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FY18-19 CRCP (Coral Reef Conservation Program) International Coral Reef Conservation Cooperative Agreements

Grants to USA and International Nonprofits, For-Profits,
Agencies, and IHEs for the Conservation of Coral Reefs

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Department of Commerce

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

02/15/18 11:59 PM ET Receipt or Postmarked by Date


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Grants starting at $75,000 per year to USA, USA territories, and International nonprofit organizations, IHEs, natural resource management agencies, and for-profit organizations for the conservation of coral reefs in eligible areas. Pre-applications are due November 13.

The NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) provides matching grants for international coral reef conservation projects. CRCP solicits proposals that will support the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program’s International Strategy. The International Strategy focuses on supporting existing regional efforts in four priority regions based on their interconnections with U.S. reef ecosystems and existing initiatives and partnerships. The following three priority regions will be considered under this Federal Funding Opportunity: the Wider Caribbean, South East Asia and South Pacific, and Micronesia.

Proposals are expected to target the following specific countries:

1) For proposals that address the NOAA-GCFI Assessment, projects must be conducted in at least two of the following Non-US countries and territories of the Wider Caribbean: Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Grenada, Honduras, Mexico, Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Turks and Caicos Islands. For eligible MPA sites in each country please refer to the above Section B., Program Priorities (see guidelines attached below).

2) Proposals for the South East Asia and South Pacific regions must be conducted in one or more of the following countries: Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Indonesia, Kiribati, Malaysia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

3) For Micronesia proposals, the project must only be conducted in all of the following independent countries under compacts of free association with the United States: the Republic of the Marshall Islands; the Republic of Palau; and the Federated States of Micronesia.

Program Objective:

Coral reefs and associated seagrass and mangrove communities are among the most complex and diverse ecosystems on earth. They support important fishing and tourism industries, protect coasts from wave and storm damage, build tropical islands, contain an array of potential pharmaceuticals, and provide essential services like food security, livelihood, and culture, among other benefits.

As shallow-water, near shore communities, coral reef ecosystems are ecologically closely linked to adjacent watersheds and are highly vulnerable to human activity. Stresses in the coral reef environment include poor water quality from runoff and inadequate sewage treatment, destructive fishing practices, sedimentation, recreational overuse and misuse, and impacts from climate change and ocean acidification.

To address these threats, Congress passed the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000 (Act), codified at 16 U.S.C. §§ 6401-6409, which established the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) and provided guidance for allocation of Federal funding toward efforts to conserve coral reef ecosystems in the U.S. and internationally. As required in the Act, one of the primary functions of the CRCP is to provide matching grants of financial assistance to external partners for coral reef conservation projects consistent with the Act and CRCP priorities. CRCP implements several financial assistance programs under the Act’s authority, including the Coral Reef Conservation Program International Coral Reef Conservation Cooperative Agreements solicited in this announcement.

NOAA has established Coral Reef Conservation Program International priorities, which were refined and redirected in 2009 to focus program investments on effectively reducing threats to coral reefs internationally. The CRCP’s approach for addressing these threats is described in more detail in the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program International Strategy 2010-2015 (International Strategy).

In Fiscal Year 2018, the CRCP intends to initiate new awards in the following funding categories:
1) CRCP Domestic Coral Reef Conservation Grants; and
2) CRCP International Coral Reef Conservation Cooperative Agreements.

All of the information in this funding opportunity announcement pertains only to the International Coral Reef Conservation Cooperative Agreements funding category.

Program Priorities:

In FY 2018, the CRCP will accept applications for cooperative agreements of up to a two-year project period focused on building international capacity for the effective ecosystem-based management of coral reef ecosystems. Priority will be given to proposals that support the International Strategy.

CRCP’s international efforts focus on strategic goals, objectives, regions, and specific coral reef conservation activities where the CRCP can have the greatest impact while building on NOAA strengths, partnerships, resources, and expertise.

Depending on the availability of funds, CRCP intends to support cooperative agreements in each of three priority regions: the Wider Caribbean, South East Asia and South Pacific, and Micronesia, through this competition. To be competitive, a proposal should effectively address (1) the priority Goals and Objectives of the CRCP International Strategy for this competition, (2) guidance specific to the targeted priority region, and (3) general policies applicable to all applications, as described below. Note that some International Strategy Objectives were not included below intentionally as they are not considered priorities for this funding competition.

International Strategy Goals and Objectives:

The four broad Goals of the CRCP International Strategy are to:

(a) Work with regional initiatives to build Marine Protected Area (MPA) networks and strengthen local management capacity to improve and maintain resilience of coral reef ecosystems and the human communities that depend on them;

(b) Develop and implement tools and practices to more effectively observe, predict, communicate, and manage climate change impacts in priority international locations;

(c) Strengthen local and national capacity and policy frameworks to reduce impacts of fishing on coral reef ecosystems; and

(d) Strengthen policy frameworks and institutional capacities to reduce impacts to coral reef ecosystems from pollution due to land-based activities.

Within these goals, the following Objectives are the focus of this competition (proposals that address multiple goals of the Strategy will be evaluated more effectively to meet the application evaluation criteria):

Goal 1. Objective I1.2: Develop and implement comprehensive long-term capacity building programs for existing MPAs, based on capacity assessments to provide training, technical assistance, and follow-up support specifically for:
a. management planning and effectiveness evaluations;
b. community engagement program development;
c. integrated biophysical and socioeconomic monitoring linked to site management goals, including data analysis and interpretation;
d. use of climate change tools and crisis response planning; and
e. other topics as needed.

Goal 1. Objective I1.3: Increase local enforcement capacity to improve compliance with MPA regulations and conservation-oriented customary practices.

Goal 1. Objective I1.4: Support the development of sustainable finance tools and site implementation of sustainable finance plans to ensure long-term support for conservation efforts.

Goal 1. Objective I1.5: Use regionally appropriate biophysical and socioeconomic monitoring and evaluation protocols to:
a. establish baselines and detect changes over time in an adaptive management framework; and
b. identify priority sites for conservation and assess community support for designation of new MPAs and MPA networks.

Goal 2. Objective I2.1: Collaborate with global partners to broaden the international delivery of coral bleaching prediction and warning tools and improve the science and technology for predicting climate impacts on global coral reef ecosystems.

Goal 2. Objective I2.2: Expand observing networks to identify and monitor priority coral reef areas that are especially resilient or vulnerable to climate change.

Goal 2. Objective I2.3: Develop international case studies on impacts of climate change and ocean acidification in order to encourage global greenhouse gas reductions and to encourage greater incorporation of climate change impacts on coral reefs into future global assessments.

Goal 2. Objective I2.4: Build local capacity to test, implement and evaluate management strategies to respond to climate change impacts.

Goal 3. Objective I3.1: Provide support and technical assistance to strengthen fisheries policy, governance and regulatory measures at national and regional levels to foster an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management.

Goal 3. Objective I3.2: Facilitate local cooperative enforcement partnerships and socioeconomic monitoring to address community concerns and to assess and improve compliance with sustainable fishing regulations and customary practices.

Goal 4. Objective I4.1: Support national-level and regional initiatives to identify priority coral reef areas threatened by pollutants and assess pollutant sources to those areas.

Goal 4. Objective I4.2: Collaborate with U.S., regional and local partners to develop and implement coastal and watershed management plans to reduce land-based pollution.

Goal 4. Objective I4.3: Support national-level and regional initiatives to determine gaps in policy and legislation preventing the effective management of land-based pollutants.

Regional Guidance:

In addition, proposals should address policies specific to the targeted priority region. Proposed projects must fall under one of three categories: (a) Wider Caribbean, (b) Micronesia or (c) South East Asia and South Pacific.

(a) Wider Caribbean Management Capacity Proposals: Applicants with projects involving Wider Caribbean Management Capacity must take into account the following NOAA-Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute Assessment at the Caribbean Marine Protected Area Management Network and Forum (CaMPAM) web site, "A Management Capacity Assessment of Selected Coral Reef Marine Protected Areas in the Caribbean" (NOAA-GCFI Assessment). Accordingly, competitive applications would address the following region-specific approaches:

(1) Proposed activities must take place in at least two (2) of the following countries and/or territories: Bahamas; Belize; British Virgin Islands; Grenada; Honduras; Mexico; Saba and St. Eustatius; St. Lucia; St. Vincent and the Grenadines; and Turks and Caicos Islands; and

(2) Activities proposed for each MPA must directly address at least two Management Capacity Priority Needs identified for that MPA in the NOAA-GCFI Assessment.

(3) Proposed activities must take place in a minimum of three (3) of the following 27 MPA sites, which are addressed by the CaMPAM Assessment:

-Bahamas: Andros Barrier Reef National Park; Pelican Cay Land and Sea Park; South Berry Islands Marine Reserve

-Belize: Half Moon Caye and Blue Hole Natural Monuments; Port Honduras Marine Reserve; South Water Caye Marine Reserve

-British Virgin Islands: Hans Creek Fisheries Protected Area; Horseshoe Reef Fisheries Protected Area; Wreck of the Rhone Marine Park

-Grenada: Molinière/Beauséjour Marine Protected Area; Sandy Island - Oyster Bed Marine Protected Area

-Honduras: Monumento Natural Marino Archipiélago Cayos Cochinos; Zona de Protección Especial Marina Sandy Bay; Zona de Protección Especial Marina Turtle Harbour/Rock Harbour

-Mexico: Parque Nacional Arrecife Alacranes; Parque Nacional Arrecifes de Xcalak; Parque Nacional Costa Occidental de Isla Mujeres Punta Cancún y Punta Nizuc

-Saba and St. Eustatius: Saba Marine Park; St. Eustatius National Marine Park

-St. Lucia: Pitons Management Area; Point Sable Environmental Protection Area; Soufriere Marine Managed Area

-St. Vincent and the Grenadines: South Coast Marine Park; Tobago Cays Marine Park

-Turks and Caicos Islands: Columbus Landfall National Park; Princess Alexandra Land and Sea National Park; West Caicos Marine National Park.

(b) Micronesia: To be competitive, applications for Cooperative Agreements in Micronesia should include two or more countries and address at least two International Strategy goals and at least two of their corresponding objectives. The proposed project/s may include: 1) management planning and effectiveness evaluations; 2) community engagement program development; 3) integrated biophysical and socioeconomic monitoring that will inform decision makers; and 4) communication to the public, stakeholders and policy makers about project impacts and lessons learned on coral reef conservation. Applicants should describe how they intend to work closely with policy/decision makers and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that, to the greatest extent possible, the information is considered when making decisions about coral reef conservation.

(c) South East Asia and South Pacific community-based marine management: Applicants with projects involving community-based marine managed areas should address Goal 1 Objectives 1.2 and 1.3 of the international strategy, include local communities in planning and implementation of project activities, and promote national or trans-national networks of locally- and/or community-based marine managed areas in any of the following countries in the South East Asia and South Pacific regions: Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Indonesia, Kiribati, Malaysia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu. Proposals that contribute to only one locally managed marine area will not be considered.

(3) ALL proposals should include evidence of engagement from each country's key government agencies in the implementation of the cooperative agreement through a letter of support from each affected country's government agency responsible for planning and/or management of coastal and marine resources. If the letter cannot be obtained by the pre-application deadline, describe the reason and name the government official who has certified that they will sign one for the final application stage. The letters should be attached to the final application in

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 163834

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

NOAA anticipates funding two to four awards in FY 2018.

Estimated Size of Grant:

NOAA expects each applicant will request between $75,000 and $300,000 annually.

Term of Contract:

Pre- and final applications should use an anticipated start date of October 1, 2018. The period of performance for projects in this program is ordinarily up to 24 months.

NOAA anticipates multi-year or incremental funding, that is, funding for approved projects will usually only be provided for the amount budgeted for the first year of the program, and NOAA has no obligation to provide any additional funding in connection with that award. Continuation of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the sole discretion of NOAA. Continued funding is contingent upon satisfactory performance, continued relevance to the CRCP mission and priorities, and the availability of funds.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants are institutions of higher education, nonprofit organizations, non- U.S. government natural resource management agencies, foreign public entities and foreign organizations, and for-profit organizations. An eligible organization may include proposed sub-recipients, contractors, or other collaborators, which may include governmental authorities, effectively forming a team.

Federal agencies and employees may participate in projects as collaborative project partners at the agency’s expense, as this announcement does not cover their funding. Federal agencies’ and employees’ in-kind services and equipment are generally not allowed as part of an applicant’s match on shared costs. If an applicant proposes federal agency collaborators, applicants should provide detail on the expected level of federal engagement in the application. Examples might include, but are not limited to partnership services; serving in a review capacity; or participating in priority task teams, working groups, or leadership teams.

Pre-Application Information:

NOAA CRCP financial assistance awards are subject to statutory and regulatory matching fund policies. Federal funds for any coral conservation project under 16 U.S.C. § 6403(b) may not exceed 50 percent of the total cost of the award. Therefore, any coral conservation project under this Grant Program requires a 1:1 contribution of non-Federal matching funds.

Pre-applications in electronic form must be received via email by 11:59 PM U.S. Eastern Time on Monday, November 13, 2017. Pre-applications in paper form must be postmarked or submitted to a delivery service that provides a tracking number and receipt on or before 11:59 PM U.S. Eastern Time on Monday, November 13, 2017.

Selected pre-applicants will be notified by Friday, January 12, 2018 of an invitation to submit a final application.

Final applications by invitation only in electronic form must be received and validated through by 11:59 PM U.S. Eastern Time, on Thursday, February 15, 2018. Final applications in paper form must be postmarked or submitted to a delivery service that provides a tracking number and receipt by 11:59 PM U.S. Eastern Time, on Thursday, February 15, 2018. Paper applications submitted via U.S. Postal Service must have an official postmark; private metered postmarks are not acceptable. In any event, paper applications sent by surface mail or delivery service and received more than 10 business days following the closing date will not be accepted.

When developing your submission timeline, keep in mind the following information necessary to submit a final application on (1) a free annual registration process in the electronic System for Award Management (SAM) may take between three and five business days or as long as several weeks.

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Contact Information:

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

Pre-applications must be received at:

Scot Frew, Federal Program Officer
NOAA/OCM Coral Reef Program
1305 East West Highway, 10th Floor, N/OCM6
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Lamar Revis, Grants Officer
NOAA Grants Management Division
1325 East West Highway 9th Floor
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910

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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)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.