Skip to main content

GAPS Assistance Program

Generating Awareness for Project Success (GAPS)

**Applications for the GAPS program for 2024 are now open.**


Building successful remediation projects is accomplished through a combination of reliable data, healthy partnerships, and sufficient funding. There is often a “gap” between university researchers with expertise in water issues and realized stream restoration projects. A hurdle to many small colleges and universities is a lack of funding, time, or connections to state agencies and other key stakeholders involved in stream restoration.

Generating Awareness for Project Success (GAPS) is a collaboration between the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds (FPW) and Three Rivers QUEST (3RQ) to assist small colleges and universities carrying out real-world stream restoration projects. Not only does this enhance student learning, but also grows university-community partnerships. In turn, faculty and students provide their local expertise and hands-on assistance. Utilizing over 15 years of experience in coordinating researchers, grassroots groups, and state agencies regarding stream restoration projects, 3RQ will provide the funding and technical expertise needed to set up a successful remediation project. The aim of GAPS is to collect the baseline data and information needed to secure funding for the engineering and construction of stream remediation projects. 


Small colleges and universities in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia within the Upper Ohio River Basin are encouraged to apply for GAPS program assistance. 3RQ anticipates assisting two to four colleges in 2024. Applicants must be collaborative and motivated to complete a real-world stream restoration project. 

Services Provided

3RQ will provide funding for sample collection and data analysis. This may include monthly grab samples and flow measurements or the installation of in-stream data loggers. Technical support will also be provided to develop the basis for on-the-ground remediation efforts, including providing connections to state and federal agencies and local grassroots groups and assisting with funding requests for remediation projects. 3RQ will coordinate commercial lab analysis and data management. All data will be uploaded to the WATERS database where it will be stored and accessible to your organization long-term at no cost.

In addition, 3RQ provides a network of water-oriented organizations to provide further support. 3RQ may serve as a platform for documenting remediation successes, sharing data with the public via online maps, and telling a big-picture story of improvements in the Upper Ohio River Basin as they relate to headwater and tributary restoration efforts. Upon successful completion of a GAPS project, colleges and universities may be invited to continue partnering with 3RQ.

Evaluation Measures

Applications will be evaluated based on the applicant’s ability to move the project towards successful remediation as well as the ability of 3RQ to assist with the specific needs of the project.


Please apply via the webform found here. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

Information Session

3RQ offered a virtual information session on Thursday December 7th, 2023 from 10:00 - 11:00 AM to provide more information on the GAPS program and 3RQ's free WATERS database and mapping tools and answer questions. Please see the recording below and the slides hereYou are also encouraged to reach out to if you have any questions about the GAPS program.

GAPS Program Highlight

Phillips Mine Discharge Project: A Partnership between 3RQ, The University of Pittsburgh, Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection


Red Horse Environmental logo
Duquesne University logo
Colcom Foundation logo
Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds