Apply for a $175,000 Grant- Marine Fisheries Initiative

“The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Southeast Region, is seeking proposals under the Marine Fisheries Initiative Program (MARFIN), for research and development projects that optimize the use of fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and off the South Atlantic states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida involving the U.S. fishing industry (recreational and commercial), including fishery biology, resource assessment, socio-economic assessment, management and conservation, selected harvesting methods, and fish handling and processing. This program addresses NOAA’s mission goal “Healthy Oceans.” (grants.gov)


  • Funding Number- NOAA-NMFS-SE-2016-2004533
  • Closing Date- October 2, 2015
  • Award Ceiling- $175,000
  • Number of Expected Grant Awards- 6
  • Eligible Award Applicants- City or township governments, Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education, County governments, State governments, Individuals, Private institutions of higher education, Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized), Public and State controlled institutions of higher education, Special district governments, Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education (grants.gov)
  • Agency Name- Department of Commerce
  • More Information- grants.gov
  • Additional Information- Robert Sadler (727)551-5760

All information for this post from grants.gov

Mapping Storm Drains

Last month, we were involved in a project that mapped out water drains in urban areas to show how community participatory mapping can be used in preventing urban flood issues. The project which took place in Seoul, South Korea, was a part of UN-GGIM-AP (www.un-ggim-ap.org). We surveyed 164 water drains with volunteers, and found that only 20% of them were functional (25% were covered by something to avoid drainage smell, and 55% was filled or blocked by garbage).


Back in the States, an interesting IMRivers project has been ongoing with the Maryland DNR. Students have been working with Maryland Department of Natural Resources on Storm Drain Stenciling (www.imrivers.org/stencil).


Storm drains were designed to be the fastest and most efficient way of getting rainwater off streets and parking lots. Unfortunately, water that flows into the storm drains carry trash and sediment from the street, fertilizers, toxins from pesticides, household cleaners, gasoline and motor oil. All of this rainwater in the storm drains then ends up in the local stream or river.

If you or your group want to make a similar map for your community, let us know! This can also be a great project for students to learn and get involved in urban water issues. IMRivers is a great tool to use for citizen science and civic engagement. Let us know if you would like to do any projects involving civic/citizen engagement using community participatory mapping like IMRivers. Also if you have any interesting mapping stories to share please let us know!


Not only does the IMRivers team at Vertices work with environmental groups, but we also participate in and work with individuals, groups, and organizations, with disaster relief initiatives. Currently we are working with Korean citizens on a map that provides real-time information on the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak.

Dr. Im and his team have created www.mersjido.com in order to help organize all of the information on the disease. The map uses Google Map API and our Community Mapping Platform called Mappler, which was created by Dr. Im. This site is based on citizen participatory mapping, which means the public can easily access it and are able to add information. This community map gives the people in Korea a way to view all information on MERS just by accessing the site on their computer or phone.

 Screen shot 2015-06-11 at 1.06.37 PM

www.mersjido.com is being updated by several Korean volunteers, and information is being shared on Facebook consistently. This map is a great example of how citizen participatory mapping can improve disaster management. The ability to visit the site and add/update information by using a web or mobile device, again provides the public a quick and easy way to see and add important information.

Dr. Wansoo Im, who also made NYRestroom.com in 2005, which is based on crowd-sourcing (featured in The New Yorker). Dr. Im and his team also mapped all the available gas stations in the affected US areas during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Hismap was used in New York City, and surrounding areas, and by FEMA, Google Crisis Map, and the US Department of Energy during the crisis.

Contact us if you want to use Mappler for your business or project. Visit the MERS site at www.mersjido.com and check out mappler.net for more information on Mappler.



Since 2013, IMRivers at VERTICES has worked with Anne Arundel County Public Schools in Maryland, in their BioBlitz projects using our Mappler program. BioBlitz is a limited-time, limited-space, species inventory of organisms that live in a certain area. By using a community mapping approach, students get a hands-on learning experience about the environment around them by collecting mammal, insect, tree, and bird data.

Going into it’s third year, the 2015 BioBlitz Project at Anne Arundel County, has developed a project based curricular unit to address human impacts on biodiversity. Classes work through a series of lessons that allow them to ‘become an expert’ in identifying a group of organisms, either birds, tree, invertebrates, or land animals. Students first collect biodiversity data using the MapplerK app, and then use that data to generate an environmental impact statement about proposed or current construction on the school grounds. We have 12 high schools participating in this years Bioblitz, with 15-25 Biology classes per school.

Here is an example of a land animal map the students are currently working on now.

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If your group or community is interested in a BioBlitz project, contact us for more information! Also visit mappler.net to learn more about our program and what other projects we have done using our web/mobile-based mapping application.

Nepal Relief- immappler.com/nepalrelief

Our team at Vertices created a community map that will help the people of Nepal and those there assisting with relief. This map found on immappler.com/nepalrelief, provides a quick and easy way for earthquake victims to add information about the aid they need. By making a visual public map, earthquake relief teams and individuals can see where and what type of aid is needed in a specific area.

Screen shot 2015-05-22 at 10.59.15 AM

We used information from quakemap.org and created a map using our program Mappler. We determined different aid categories that will help the people of Nepal and added need to know variables such as if victims of the disaster need water, food, shelter, or medical aid. We continually add new information to the site, and those in Nepal can add their own data to the map as well. People in the area can either log in and create an account or just sign in as a guest, and are then able to quickly fill out the information they want to be made public. This map makes it easy to see what areas need help and with what exactly they need help with. This horrific disaster has damaged large areas, and injured and killed many people. The Vertices team hopes this map makes it easier to help those in need! Please share the link on social media to spread the word- immappler.com/nepalrelief

Apply for a $200,000 Grant

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is soliciting proposals from eligible applicants to build or refine state/tribal/local government wetland programs as described in Section I, FUNDING OPPORTUNITY DESCRIPTION, of this announcement. States, tribes, local government agencies, interstate agencies, and intertribal consortia are eligible to apply under this announcement, as further described herein. Universities that are agencies of a state government are eligible, but must include documentation demonstrating that they are chartered as part of a state government in the proposal submission. Non-profit organizations are not eligible to compete under this RFP” (grants.gov)  

  • Funding Number- EPA-R7WWPD-15-001
  • Award Ceiling- $200,000
  • Closing Date- May 22, 2015
  • Number of Expected Grant Awards- 5
  • Eligible Applicants- View full announcement on grants.gov
  • More Information- grants.gov
  • Additional Help Contact- Mandy, Whitsitt, 913-551-7311 whitsitt.mandy@epa.gov

information for this grant from grants.gov

National Institute on Minority Health & Health Disparities- Future Funding Announcement

“The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) intends to promote the first of several planned NIMHD Precision Medicine initiatives by publishing a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to solicit applications for new Transdisciplinary Collaborative Centers (TCCs) for health disparities research focused on examining the potential for integrative precision medicine approaches to help improve minority health and reduce or eliminate health disparities. This Notice is being provided to allow potential applicants sufficient time to develop meaningful collaborations and responsive projects. This new TCC FOA is expected to be published in the spring of 2015 with an expected application due date in late summer 2015. The FOA will use the U54 cooperative agreement award activity code.” (grants.nih.gov)


  • For more information on this future grant opportunity click here
  • Contact Nishadi Rajapakse for more information & help-

Nishadi Rajapakse, PhD, MHS National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) Telephone: 301-496-4338 Email: chandima.rajapakse@nih.gov



“Baltimore is the focus of exciting and groundbreaking research on cities. For the past 16 years, scientists with the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES) have been studying the city and its surroundings as a socio-ecological system, or ecosystem. This pioneering research encompasses nearly every aspect of the city – its people, its soils, plants, animals and microbes, its history, institutions, economy and neighborhoods and its waters, airs and even the ground beneath our feet. The Baltimore Data Jam Competition has been designed to let teachers and their students use creativity and skills to find interesting ways to present some of these data and other results in a friendly, educational and competitive atmosphere” (beslter.org)

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Teachers can register their students for the competition, and students can register themselves as well. The information for both ways to register can be found here. Visit www.beslter.org to see full information on the event!

Apply for a $24,000 Grant Through the NJ Trails Program

“The Federal Highway Administration’s Recreational Trails Program (RTP) provides financial assistance to states for developing and maintaining trails and trail facilities. The RTP funds come from the Federal Highway Trust Fund, and represent a portion of the motor fuel excise tax collected from non-highway recreational fuel use” (nj.gov)

Eligible projects that qualify for the grant are- maintenance and restoration of existing trails, development and rehabilitation of trailside and trailhead facilities and trail linkages for trails, purchase and lease of trail construction and maintenance equipment, construction of new trails in existing parks or in new right of way, for motorized use only acquisition of easement and fee simple title to property for trails (nj.gov)  

  • Award Ceiling- $24,000
  • Closing Date- Mid February
  • Visit their site to see the full information
  • Send grant forms to Trails@dep.state.nj.us

Apply for a $10,000 Grant through American Water

American Water’s environmental grants support innovative, community-based environmental projects that improve, restore and/or protect watersheds and community water supplies through partnerships (amwater.com)

The grant will select projects that address a watershed or a source water protection need within a local community that is within the American Waters areas, with the maximum grant amount of $10,000. Some examples of projects are watershed cleanup, reforestation efforts, hazardous waste collection efforts, and streamside buffer restoration (amwater.com).
  • Deadline- March 13, 2015
  • Award Ceiling- $10,000
  • Project Completion- between May 1st and November 29th
  • To see the grant brochure click here
  • More Information- amwater.com