Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Comprehensive Plan Component Program

The primary objective of this program is to disburse funds to eligible entities for the purpose of restoring and protecting the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, coastal wetlands, and economy of the Gulf Coast region using the best available science.

Projects
and programs must achieve one or more of the seven objectives listed in The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Initial Comprehensive Plan: (1) Restore, Enhance and Protect Habitats, (2) Restore, Improve, and Protect Water Resources, (3) Protect and Restore Living Coastal and Marine Resources, (4) Restore and Enhance Natural Processes and Shorelines, (5) Promote Community Resilience, (6) Promote Natural Resource Stewardship and Environmental Education and (7) Improve Science-Based Decision-Making Processes.
Related Programs11.478 Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research_Coastal Ocean Program; 21.015 Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States

Agency - Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council


Program Accomplishments

Not Applicable.

Uses and Use Restrictions

The primary objective of this program is to disburse funds to eligible entities for the purpose of restoring and protecting the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, coastal wetlands, and economy of the Gulf Coast region using the best available science.

All projects, programs, and activities must be eligible activities pursuant to clauses (i) and (ii) of 33 U.S.C.

1321(t)(1)(B).

Proposals must identify which Comprehensive Plan goals the proposal will address.

A proposal sponsor must select a single primary goal.

Multiple secondary goals are encouraged to be identified.

1.

Restore and Conserve Habitat - Restore and conserve the health, diversity and resilience of key coastal, estuarine and marine habitats.

2.

Restore Water Quality - Restore and protect water quality of the Gulf Coast region s fresh, estuarine and marine waters.

3.

Replenish and Protect Living Coastal and Marine Resources - Restore and protect healthy, diverse and sustainable living coastal and marine resources.

4.

Enhance Community Resilience - Build upon and sustain communities with capacity to adapt to short- and long-term changes.

5.

Restore and Revitalize the Gulf Economy - Enhance the sustainability and resiliency of the Gulf economy.
Proposals also must clearly identify which Comprehensive Plan objectives the proposal will address.

A proposal sponsor must select a single primary objective.

Multiple secondary objectives are encouraged to be identified.

The Comprehensive Plan objectives are as follows: 1.

Restore, Enhance, and Protect Habitats; 2.

Restore, Improve, and Protect Water Resources, 3.

Protect and Restore Living Coastal and Marine Resources, 4.

Restore and Enhance Natural Processes and Shorelines, 5.

Promote Community Resilience, 6.

Promote Natural Resource Stewardship and Environmental Education, and 7.

Improve Science-Based Decision-Making Processes.

Additional information may be found in the Initial Comprehensive Plan.

Projects must be listed in the Funded Priorities List addendum to the Initial Comprehensive Plan upon its publication in order to be eligible for funding.


Not more than 3 percent of the amounts received by a Gulf Coast State may be used for administrative costs as defined in the Department of the Treasury Regulations for the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund, 31 CFR Part 23, publication, date TBD.

States may select sub-recipients to carryout approved projects.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Use of these funds are for the purpose of restoring and protecting the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, coastal wetlands, and economy of the Gulf Coast region using the best available science.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Beneficiaries are the people, wildlife, and natural resources of the Gulf Coast region.

Credentials/Documentation

All proposals must demonstrate that best available science has been taken into consideration and must clearly articulate how it meets each part of the definition of best available science provided by the RESTORE Act. Best available science is defined in the RESTORE Act as science that (A) maximizes the quality, objectivity, and integrity of information, including statistical information; (B) uses peer-reviewed and publicly available data; and (C) clearly documents and communicates risks and uncertainties in the scientific basis for such projects. OMB Circular No. A-87 applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is required.

An environmental impact assessment is required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110. Eligible applicants will submit proposals for projects and programs to the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council who will select projects and programs to be included in the Funded Priorities List (FPL) addendum to the Initial Comprehensive Plan. A Request for Applications (RFA) will be published on Grants.gov, and, after publication of the FPL addendum to the Initial Comprehensive Plan, eligible entities must submit grant application documents as specified in the RFA.
The new OMB Circular, 2 CFR Chapter I, Chapter II, Part 200, et al, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, Final Rule, applies to this program.

Award Procedures

Applications are approved by the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council.

Deadlines

Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.

Authorization

Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States (RESTORE) Act of 2012, Sec. 1603(2); 33 U.S.C. 1321(t)(2)., Section 1603, Public Law 112-112-141, 126 Stat. 588, 33 U.S.C 1321(t)(2).

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

> 180 Days. Projects and Programs submitted to be included in the FPL Addendum to the Comprehensive Plan must be reviewed for technical completeness, compliance with submission requirements, best available science and environmental readiness; projects are then selected for inclusion on the FPL and published for public comment; the final FPL Addendum is then published. After FPL Addendum publication, grant applications may be submitted by eligible entities, and applications are approved by the Council.

Appeals

No formal procedure. If an application is unacceptable, the applicant is fully informed and the applicant may submit a revised application.

Renewals

Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula.
This program has no matching requirements.
This program does not have MOE requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Project periods are specified in the grant award documents. Funds are disbursed on a reimbursement basis, although advances may be authorized as specified in 2 CFR Chapter i, Chapter II, Part 200 et al. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: lump sum.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Required program reports, their format and content, will be specified in the RFA.

Required cash reports, their format and content, will be specified in the RFA.

Required progress reports, their format and content, will be specified in the RFA.

Required expenditure reports, their format and content, will be specified in the RFA.

Monitoring requirements will be specified in the RFA.

Audits

This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-133. The new OMB Circular, 2 CFR Chapter I, Chapter II, Part 200, et al, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, Final Rule, applies to this program.

Records

All financial and programmatic records, supporting documents, statistical reports, and other records of recipients or sub-recipients are required to be maintained by the terms of the award. The recipient must retain records for three years from the date when the final expenditure report is submitted.

Financial Information

Account Identification

95-1770-0-1-452.

Obigations

(Project Grants) FY 13 $0; FY 14 est $0; and FY 15 est $180,000,000

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

No data available.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Department of the Treasury Regulations for the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund, 31 CFR Part 23 publication date of the Interim Final Rule August 15, 2014 (79 FR 48039); publication date of the Final Rule TBD.
The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Initial Comprehensive Plan, August 2013.
2 CFR Part 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, (December 26, 2013).

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

None.

Headquarters Office

Mary C. Pleffner The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council
c/o Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration
423 Canal Street, Suite 419
, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130 Email: mpleffner@doc.gov Phone: 813-995-2025

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Focus and emphasis areas will be used to help ensure that the Funded Priorities List (FPL) represents a focused, integrated, and efficient use of currently available funds. Proposals for inclusion in the first FPL should discuss how the proposed activity is designed primarily to address habitat or water quality. Proposals should also address the following emphasis areas:
1. How a project/program is foundational in the sense that it forms the initial core steps in addressing a significant ecosystem issue and that future projects can be tiered to substantially increase the benefits;
2. How a project/program will be sustainable over time;
3. Why a project/program is likely to succeed; and
4. Whether and how a project/program benefits the human community.
These Focus Areas and Emphasis Areas may be modified for subsequent amendments to the FPL.

Pursuant to the Initial Comprehensive Plan of the RESTORE Council and RESTORE Act, all proposals must include and address elements of the six subsections below.

(1). Initial Comprehensive Plan Goals:
Proposals must identify which goals the proposal will address. A proposal sponsor must select a single primary goal. Multiple secondary goals are encouraged to be identified.
1. Restore and Conserve Habitat - Restore and conserve the health, diversity and resilience of key coastal, estuarine and marine habitats.
2. Restore Water Quality - Restore and protect water quality of the Gulf Coast region s fresh, estuarine and marine waters.
3. Replenish and Protect Living Coastal and Marine Resources - Restore and protect healthy, diverse and sustainable living coastal and marine resources.
4. Enhance Community Resilience - Build upon and sustain communities with capacity to adapt to short- and long-term changes.
5. Restore and Revitalize the Gulf Economy - Enhance the sustainability and resiliency of the Gulf economy.

(2). Initial Comprehensive Plan Objectives:
Proposals must clearly identify which objectives from the Initial Comprehensive Plan the proposal will address. A proposal sponsor must select a single primary objective. Multiple secondary objectives are encouraged to be identified.
1. Restore, Enhance, and Protect Habitats.
2. Restore, Improve, and Protect Water Resources.
3. Protect and Restore Living Coastal and Marine Resources.
4. Restore and Enhance Natural Processes and Shorelines.
5. Promote Community Resilience.
6. Promote Natural Resource Stewardship and Environmental Education.
7. Improve Science-Based Decision-Making Processes.

(3). RESTORE Act and Initial Comprehensive Plan Priority Criteria:
All proposals must explain if the proposal addresses one or more of the priority criteria as established by the RESTORE Act and Initial Comprehensive Plan and, if so, how.
1. Projects that are projected to make the greatest contribution to restoring and protecting the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, and coastal wetlands of the Gulf Coast region, without regard to geographic location within the Gulf Coast region.
2. Large-scale projects and programs that are projected to substantially contribute to restoring and protecting the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, and coastal wetlands of the Gulf Coast ecosystem.
3. Projects contained in existing Gulf Coast State comprehensive plans for the restoration and protection of natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, and coastal wetlands of the Gulf Coast region.
4. Projects that restore long-term resiliency of the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, and coastal wetlands most impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

(4). Initial Comprehensive Plan Commitments:
All proposals must demonstrate how the proposal will achieve any or all of the commitments in the Initial Comprehensive Plan. The commitments in the Initial Comprehensive Plan are as follows:
1. Science-based Decision-Making
2. Regional Ecosystem-based Approach to Restoration
3. Engagement, Inclusion, and Transparency
4. Leveraging Resources and Partnerships
5. Delivering Results and Measuring Impacts

(5). Science:
All proposals must demonstrate that best available science has been taken into consideration and must clearly articulate how it meets each part of the definition of best available science provided by the RESTORE Act. Best available science is defined in the RESTORE Act as science that (A) maximizes the quality, objectivity, and integrity of information, including statistical information; (B) uses peer-reviewed and publicly available data; and (C) clearly documents and communicates risks and uncertainties in the scientific basis for such projects.

(6). Environmental Compliance:
All proposed projects and programs must list, using a checklist that will be provided by the Council, all applicable environmental compliance requirements with the associated proposal, as well as the status of those compliance requirements.



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