Marine Sanctuary Program

To identify areas of the marine environment of special national significance due to their resource or human-use values; to provide authority for comprehensive and coordinated conservation and management of these marine areas that will complement existing regulatory authorities; to support, promote, and
coordinate scientific research on, and monitoring of, the resources of these marine areas; to enhance public awareness, understanding, appreciation, and wise use of the marine environment; and to facilitate, to the extent compatible with the primary objective of resource protection, all public and private uses of the resources of these marine areas not prohibited pursuant to other authorities; and to support organizations that provide environment-based education to students, teachers and communities.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Long-term management efforts at Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary; Educational programming and interpretation to create greater public awareness of the significance of marine sanctuaries; building the infrastructure to bring live video from a sanctuary site to the American public; Jason Foundation to support an innovative science and technology education program for middle-school students and teachers; Co-sponsor National Geographic Society's Oceans for Life/Field Studies Project for teacher-student pairs at the Florida Keys and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuaries.

The second annual Alligator Symposium was held in Norfolk, VA on October 30-31, 2004.

The Monterey Bay Watershed Education and Training Program awarded a grant to allow students to investigate the factors that influence the health of invertebrates by assessing the sand crab population and by measuring the environmental factors that impact the sand crab population at a local beach.

Scholarships were awarded to graduate students studying Marine Biology, Oceanography, and Maritime Archeology.

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 - Regional or Local Office.

Local Offices at each sanctuary.

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Program Accomplishments

There are currently 13 designated marine sanctuaries, and a 14th sanctuary site is in the designation process. Management Plan Reviews are underway at seven sites. In fiscal year 2004, the National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) launched the Sanctuary integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN) that enables researchers to monitor the sanctuary effectively by integrating existing monitoring programs and identifying gaps in information; ground was broken on a new Maritime Heritage Center at Thunder Bay; working in conjunction with the NMS Foundation, a suite of outreach activities have been conducted to achieve the goals of increasing visibility and/or educational efforts related to the NMSP. National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) has completed and will present three Science Guides (formal education professional development tools) on corals, estuaries, and the effects of the ocean on weather and climate as well as a symposium for 80 middles and high school level educators on coral ecosystems in cooperation with NOAA in FY 06 The Monterey Bay Watershed Education and Training Program funded 10 grants and 2 cooperative agreements in FY 05 and a estimated 35 grants and 4 cooperative agreements in FY 06; and emergency response tools and capabilities were expanded across the program. Fourteen students were awarded scholarships in FY 04. Nine were continuing and 5 new awards were made.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Cooperative agreements are entered into for the purpose of conducting research and educational programs; for the solicitation of private donations for the support of such activities in the Marine sanctuary system; to conduct enforcement activities at Marine sanctuary sites; and for other activities to carry out the purposes of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act.

Scholarships are provided for masters and doctorate level studies particularly by women and minorities who are pursuing degrees in Marine Biology, Maritime Archaeology and Oceanography.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

States, local governments, regional agencies, interstate agencies, k-through-12 public and independent schools and school systems, institutions of higher education, commerical and nonprofit organizations, Indian tribal Governments, or other persons.

Agreements to solicit private donations may only be made with nonprofit organizations.

Scholarships are awarded to individuals who are U.S.

citizens and have been admitted to a masters or doctorate program for studies in Marine Biology, Maritime Archaeology, and Oceanography.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Financial assistance is made for a public purpose. The ultimate beneficiary is the public. The scholarship program benefits individuals who do not have the financial means of pursuing graduate level studies and, in turn, ensures that women and minorities are representative in the areas supported by the scholarship program.


Proposal with statement of work and budget estimate. Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular Nos. A-87 for State and local governments, A-21 for educational institutions and A-122 for nonprofit organizations.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

The standard application forms, as furnished by NOAA and required by 15 CFR Part 24, must be used when applying for Federal funding.

These forms can be obtained from the NOAA Grants Management Division.

Informal preapplication conferences are recommended.

Consultation and assistance is available from NOAA in the preparation of an application.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


For the scholarships to individuals, there is no preapplication requirement.

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. For cooperative agreements and competitive awards, the application package will be submitted directly to the National Marine Sanctuary Program. For scholarships, the application package will be submitted directly to the NOS Office of the assistant Administrator. This program is subject to the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-110, for institutions of higher education and other nonprofit organizations, and with 15 CFR Part 24 for State and local governments. Monterey Bay Watershed Education and Training Program Awards are competitively selected. The application process is described in the annual Federal Register Notice. For the scholarship program, the application process is described in the annual Federal Register Notice.

Award Procedures

The cooperative agreement and competitive grants awards are approved by the National Marine Sanctuary Program. Scholarship awards are approved by NOS Associate Assistant Administrator for Management.


Proposals should be submitted 120 days prior to the beginning date of the cooperative agreement. Competitive grant deadlines and scholarship deadlines are published in the annual Federal Register Notice.


Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972, Title III, Public Law 92-532, 16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.; Marine Sanctuaries Amendments of 1984, Public Law 98-498; Marine Sanctuaries Amendments of 1988, Public Law 100-627; National Marine Sanctuaries Program Amendments Act of 1992, Public Law 102-587. National Marine Sanctuaries Preservation Act of 1996, Public Law 104-283; National Marine Sanctuaries Amendments Act of 2000, Public Law 106- 513.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 90 to 120 days.


No formal procedure.


The National Marine Sanctuary Program may renew funding for existing grants that were funded in the previous application process. New grants may be awarded pending successful review of a new application package, and adequate progress reports and/or site visits.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. This program has no matching requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Awards are usually made for a 1 year period. Funds are released as required.

Post Assistance Requirements


Financial Status Reports and Performance Reports are required quarterly or semi-annually.

For the scholarships, an annual Progress Report is required and a final Progress Report is required at the end of the award.

For the competitive awards, Financial and Performance Reports are semi-annually and a comprehensive final Progress Report is required at the end of the award.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133, recipients that are States, Local Governments, Nonprofit Organizations, 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.


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

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Cooperative Agreements) FY 07 $10,021,934; FY 08 est not available; and FY 09 est not reported. (Scholarships) FY 07 $350,000; FY 08 est not available; and FY 09 est not reported. (Competitive awards) FY 07 $1,700,000; FY 08 est not available; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Cooperative Agreements: FY 2006 - $200,000 to approximately $3,940,000. Average: $1,695,000. Scholarships: $32,000. Competitive award: $10,000 - $50,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

15 CFR Part 922. Allowable cost will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular A-87 for State and local governments and Indian Tribes; OMB Circular A-122 for nonprofit and for-profit organizations; OMB Circular A-21 for institutions of higher education; and 48 CFR Part 31 for commercial organizations. Financial assistance management will be in accordance with 15 CFR Part 14 for institutions of higher education, hospitals, and other non-profit and commercial organizations, and with 15 CFR Part 24 for state and local governments.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Regional or Local Office. Local Offices at each sanctuary.

Headquarters Office

Headquarters Office Director, National Marine Sanctuary Program/NOS, 1305 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Maureen Warren (301) 713-3125 x251 and Matthew Stout (301) 713-3125 x273. Monterey Bay Watershed Education and Training Program: Seaberry Nachbar (831) 647-4204. For Scholarships: Chantell Haskins (301)713-9437 x125, NOAA Education Office, OAR HQTR Route: R, Bldg SSMC3-Room 10742, 1315 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910-3282, E-mail:

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

A set of ranking criteria was developed to establish the priority of proposed efforts funded through the National Marine Sanctuary Program. The criteria include: (1) importance of the information or transaction for sanctuary management decisions; (2) date of the available information or accomplishment for which funds are expended; (3) status of information or accomplishment; and 4) generic applicability of information or techniques receivable from effort. Criteria for scholarships include financial need, academic record, recommendations, organizational, analytical, and written communications skills based on the statement of intent, and research and career goals and objectives as described in the statement of intent. Criteria for Monterey Bay Watershed Education and Training Program competitive awards include: (1) Importance and/or relevance and applicability of proposal to the program goals; (2) Technical Merit; (3) Overall qualifications for applicants; (4) Project costs, and (5) Financial need of student.

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