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Cooperative Agreements to USA Agencies, Nonprofits, For-Profits, and IHEs for the Removal of Waste in Marine Environments

Marine Debris Removal under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
U.S. Department of Commerce - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - National Ocean Service (NOS) - Office of Response and Restoration
CFDA Number: 11.999
Funding or PIN Number: NOAA-NOS-ORR-2024-2007993
Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA); [1] => Guam (USA); [2] => Puerto Rico (USA); [3] => Virgin Islands (USA); [4] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA); )

Geographic Focus
USA: AlabamaAlaskaCaliforniaConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIllinoisIndianaLouisianaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiNew HampshireNew JerseyNew YorkNorth CarolinaOhioOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaTexasVirginiaWashingtonWisconsin
USA Territories: American Samoa (USA);   Guam (USA);   Puerto Rico (USA);   Virgin Islands (USA);   Northern Mariana Islands (USA);
USA Compact Free Associations:The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Important Dates
LOI Date: 10/27/23
Deadline: 02/23/24 11:59 PM ET Save

Grant Description
Cooperative agreements to USA and territories agencies, nonprofit and for-profit organizations, and IHEs for the assessment, prevention, and removal of waste and debris in marine environments. Applicants are required to submit a letter of intent and complete required registrations prior to submitting a full application. Projects must take place in the coastal United States, Great Lakes, territories, and freely associated states (or their adjacent waterways).

The highest priority for this funding opportunity is to support impactful, large marine debris removal projects. For the purposes of this funding opportunity, “large debris” is defined as abandoned and derelict vessels (ADVs), derelict fishing gear (DFG), and other debris that is unable to be easily collected by hand. Priority will be placed on proposals that clearly demonstrate the beneficial impacts the removal project will have on NOAA trust resources, and the surrounding coastal environment or community. Applicants may conduct removal activities on their own, collaborate with other organizations, pass-through funding to subawardees, or administer a competitive funding opportunity to allow for funding of smaller projects and lower the administrative burden on applicant organizations. Subawardees must be capable of planning and executing removal operations.

NOAA seeks to fund a suite of projects that together address large marine debris across the country. When selecting proposals for this competition, NOAA will consider the proposals in the context of already-funded projects, including projects that received funding through previous Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Marine Debris Removal Grants, to avoid duplication of removal efforts in similar locations.

NOAA will prioritize applications that demonstrate clear removal and disposal outcomes. Removals should be conducted with a focus on alternative disposal methods when possible, which means applicants should use disposal methods that are the most environmentally friendly given the location, availability, and resources of the specific removal effort. Examples of alternative disposal may include: recycling, reuse, waste-to-energy, or other innovative disposal methods.

Removal projects that include strategies to prevent the reaccumulation of marine debris in the future may be prioritized. This might include: the development or expansion of state-, regionally-, or nationally-focused marine debris prevention programs, vessel or fishing gear turn-in opportunities, vessel or fishing gear recycling programs, targeted programs working with boaters or fishermen, etc. Prevention activities should aim to reduce the recurrence of the type of debris removed.

Funding is primarily aimed at supporting new or impactful removal efforts, or programs that require funding to scale-up or expand their existing removal efforts to achieve broader and more impactful outcomes. Proposals that scale-up projects that were funded through the previous Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Marine Debris Removal competition are allowed, but the proposals must clearly indicate how additional funding will lead to outcomes above and beyond what was considered through the previous grant application.


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria
As outlined in the Marine Debris Act, eligible applicants for projects taking place in the coastal United States, Great Lakes, territories, and freely associated states (or their adjacent waterways), are state, local, Tribal, and territory governments whose activities affect research or regulation of marine debris. Equally eligible are any institution of higher education, nonprofit organization, or commercial (for-profit) organization with expertise in a field related to marine debris.

NOAA is strongly committed to broadening the participation of veterans, minority-serving institutions, and entities that work in underserved and underrepresented areas. The NOAA MDP encourages applicants of all backgrounds, circumstances, perspectives, and ways of thinking to apply.

Applications that have been submitted to other NOAA grant programs or as part of another NOAA grant may be considered under this solicitation. Applicants should indicate if the proposal has been submitted elsewhere for funding.

Applications from federal agencies or employees of federal agencies will not be considered. Interested federal agencies may collaborate with eligible applicants but may not receive funds through this competition.

Foreign public entities (see 2 CFR 200.1) from outside of the freely associated states are not eligible to apply.

Applicants should note that the following activities, in general, will not be considered for use of federal dollars under project awards: (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; (3) activities that are required by a separate consent decree, court order, statute, or regulation; (4) activities that are eligible for removal and reimbursement under a Federal Disaster Declaration.

Pre-Proposal Conference
On September 12, 2023, the NOAA Marine Debris Program will host a webinar for interested applicants.

Pre-Application Information
This funding opportunity requires a Letter of Intent to be submitted for competitive review before a full proposal can be submitted. LOIs must be received via email as an attachment no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, October 27, 2023.

If invited per the instructions in this announcement, full proposals must then be submitted through and validated by on or before 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, February 23, 2024.

Applicants may only submit a full proposal if invited to do so by the NOAA MDP. Applicants are required to apply through the website.

An application cannot be submitted in without the following three active registrations. It may take several weeks for the registration process to be completed, so NOAA MDP advises all applicants to start the registration process as early as possible.
3. eRA Commons

There is no non-federal matching requirement for this funding.

View this opportunity on

For a list of relevant application documents, go to the Package tab (press Preview) on the link above.

Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants
NOAA expects to support between four to eight projects but may support more or less based on the merit of submitted applications and their proposed geographies and scale.

Estimated Size of Grant
NOAA MDP expects the majority of the funded projects to be between $1M and $4M.

The minimum federal request for this solicitation is $800,000 and in some cases, up to $6M may be awarded.

Term of Contract
Applications should cover a project period of performance from two to four years in duration. The earliest anticipated start date for awards will be August 1, 2024.

Contact Information
Submit LOIs via email to

If the application forms and instructions cannot be downloaded from, please contact Amanda Dwyer (, 240-533-0402).

Any technical issues or questions about should be addressed to the Helpdesk staff at 1-800-518-4726;

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