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Ernest F. Hollings Ocean Awareness Grants

Grants to USA & Territories Organizations to
Promote Stewardship of Marine Environments

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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National Marine Sanctuary Foundation

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:



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Grants ranging from $15,000 to $25,000 to USA and territories organizations for innovative projects that engage the public in compelling ocean stewardship issues and that motivate effective and focused action to benefit national marine sanctuaries. Letters of Inquiry must be submitted by October 15 for consideration. To be considered, proposed projects should meet the following criteria:

-Increase public awareness of timely and relevant ocean and Great Lakes conservation issues, including but not limited to marine debris, human interaction with marine mammals, non-point source pollution and runoff, the ocean and human health, ocean acidification, and sustainable fisheries.

-Perform or promote on-the-ground action to address timely and relevant ocean and Great Lakes conservation issues, including but not limited to marine debris, human interaction with marine mammals, non-point source pollution and runoff, the ocean and human health, ocean acidification, and sustainable fisheries.

-Establish or build on connections with the business community, private sector actors, and commercial enterprises.

-Include a program evaluation methodology to gauge progress on specific and defined activities against targeted milestones.

-NMSF will also consider projects that specifically address ensuring the productivity and sustainability of fisheries and fishing communities through science-based decision making and compliance with regulations; and recover and conserve protected resources through the use of sound natural and social sciences.

Projects should focus on sanctuary issues in at least one of the following ways:

-Direct partnership with a national marine sanctuary site, region, or headquarters;

-Project activities physically take place within the National Marine Sanctuary System;

-Project activities leverage the expertise and resources of national, regional, or local offices of NOAA, particularly National Marine Sanctuaries or Fisheries Service; or

-Substantially increase public awareness of the value of sustainable fisheries and fisheries management.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 148053

Number of Grants:

5 - 6

Estimated Size of Grant:

Requests must be $15,000 - $25,000.

Term of Contract:

Funding is available for a project period of up to 18 months.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Ernest F. Hollings Ocean Awareness Trust Fund grants are focused on domestic projects. Submitting organizations must be U.S.-based and project work must take place within the United States or its territories. Proposals from organizations outside of the United States will not be reviewed.

Federal employees or federal agencies cannot be the primary applicant, but can be a partner in a proposal.

If you are a current grantee of a Hollings Ocean Awareness Trust Fund Grant in 2005-2013, who has not submitted a final report on your project, then you are NOT eligible to submit a proposal for funding this grant cycle.

If a final report is submitted prior to the October 15, 2014 submission deadline for this grant, then you may submit a proposal for this funding cycle. Also, a proposal may be submitted by current grantees upon approval from NMSF.

Funds may not be used to lobby.

Pre-Application Information:

A 1:1 match is required if your organization is selected to submit a full proposal. Government, private sector, or non-profit funds and in-kind support may be used for matching. Preference will be given to projects where matching funds or in-kind support come from outside the applying organization.

Letters of Inquiry must be submitted by email to using the cover form accessible at by 5:00 PM EDT on Wednesday, October 15, 2014.

-Request for Letters of Inquiry released 9/8/14.
-Letters of Inquiry due by 5:00 p.m. EDT on Wed., Oct. 15, 2014.
-NMSF internal review of Letters of Inquiry: October 15-November 19, 2014.
-Requests for full proposal to selected organizations: Announced by November 25, 2014.
-Full proposals due: Wednesday, January 16, 2015.
-Final awards will be announced by February 13, 2015.
-Grant agreement negotiations to follow announcement of awards. Funds will be available by early-mid March 2015.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Allison Alexander
(301) 608-3040 x303

National Marine Sanctuary Foundation
8601 Georgia Avenue
Suite 501
Silver Spring, MD 20910

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.

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