian Kelder, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Restoration Center

This program provides funding and technical assistance to ensure fish have high quality habitat. The goal is to recover and sustain fisheries, particularly those species that are managed by NOAA fisheries or those that are label as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Learn More About NOAA Funding Opportunities >>

Tips for a Successful Application

Pay close attention to evaluation criteria and ensure you have clear answers for each. 

Don't leave match or leverage unclaimed, it can help applications get funded.

Know your audience and highlight how your projects meets their focuses.

Reach out to the following NOAA staff to discuss projects you are considering:

Gloucester, MA:

Narragansett, RI:  

Additional Resources & Funding Sources


American Rivers- National Dam Removal Community of Practice Website


Funding Sources


•FEMA High Hazard Potential Dam Program



  • CZM Coastal Resilience Grants

Ecological Benefit


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