NERRS Habitat Protection and Restoration Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) Competition

The National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) consists of estuarine areas of the United States and its territories designated and managed for research and educational purposes (Reserves).

Each Reserve within the NERRS is chosen to represent a different biogeographic region and to include

credit: Wikipedia

a variety of ecosystem types in accordance with the classification scheme of the national program as specified in 15 CFR 92 1. By funding designated Reserve agencies and universities to conduct land acquisition and habitat restoration projects that support the NERRS mission, NOAA will strengthen protection of key land and water areas, improve climate resilience, enhance long-term protection of Reserve areas for research and education, and support the habitat protection goals and priorities of the National Coastal Zone Management Act.

Funding under this opportunity will enable Reserves to protect and restore ecologically significant habitats, including conserving lands that play a critical role in helping coastal communities become more resilient to storms, flooding, inundation, erosion, tsunamis, sea level rise and lake level changes and other natural hazards affecting the U. S. coastlines.

This Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) supports NOAA’s efforts reduce the impacts of climate change.

A key pillar is resilience to climate change and its impacts, throughout our communities and ecosystems.

Specifically, this NOFO seeks projects that enhance coastal resilience.

Coastal areas support the nation’s largest and often fastest-growing population centers as well as key natural assets.

Strengthening coastal resilience means preparing and adapting coastal communities to mitigate the impacts of and more quickly recover after extreme events such as hurricanes, coastal storms, flooding, and sea level rise.

Habitat restoration and natural and nature-based infrastructure and solutions are critical to doing so by protecting lives and property; sustaining commercial, recreational, and subsistence fishing; recovering threatened and endangered species; and maintaining and fostering vibrant coastal economies and lifestyles.

This NOFO – along with the NOFOs for National Coastal Resilience Fund; Transformational Habitat Restoration and Coastal Resilience Grants; Coastal Habitat and Resilience Grants for Underserved Communities; and Coastal Zone Management Habitat Protection and Restoration grants– aims to fund projects that support the overarching goal of enhancing coastal resilience.

This NOFO focuses on the resilience of the designated National Estuarine Research Reserves.

This announcement solicits applications from Federally-designated National Estuarine Research Reserves for projects relating to (i) coastal habitat restoration; (ii) coastal habitat restoration planning, engineering, and design projects, and (iii) coastal land conservation that are expected to be completed within 3 years of the start date of the award, with the potential of up to 5 years.

This competition has a mandatory pre-proposal/letter of intent.

Only applicants whose pre-proposals strongly align with program objectives and goals, as determined by NOAA through the review process described in Section V.A.

will be invited to submit full applications.

Pre-proposals must be submitted by the deadline stated in Section IV.D.

For details regarding the suggested content of pre-proposals please see Section IV.B.k
Related Programs

Coastal Services Center

Department of Commerce

Agency: Department of Commerce

Office: Department of Commerce

Estimated Funding: $12,000,000

Who's Eligible

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Obtain Full Opportunity Text:
Click on the following link to see the full text of the announcement for this funding opportunity.

Additional Information of Eligibility:
Eligible applicants are NERRS lead state agencies or universities designated to receive NERRS operations funding through a Memorandum of Understanding with NOAA in coastal states and territories including the Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, Atlantic Coast and Great Lakes.

Eligible applicants should meet requirements as stated in the NERRS regulations codified at 15 CFR 921.32 which are available online at

Each applicant may submit no more than three letters of intent for consideration under this competition.

NOAA may, with concurrence of the NERRS lead state agency or university, make a grant directly to an eligible Reserve partner in order to expedite completion of an approved project.

Reserve partners must have a signed MOU or MOA in place with the NERRS lead state agency or university in order to be eligible for direct funding under this competition.

For these projects, the NERRS lead state agency or university would submit the Letter of Intent and include a description of which Reserve partner would be the final grant recipient.

If the Reserve is invited to submit a final application for this proposal, then the Reserve partner would submit the final application through

In such cases, the Reserve Partner (as the grant recipient) will be responsible for ensuring that allocated funds are used for the approved purposes and in a manner consistent with this program.

DOC/NOAA supports cultural and gender diversity and is strongly committed to broadening the participation of historically black colleges and universities, Hispanic serving institutions, tribal colleges and universities, and institutions that work in underserved areas.

While this program limits applicants to NERRS lead agencies or universities, DOC/NOAA encourages applicants to include partners and contributors from any of the above institutions.

Non-governmental organizations are not eligible to hold title to lands acquired with these funds.

However, non-governmental organizations may also participate as partners with eligible entities in the acquisition, restoration and long-term stewardship of lands through this program, such as: identifying target properties; conducting or assisting in acquisition negotiations to secure properties; conducting restoration activities; and providing stewardship and management of properties in perpetuity, including holding a secondary easement or other stewardship agreement for these lands.

Full Opportunity Web Address:


Agency Email Description:
Program Office

Agency Email:

Date Posted:

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