National Estuary Program

The National Estuary Program (NEP) objective is to protect and restore estuaries and estuarine watersheds designated by the EPA Administrator as estuaries of national significance.

Each NEP characterizes the priority problems in its estuary and surrounding watershed, develops a Comprehensive Conservation
and Management Plan listing and describing actions to address those problems, identifies lead entities to carry out each action, and implements the actions.

Actions include: restoration of habitat, direct support for TMDL plan implementation, reducing stormwater and other non-point source impacts, and implementing nutrient reduction strategies.

Funding Priority - Fiscal Year 2008: EPA's funding priority is to award assistance agreements that support the 28 National Estuary Programs' implementation of their Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plans (CCMPs) to protect and restore estuarine resources.

EPA will provide focused support for priority problems identified by NEP management conferences, including problems of nutrient over-enrichment and hypoxic conditions; habitat loss/degradation; stormwater, climate change, toxics, pathogens, and aquatic invasive species impacts; and the need for increased sustainable and green infrastructure best management practices.

Funding Priority - Fiscal Year 2009: EPA's funding priority is to award assistance agreements that support the 28 National Estuary Programs' implementation of their Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plans (CCMPs) to protect and restore estuarine resources.

EPA will provide focused support for priority problems identified by NEP management conferences, including problems of nutrient over-enrichment and hypoxic conditions; habitat loss/degradation; stormwater, climate change, and aquatic invasive species impacts; toxics and pathogen impacts; need for outreach and education about priority problems facing the 28 estuaries and their associated watersheds; and the need for increased sustainable and green infrastructure best management practices.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Assistance agreements awarded to States, interstate agencies, academic institutions and other nonprofit organizations to: (1) conduct water quality monitoring and assessment, (2) protect and restore habitat, 3) develop and implement climate change adaptation strategies, (4)conduct applied research on problems like habitat loss and seasonal algal blooms,(5) implement public education and outreach programs, (6) revise CCMPs to reflect new priorities, (7)develop annual action plans, design and maintain CCMP implementation tracking and reporting systems, and (8)evaluate and report on CCMP implementation progress and environmental results.


Agency - Environmental Protection Agency

The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human health and the environment. Since 1970, EPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people.

Office - Office of Ecosystem Protection, EPA, Region I, 1 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02114-2023; Telephone: (617) 918-1511.

Division of Environmental Planning and Protection, EPA, Region II, 290 Broadway, New York, NY 10007-1866; Telephone: (212) 637-3724.

Water Protection Division, EPA, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 191103-2029; Telephone: (215) 814-2989.

Water Management Division, EPA, Region IV, 61 Forsyth St., S.W., Atlanta, GA 30303; Telephone: 404) 562-9345.

Water Quality Protection Division, EPA, Region VI, 1445 Ross Ave., Dallas, TX 75202-2733; Telephone: (214) 665-7101.

Water Division, EPA, Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105; Telephone: (415) 744-1860.

Office of Ecosystems, Tribal, and Public Affairs; and Office of Water and Watersheds, EPA Region X, 1200 Sixth Ave., Seattle, WA 98101; Telephone: (206) 553-4181.


Program Accomplishments

Maintaining high-quality habitat is one way of ensuring the health of the nation's estuaries. Since 2000, the NEPs and their partners have protected and restored over 1,100,000 acres of habitat within the 28 NEP estuarine watersheds. The acreage protected and restored by the NEPs and their partners enhances the 28 NEP estuaries' capacity to support healthy populations of wildlife and marine organisms, including many commercially-valuable fisheries. That acreage also enhances the 28 estuarine watersheds' capacity to support the economic, environmental, and aesthetic functions on which coastal populations depend for their livelihood. In FY 07, the NEPs and their partners protected and restored over 102,000 acres of estuarine habitat within their estuarine watersheds. In FY 08, grants will continue to support CCMP implementation, providing support for NEP efforts targeting priority problems like nutrient over-enrichment; stormwater,climate change and aquatic invasive species impacts; habitat loss/degradation; and need for sustainable and green infrastructure.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Section 320 authorizes issuance of assistance agreements used to meet Section 320 requirements to develop and implement CCMPs.

Annual workplans, which address priority actions in the CCMPs, lay out projects to be undertaken during the fiscal year.

They are developed and approved by each management conference.

Twenty-eight estuaries have been designated as estuaries of national significance, including: Long Island Sound, Puget Sound, Buzzards Bay, Narragansett Bay, New York-New Jersey Harbor, Delaware Bay, Delaware Inland Bays, Sarasota Bay, Galveston Bay, Santa Monica Bay, Albemarle-Pamlico Sounds, San Francisco Estuary, Casco Bay, Massachusetts Bays, Indian River Lagoon, Tampa Bay, Peconic Bay, San Juan Bay, Coastal Bend Bays, Tillamook Bay, the Barataria-Terrebonne Estuarine Complex, New Hampshire Estuaries, Barnegat Bay, Maryland Coastal Bays, Charlotte Harbor, Mobile Bay, Morro Bay, and Columbia River Estuary.

NEPs carry out such tasks as: (1) identifying research needs and conducting research as needed to obtain new data to address priority problems; (2) monitoring estuarine conditions to detect changes in water quality; and (3) promoting public input into NEP decision-making and management processes.

Assistance agreement awards under this program may involve or relate to geospatial information.

Further information regarding geospatial information may be obtained by viewing the following website: http://geodata.epa.gov.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Assistance agreements are issued only to those estuaries designated by the Administrator.

The Administrator is authorized to make grants to State, interstate, and regional water pollution control agencies and entities; State coastal zone management agencies; interstate agencies; and other public and private nonprofit agencies, institutions, organizations, and individuals (Section 320(g)(l)).

Profit making organizations are not eligible for grants.

For certain competitive funding opportunities under this CFDA description, the Agency may limit eligibility to compete to a number or subset of eligible applicants consistent with the Agency's Assistance Agreement Competition Policy.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Anyone/General Public.

Credentials/Documentation

Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments, OMB Circular No. A-21 for educational institutions, and OMB Circular No. A-122 for nonprofit organizations.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication assistance may be obtained from the appropriate EPA Regional Office.

Regarding pre-application/pre-proposal assistance with respect to competitive funding opportunities under this program description, EPA will generally specify the nature of the pre-application/pre-proposal assistance, if any, that will be available to applicants in the competitive announcement.

For additional information contact the individual(s) listed as "Information Contacts" or see Appendix IV of the Catalog.

All work plans should be developed in response to the priority tasks identified in the management conference annual work plan.

Work plans should also be developed in response to negotiated schedules for commitments to meet the purpose of a management conference outlined in the Act for the estuary.

Each work plan will be considered by the appropriate management conference and the EPA Regional program.

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

The standard application forms, as furnished by the Federal agency and required by OMB Circular No. A-102, must be used for this program. EPA requires final applications to be made on Standard Form 424. Requests for application kits must be submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency, Grants and Interagency Agreements Management Division, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Mailcode (3903R), Washington, DC 20460 or through the appropriate EPA Regional Office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog. Additional information on the EPA grant package can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/ogd/grants/how_to_apply.htm. The completed application, including the final proposal approved by the estuary management committee, should be submitted to the appropriate Regional program office for processing. This program is subject to the provisions of OMB circular No. A-110. Applicants may be able to use http://www.grants.gov to electronically apply for certain grant opportunities under this CFDA.

Award Procedures

Each application is reviewed by EPA Regional Offices to determine the adequacy of the application under grant regulations and National Estuary Program objectives, including technical merit and relevance of the project. Awards are issued by the EPA Regional Offices after approval by the appropriate Division Director. For competitive awards, EPA will review and evaluate applications, proposals, and/or submissions in accordance with the terms, conditions, and criteria as stated in the announcement of the competitive funding opportunity. Competitions will be conducted in accordance with EPA policies/regulations for competing assistance agreements.

Deadlines

Complete applications must reach the appropriate Regional program office no later than June 1 to be considered for fiscal year funding. Earlier schedules may be established by estuary program management or organizations. Such information is available from the Regional program office contact listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Authorization

Clean Water Act, Title III, Section 320, as amended, Public Law 94-117 and Public Law 106-457, 33 U.S.C. 466 et seq.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Approximately 90 days after deadline for application submission.

Appeals

Assistance agreement competition-related disputes will be resolved in accordance with the dispute resolution procedures published in 70 FR (Federal Register) 3629, 3630 (January 26, 2005). Copies of these procedures may also be requested by contacting the individual(s) listed as "Information Contacts." Disputes will be resolved under 40 CFR 30.63 or 40 CFR 31.70, as applicable.

Renewals

Renewals are subject to approval of the individual estuary management organization. Contact the appropriate EPA Regional office for guidance.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. Public Law 106-457, which amended Section 320(g) of the Water Quality Act of 1987, limits the amount of grants to 75 percent of the aggregate CCMP development project costs for each estuary program and to 50 percent of the aggregate CCMP implementation project costs for each estuary program, and requires that the nonfederal share be provided from nonfederal sources. The nonfederal share can be contributed by any of the participants in the management conference. Contact the appropriate management conference program office or EPA Regional Office for more information.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Assistance agreements are typically funded on a 12-month basis (yearly). Project period may cover up to 36 months, with continuations possible for certain types of projects. Payments will be on a letter of credit or advance basis.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Quarterly interim and final progress and expenditure reports; program evaluations; and other reports as required by the specific terms of the Agreement.

Financial Status Reports must be submitted for each project at the end of each fiscal year.

Audits

Grants and cooperative agreements are subject to inspections and audits by the Comptroller General of the United States, the EPA Office of Inspector General, other EPA staff, or any authorized representative of the Federal government. Reviews by the EPA Project Officer and the Grants Specialist may occur each year. In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," non-federal entities that expend $500,000 or more in a year in Federal awards shall have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-federal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in OMB Circular No. A-133.

Records

Financial records, including all documents to support entries on accounting records and to substantiate changes to each grant, must be kept available to personnel authorized to examine EPA grant accounts. All records must be maintained until expiration of 3 years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report. If questions still remain, such as those raised as a result of audit, related records should be retained until the matter is completely resolved.

Financial Information

Account Identification

68-0108-0-1-304; EPM.

Obigations

FY 07 $12,257,200; FY 08 $16,162,000; and FY 09 est. $7,222,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

For FY 07, each of the 28 NEPs received base funding in the amount of $418,000; For FY08, each of the NEPs received base funding in the amount of $591,750.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

General Grant Regulations and Procedures (40 CFR 30 and 40 CFR 31). Federal Register, Vol. 59, 61124, November 29, 1994, Technical Amendment Financial Assistance Requirements for the National Estuary Program (40 CFR Part 35). Saving Bays and Estuaries, a Primer for Establishing and Managing Estuary Projects, EPA/503/8-89-001, is available from the Oceans and Coastal Protection Division, Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds (4504T) EPA, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460. Forms and instructions for filing are included in an application kit available from the Grants and Interagency Agreements Management Division(3903R), Office of Grants and Debarment, EPA, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC. 20460.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Office of Ecosystem Protection, EPA, Region I, 1 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02114-2023; Telephone: (617) 918-1511. Division of Environmental Planning and Protection, EPA, Region II, 290 Broadway, New York, NY 10007-1866; Telephone: (212) 637-3724. Water Protection Division, EPA, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 191103-2029; Telephone: (215) 814-2989. Water Management Division, EPA, Region IV, 61 Forsyth St., S.W., Atlanta, GA 30303; Telephone: 404) 562-9345. Water Quality Protection Division, EPA, Region VI, 1445 Ross Ave., Dallas, TX 75202-2733; Telephone: (214) 665-7101. Water Division, EPA, Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105; Telephone: (415) 744-1860. Office of Ecosystems, Tribal, and Public Affairs; and Office of Water and Watersheds, EPA Region X, 1200 Sixth Ave., Seattle, WA 98101; Telephone: (206) 553-4181.

Headquarters Office

Darrell Brown, Chief, Coastal Management Branch, Oceans and Coastal Protection Division, Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds (4504T), EPA, Washington, DC 20460. Telephone: (202) 566-1256; Fax: (202) 566-1336; E-mail: brown.darrell@epa.gov.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The evaluation and selection criteria for competitive awards under this CFDA description will be described in the announcement of the competitive funding opportunity. Grants are awarded to the NEPs that satisfy the requirements outlined in the application procedure section.



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