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L.L.Bean - Club Fostered Stewardship Grant
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Since 2002, the ACA has partnered with L.L. Bean to sponsor the Club Fostered Stewardship (CFS) Program. The CFS Program provides funding to local and regional paddling clubs and organizations that undertake stewardship projects on waterways in their area. The purpose of the program is to encourage paddling clubs to take an active role in protecting and improving the nation's waterways.


Many of the stewardship needs of our nation's waters are best addressed at the local and regional level. Paddling clubs and watershed organizations are in an ideal position to lead these efforts. These paddlers are often willing to volunteer their time and assist with local stewardship projects. However, clubs often lack the funds needed to pay project expenses. As a result, they miss an opportunity to leverage dozens and sometimes hundreds of volunteer hours that could improve conditions on their favorite waterway.

That is why L.L. Bean and the ACA have teamed up to sponsor the CFS Program.


CFS grants are available for projects that utilize volunteers in efforts to protect, maintain or restore recreational waterways, to provide for or improve public access, or to enhance safe navigation. Eligible projects include: cleaning up waterways, clearing in-stream safety hazards, maintaining access areas, erecting signs and controlling erosion, establishing and maintaining paddle trails, acquiring threatened access points, and providing sanitary facilities. Grant amounts range from $100-$1,000.


Past projects receiving CFS grants include:

  • Removing heavy debris and trash from rivers and bays in numerous locations throughout the U.S.
  • Improving access for local paddlers
  • Establishing water trails 
  • Water quality monitoring 
  • Environmentally-sensitive woody debris removal 
  • Riparian buffer restoration and improvement 
  • Environmental education and outreach programs

There are a few things that CFS grants do not fund. Items that are ineligible for funding include:

  • T-shirts
  • Food for volunteers
  • Giveaways or prizes

Want to learn more about projects that have been funded through the CFS program? Review reports from past years!

    Interested clubs or organizations must submit an application outlining their proposed project. Applications that outline how funding will be acknowledged (i.e., press releases; websites and social media sites; newsletters; using the ACA/ L.L. Bean logo on advertisements, signage, printed materials, etc.) also increase chances of funding. 


    ACA also offers additional assistance to clubs and organizations for waterway stewardship projects. Clubs and organizations concerned about liability for injuries that occur during stewardship projects may be able to obtain liability insurance coverage through the ACA. Clubs may request additional assistance using the CFS Grant Application Form. 


    2020 Timeline:

    • February 10: online applications open
    • March 4: online applications close
    • March 18: recipients announced

    *It is not mandatory to be a paddling club to apply. In the past, grants have been awarded to conservation organizations and watershed groups. However, applications that incorporate paddling or cooperation with local paddling organizations will be given priority.  



    Previous Grant Recipients / Final Grant Reports:

    ACA Mission

    Founded in 1880, The American Canoe Association (ACA) is a national nonprofit organization serving the broader paddling public by providing education related to all aspects of paddling, stewardship support to help protect paddling environments, and sanctioning of programs and events to promote paddlesport competition, exploration, and recreation.

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