The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is partnering with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as per the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2019 (P.L. 116-20), to support projects aimed at assessing, removing, and disposing of marine debris in and around coastal communities impacted by hurricanes Florence and Michael and Typhoon Yutu.
Through the Hurricane Response Marine Debris Removal Fund, NFWF will award approximately $10 million in grants for the removal of damaging marine debris from coastal areas of communities impacted by hurricanes Florence and Michael and Typhoon Yutu, with the goal of reducing impacts to communities and industry and prevent further harm to habitats and fish and wildlife populations.
Eligible projects must reduce marine debris and enhance habitat for fish and wildlife through the development of high-quality removal projects that help communities within North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands as a result of hurricanes Florence and Michael and Typhoon Yutu.
This program will prioritize projects that provide dual benefits – both benefits for human communities and benefits for fish and wildlife. The program will use existing assessment and prioritization efforts conducted by local, state, and federal response agencies to prioritize projects that will address marine debris in areas of greatest impact and most critical to prevent communities and ecosystems from further harm. A limited amount of removal funding will be available to communities that have not yet fully assessed marine debris in the coastal zone.
All proposals must clearly describe how projects will support the overall goals of the fund, including: relative benefit to coastal communities, from reducing the impact of marine debris to properties and community infrastructure (beaches, marinas), assets of economic importance (fisheries, recreation), and navigational safety; and anticipated enhancement of the ecological integrity and functionality of ecosystems and/or prevention of further harm (scouring, entanglement) to fish and wildlife and their habitats.
Priority will be given to projects that have already completed a marine debris assessment to prioritize debris from the storm(s) and where hazardous materials have already been addressed. Projects that have secured all necessary permits and have mapped out all disposal and recycling logistics will also receive higher priority for funding.
Assessment work may be included to locate submerged debris and help prioritize removal efforts. Funding beyond assessment and removal of debris from the storms listed above are not appropriate for ‘requested’ amounts. However, proposals that seek to establish planning, outreach or other actions to prevent or reduce similar harm from future storms are encouraged to do so using matching funds.
The fund will award approximately $10 million in grants in 2020. A 1:1 non-federal match cash and/or in-kind services is strongly encouraged. Due to the emergency nature of the funding and immediate need for project implementation, however, it is not required. The match can be any combination of in cash and/or in-kind goods and services and there is no priority given to higher cash percentages. Full information about NFWF matching fund requirements, including a description of acceptable sources of matching funds, is available at http://www.nfwf.org/whatwedo/grants/applicants/Pages/faqs.aspx.
All project dollars must be secured and expended within the period of performance. The period of performance is the period of time in which all activities in the proposed scope of work occur and is defined by the start and end dates selected in the application. Projects should be able to be completed within three years of the start of the grant. Grants under this program cannot start prior to November 1, 2019, and should end no later than December 30, 2023.
NFWF will host an informational webinar for coastal communities impacted by hurricanes Florence and Michael on Thursday, December 5 at 1:00 p.m. EST. Informational webinars for coastal communities impacted by Typhoon Yutu will be held Thursday, December 5 at 6:30 p.m. EST and Friday, December 6 at 9:30 a.m. ChST.
For additional information, including a description of project metrics and evaluation criteria, see the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation website.