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National Non-Profit Organization Grant Program

Grants to USA Nonprofits to Promote Safe
Boating Practices and Reduce Waterway Accidents

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Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – United States Coast Guard (USCG)

Deadline Date:

01/26/18 11:59 PM EST


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Grants to USA nonprofit organizations to improve boater safety on waterways throughout the country. Applicants are advised that the required registration may take up to four weeks to complete. The purpose of this program is to decrease the number of injuries, accidents, and deaths on waterways while providing an enjoyable and safe experience for the boating public. The program also encourages greater nonprofit organization participation and uniformity in boating safety efforts.

As stated in the Executive Summary of the National Recreational Boating Safety Program 2017 – 2021 Strategic Plan, the three major priorities are:

1) Cultivate a boating public that is better prepared to engage in safer boating behaviors
2) Make better informed policy decisions by building and using highly-integrated systems to gather and evaluate data from many sources
3) Nurture collaborative efforts among the stakeholders that benefit the boating public within the recreational boating safety community.

Areas of Interest:

1. Voluntary Safety Standards Development Support. Develop and carry out a program to encourage active participation by members of the public and other qualified persons in the development and maintenance of technically sound, voluntary safety standards for the manufacturing of recreational boats and associated equipment, focusing on extending and/or enhancing Federal safety regulations. The standards should be designed to improve the safety of recreational boats and reduce boating accidents where the boat or its associated equipment is the cause or contributing factor.

2. Conduct Research Study and Develop Action Plan. Develop a study of collision accidents in four specific areas of the country that have high numbers of collision accidents annually: Biscayne Bay, Lake of the Ozarks, Lake Powell, and the stretch of the Colorado River at Bullhead City, AZ. The research would involve the examination of collision accident data in these areas, travel to each site to determine geographic aspects of each body of water to include boating traffic, access points, rental facilities, etc. It would also include interviews with all local, State, Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, and Power Squadrons personnel who may patrol these waters as well as local livery personnel and any other parties that may have relevant insights into boating traffic in these areas. Upon completion of the research, all of the information gathered would be compiled and analyzed to recommend interventions designed to reduce the incidence of collision accidents in high-risk collision areas, both at these four locations and other such locations throughout the nation.

3. Outreach, Marketing, and Year-Round Safe Boating Campaign Projects. This category includes activities designed to inform the boating public about the inherent risks associated with boating, to persuade the public to adopt safe boating behaviors, and to remind them of these behaviors. Examples of projects include the Importance of Boater Education, Engine Cut-Off Switches, Life Jacket Wear, Cold Weather, Consequences of Irresponsible Behavior on the Water, Navigation Rules, and Life-Jacket Labels.

4. Outreach and Awareness Symposium. A single national symposium to focus on the support of the National Recreational Boating Safety Program. Symposium organizers must focus on professional development opportunities for participants while making every effort to ensure affordability to gain maximum attendance. The symposium should provide opportunities for grant recipients, as appropriate, to present results of grant projects and hold planning sessions. Three to six months after the symposium, the organizers must survey participants on the long term impacts of the symposium and include survey results in their final report. Sources and amount of other funding for the symposium must be clearly identified.

5. Standardize State Recreational Boating Safety Statutes and Regulations. This area of interest is to foster measurable standardization and reciprocity among State boating safety statutes, regulations and rules, and how they are administered and enforced with special focus on accident reporting, boating under the influence of alcohol and drugs, boater education and life jacket wear requirements. Hands-on coordination of State efforts and the establishment of cooperative environments, to include workshops and conferences where state officials can discuss issues regarding these topics, are required. This standardization shall endeavor to be compatible with other State boating safety efforts and promote RBS program effectiveness, the use of national education standards, and improved administration of Coast Guard-approved vessel numbering and accident reporting systems. The successful grantee(s) shall provide for a systematic measurement depicting passage of State laws during the performance period that provide for uniformity and reciprocity of boating safety laws. The successful grantee(s) shall also maintain an up-to-date and comprehensive online guide to State recreational boating safety laws and regulations that can be modified upon notification or discovery of change.

6. Accident Investigations Seminars. Develop Coast Guard-approved curriculum and materials necessary for instruction of recreational boating accident investigators in the United States. The curriculum must cover the requirements of 46 U.S.C. 6102 and 33 CFR parts 173 subpart C, part 174 subparts C & D (in particular the accident reporting system administration requirements of 33 CFR 174.103), and part 179. Proposals for this training can be for either a classroom or online setting. Proposals for classroom instruction should be limited to no more than 60 students per class with a maximum of four classes per grant year. All classroom instruction sessions are to be held at locations designed to garner maximum participation at the lowest cost that is agreed to by the Coast Guard. The course must cover an overview of recreational boat accident investigations, witness interviews, collision dynamics, evidence collection and preservation, diagramming, and report writing, with an emphasis on adherence to definitions and detail in the accident narrative and with particular focus on human factor causal elements. Online instruction must be readily available and address the same topics outlined for classroom instruction. Online instruction must also provide an available "Instructor" to address any questions from students within a two to three business day period.

7. Life Jacket Wear Rate Study. This area of interest would provide alternatives to achieving reliable estimates of nationwide recreational boater life jacket wear rates. Plans presented should lay out the advantages and disadvantages and projected costs of an annual, biennial, and triennial study. Plans can include the use of paid or volunteer observers, and must be based on actual observation of a representative sample of boaters on high-use lakes, rivers, and bays, ideally conducted in different locations at different times of the year to accurately capture the impact of the seasonal nature of boating. Methods for developing estimates must be replicable and must be able to collect data by number, type, length, operation, and activity of boats and by boater age and gender.

8. Boating Under the Influence (BUI) of Alcohol and Dangerous Drugs Detection and Enforcement Courses. Develop and conduct train-the-trainer and BUI detection and enforcement training courses for State and local marine patrol officers, Coast Guard boarding officers, and others. The goal of the training would be to give students the knowledge and skills they need to deter recreational boater alcohol and drug use and related accidents. Additionally, the area of interest would support the execution of a focused national outreach effort to highlight the dangers of BUI through education and enforcement, as well as specific training on the effective use of the Seated Battery of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests.

9. Report summarizing what is known about prevalence of alcohol and/or drug use while boating. The purpose of this document is to focus on alcohol and/or drug use as a cause or contributing factor to boating accidents, and would include an assessment of strategies to reduce alcohol use; to provide a common knowledge base for the development of intervention strategies to reduce the frequency of alcohol related boating accidents.

10. Report summarizing what is known about human-powered craft, relevant statistics about accidents, accident types, casualties, and the demographics of users. The purpose of this document is to provide a common knowledge base for the development of strategies to reduce the frequency of accidents involving human-powered craft.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178261

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Projected Number of Awards: 30

Term of Contract:

The period of performance is 18 months. Extensions are permitted.

The start date is 3/01/2018 and the end date is 9/30/2019.


Additional Eligibility Criteria:

In order to apply for a grant, an organization must be eligible for funding. Title 46 United States Code, section 13103(c) authorizes Federal financial assistance for "support of national boating safety activities of national nonprofit public service organizations." The Coast Guard has developed the following test for eligibility, based on Federal law and regulations, legal rulings and interpretations, and guidance from other Federal agencies.

Organizations do not have to be boating-related. Any organization meeting the following qualifications is eligible to apply:

1. Must be a nongovernmental organization.

2. Must be accorded a nonprofit organization tax-exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in accordance with 26 U.S.C. 501(c) (3). You must provide a copy of the IRS letter designating your organization as a nonprofit organization (26 CFR 1.501(c) (3) -1 elaborates on the test for exemption).

3. Must demonstrate the ability to provide recreational boating safety benefits in all regions, is currently providing recreational boating activities in all regions, and /or demonstrate the intent to partner with other national and/or State and/or local organizations within all regions and indicate a timeline for this to be done if the grant recipient is not already national in scope. National (or nationwide or national-in-scope) is defined as extending beyond a state or region and specifically address all regions of the country that includes: Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico/Western Rivers and Great Lakes (See Appendix B: Grant Regional Map). A national membership base does not suffice.

4. Must be primarily in existence to provide “public service” and serve the general public. Fraternal, lobbying, or religious organizations are ineligible.

Contracts or subcontracts to taxable organizations and/or profit-making businesses, colleges, or universities are allowed. However, the grantee organization is required to maintain all project records, provide the point of contact, and maintain funding accountability. Additionally, all activities conducted by the partner taxable or profit-making entity must be explicitly spelled out in the grant project narrative, and be limited to administrative, clerical, or technical functions. Nonprofit organizations that are associated with profit-making or taxable organizations are eligible for grants if they meet all the eligibility requirements above.


The following organizations are ineligible for funding: (1) colleges and universities; (2) hospitals; (3) governments or governmental organizations (including city, county, state, etc.); (4) churches; (5) municipalities; (6) local units of national organizations; and (7) organizations that do not have an impact at the national level. However, excluded organizations may contract with an eligible recipient organization as specified above.

Pre-Application Information:

You must apply electronically for grants using the application package and instructions available at

NOTE: If you are going to apply for this funding opportunity and have not obtained a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and/or are not currently registered in the System for Award Management (SAM), please take immediate action to obtain a DUNS Number, if applicable, and then to register immediately in SAM. It may take 4 weeks or more after you submit your SAM registration before your registration is active in SAM, then an additional 24 hours for to recognize your information.

Key Dates:
-Application Start Date: 10/10/2017
-Application Submission Deadline: 01/26/2018 at 11:59:59 PM EST
-Anticipated Funding Selection Date: 03/2018
-Anticipated Award Date: 03/2018


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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.

Cynthia Dudzinski, Nonprofit Organization Grant Coordinator

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


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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