Gulf of Mexico Program

(1) To assist States, Indian Tribes, interstate agencies, and other public or nonprofit organizations in developing, implementing, and demonstrating innovative approaches relating to the causes, effects, extent, prevention, reduction, and elimination of water pollution; and (2) To expand and strengthen
cooperative efforts to restore and protect the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico in ways consistent with the economic well-being of the region.

Funding Priority - Fiscal Year 2008: Projects that improve the health of the Gulf of Mexico by addressing improved water quality and public health with an emphasis on healthy beaches and shellfish beds, priority coastal wetland and habitat protection/recovery, more effective coastal environment education, improved habitat identification/characterization data and decision support systems, and strategic nutrient reductions.

Projects must actively involve stakeholders and focus on short-term support and implementation of the actions and activities in the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Governors' Action Plan for Healthy and Resilient Coasts.

Funding Priority - Fiscal Year 2009: Projects that improve the health of the Gulf of Mexico by addressing improved water quality and public health with an emphasis on healthy beaches and shellfish beds, priority coastal wetland and habitat protection/recovery, more effective coastal environment education, improved habitat identification/characterization data and decision support systems, and strategic nutrient reductions.

Projects must actively involve stakeholders and focus on short-term support and implementation of the actions and activities in the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Governors' Action Plan for Healthy and Resilient Coasts.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Water quality modeling support, wetlands resource management baseline, harmful algal bloom information exchange, seagrass restoration, nutrient control/monitoring of eutrophication, stormwater biofilter demonstration, marshland upwelling system, point source locations, wastewater treatment feasibility study, nutrient modeling, waterbird rookery management, outreach and communications strategy targeted at high-risk consumers of shellfish, invasive species education exhibit, inventory of marine science research, assessment of introduction of nonindigenous aquatic species from ballast water, septic tank maintenance, response plan for harmful algal blooms, assessment of groundwater discharge and sewage impacts, reducing onsite sewage treatment system impacts, nutrient flux from sediments, monitoring and assessment of stormwater diversion, assessment status of invasive species, bacterial source tracking, smart growth planning, wetland inventory, acute pollution event response plan, synoptic survey of total mercury in recreational finfish, ecological assessment and calibration of water quality, mercury levels in harvested fishes, remote sensing of harmful algal blooms, shoreline protection, hydrological modifications impact study.


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 - Contact the EPA Region 4 Office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog for information on the grants administration process.

Local Office: EPA/Gulf of Mexico Program Office, Mail Code EPA/GMPO, Stennis Space Center, MS 39529, Attention: Esther Coblentz.

Telephone: (228) 688-1281.

Fax: (228) 688-2709.

E-Mail: coblentz.esther@epa.gov.


Program Accomplishments

In FY 07, 41 proposals were received in response to a competition to support projects to accomplish short-term actions toward implementation of the 11 actions and 73 activities in the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Governors' Action Plan for Healthy and Resilient Coasts, and 13 assistance agreements were awarded. Accomplishments include: development of a Public Awareness Campaign for the Gulf of Mexico; implementation of the Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard in the Gulf of Mexico to support development of the Priority Habitat Information System; implementation of a Spatial Catalog to Characterize and Identify Habitats in the Gulf of Mexico; Enhancing Local Capacity to Reach Underserved and Underrepresented Populations; validation and testing of Microbial Source Tracking Methodologies; coordination of Water Quality Monitoring across the Gulf of Mexico; a Gulf of Mexico Ocean Literacy Project; and a Binational HAB Risk Assessment and Communications Partnership. In FY 08, 31 proposals were received in response to a competition to continue support for projects to accomplish implementation of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Governors' Action Plan. It is estimated that approximately 12-15 assistance agreements will be awarded.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Section 104 (b)(3) of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C.

Section 1254 (b)(3) authorizes the awarding of assistance for programs established under the Clean Water Act.

Assistance will be targeted to States, Tribes, interstate agencies, and other public or nonprofit organizations that commit to specific activities.

Eligible activities should be of a relatively short time frame (6 months to 3 years) and all projects should achieve and demonstrate results.

Assistance agreements are available to support recipients' allowable direct costs incident to approved surveys, studies, investigations, research, and demonstrations plus allowable indirect costs, in accordance with established EPA policies and regulations.

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

Funds are available to State and local governments, interstate agencies, Tribes, colleges and universities, and other public or nonprofit organizations.

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

State and local governments, interstate agencies, Tribes, colleges and universities, individuals, and other public or nonprofit organizations.

Credentials/Documentation

Compliance with 40 CFR Parts 30 and 31 and with Program Funding Guidance. Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments, OMB Circular No. A-122 for nonprofit organizations, and OMB No. A-21 for educational institutions.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

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.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

Applicants should follow the proposal format and instructions provided in the Funding Announcement.The proposal should be transmitted electronically to the email address and by the date and time published in the Funding Announcement.Applicants may be able to use http://www.grants.gov to electronically apply for certain grant opportunities under this CFDA.

Award Procedures

For competitive awards, EPA will review and evaluate applications, proposals, and/or submissions in accordance with the terms, conditions, and criteria stated in the competitive announcement. Competitions will be conducted in accordance with EPA policies/regulations for competing assistance agreements.

Deadlines

All Proposals must be received on or before the closing date and time published in Section IV of the funding announcement. Proposals received after the published closing date and time will be returned to the sender without further consideration.

Authorization

Clean Water Act, Section 104(b)(3), 33 U.S.C. 1254.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Approximately 90-120 days following the application deadline as addressed in the competitive funding announcement.

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 relating to matters other than the competitive selection of recipients will be resolved under 40 CFR 30.63 or 40 CFR 31.70, as applicable.

Renewals

Contact the Gulf of Mexico Program Office for information.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

None.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

The terms of the assistance shall be determined at time of award.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Quarterly progress and financial status report requirements will be a part of each assistance agreement.

A schedule showing interim milestones and the outputs/outcomes or results that will be completed by the end of the project period will also be included, as will any specific requirements included in the assistance agreement.

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 Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal 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. Nonfederal 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 three years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report. If questions still remain, such as those raised as a result of an 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 $2,258,800; FY 08 $3,325,000; and FY 09 est. $2,092,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$50,000 to $333,000/fiscal year; $147,592/fiscal year.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

For assistance agreements with States, local governments, and Indian tribal governments, the procedures and requirements should be in conformance with 40 CFR Part 31 "Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments," and OMB Circular Nos. A-87 "Cost Principles for State and Local Governments" and A-102, "Grants and Cooperative Agreements for States and Local Governments." For assistance agreements with other entities the procedures should be in conformance with 40 CFR Part 30, "Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations."

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Contact the EPA Region 4 Office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog for information on the grants administration process. Local Office: EPA/Gulf of Mexico Program Office, Mail Code EPA/GMPO, Stennis Space Center, MS 39529, Attention: Esther Coblentz. Telephone: (228) 688-1281. Fax: (228) 688-2709. E-Mail: coblentz.esther@epa.gov.

Headquarters Office

None.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The evaluation and selection criteria for competitive awards under this CFDA description will be described in the competitive announcement. Projects will be selected based on the criteria and ranking factors established in the GMPO Competitive Funding Announcement.



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