Cooperative Funding Initiative

This program allows local governments and private entities to share costs for projects that assist in creating sustainable water resources, provide flood protection and enhance conservation efforts.

State Funding Opportunities

All cooperators are encouraged to apply for state funding for projects by using the links below. 

State Funding Opportunities 

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is accepting proposals through Oct. 18, 2023, for two new grant opportunities for Wetlands Restoration and Protection Grants and Innovative Wastewater Technologies Grants. See link above for information.

Resilient Florida Grants

Other Funding Opportunities

National Coastal Resilience Fund 2023 Request for Proposals (Pre-Proposals Due April 12, 2023)

Building partnerships for water resources

A key program for building partnerships is the District’s Cooperative Funding Initiative (CFI) program. The CFI covers up to 50 percent of the cost of projects that help create sustainable water resources, enhance conservation efforts, restore natural systems and provide flood protection. All CFI funding decisions are made by volunteer Governing Board members who are well informed on the specific resources and challenges within their areas.

Six degrees of preparation…

Successful partners follow these steps to fund local projects:

  1. Identify a project. To ensure that money is spent wisely, the CFI is most likely to fund projects that address issues and meet goals identified in plans developed in association with local governments in each region. Each project should address one or more of the District’s areas of responsibility: water supply, flood protection, water quality and natural systems.
  2. Match funds. The CFI was created to leverage funds between the Governing Board and cooperators. At least 50 percent must be a hard-dollar match from other sources.
  3. Ask for help. Government affairs regional managers are available year-round in four locations across the District.
  4. Know your competition. Learn about projects that have been approved in your region — and why. Many of the most successful projects use state-of-the-art technology or best management practices to protect, conserve, restore or enhance the area’s water resources and ecology. Cost-benefit calculations also are important, as is the potential impact of the project across the region.
  5. Check your project. View the forms our staff members use to evaluate proposals.
  6. Watch the clock. The CFI schedule requires that all requests for funding be submitted by 5 p.m. on October 4. Projects submitted after that date will not be considered.

Applications for projects that are in more than one water management district (WMD) should be submitted simultaneously to each WMD. Eligibility and scoring of such projects will be handled in the same manner as projects wholly within this District.

FY2026 Timeline

July: Staff reviews CFI project guidelines for possible revisions and begin working with potential applicants

August: An Informational workshop/webinar is scheduled

October: Applications must be filed by 5 p.m. on Oct. 4

November: Staff begins review of applications and scores projects

December: Governing Board receives a copy of project proposals

February: District staff presents preliminary evaluations and scoring of proposals, and answers questions from the Governing Board members

April: District staff presents final evaluations and scoring of proposals, and answers questions from the Governing Board members

June: Projects and budgets reviewed by Governing Board

September: Final Governing Board budget approved, including CFI projects, and millage set

October: Contracts awarded in new fiscal year

Upcoming CFI Public Meetings/Workshops

Fiscal Year 2026 Cooperative Funding Initiative (CFI) Webinar
Virtually on Microsoft Teams