Michigan Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program Grants

From the Michigan DNRE website:

Request for Pre-Proposals  July 2010

This is a request for pre-proposals (RFPP) for coastal land conservation projects from eligible entities for federal funding through the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP).  The Michigan Coastal Management Program (MCMP) within the Land and Water Management Division, Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE), will score, rank, and prioritize projects based on the criteria contained in Michigan’s Draft Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Plan.  The three highest-ranked projects will be submitted to the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for incorporation into a national prioritized list of projects.  It is anticipated that projects funded in the 2012 CELCP cycle will have a grant application start date between March 1, 2012 and October 1, 2012.

Applicants for CELCP funding are strongly encouraged to review Michigan’s Draft CELCP Plan and the “Project Ranking Factors and Scoring Guidance” contained therein.   A copy of the Draft CELCP Plan can be found at www.michigan.gov/coastal.  Further information regarding the goals and administrative procedures for CELCP at the national level can be found at: http://coastalmanagement.noaa.gov/land/welcome.html.

Eligible Applicants:

State, County, Township, City, or Village governments, Tribal governments, conservation districts, State Colleges and Universities.

Match Requirement:

Federal funds awarded under this program require non-federal match funds at a 1:1 ratio.  Match may be in the form of cash, in-kind contributions, such as the value of donated lands or interests therein, or a combination of the two.  Federal funds may not be used as match.

Project Location:

Projects must be located within the State of Michigan’s CELCP boundary as defined in Michigan’s Draft CELCP Plan.

Grant Amounts:

The maximum amount that may be requested for the Federal share of each project is $3,000,000.

Award Period:

The standard award period is 18 months, and may be extended an additional 18 months if circumstances warrant, but may not exceed three years.

All proposed CELCP projects must:
• Be held in public ownership (fee simple or conservation easements) and provide conservation in perpetuity;
• Provide for access to the general public or other public benefit, as appropriate and consistent with resource protection.

Eligible uses for CELCP funds:
• Acquisition of properties or interests in properties from willing sellers, provided that the terms and conditions will ensure that the property will be administered for conservation in perpetuity, including direct expenses relating to the acquisition of lands and interests in lands acquired under the authority of the CELCP; and

• Certain initial costs for land stewardship, not to exceed five percent of the award and not to exceed three years or the duration of the award period, to allow for signage, public safety, or other stewardship purposes.

Application Deadline:

Postmarked no later than September 3, 2010

Application Procedures:

Complete and sign the attached application form and submit it to:

Mr. Matt Smar, Acting Chief
Michigan Coastal Management Program
Land and Water Management Division
Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment
P.O. Box 30458
Lansing, Michigan 48909-7958

The CELCP was created in 2002 by the Department of Commerce, Justice, and State Appropriations Act “for the purpose of protecting important coastal and estuarine areas that have significant conservation, recreation, ecological, historical, or aesthetic values, or that are threatened by conversion from their natural or recreational state to other uses, giving priority to lands that can be effectively managed and protected and that have significant ecological value1.”

Participating coastal states receive project proposals, ranking them on a statewide basis.  The state can submit up to three eligible projects to the NOAA for competition in the national ranking.  Congress is authorized to appropriate up to $60 million a year to fund land acquisition through the CELCP.

The Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) announcement for FY 2012 CELCP projects is not yet available, but is expected to be released in December 2010.  This state RFPP is being released ahead of the FFO to allow on-site project reviews before sites are obscured by winter weather.  It is expected that the FY 2012 FFO will be very similar to the FY 2011 FFO.  The FY 2011 CELCP FFO which includes the full details of the competition, along with project narrative and budget templates and the CELCP checklist, are posted on the Funding Opportunities page of the CELCP website, http://www.coastalmanagement.noaa.gov/land/celcp_fundingop.html and should serve as a good template for preparation of projects submitted for this FY 2012 RFPP.  The MCMP will announce a formal RFP once the FY 2012 FFO is released by NOAA.

RFPP Process and Timeline:
• The RFPP is released – July 9, 2010
• Project pre-proposals due to the MCMP – postmarked or hand-delivered (before 4:00 PM) – September 3, 2010
• The MCMP staff will visit project sites – mid September to early October, 2010
• The MCMP will provide feedback to applicants prior to the release of the formal RFP-January 2011

Project Readiness:
The MCMP expects that proposed projects will be well along in their development.  Recognizing that projects can be in various stages of development and that funding from this cycle will not be available until March to October, 2012, project pre-proposals should still be as specific as possible.  Proposals should at least be for specific tracts of land, and landowners should have been contacted about their willingness to sell.  Prior to application under the formal RFP in January 2011 the applicant should be in a position to submit documentation that the current owner is a willing participant in a process of negotiation for sale of the property, or interests in the property, for conservation purposes.  This documentation may be in the form of a letter of willingness or intent, option letter, contract, or other similar form.

Additional Application Information:
• The MCMP staff will perform all site evaluations.
• A Phase 1 Environmental Assessment of the nominated property may be required.
• The applicant must ensure that the required nonfederal match is available for all acquisitions nominated to the federal CELCP program.  Nonfederal match may come from state and/or local governments, sponsoring or partner non-governmental organizations, and/or sources such as land trusts or land conservancies.
• The MCMP will make the final determination on projects to be submitted for consideration in the competitive, federal CELCP program and will be responsible for developing all nomination packages for submission to the NOAA.
• The eligible applicant will hold title to the respective property acquired through the CELCP program.
• The eligible applicant and the MCMP will hold duplicate documentation as required by the federal CELCP guidance.
• All properties acquired under this program will be maintained in accordance with applicable state laws.  Any revenues generated will be used by the applicant to continue the long-term stewardship of the properties in accordance with the established management plan.
• The property boundary of the project must lie entirely within the CELCP Plan boundary.
• Landowners who do not wish to sell their property, and who plan only to place a conservation easement over the parcel, must also use easement language and terms consistent with those used by the DNRE for other acquisition projects and the NOAA.  Written expression of this understanding with the landowner must be provided with the application.
• A tract-specific management plan must be developed within two years of the purchase and/or placement of a conservation easement of all properties so obtained.

Contact us for more information!

Michigan Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program Grants

Open Rivers Initiative, Deadline Nov 17

The NOAA Open Rivers Initiative (ORI) provides funding and technical assistance to catalyze the implementation of locally-driven projects to remove dams and other river barriers, in order to benefit living marine and coastal resources, particularly diadromous fish. Projects funded through the Open Rivers Initiative must feature strong on-the-ground habitat restoration components that foster economic, educational, and social benefits for citizens and their communities in addition to long-term ecological habitat improvements for NOAA trust resources. Proposals selected for funding through this solicitation will be implemented through a cooperative agreement. Funding of up to $6,000,000 is expected to be available for ORI Project Grants in FY 2011. The NOAA Restoration Center within the Office of Habitat Conservation will administer this grant initiative, and anticipates that typical awards will range from $200,000 to $750,000. Although a select few may fall outside of this range, project proposals requesting less than $100,000 or greater than $3,000,000 will not be accepted or reviewed.

Eligible applicants are institutions of higher education, non-profits, industry and commercial (for profit) organizations, organizations under the jurisdiction of foreign governments, international organizations, and state, local and Indian tribal governments whose projects have the potential to benefit NOAA trust resources. 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, national service clubs or youth corps organizations and others entities that are eligible to apply. The Department of Commerce/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (DOC/NOAA) is strongly committed to broadening the participation of historically black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, tribal colleges and universities, and institutions that work in under-served areas. The ORI encourages proposals from or involving any of the above institutions.

Open Rivers Initiative, Deadline Nov 17

Climate Showcase Communities Grant, Due July 26

The US EPA is awarding $10M in grant funding through its Climate Showcase Communities Program. This program will assist local and tribal governments in developing plans, conducting demonstrations, and implementing projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions while achieving additional environmental, economic, public health, and/or community benefits. The overall goal of the Climate Showcase Communities program is to create replicable models of sustainable community action that generate cost-effective and persistent greenhouse gas reductions while improving the environmental, economic, public health, or social conditions in a community.

The Climate Showcase Communities Program provides funding for planning, demonstration and/or implementation projects designed to address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The goal of this program is to implement innovative programs, projects, and approaches which demonstrate documentable reductions in GHG and are replicable elsewhere. The Office of Air and Radiation requests proposals from eligible entities, as described in Section III, which will achieve reductions of GHG emissions through actions taken by local and tribal governments.

Proposed activities must achieve reductions in GHG emissions by addressing one or more of the following priority areas:

  • energy performance in municipal operations (including municipal energy, water, and wastewater utilities)
  • energy performance in residential, commercial, agricultural, aqua-cultural, and/or industrial buildings
  • land use, transportation, or community master planning
  • reduction of vehicle miles traveled
  • solid waste management
  • agricultural, aqua-cultural, and natural resource management
  • use or supply of green power products, on-site renewables, and other clean energy supply options
  • heat island management
  • removal of barriers for greenhouse gas management, through the development of effective programs, policies, or outreach
  • other innovative activities which generate measurable reductions of greenhouse gases

In addition, proposals submitted for consideration should: 1) achieve ongoing GHG reductions 2) build capacity within local and tribal agencies to address GHG emissions 3) build and leverage partnerships across multiple stakeholder groups; 4) link climate change initiatives with broader environmental, economic, health, environmental justice, and social co-benefits; and 5) create models of success that are broadly replicable. Applicants will also be scored on their ability to link their proposed projects to broader climate management by describing how the project relates to “complementary activities” they have completed, in progress, or planned. Complementary activities include other policies, programs, or actions undertaken by a local or tribal government related to climate change management.

EPA anticipates awarding a total of approximately 20 to 30 cooperative agreements from this announcement, ranging in value from $100,000 to $500,000, subject to availability of funds, quality of evaluated proposals, and other applicable considerations. The maximum amount available for any award is $500,000 in federal funds. Under the tribal set-aside, EPA expects to award 1-3 cooperative agreements ranging in value from approximately $100,000 to $500,000, for a total value of approximately $500,000, subject to availability of funds, quality of evaluated proposals, and other applicable considerations. Awards are subject to the availability of funds and quality of evaluated proposals. EPA reserves the right to make additional awards under this announcement, consistent with Agency policy, if additional funding becomes available. Any additional selections for awards will be made no later than six months from the date of original selection date.

Deadlines and Match
The estimated project period for awards resulting from this solicitation will begin February 1, 2011. Proposed project periods may be up to three years. A 50% match is required for this program with the exception of tribal governments and intertribal consortia that are exempt from matching requirements. The cost share and/or match can be in the form of cash or as in-kind contributions, such as use of volunteers and/or donated time, equipment, expertise, etc. All matching funds are subject to the regulations governing matching fund requirements at 40 CFR 31.24. In-kind contributions often include salaries or other verifiable costs which must be carefully documented. In the case of salaries, applicants may use either minimum wage or fair market value.

Local governments—a county, municipality, city, town, township, local public authority (including any public and Indian housing agency) school district, special district, intrastate district, council of governments, any other regional or interstate government entity, or any agency or instrumentality of a local government.
Federally recognized Indian tribal governments—the governing body or a governmental agency of any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community (including Native villages) certified by the Secretary of the Interior as eligible for the special programs and services provided by him through the Bureau of Indian Affairs as well as any organization or intertribal consortium that represents federally recognized tribes.
Intertribal Consortia— an “intertribal consortium” is defined as a partnership between two or more tribes that is authorized by the governing bodies of those tribes to apply for and receive assistance under this program. Intertribal consortia are eligible to receive grants under this program only if the consortium demonstrates that all members of the consortium meet the eligibility requirements for the grant and authorize the consortium to apply for and receive assistance by submitting to EPA documentation of (1) the existence of the partnership between Indian tribal governments, and (2) authorization of the consortium by all its members to apply for and receive the grant.

Contact us for more information!

Climate Showcase Communities Grant, Due July 26