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New England Environmental Finance Center

“High quality water is more than the dream of the conservationists, more than a political slogan; high quality water, in the right quantity at the right place at the right time, is essential to health, recreation, and economic growth.”
— Edmund Muskie, Former U.S. Secretary of State, Senator & Governor of Maine

About Us

Since 2001, the New England Environmental Finance Center (NEEFC) at the University of Southern Maine has worked to build local capacity to pay for the growing cost of protecting critical environmental resources and fostering resilient communities.

The NEEFC delivers targeted technical assistance to, and partners with, states, tribes, local governments, nonprofits, community-based organizations, and the private sector to provide innovative solutions to fund and sustainably finance environmental and climate priorities.

The NEEFC’s programs reflect the greatest needs of the 6 New England states including climate adaptation and resilience, stormwater and nutrient management, water system management and finance, and sustainable operating practices.

The NEEFC administers the Southeast New England Program (SNEP) Network. The SNEP Network provides training and assistance to municipalities, organizations, and tribes to advance stormwater and watershed management, ecological restoration, and climate resilience in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The network is committed to building capacity in conjunction with EPA’s Southeast New England Program within EPA Region 1.

As part of the Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN), the NEEFC is one of 10 regional centers supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Together the EFCN is a collaborative of university-based organizations working to create innovative solutions to the difficult how-to-pay issues of environmental protection and improvement.

New & Noteworthy

2021 Rhode Island Grantees & Delegation

EPA Support for Local Groups Will Help Protect and Restore Environment for SNEP Communities

Nov. 7, 2022 – Through the SNEP Network’s 2022 Community Assistance Projects (CAP) Solicitation, the SNEP Network selected 10 projects with 8 SNEP communities and 1 Tribe in which to provide technical assistance. The Community Assistance Projects offer in-depth technical, financial, and training assistance to municipalities, Tribes, and non-profits in the SNEP region to build their local capacity. 

Biden-Harris Administration Selects NEEFC as EPA Environmental Finance Center to Help Communities Access Funds for Infrastructure Projects

WASHINGTON (Nov. 4, 2022) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the selection of 29 Environmental Finance Centers (EFCs) that will help communities across the country access federal funding for infrastructure and greenhouse gas reduction projects that improve public health and environmental protection. Thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the selected EFCs will help underserved communities that have historically struggled to access federal funding receive the support they need to access resources for water infrastructure improvements.

Director Martha Sheils (left) and Technical Expert Peter Cooke (right). Photo Credit: Robert Guillemin

EPA Selects New England Environmental Finance Center for $350,000 Pollution Prevention Grant

FREEPORT, ME (Sept. 8, 2022) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the selection of the New England Environmental Finance Center based at the University of Southern Maine (USM) to receive a $350,000 Pollution Prevention (P2) grant made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s historic $100 million investment in the program. This grant will help support sustainability in the Maine craft beverage industry.

Featured Funding Opportunity

Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC)

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Applications Due: Each state, territory, or federally recognized tribe designates one agency to serve as the applicant for BRIC funding, typically the state Emergency Management Agency. State, local, and tribal entities are considered subapplicants and must submit subapplications to the designated agency. Subapplication deadlines vary by state: 

Connecticut: Dec 2, 2022 | Maine: Dec 9, 2022 | Massachusetts: Dec 5, 2022 | New Hampshire: Not yet published | Rhode Island: Not yet published | Vermont: Dec 9, 2022

States may also require a letter of intent prior to the subapplication deadline.

Grant or Loan? Grant

Photo Credit: Jack Witham

Who’s Eligible? Local governments, including cities, townships, counties, special district governments; State agencies; Tribal governments; and some eligible non-profit organizations.

Purpose: BRIC aims to support communities through capability- and capacity-building; encouraging and enabling innovation; promoting partnerships; enabling large projects; maintaining flexibility; and providing consistency. This program replaces FEMA’s previous pre-disaster hazard mitigation program.

Eligible Activities:

  • Capability and capacity building (e.g. project scoping, mitigation planning)
  • Hazard mitigation projects (e.g. nature-based solutions that reduce flood risk, expanding recreational space that reduces urban heat)
  • Management costs (e.g. eligible indirect costs, direct administrative costs)
  • Direct technical assistance (e.g. mitigation planning, grant management)

Funding Availability: Approximately $2.3 Billion is available nationwide.

Looking for additional funding opportunities?

What We Do

Outreach and Engagement

Community engagement, charrettes, and meeting facilitation that engages all stakeholders and includes their voices in planning decisions.

Technical Assistance

Training and assistance to municipalities, organizations, and tribes to advance stormwater and watershed management, funding and sustainable financing, and improve utility and business operations to achieve resilience to the changing climate.

Education and Training

Capacity building and education of state and local decision makers and utility managers in innovative
financing solutions.

Develop Young Professionals

Engaging student interns in projects to help develop the next generation of environmental finance professionals.