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NOAA Great Lakes Habitat Restoration Project Grants under the U.S. Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

Grants to USA Nonprofits, For-Profits, IHEs, and Agencies
in Multiple States to Protect Great Lakes Habitat

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Commerce - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)

Deadline Date:

03/12/18 11:59 PM ET


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Grants starting at $50,000 to New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota nonprofits, for-profits, IHEs, and government agencies to promote habitat restoration in the Great Lakes region. The purpose of this program is to restore and protect populations of native fish species.

Program Objective:

The objective of the FY18 NOAA Great Lakes Habitat Restoration Grants solicitation is to provide federal financial and technical assistance to habitat restoration projects that both meet NOAA's mission to restore coastal habitats and support the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) goal to protect and restore habitats to sustain healthy populations of native fish species in the eight U.S. Great Lakes states (New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota).

NOAA recognizes the need to fund early phases of restoration projects and that accomplishing habitat restoration is a multi-faceted effort involving feasibility studies, project design, engineering services, permitting, construction, legal considerations, oversight, pre- and post-removal monitoring, and education and outreach. Applicants may therefore apply for funding to support a combination of these activities; however, priority will be given to project proposals that feature on-the-ground restoration activities. Habitat restoration engineering and design project proposals should provide information on the project's likelihood to move forward to implementation and the significance of the ecological benefits that would be ultimately achieved as they relate to the program priorities described below.

Program Priorities:

NOAA seeks to support projects that will result in on-the-ground restoration of degraded or altered Great Lakes coastal habitat to promote the recovery and sustainability of native fish species, recognizing that restoration projects yield multiple benefits for wildlife and local communities.

Priority will be given to habitat restoration proposals that fulfill the following NOAA and GLRI goals:
-Creating functional habitats for native fish species migration, reproduction, growth, and seasonal refuge, including improvements for fish passage, wetlands and nearshore habitats;
-Restoration of sites outside of Areas of Concern (AOC) including delisted AOCs and AOCs in recovery with all management actions complete; and
-Ensuring the long term protection of the restored site through partner-supported acquisition of land or a conservation easement at the restored site, or land with an ecological relationship to the restored site (e.g., land in proximity or within the same watershed).

Other Criteria:

Projects must be within the U.S. Great Lakes basin (New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota). Projects outside of U.S. Great Lakes basin will not be considered and will be disqualified.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 166599

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Expected Number of Awards: 2

Estimated Size of Grant:

NOAA suggests applicants submit proposals within the following guidelines:

-Habitat restoration implementation proposals requesting between $250,000 and $3 million of federal funds, for projects that can be completed within 12-18 months. Typical awards for near-term project implementation are expected to range between $500,000 and $1 million.

-Planning only proposals requesting between $50,000 and $500,000 of federal funds, for projects that can be completed within 12-18 months. Typical awards for engineering and design only projects are expected to range between $75,000 and $250,000.

-Multi-year, multi-phase proposals covering engineering, design, and/or restoration implementation requesting between $500,000 and $10 million for a time frame of 18-48 months. Typical awards for multi-year projects are expected to range between $750,000 and $3,000,000.

NOAA will not accept proposals with a federal funding request of less than $50,000 or more than $10 million over three years.

Term of Contract:

NOAA anticipates that the period of performance for most awards will be for 36 months, but may award a project where the period of performance is as little as 12 months or extends up to 48 months. The earliest anticipated start date for awards will be October 1, 2018.

One-year or multi-year awards up to three funding years will be considered, and additional releases of funds may be used to fund selected proposals through FY 20 without further competition, at the discretion of NOAA.

Once funds are awarded in FY18, recipients of multi-year awards will not need to compete for funding in subsequent years. NOAA expects, but is not obligated, to provide additional funding to multi-year awards in subsequent years. NOAA or the Department of Commerce are not responsible for application preparation costs if programs fail to receive funding or are cancelled because of other agency priorities.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants are institutions of higher education, nonprofits, commercial (for-profit) organizations, U.S. territories, and state, local and Native American tribal governments.

Applications from federal agencies or employees of federal agencies will not be considered.

Federal agencies are strongly encouraged to work with states, non-governmental organizations, municipal and county governments, and others that are eligible to apply.

Eligible applicants may be located anywhere but must propose work within the Great Lakes basin and within one of the eight U.S. Great Lakes states (New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota).

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.

Proposals addressing only water quality improvement measures are not eligible. Ineligible activities include, but are not limited to, wastewater treatment plant upgrades, elimination of combined sewer outfalls, replacement of failing septic systems, and implementation of farm waste management plans. Projects seeking funds only for invasive species removal and management will also not be considered under this solicitation. However, NOAA may fund invasive species removal as a component of an overall habitat restoration project proposal.

Pre-Application Information:

NOAA anticipates approximately $10 million may be available over the next three years to maintain selected awards, dependent upon the level of funding made available through the Federal appropriations process. In the first year, approximately $3 million may be available to initiate up to approximately two to five projects consistent with the Program Objectives and Program Priorities in Section I of this announcement.

There is no statutory matching requirement for this funding. NOAA typically leverages its federal funding with matching contributions from a broad range of sources in the public and private sectors to implement coastal and marine habitat restoration. To this end, applicants are encouraged to demonstrate partnerships and some portion of non-federal match (suggested at 1:1) with NOAA funds requested to implement the proposed project. Applications with less than 1:1 match will not be disqualified, however, applicants should note that cost sharing is an element considered in Evaluation Criterion #4 "Project Costs”.

Although federal funding will not be provided for the acquisition of land or conservation easements, nor are acquisition expenses eligible non-federal match, proposals that include land or conservation easement acquisition as leverage will be more competitive, as described in the program priorities.

Applications must be postmarked, provided to a delivery service, or received by by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on March 12, 2018.

It is highly recommended that applicants do not wait until the application deadline to begin the application process through, as registration with SAM and DUNS are required,

-January 10, 2018: FFO Posted
-March 12, 2018: Applications due
-March-April: Application review
-April/May: Final funding recommendations made to Division Chief for review and approval
-June 30: Selected applications submitted to NOAA’s Grants Management Division
-July: Public announcement of selected applications. Applicants not selected will be notified via email.
-July-September: Awards finalized by NOAA Grants Official and award recipients officially notified

Applicant Resources:

How to Build Your Proposals:

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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.

Jessica Berrio

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Illinois;   Indiana;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   New York;   Ohio;   Pennsylvania;   Wisconsin