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Fishing for Energy

Grants to USA Nonprofits, For-Profits, Agencies, and
Individuals in Multiple States to Remove Derelict Fishing Gear

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)

Deadline Date:

04/19/18 11:59 PM ET


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Grants to Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, and Washington nonprofits, for-profits, government agencies, educational institutions, tribes, and individuals to address the impact of derelict fishing gear on priority coastal and marine environments. Proposals may involve site selection, gear removal and disposal, conservation, and awareness.


The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), on behalf of Fishing for Energy partners Covanta Energy Corporation (Covanta) and the NOAA Marine Debris Program (NOAA), is pleased to announce the availability of funding to support strategies to reduce the impacts of derelict fishing gear to marine and coastal environments. This solicitation also makes available funding provided through Community Service funds (arising from a federal environmental prosecution for benefits to marine wildlife and habitats).

Fishing for Energy launched in 2008 through a partnership among Covanta, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program, Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). Its goals are to provide a cost-free solution to fishermen to dispose of old, derelict or unusable fishing gear and to reduce the amount of derelict fishing gear in and around coastal waterways.

Geographic Focus:

Grants will target areas in U.S. coastal waters that have identified and prioritized derelict fishing gear reduction in state or regional plans, such as state marine debris action plans. Priority locations include the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and other important habitat for sea turtles and marine mammals in coastal waters along the Southern District of Florida, the Gulf of Maine in areas that are identified as priority for northern right whales, Puget Sound in priority habitat for killer whales as referenced in management plans, in Hawaii within the borders of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, and areas along Alaska that are important to marine mammals and have disposal access points through Dutch Harbor or Kodiak Harbor.

Program Priorities:

Project award decisions will prioritize removal efforts to reduce impact to threatened and endangered marine wildlife and the habitats they depend on. All proposals must specifically address the following components in their proposals:

1. Site selection for removal effort: describe efforts that have been made or will be made as part of this proposal to identify gear accumulation prior to removal and why this area is prioritized for removal (i.e., conservation benefit to sea turtles, marine mammals and coral reefs are of particular interest). Please also reference any state or regional plans that identify this site as a priority or any link to known impacts at this location or from the target gear to wildlife and habitats of that area.

2. Removal Methods: Please clearly explain methods for removal, best practices that will be used to minimize impact to existing habitat, and compatibility with the NOAA Marine Debris Program Programmatic Environmental Assessment, status of any necessary permits and the composition and experience of the removal team. Please note any specific engagement of fishermen or veterans in removal efforts. 

3. Disposal: Proposals must include anticipated disposal costs and logistics. Projects may be eligible to use the Fishing for Energy Gear Collection program, but applications must be submitted for approval prior to the full proposal submission so that staff can evaluate whether your project area is a good candidate for this service. 

4. Management Connection: NFWF is seeking projects that will tie the direct conservation activity of derelict gear removal to broader impact around marine debris in the state or region. Priority will be given to projects that demonstrate work with local and national management agencies to address key questions around source, point of loss, rate of loss/accumulation, rate of decay, calculated impact to wildlife, bycatch rates, etc. that can be used to help adjust regulations, gear configuration and other management practices to minimize the occurrence and impact of lost gear. A letter of support is required from the management agency (e.g., local, federal, park, etc.) that you are working with that specifically describes how the project will assist in meeting management needs, including information needs that will be met through the project. 

5. Awareness: Priority projects will include activities to raise awareness around the effort and the findings of the project and where appropriate, engage the local public and fishing communities. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 154546

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

The majority of awards under this program will fall in the range of $100,000 to $500,000.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible and Ineligible Entities:
-Eligible applicants include nonprofit 501(c) organizations, state government agencies, local governments, municipal governments, Indian tribes, educational institutions, commercial (for profit) organizations, or unincorporated individuals. 
-Ineligible applicants include federal agencies or employees of federal agencies, foreign organizations and foreign public entities. Interested federal agencies may collaborate with eligible applicants but may not receive funds through this competition. All projects must take place within the United States or territories or their respective waterways.

Ineligible Uses of Grant Funds:
-NFWF funds and matching contributions may not be used to support political advocacy, fundraising, lobbying, litigation, terrorist activities or Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations.
-NFWF funds may not be used to support ongoing efforts to comply with legal requirements, including permit conditions, mitigation and settlement agreements. However, grant funds may be used to support projects that enhance or improve upon existing baseline compliance efforts. 

Pre-Application Information:

Non-federal matching funds are not required, but are strongly encouraged and likely to impact competitiveness of the proposal.

Full proposals are due Thursday, April 19, 2018 by 11:59 PM Eastern Time.

-​​Applicant Webinar: March 2, 2018, 1:00-2:00PM, Eastern
​-Full Proposal Due Date: ​April 19, 2018, 11:59PM, Eastern
​-Initial Review Period: ​May-June, 2018
​-Secondary Review Period: ​July-August, 2018
​-Awards Announced: September, 2018

Applicant Webinar Recording:

Request for Proposals:

Additional information to support the application process can be accessed on the NFWF website’s Applicant Information page:

Contact Information:

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

Apply online through Easygrants:

Michelle Pico, Marine and Coastal Program Director

1133 Fifteenth St., N.W., Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20005

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alaska;   Florida;   Hawaii;   Maine;   Washington