The Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program (MNRCP) awards competitive grants to projects that restore and protect high priority aquatic resources throughout Maine. MNRCP is administered by The Nature Conservancy on behalf of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Since its launch in 2008, MNRCP has awarded over $33 million to non-profit groups, municipalities and public agencies to help restore, enhance, or preserve wetlands and other important habitats at over 170 project sites across the state. For more information about the program, view the latest MNRCP Annual Report.

MNRCP was created to manage the allocation of funds collected through Maine’s In Lieu Fee Compensation Program. This voluntary program provides flexibility for regulators as well as for businesses, agencies, and others that are meeting regulatory permit requirements to choose a fee in lieu of more time-intensive traditional mitigation options. These so-called In Lieu Fees are collected by the Maine DEP and then transferred to the Natural Resource Conservation Fund administered by The Nature Conservancy.

Funds are awarded through an annual competitive grants process. Proposals are solicited each year and evaluated by a Review Committee, convened by the Maine DEP, and made up of public and nonprofit entities. Proposals are reviewed and scored using a defined set of Review Criteria, which was recently updated in May of 2024. Final award decisions are made in November or December of each year by the Interagency Review Team (Approval Committee) comprised of state and federal agencies. The Nature Conservancy administers the process but does not decide which proposals receive funding.  To view a list of the program's committee members, click here.

NOTE:  The 2024 funding round is now closed and Letters of Intent are no longer being accepted. The next funding round will open in the spring of 2025. 

If you wish to receive the Request for Letters of Intent for future funding rounds and have not received mailings in the past, please contact maineresources@tnc.org.

Ready to apply? Read a step-by-step guide to the grants process and apply for funding here.

For more information about MNRCP, please visit the Maine In-Lieu Fee Program Instrument, hosted by US Army Corps of Engineers, New England District.