Matching Fund Grants

About the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund's Matching Fund Grants

Enviva Forest Conservation Fund Goal
The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund’s goal is to permanently protect environmentally sensitive bottomland/wetland forests. These forests offer a wide range of economic and environmental benefits, but they face a number of potential threats. The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund targets sensitive forest areas that have been identified by the Endowment in consultation with other respected organizations. The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund will consider a variety of protection strategies, including purchasing land via fee or conservation easement. The importance of active forest management is recognized.

The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment) seeks applications for the 2023 Enviva Forest Conservation Fund. This opportunity closes March 10, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. EST. Proposals received after this time may not be considered.

Funds are now available for the 2023 initial grant round. Funding at about this level is anticipated on an annual basis at or around this time each year through 2025. A review committee will make final project selections. Initial funding is provided by Enviva. Learn more at

Proposals will be accepted for bottomland/wetland forest conservation projects in the following counties:

Virginia: Brunswick, Chesapeake, Dinwiddie, Greensville, Isle of Wright, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Prince George, Southampton, Suffolk, Surrey, Sussex, Virginia Beach.

North Carolina: Anson, Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Camden, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Edgecombe, Franklin, Gates, Granville, Greene, Halifax, Harnett, Hoke, Hertford, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Martin, Moore, Nash, New Hanover, Northampton, Onslow, Pasquotank, Pender, Pitt, Perquimans, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Stanley, Tyrrell, Vance, Wake, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Wilson.

*Note: As of 2020, projects that are partly in the eligible counties and partly in adjoining counties, may be considered for funding if they address the Fund’s priorities.

Priority Conservation Forest Types
The Endowment has identified four distinct forest ecosystems that are especially worthy of protection and that Enviva has agreed to conserve in collaboration with forest owners. These types are only suggestive of what the Fund seeks to conserve:

  • Cypress-tupelo swamps: Characterized by saturated soils during the growing season and standing water during certain times of the year, these include various species of bald cypress (Taxodium distichum ) and water tupelo (Nyssa aquatic).
  • Atlantic white cedar stands: This species (Chamaecyparis thyoides) grows on wet sites at altitudes up to 50 meters above sea level.
  • Pocosins: One of the South’s rarest wetlands, low Pocosins are dominated by small trees and shrubs and have a high water table. The word “pocosin” is from the Algonquin Native American word for “swamp on a hill.”
  • Carolina bays: Called “bays,” they are not ocean inlets but are geologic depressions usually surrounded by a variety of bay trees, including red and sweet bays.

A priority for the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund is to accelerate implementation of existing conservation plans that have been developed collaboratively by local partners. Applicants should provide at least two letters from relevant partners demonstrating their awareness of and support for your project. Project partners should be explicit in describing how the applicant’s proposed project integrates with and preferably leverages existing conservation plans. Such groups might include state Departments of Natural Resources and Forestry, state or regional offices of federal natural resource agencies, and non-governmental conservation groups with a significant presence in Virginia and North Carolina.

Matching Fund Requirements
Applicants should provide at least 50% of the total project cost. This may include cash donations or in-kind contributions from third-parties. Federal and non-federal funds may be considered as match.

Applicants that leverage other financial resources for larger-scale outcomes are highly desirable. For example, proposals that tap into other sources of private or public funds to maximize acres protected will receive priority consideration.

Eligible Applicants
Not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organizations, tribes, and federal, state, and local government agencies are eligible for funding. Unincorporated individuals are not eligible. Public/private partnerships are particularly desirable.

Program Criteria
Ten primary criteria are considered in evaluating applications. Please address the following in your application:

  • Ecological quality of tract and associated conservation values (quantified, if possible), such as benefits for cypress-tupelo, Atlantic white cedar, pocosins, and/or Carolina Bays
  • Identification of at risk species (plants and animals)
  • Immediacy of threat to the site
  • Link(s) to other protected areas or inclusion within established conservation plans
  • Financial leverage and cost-effectiveness of proposal
  • Scale of forests protected (acres, miles of streamside zones)
  • Adequacy of active forest management plans (if applicable)
  • Partner history of accomplishment in the area
  • Benefits to family forest owners, if any
  • Likelihood of successful project completion

2023 Process Schedule
The Endowment will coordinate a proposal review committee and will engage successful applicants in contracting at the earliest possible time.

Proposal Deadline: March 10, 2023
Contracting should be completed within four to eight weeks after applicants are notified unless complications arise. The Endowment will administer grants for the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund.

Application Assistance
For questions or clarification please contact Teal Edelen at 301-466-6943

Only proposals submitted through the U.S. Endowment Grantee Portal will be accepted.
There is a change in the submission process this year. Click here for application instructions.

Commitment from Enviva
over the next 10 years
Acres of bottomland forests
protected in NC and VA
Protected bottomland

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