National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Total Stimulus Appropriation: $170 Million
New Jersey’s Portion: Unknown at this time – no portion specified in NOAA grant announcement.
Allocation Method: Competitive Grant Process
Program Overview
This competitive grants program administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Marine Fisheries Service is designed to restore and enhance habitats that support valuable fisheries and protected resources, improve the quality of our water, provide recreational opportunities for the public’s use and enjoyment and buffer our coastal communities from the impacts of storms and sea level rise. Projects funded through NOAA have strong on-the-ground habitat restoration components that provide social and economic benefits for people and their communities in addition to long-term ecological habitat improvements. Through this solicitation, NOAA is seeking to openly compete funding available for habitat restoration under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  By offering these grants as competitive grants, NOAA is aiming to ensure that the most beneficial restoration projects are selected to fuel America’s near-term economy, realize significant ecological gains, and ensure that projects are truly “shovel-ready.” Applications selected for funding through this solicitation will be implemented through a grant or cooperative agreement, with awards dependent upon the amount of funds made available to NOAA for this purpose by Congress. NOAA anticipates up to $170 million may be available for coastal and marine habitat restoration; typical awards are expected to range between $1.5 million to $10 million. Funds will be administered by NOAA’s Office of Habitat Conservation.

The above was excerpted from the NOAA grant announcement available at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/habitat/recovery/index.htm.
Program Eligibility
Eligible applicants are institutions of higher education, non-profits, commercial (for-profit) organizations, U.S. Territories, and state, local and Indian tribal governments.
Federal Requirements and Restrictions
  • There is no statutory matching requirement for this funding.
  • Projects dealing only with water quality improvement measures are not eligible.
  • Applicants should also note that the following activities will not be considered: (1) Activities that constitute legally required mitigation for the adverse effects of an activity regulated or otherwise governed by local, state or Federal law; (2) activities that constitute restoration for natural resource damages under Federal, state or local law; and (3) activities that are required by a separate consent decree, court order, statute or regulation.
Project Prioritization
Project proposals will be prioritized by NOAA based on multiple factors including the number of jobs created, job sustainability, ecological benefits, and timeframe for completion.

High priority will be given to applications for projects that:

  • Have the greatest potential to achieve ecological benefits and maximize jobs creation/preservation;
  • Can begin within the first 90 days of the award start date;
  • Can be completed within 12-18 months;
  • Have the greatest potential to be sustainable and provide lasting benefits of regional or national significance;
  • Identify specific goals and outcomes, with appropriate ecological and economic performance metrics;
  • Propose sufficient, cost-effective monitoring appropriate to the scope and scale of the project to evaluate a project’s benefits;
  • Are consistent with NOAA species recovery planning efforts if located in areas where recovery planning efforts for Endangered Species Act listed species are underway;
  • Request funds primarily to implement physical, on-the-ground coastal habitat restoration (as opposed to funds for general program support, overhead and travel).

Criteria for selecting grant recipients are detailed in NOAA’s announcement which can be viewed at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/habitat/recovery/docs/FFO%20-%20Recovery%20Act%20-%20Habitat%20Restoration%203-6-09.pdf

Application and Submission Information
Interested applicants should consult the NOAA grant announcement at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/habitat/recovery/docs/FFO%20-%20Recovery%20Act%20-%20Habitat%20Restoration%203-6-09.pdf for detailed application content and process information.
Important Program Dates
Applications must be postmarked, provided to a delivery service, or received by www.grants.gov by 11:59 PM EDT on April 6, 2009.  Successful applicants generally will be identified by May 1, 2009.  The earliest anticipated start date for projects will be May 1, 2009.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. How will the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) help New Jersey?

A1. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) allocated $170 million for habitat restoration projects including wetlands restoration, dam removals, shellfish restoration, and coral reef restoration projects.  This funding will be available through a competitive grants program administered by NOAA in the 30 eligible coastal and Great Lakes states, including New Jersey.

Q2. Who is eligible to receive this funding?

A2. Eligible applicants are institutions of higher education, non-profits, commercial (for-profit) organizations, U.S. Territories, and state, local and Indian tribal governments.

Q3. Are there any restrictions on the use of this funding?

A3. NOAA has provided has provided the following guidance regarding use of Coastal and Marine Habitat Restoration Project Grant funds:  Projects dealing only with water quality improvement measures are not eligible. Applicants should also note that the following activities will not be considered: (1) Activities that constitute legally required mitigation for the adverse effects of an activity regulated or otherwise governed by local, state or Federal law; (2) activities that constitute restoration for natural resource damages under Federal, state or local law; and (3) activities that are required by a separate consent decree, court order, statute or regulation.

Q4. How will grant recipients be selected?

A4. Funds will be awarded directly by NOAA on a competitive basis.  Criteria for selecting grant recipients are detailed in NOAA’s announcement, which can be viewed at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/habitat/recovery/index.htm.  According to their web site projection selection will be those proposals that: “To compete well, applicants will have to demonstrate that their project can achieve significant ecological benefits, maximize jobs creation/preservation, and are “shovel-ready.”

Q5. How many projects are currently under review?

A5. NJDEP is working with several federal and non-government partners to identify a range of projects that meet the NOAA requirements.  No decision has been made at this point as to which projects the Department will include in any application for NOAA grant funds.  Groups other than NJDEP may submit their own application for grant funds.

Q6. What is the deadline for submission of applications?

A6. Applications must be postmarked, provided to a delivery service, or received by www.grants.gov by 11:59 PM EDT on April 6, 2009.

Q7. When can I expect to be notified if my project has qualified for award?

A7. Successful applicants will be identified by May 1, 2009. The earliest anticipated start date for projects will be May 1, 2009.

Q8. Where can I get more information about the Coastal and Marine Habitat Restoration Project Grants?

A8. More information on this grants program can be found on NOAA Fisheries Restoration Center’s website at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/habitat/recovery/index.htm.