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Bridges & Structures

National Culvert Removal, Replacement & Restoration Grants

Grants

Aquatic Organism Passage logo

The National Culvert Removal, Replacement, and Restoration Grant Program (Culvert Aquatic Organism Passage (AOP) Program) is a competitive grant program that awards grants to eligible entities for projects for the replacement, removal, and repair of culverts or weirs that meaningfully improve or restore fish passage for anadromous fish. Anadromous is the term that describes fish born in freshwater who spend most of their lives in saltwater and return/migrate to freshwater to spawn.

See National Culvert Removal, Replacement, and Restoration Grants (Culvert AOP Program) (PDF)

The Culvert AOP Program is USDOT’s primary means to fund AOP projects. Projects may be administered by various USDOT Operating Administrations, such as FHWA, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), or the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), depending on the nature of the project.

Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)

The FY23-26 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) solicits applications for the National Culvert Removal, Replacement, and Restoration Grant Program (Culvert AOP Program).

This NOFO establishes a multi-year funding opportunity for applicants to submit projects for the remaining available amount of funds provided to the Culvert AOP Program in division J of Title VIII of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) (also known as the “Bipartisan Infrastructure Law” or BIL) (Pub. L. 117-58), covering funds available for FY 2023 through FY 2026. This NOFO will result in the distribution of up to $784 million along with any unobligated funds from FY 2022, with at least $196 million distributed for each of FYs 2023 through 2026. The table below provides anticipated opening and closing dates for each year (i.e., FY 2023 through FY 2026).

Fiscal Year Application Period Opens Application Period Closes*
FY 2023 (Year Two) New Tuesday, June 25, 2024 Monday, September 23, 2024 (90-day application period)
FY 2024 (Year Three) Monday, June 23, 2025 Monday, August 25, 2025 (60-day application period)
FY 2025 (Year Four) Monday, June 22, 2026 Monday, August 24, 2026 (60-day application period)
FY 2026 (Year Five) Monday, June 21, 2027 Monday, August 23, 2027 (60-day application period)

* If closing day falls on a weekend or Federal holiday, the application closing date will extend to next business day.

Year Two (FY23) Notice of Funding Opportunity

New On June 25, 2024, FHWA announced the availability of at least $196 million for FY2023 Culvert AOP grants as part of the FY23-26 Culvert AOP NOFO. The deadline to apply for FY23 funding via Grants.gov is Monday, September 23, 2024, at 11:59 p.m., EDT.

NOFO Questions & Answers

Applying for a Grant

DOT uses Grants.gov for receipt of all applications for the Culvert AOP Program. Applicants must register and use the system to submit applications electronically. Applicants are encouraged to register in advance of the submission deadline and to register to receive notifications of updates and amendments to this NOFO. Approval of user registrations for the site may take multiple weeks. It is the Applicant's responsibility to monitor Grants.gov for any updates to this Notice.

The deadline for FY 2023 funding applications is Monday, September 23, 2024.

This FHWA website DOES NOT accept any applications.

What kinds of projects are eligible?

The Culvert AOP Program focuses on two project categories as differentiated by structure type:

  1. Projects to replace, remove, or repair culverts that would meaningfully improve or restore fish passage for anadromous fish (49 U.S.C. 6703(b)(1)).
  2. Projects to replace, remove, or repair weirs that would meaningfully improve or restore fish passage for anadromous fish. With respect to weirs, the project may include: 1) infrastructure to facilitate fish passage around or over the weir; and 2) weir improvements (49 U.S.C. 6703(b)(2)).

Who is eligible to apply?

Eligible entities for the Culvert AOP Program include Tribes, States, and units of local government (49 U.S.C. 6703(c)).

What are cost shares for Culvert AOP Program grants?

Indian Tribes

The Culvert AOP Program does not require Indian Tribes to provide a cost share.

States and Units of Local Government

Per 49 U.S.C. § 6703(f), for grants to States or units of local government, the Federal share of the cost of a project is 80 percent . Recipients are required to contribute a local matching share of no less than 20 percent of eligible activities of the total project costs. See Section C.2 of the NOFO for more information.

What is project prioritization?

Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 6703(e), the following types of projects will be prioritized for Culvert AOP Program funding:

  1. Projects that would improve fish passage for:
    1. Anadromous fish stocks listed as an endangered species or a threatened species under section 4 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. § 1533);
    2. Anadromous fish stocks identified by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) that could reasonably become listed as an endangered species or a threatened species under that section;
    3. Anadromous fish stocks identified by the NMFS or USFWS as prey for endangered species, threatened species, or protected species, including Southern resident orcas (Orcinus orcas); or
    4. Anadromous fish stocks identified by the NMFS or the USFWS as climate resilient stocks; and
  2. Projects that would open up more than 200 meters of upstream anadromous habitat before the end of the natural habitat

Grant Resources

Other funding opportunities

While Congress created the Culvert AOP program solely to address anadromous species, the FHWA recognizes that many other species would benefit from AOP improvements. For additional culvert or fish passage Federal assistance, you may refer to other programs including, but not limited to, the following:

Archival Materials

Updated: 06/25/2024
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000