National Sea Grant Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) Marine Debris Challenge Competition

The National Sea Grant College Program was enacted by the U. S. Congress in 1966 (amended in 2020, Public Law 116-221) to support leveraged federal and state partnerships that harness the intellectual capacity of the nation’s universities and research institutions to solve problems and generate

opportunities in coastal communities.Subject to the availability of funding in fiscal years 2022 and 2023, Sea Grant anticipates approximately $16,000,000 will be available to support innovative, transformational research to application (R2A) projects that will address the prevention and/or removal of marine debris, with award periods of three years.

“Research to application” or R2A refers to research and development projects that transition into tangible outcomes and outputs.

Examples include (but are not limited to) new prototypes, products, processes, or tools.

Proposals may address (but are not limited to) innovative interception and/or removal technologies, reusable systems, microplastics, and/or nanoplastics.

Proposals are sought that will build upon and extend existing knowledge and efforts related to marine debris; support broad, non-proprietary, and innovative research to address critical gaps with respect to marine debris; make that information available to communities and stakeholders; include Sea Grant education and extension professionals, community representatives, government, academic, non-governmental, and industry partners, as appropriate; and proactively incorporate principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and accessibility at every level of the work.

Proposals must include funding for Sea Grant education and/or extension personnel as collaborators.

Community, government, academic, non-government, and industry stakeholder participation/involvement in projects is strongly encouraged.

Applications DO NOT require the standard 50% non-federal match for Sea Grant projects.

However, applicants are strongly encouraged to combine NOAA federal funding with formal matching contributions and informal leverage from a broad range of sources in the public and private sectors.

To this end, applicants should note that cost sharing and leverage of other funds is an element considered in the evaluation criteria.Fully integrated teams of collaborators noted above must submit proposals with and through a Sea Grant program (Sea Grant Colleges, Institutions, or Coherent Area Programs).

A Sea Grant program may submit or participate in more than one proposal.

Collaborations among Sea Grant programs are encouraged, as appropriate.

Please note that it is not a requirement that investigators, including the PI, are part of a Sea Grant program.

Contact information for each program can be found at

All 34 Sea Grant programs are eligible to serve as partners and to submit applications.

If you need further assistance in identifying a program to partner with please contact the National Sea Grant Office via email at This document sets out requirements for submitting to NOAA-OAR-SG-2022-200745 2. Additional guidance and tips on how best to prepare an application are provided in the Sea Grant General Application Guide available at ( is one of two National Sea Grant federal funding opportunities in support of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) to address the prevention and removal of marine debris.

This competition will support original, innovative, and transformational marine debris prevention and removal research that pushes the boundaries of existing technologies and approaches, changes the current landscape of marine debris mitigation, and ties that research to tangible outputs.

A second opportunity NOAA-OAR-SG-2022-2007012, the “Special Projects H - National Sea Grant IIJA Marine Debris Community Action Coalitions,” is available for creating coalitions among areas, groups, or communities, especially those that have been systemically underserved or disadvantaged, to address marine debris prevention and removal.

These two Sea Grant IIJA NOFOs complement a Marine Debris Program NOFO that will fund large-scale marine debris removal and interception projects.
Related Programs

Sea Grant Support

Department of Commerce

Agency: Department of Commerce

Office: Department of Commerce

Estimated Funding: $16,000,000

Who's Eligible

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Obtain Full Opportunity Text:
OPA Webpage

Additional Information of Eligibility:
The following entities are eligible to submit to this opportunity: Sea Grant College Programs, Sea Grant Institutional Programs, and Sea Grant Coherent Area Programs.

A Sea Grant program may submit or participate in more than one proposal.

Other interested entities must submit proposals in partnership with and through a relevant Sea Grant program.

Please note that it is not a requirement that investigators, including the PI, are part of a Sea Grant program; however proposals must be submitted with and through a Sea Grant program.

Contact information for Sea Grant programs can be found at:

If you need further assistance in identifying a program to partner with please contact one of the Sea Grant Marine Debris Team listed below in Section VII.

Agency Contacts.

Federal agencies and their personnel are not permitted to receive federal funding under this competition; however, federal scientists and other employees can serve as uncompensated partners or co-Principal Investigators on applications.

Federal labs and offices can also make available specialized expertise, facilities, or equipment to applicants but cannot be compensated under this competition for their use.

The National Sea Grant College Program champions diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and accessibility (DEIJA) by recruiting, retaining, and preparing a diverse workforce, and proactively engaging and serving the diverse populations of coastal communities.

Sea Grant is committed to building inclusive research, extension, communication, and education programs that serve people with unique backgrounds, circumstances, needs, perspectives, and ways of thinking.

We encourage applicants of all ages, races, ethnicities, national origins, gender identities, sexual orientations, disabilities, cultures, religions, citizenship types, marital statuses, education levels, job classifications, veteran status types, income, and socioeconomic status types to apply for this opportunity.

Full Opportunity Web Address:


Agency Email Description:

Agency Email:

Date Posted:

Application Due Date:

Archive Date:

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