NOAA offers $4 million in grants for coastal ecosystem resilience

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced $4 million of funding available to strengthen the resilience of marine and coastal ecosystems to decrease the vulnerability of communities to extreme weather.

The Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency Grants Program will promote comprehensive planning efforts that address ecosystem resiliency, seek to minimize risks associated with extreme weather events, and provide for adaptation to known or potential climate change impacts, such as sea level rise. Eligible parties include State, local, and tribal governments.

The principal objective of the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS) Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency Grants solicitation is to implement projects that use a proactive approach to improve or restore coastal habitat to: 1) strengthen the resilience of our marine and coastal ecosystems to decrease the vulnerability of communities to extreme weather and 2) support sustainable fisheries and contribute to the recovery of protected resources.

Applications submitted under this solicitation will be selected based on their ability to demonstrate how the proposed project will enhance the resiliency of marine and coastal ecosystems to the impacts of extreme weather and changing environmental conditions thereby increasing community resilience and providing habitat to threatened and endangered species listed under the Endangered Species Act (hereafter, Listed Species), fish stocks managed under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (hereafter, Managed Species), or other marine and coastal species with a nexus to NMFS management (such as through the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act, Atlantic Striped Bass Conservation Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Coral Reef Conservation Act, or NMFS Species of Concern).

Successful applications will 1) identify an issue limiting the resiliency of marine and coastal ecosystems to extreme weather events or changing environmental conditions at the proposed project site; 2) identify the proposed project’s outcome goal(s) and describe in detail the actions and on-the-ground restoration to be undertaken to enhance resiliency and reduce risk and; 3) describe the measurable impact on the ecosystem, target species, and surrounding coastal communities to benefit from the proposed habitat restoration project.

Applications selected for funding through this solicitation will primarily be funded through cooperative agreements. Total anticipated funding for all awards is up to $4 million. NOAA anticipates typical awards will range from $500,000 to $1 million. NOAA will not accept applications requesting less than $200,000 or more than $2 million in federal funds from NOAA under this solicitation. Federal funds awarded under this program must be matched with non federal funds (cash or in-kind cost share) at a 2:1 ratio of federal-to-non-federal contributions.

For example, an applicant requesting $500,000 in federal funding must provide at least $250,000 in non-federal matching contributions, for a total budget of $750,000. NOAA will only award funds to proposed projects that receive approval of the State’s Governor as evidenced by a letter or other form of documented correspondence. Funds will be administered by the NOAA Restoration Center. This funding opportunity is one of two Federal Funding Opportunities (FFO) being administered by NOAA to build coastal resilience. The companion competition, the Regional Coastal Resilience Grants Program is being administered by NOAA’s National Ocean Service to undertake activities that build resilience of coastal regions, communities, and economic sectors to the negative impacts from extreme weather events, climate hazards, and changing ocean conditions.

Closing Date for Applications: July 2, 2015

See official notice.

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