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Conserve Wildlife Matching Grant Program


The deadline for 2017 funding has passed.
Please check back in Fall 2018, or e-mail to be notified when grants are available.

With funding from the Conserve Wildlife License Plate renewal fund, the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife's Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP) offers small matching grants for one-year projects that advance nongame wildlife conservation and education. Approved projects are funded on a reimbursement basis and must be located in New Jersey. Grants are awarded every other year.

The total amount available through the Conserve Wildlife Matching Grant Program in 2017 was $39,000 The maximum request per proposal is $3,500 ($1,000 is the minimum). This is a 1:1 matching grant; therefore grant funds cannot exceed 50% of the total project cost. At least 25% of the grantee's share of project funding must be monetary, and the remainder may be from in-kind support.

Nonprofit 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) organizations are eligible to apply.


Eligible projects will benefit New Jersey's nongame wildlife through education, outreach, research, species protection, habitat management, or any combination of such actions. Examples of eligible projects include, but are not limited to:

1. Education/outreach projects, such as classroom wildlife programs, interpretive signage or online resources;

2. Research projects, such as animal surveys or censuses, habitat monitoring, or public attitude surveys;

3. Management projects, such as habitat creation, improvement, or restoration;

4. Habitat protection projects, such as securing wildlife corridors or sensitive wildlife breeding areas.

Projects that complement new or significant ENSP initiatives or that might inform the ENSP's future work are encouraged. Examples of such complementary projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Minimizing human-wildlife conflicts (ex: venomous snakes interactions, impacts of roads);
  • Promoting/marketing of NJ's Wildlife Action Plan, Landscape Project, Connecting Habitat Across New Jersey (CHANJ) project, and/or Regional Conservation Opportunity Areas (RCOAs) project;
  • Performing road segment assessments based on CHANJ mapping;
  • Creating pollinator gardens or Monarch waystations along migratory routes;
  • Creating distribution maps for NJ's moth and/or Tiger Beetle species of greatest conservation need (including literature reviews and consultation with experts);
  • Enhancing Horseshoe Crab spawning habitat through beach restoration or cleanup;
  • Establishing a long-term Horseshoe Crab egg sampling effort as an index of shorebird food availability;
  • Investigating the possible impacts of aquaculture structures on shorebirds and Horseshoe Crabs;
  • Implementing approved strategies or developing new technical guidance to control invasive species that threaten nongame wildlife (e.g. Chinese Pond Mussel, invasive plants);
  • Summarizing or showcasing multi-level, species-specific habitat change information;
  • Implementing approved strategies or developing new strategies to limit the spread of wildlife diseases or pathogens affecting nongame wildlife (e.g., White-nose Syndrome, chytrid fungus, Ranavirus, snake fungal disease, West Nile virus);
  • Gathering, compiling, or confirming location/survey data for under-represented rare species (e.g. Corn and King Snakes, invertebrates, Barn Owls, vernal pool herpetofauna) or "Upper Tier" Priority Species of Greatest Conservation Need (pdf, 50kb) for inclusion in ENSP's Biotics database.
See Successful Grant Recipients (pdf, 250kb) for examples of projects that have received funding since 2008.


The deadline for proposals will be in fall 2018 (to be announced). Requests must be submitted electronically to

All grantees must be registered vendors with the State of NJ. Please register at if your organization does not already have a State-issued Vendor ID. (Past grantees do not need to complete this registration.)

Requests for funding should be concise - no more than two pages in length (not including attachments). Proposals must contain the following:

1. Title Title of the project

2. Area - Describe the geographic area and context where the project will take place.

3. Objectives - Describe the measurable goals of the project.

4. Procedures - Explain the methods that will be used to accomplish the project objectives. If applicable, include protocols for controlling the spread of non-native/invasive species or disease. Briefly detail the relevant experience or expertise of key project personnel with the species, habitat type, or activity proposed. Describe any partnerships involved.
NOTE: Grantees must obtain a Scientific Collecting permit before commencing work on any projects involving direct handling of animals. The Permit fee can be included in the project budget.

5. Deliverables - Outline the products that will be provided to ENSP at the conclusion of the project. Data submissions must follow an approved format and meet ENSP mapping standards.

6. Wildlife Action Plan Connection - Identify the action(s) from New Jersey's Wildlife Action Plan that the project will address. Visit for the most updated version of the Plan. Provide the page number for each referenced action.


The following attachments must also be provided:

1. Budget - Itemize costs for the entire project. Be sure to specify the amount being requested. Matching funds must be identified and the sources of those funds named. Again, the request cannot exceed 50% of the total project cost, and at least 25% of the grantee's match must be monetary.

2. Calendar - List your timeline and completion date. Projects must be completed within one year of the start date.

3. An IRS letter of determination stating the organization's nonprofit status.

4. Resolution by the governing body of the nonprofit organization authorizing the organization to enter into the grant agreement and certifying that the matching funds and in-kind support will be provided for the project if the Department approves and funds the project.
NOTE: If a signed resolution cannot be obtained by the proposal deadline, successful applicants will have 30 days from the date of award notification to submit a signed resolution.
   Blank Resolution Form (pdf, 13kb)
   Sample Completed Resolution (pdf, 16kb) (entries in red).

5. Samples of past work if applying for education/outreach material development.

6. Letters of endorsement from partners or stakeholders are encouraged and will be considered in the review process.

The ENSP will confirm the receipt of each proposal.


All proposals will be reviewed by an ENSP technical review committee. Applicants can view the Ranking Criteria Form (pdf, 130kb) used by the committee.


Applicants are expected to be notified a date to be announced.

Grant Agreements will be created with successful applicants to formalize the award amount, Scope of Work, project period (not to exceed one year), and work products/deliverables to be submitted by the conclusion of the project.


The entire grant amount will be paid to the grantee in one sum, following receipt and acceptance by the ENSP of all agreed work products/deliverables, documentation of costs and match, and upon compliance with all terms of the Grant Agreement.

For information contact:

MacKenzie Hall
NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife
Endangered and Nongame Species Program
P.O. Box 420, Mail Code 501-03
Trenton, NJ 08625-0420
Banded kestrel
American Kestrel, outfitted with a geolocator to track its movements throughout the year.
Photo by Melanie Mason
Click to enlarge

Herp tunnel
Natalie Sherwood and Nicole Bergen of Montclair State University monitor NJ's first under-the-road herptile tunnels in Somerset County.
Photo by Mike Peters, MSU
Click to enlarge

Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space test forest treatments to benefit Northern Copperheads.
Photo by Tyler Christensen
Click to enlarge

Marking terrapin
Carly Sibilia marks a Diamondback Terrapin as part of a Conserve Wildlife Foundation project to address roadkill of the animals in coastal NJ.
Photo by Ben Wurst
Click to enlarge

Chinese Pond Mussel
The NJ Invasive Species Strike Team aims to eradicate North America's first occurrence of Chinese Pond Mussel, in Hunterdon County, NJ.
Photo by Tim Morris
Click to enlarge

Analyzing wood turtle samples
East Stroudsburg University analyzes Wood Turtle genetic samples.
Photo by Meaghan Bird
Click to enlarge

Tiger Salamander Egg Survey
A Conserve Wildlife Foundation team searches for Tiger Salamander egg masses in a vernal pool.
Photo by Wayne Russell
Click to enlarge

Edward Egret in flight
"Edward" the Great Egret wears a solar transmitter to track his movements as part of a NJ Audubon research and education project.
Photo by Natalie Gregorio
Click to enlarge

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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: June 28, 2017