Habitat Conservation

To provide grants and cooperative agreements for biological, economic, sociological, public policy, and other research, administration, and public education projects on the coastal environment to benefit U.S.

fisheries, conserve protected resources, and add to the economic and social well being

credit: NYC Department of Environmental Protection via CBS New York
of the Nation.

Projects are funded to carry out public policy pertaining to protection and restoration of the Nation's wetlands and other coastal habitats, pursuant to the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act, Endangered Species Act, Estuary Restoration Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Marine Plastic Pollution Research and Control Act of 1987, Coastal Wetlands Planning Protection and Research Act (CWPPRA), Coral Reef Conservation Act and other legislation.

Research and management includes determining the effects of habitat modifications and contaminants on populations of living marine resources, restoring depleted stocks that have been adversely impacted by habitat modifications, determining if artificial or restored habitat fulfills essential habitat needs of living marine resources, and quantifying contaminants and debris that pose a hazard to populations of these animals.
Examples of Funded Projects

NOAA Fisheries Headquarters: Wetland restoration projects in CWPPRA program are utilized for protecting and restoring eroding coastal marshes.

The Community-based Restoration Program (CRP) provides funding to implement a wide variety of on-the-ground habitat restoration projects to benefit marine, estaurine and reparian habitats, including but not limited to salt marshes, seagrass beds, coral reefs, mangrove forests, and freshwater habitat important to diadromous fisheries, predominantly in coastal areas around the United States.

The Office of Habitat Conservation also provides funding for coral reef conservation activities.

Coral Reef: Nguna-Pele Marine Protected Area Community Management and Assessment Enhancement Project.

Enhancing Management Effectiveness of MPAs: Regional Capacity Building in Indonesia and the Philippines, Assessment and Management of Black Grouper Spawning Aggregations in Belize essential fish habitat mapping and assessment, coral reef trade, sustainable use and management of the live reef fishes, watershed management, socioeconomic monitoring, and community-based management and conservation.

Others: Bonneau Ferry, SC and other West Cooper River Corridor land protection, Great Bay NERR Construction and Development, Port Aransas Nature Preserve, Wetlands Protection land acquisition, and Village Point Park Preserve land acquisition.


Agency - Department of Commerce

The Department of Commerce fosters and promotes the nation's economic development and technological advancement through vigilance in international trade policy, domestic business policy and growth, and promoting economic progress at all levels.

Office - See Appendix IV.



Program Accomplishments

In fiscal year 2005, cooperative agreements for wetland restoration projects in Louisiana under the CWPPRA program resulted in funding construction for the Little Lake Shoreline Protection/Dedicated Dredging near Round Lake Restoration Project and funding engineering and design for the Riverine Sand Mining/Scofield Island Restoration Project. Under the NOAA Community-based Restoration Program (CRP), 18 applications were recommended for funding in FY05 ranging from $20,000 to $211,507 for a total of $1.72 million, and nearly $8M went to the continued support of 12 national and regional habitat restoration partnerships (funded between $125K and $1.7M) that provide sub-awards for individual habitat restoration projects. These projects leverage between $3 and $5 for every NOAA dollar invested, have significant community support and hands-on participation, and typically have an associated outreach or informal education component. NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Grant Program launched a new international coral reef program in 2002, pursuant to the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000. During Fiscal Year 2005, the International Coral Reef Conservation Grant Program invested $400,000 in 11 projects in 12 countries that leveraged $435,109 in matching funds. Funds were distributed among the following four themes: 1) Demonstrate best management practices to reduce and control run-off to near shore coral reef ecosystems in the Caribbean; 2) Implement management effectiveness programs to enhance adaptive management of marine protected areas; 3) Promote use of socioeconomic assessments in coastal management; and 4) Regional approaches to promote marine reserves in the Caribbean and Southeast Asia.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Funds can be used by recipients to support a wide variety of research, habitat restoration, coral reef conservation, construction, management, and public education activities for marine and estuarine habitats, especially for species currently under, or proposed for, future Federal or Inter-jurisdictional management.

Habitat restoration includes providing fish passage, dam and barrier removals, marine debris prevention and removal, wetland and riparian restoration, and similar activities that restore habitat for diadromous fish, shellfish and other marine resources in coastal watersheds.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Eligible applicants for assistance include State and local governments, including their universities and colleges; U.S.

territorial agencies; federally and State-recognized Indian Tribal governments; private universities and colleges; private profit and nonprofit research and conservation organizations, and/or individuals.

Beneficiary Eligibility

This program benefits Federal, State, and interstate marine resource conservation and management agencies; U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States; U.S. and foreign commercial and recreational fishing industries; conservation organizations, academic institutions; international and Indian Tribal treaties; private and public research groups; consumers; and the general public.

Credentials/Documentation

Applicants are required to satisfy all DOC/NOAA standards and regulations, including routine and special terms and conditions, for financial assistance programs application and conduct.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

Proposals are submitted through Grants.Gov. Applicants will need to enter the Funding Opportunity Number and/or CFDA number to access the application package and instructions. Application package will then be submitted directly to the Office of Habitat Conservation, or NOAA Coral Conservation Program lead, as appropriate. Proposals are subject to the requirements of 15 CFR Parts 14 and 24, as applicable.

Award Procedures

Proposals are initially evaluated by the appropriate NMFS Office/Region/Science Center, or their component laboratories, and are subject to review for technical merit, soundness of design, competency of the applicant to perform the proposed work, potential contribution of the project to national or regional goals, and appropriateness and reasonableness of proposed costs. Projects approved for funding will be submitted to the NOAA Grants Management Division and the Department of Commerce's Office of Federal Assistance for review and approval.

Deadlines

Project applications must be received by the receiving NMFS office at least 90 days before the requested start date of the project.

Authorization

Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act of 1956, 16 U.S.C. 661; 16 U.S.C. 6401 et seq.; 16 U.S.C. 3951 et seq.; Public Law 100-220, Title II, Section 2204, 33 U.S.C. 1901 et. seq.; Department of Commerce Appropriation Act of 1999; and Coral Reef Conservation Act, 16 U.S.C. 6401 et seq.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Approval time is expected to range from 150-180 days, which includes processing of the award through NMFS and NOAA.

Appeals

None.

Renewals

Grants and cooperative agreements are approved on an annual basis, but may be continued beyond the first segment, subject to approved time frame and scope of work, satisfactory progress, and availability of funds. Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the sole discretion of the Department.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. Project costs are funded at up to 100 percent. Grantee matching contributions vary by specific funding opportunity. Coastal Wetland Planning, Protection and Restoration Act projects require a 15 percent match by the State of Louisiana at this time. Under the Community-based Restoration Program guidelines, projects are encouraged to demonstrate a minimum nonfederal match of 50 percent of the total cost needed to complete the proposed project. A 1:1 match is required for the General and International Coral Reef Conservation Grant Programs.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Awards are normally for 12-24 month periods, and vary by specific funding opportunity. Award funds must be spent in the indicated budget period and expended in accordance with DOC/NOAA finance and reporting procedures. Funds are released as needed through the automated treasury process (ASAP) or by reimbursement, as indicated in the Standard Terms and Conditions document required for each grant.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Reports are due in accordance with the terms and conditions of the award.

The Department's Financial Assistance Standard Terms and Conditions may require that financial and performance reports be submitted semi-annually or on some other agreed upon schedule.

Audits

In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), recipients that are States, Local Governments, Nonprofit Organizations (to include Hospitals), and Institutions of Higher Learning shall be subject to the audit requirements contained in the Single Audit Act Amendments of 1996 (31 U.S.C. 7501-7507). Commercial organizations shall be subject to the audit requirements as stipulated in the award document.

Records

Generally, a recipient is required to retain records relating to a particular grant for three years from the date of submission of the final financial report. In cases where litigation, claim or an audit is initiated prior to expiration of the three-year period, records must be retained until the action and resolution of any issues associated with it are complete or until the end of the three-year retention period; whichever is latest.

Financial Information

Account Identification

13-1450-0-1-306.

Obigations

(Grants and Cooperative Agreements) FY 07 $32,500,000; FY 08 est not available; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$15,000 to $10,000,000. Typical award: $35,000 to $200,000; CWPPRA awards among the largest, typically in the millions.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Cost will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-21 for institutions of higher education, with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments, and with OMB Circular No. A-122 for nonprofit organizations. For grants management priniciples, see 15 CFR 24 (State and local governments) and 15 CFR 14 for other recipients.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Appendix IV.

Headquarters Office

CWPPRA: Dr. Erik Zobrist; Community-based Restoration Program (CRP): Ms. Robin Bruckner, Program Manager. Office of Habitat Conservation, 1315 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Telephone: (301) 713-0174. Fax: (301) 713-0184. E-mail: Erik.Zobrist@noaa.gov; Robin.Bruckner@noaa.gov. General Coral Reef Conservation Grant Program: Andy Bruckner, Program Manager. Office of Habitat Conservation, FHC1, 1315 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Telephone: (301) 713-3459. Fax: (301) 713-1594. E-mail: Andy.Bruckner@noaa.gov . International Coral Reef Conservation Grant Program: Arthur Paterson, 1315 East West Highway, 5th Floor, Room 5627, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Telephone: (301) 713-3078; E-mail: Arthur.E.Paterson@noaa.gov.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Proposals are selected from several sources: Unsolicited proposals; special solicitations in the Federal Register or Commerce Business Daily; or Congressionally mandated projects. Regardless of source, proposals must undergo rigorous technical review and comply with all OMB, DOC, and NOAA grants policies and procedures. Any financial assistance announcements must be made in the Federal Register; announcements in the Commerce Business Daily only is not sufficient.



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