NOAA’s Transformational Habitat Restoration & Coastal Resilience Grants

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Relevent Country: United States of America

Submissions are now being accepted for the NOAA’s Transformational Habitat Restoration and Coastal Resilience Grants under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act to support transformational habitat restoration projects that restore marine, estuarine, coastal, or Great Lakes ecosystems, using approaches that enhance community and ecosystem resilience to climate hazards.

Program Objectives

  • Extreme weather events and climate hazards can have significant impacts on coastal ecosystems and human communities. Strengthening ecosystem resilience in a changing climate is critical to promoting the recovery of threatened and endangered species, as well as enhancing the sustainability of commercial and recreational fisheries. Additionally, strengthening the resilience of coastal communities can reduce vulnerability and alleviate negative effects from extreme weather and climate hazards, such as flooding and coastal storms.
  • This funding opportunity will invest in transformational projects that have the greatest potential to provide holistic benefits, through habitat-based approaches that strengthen both ecosystem and community resilience. Examples of habitat restoration projects that are transformational at a regional or national scale include, but are not limited to: projects that provide significant benefits for ecosystems and community resilience; projects that catalyze broad initiatives or partnerships; large-scale projects; innovative projects, which may include new techniques for restoration; and projects that connect to or build upon other restoration or resilience work in a watershed. Projects that are most responsive to the program priorities and are more transformative will be more competitive, by providing important and lasting changes that make a difference for coastal communities and ecosystems.

Program Priorities

Successful proposals will be those that meet the evaluation criteria most strongly, including those criteria related to the program priorities described here. Applicants should address the following set of program priorities:

  • Sustaining Productive Fisheries and Strengthening Ecosystem Resilience.
  • Applicants should describe how the proposed habitat restoration actions align with relevant plans to recover and/or manage the target species or fisheries. Proposals should also address how restoration will strengthen resilience within the target habitat and the surrounding ecosystem. Potential benefits for fisheries habitat will be evaluated based on how the proposed restoration actions will:
  • Contribute to the recovery of threatened and endangered species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that are under NOAA jurisdiction (hereafter, Listed Species);
  • Sustain or help rebuild fish stocks managed under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (hereafter, Managed Species), which includes benefits to Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for recreationally and commercially important species and their prey;
  • Enhance the sustainability of saltwater recreational fisheries by the restoration of habitat that supports the National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Policy and Implementation Plans; or
  • Improve habitat to support native fish species of the Great Lakes.

Enhancing Community Resilience to Climate Hazards and Providing Other Co-benefits.

  • Applicants should describe how the proposed restoration will benefit human populations within or near the project site(s), and how these actions will increase resilience to extreme weather and climate hazards (e.g., storms, flooding, erosion) that are most threatening to the local communities. Applicants may also describe how the proposed work will enhance the ability to plan and prepare for adverse effects of extreme weather events or climate hazards, or provide additional co-benefits to the community (e.g., economic vitality, increased access to natural resources).

Fostering Regionally Important Habitat Restoration.

  • This solicitation will prioritize restoration actions that demonstrate high priority and transformative potential within a defined geographic region. Applicants should describe the context of the proposed work within the landscape, watershed, or other geographically defined boundary. Descriptions should explain how the work may complement other current or proposed restoration efforts, including projects that will help to build climate resilience through other funding opportunities supported by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (e.g., National Oceans and Coastal Security Fund, Coastal Zone Management, National Estuarine Research Reserves, and Coastal Habitat Restoration and Resilience Grants for Tribes and Underserved Communities) or the Inflation Reduction Act (e.g., Climate Resilience Regional Challenge).

Providing Benefit to Tribal, Indigenous, and/or Underserved Communities, Including through Partnerships.

  • NOAA is committed to the goals of advancing equity and support for tribal, indigenous, and underserved communities. Applicants should identify if the project is to be carried out in full or in part by a tribal government; if the project is located within tribal, indigenous, and/or underserved communities; and/or whether a portion of the resilience benefits from the proposed work will flow to tribal, indigenous, and/or underserved communities.

Funding Information

  • NOAA anticipates up to $240 million will be available under this funding opportunity. NOAA will not accept proposals with a federal funding request of less than $1 million or more than $25 million over the entire award period. NOAA anticipates typical federal funding for awards will range from $3 million to $6 million. NOAA expects that only habitat restoration projects with significant ecological impacts, credible and detailed cost estimates, and construction readiness will be awarded the maximum allowable request ($25 million).
  • NOAA encourages and anticipates a period of performance of up to three years, with the potential for up to five years, if necessary. The earliest anticipated start date for awards will be October 1, 2024. Both federal and non-federal match pre-award costs, incurred up to 90 days prior to the award start date, may be requested and will be considered during pre-award negotiations between the applicant and NOAA.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligible Applicants:

  • Special district governments
  • Small businesses
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • Others
  • County governments
  • Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • For profit organizations other than small businesses
  • Independent school districts
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
  • Public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • State governments
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  • Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • City or township governments

Additional Information on Eligibility:

  • Eligible applicants are institutions of higher education, non-profits, commercial (for profit) organizations, U.S. territories, and state, local, and tribal governments. Applications from federal agencies or employees of federal agencies will not be considered. Federal agencies and employees are not allowed to receive funds under this solicitation, but may serve as collaborative project partners. Foreign entities can participate as partners (contractors, sub-recipients, or informal collaborators) of a prime recipient based in the U.S. Applicants must propose work in coastal, marine, or estuarine areas that benefit species or fisheries outlined within the program priorities.
  • Eligible applicants for Great Lakes projects must propose work within one of the eight U.S. Great Lakes states (New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota). Applications that propose projects in the Commonwealth and Territories of the United States, for this solicitation defined as American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, are eligible, but those in the Freely Associated States are not eligible to submit an application.