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Cooperative Agreements to USA Coastal Administration Agencies for Hazard Mitigation, Resource Planning, and Public Access

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Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Projects of Special Merit Competition - FY2023

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

Agency: Federal

GrantWatch ID #182588

Grant Description

Cooperative agreements to USA and territories approved coastal administration agencies for the development of innovative projects that will further their goals and strategies. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take several weeks to complete. Funding is intended for projects addressing coastal hazards, ocean and Great Lakes resources, and public access.

The objective of Section 309 assistance is to encourage each State or Territory with a federally-approved coastal management program (CMP) to continually improve its program in specified areas of national importance. The intent of Projects of Special Merit (PSM) funding is to offer CMPs the opportunity to develop innovative projects that further their approved enhancement area strategies and focus on the following national enhancement area priorities: Coastal Hazards, Ocean and Great Lakes Resources, and Public Access. In order to apply for this funding opportunity, CMPs must be approved by NOAA pursuant to the Coastal Zone Management Act (16 U.S.C. §1455) and have an approved 2021-2025 Section 309 Assessment and Strategy. Additionally, CMPs can only apply for priorities for which they have a corresponding approved strategy. Coastal Zone Management Program Regulations at 15 C.F.R. Part 923 apply to this Announcement, and program policies and procedures are further implemented through the provisions in this announcement.

Proposals must focus on one or more of the following priority enhancement area objectives:

  • Coastal Hazards: Preventing or significantly reducing threats to life and property by eliminating development and redevelopment in high-hazard areas, managing development in other hazard areas, and anticipating and managing the effects of potential sea-level rise and Great Lakes level change. Projects may support state, local, or regional coastal hazards initiatives that are prioritized within a CMP’s 2021-2025 Section 309 Assessment and Strategy.
  • Ocean and Great Lakes Resources: Planning for the use of ocean and Great Lakes resources. Projects may support state, sub-regional, or regional planning initiatives that are prioritized within a CMP’s 2021-2025 Section 309 Assessment and Strategy.
  • Public Access: Planning to improve public access to the coasts. Projects may support state, local, or regional public access initiatives that are prioritized within a CMP’s 2021-2025 Section 309 Assessment and Strategy.

The NOAA Office for Coastal Management (OCM) encourages applicants and awardees to advance the principles of equity and inclusion when developing and implementing their work. Supporting the principles of equity and inclusion in this funding competition means:

  • Paying particular attention to underserved communities and populations experiencing heightened vulnerabilities and disproportionate impacts relating to coastal access, ocean or Great Lakes resource management, and coastal hazards including climate change; and
  • Seeking engagement with, input from, and partnerships with communities, groups and individuals who have not historically been actively engaged in, or may be underrepresented in the work of state or territorial coastal management programs. Promoting equity and inclusion through community engagement, co-development, and partnership improves creativity, productivity, and the vitality of the coastal management community that OCM supports. 

Eligible expenses can be found on page 6 of the NOFO. See Attached Files, below.

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  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Any coastal State or Territorial CMP that has been approved by NOAA pursuant to the Coastal Zone Management Act (16 U.S.C. § 1455) is eligible under this announcement if the requirements established at 15 C.F.R. § 923.121 are met. Specifically, applicants must have an approved Assessment and Strategy for the 2021-2025 assessment period that includes at least one strategy for one or more of the priority enhancement areas identified in Section I.B of this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). In addition to strategies that were originally approved as part of a State or Territory's Assessment and Strategy, approved strategies also include strategies that were added or substantially modified and approved by NOAA's Office for Coastal Management prior to the closing date of the competition. See 15 C.F.R. § 923.121 for all requirements.

The designated lead agency for implementing each approved CMP is eligible to submit projects for funding under this competition. For the purposes of this competition, the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission is an eligible applicant. Eligible applicants may submit a proposal on behalf of State agency partners within the approved State CMP network, if applicable. Local governments and nonprofits may participate as partners on the proposed projects; however, projects should be focused upon enhancing the approved State CMP. Each applicant may submit no more than two applications for consideration under this competition.

NOAA employees are not permitted to assist in the preparation of applications. NOAA Office for Coastal Management staff are available to provide general information on programmatic questions such as those relating to the CMPs 309 Assessment and Strategy. For proposals that involve collaboration with current NOAA projects or staff, NOAA employees may provide a limited statement verifying the nature and extent of the collaboration and confirming prior coordination activities. Letters of support from NOAA employees are not allowable and will not be included among the application materials considered by merit reviewers.

Federal agencies and employees are not allowed to receive funds under this announcement but may serve as collaborative project partners. In-kind services from federal agencies and employees cannot be considered as part of an applicant’s match on shared costs. If federal agencies are collaborators, applicants are expected to provide detail on the planned level of federal engagement in the application. Examples may include, but are not limited to, partnership services, serving in a review capacity, or participating in priority task teams, working groups, or leadership teams.

DOC/NOAA supports cultural and gender diversity and encourages women and minority individuals and groups to participate in proposals submitted to this program. In addition, 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 underserved areas. While this program limits applicants to state and territorial CMPs, DOC/NOAA encourages applicants to include partners and contributors from any of the above groups or institutions.

This announcement will not award funding for construction projects. A construction project is defined as an award in which the major purpose of the project or program is construction.

Funding restrictions can be found on page 22 of the NOFO. See Attached Files, below.

Pre-proposal Conference:

At least one informational webinar with the NOAA program office will occur on dates to be determined, in October or early November 2022. Webinar information will be sent out via the CZM Program Managers’ list-serve, or you may contact Kris Wall to obtain call-in information.

Pre-Application Information:

- Proposal Deadline: 11:59 p.m. Eastern time, January 25, 2023
- Earliest Start Date: October 1, 2023

Successful applicants will be notified that they are being recommended for funding by July 2023, at the latest. The official award notice is anticipated to be made by September 2023. The anticipated start date for cooperative agreement awards made under this competition is October 1, 2023, regardless of the start date for a State’s annual CMP award. The start date is dependent on funding availability, acceptable completion of all NOAA/applicant negotiations, including NEPA and environmental compliance analysis and permit requirements, and the provision of other supporting documentation as requested.

Pursuant to 15 C.F.R. § 923.124 (a) (1), there are no match requirements under this competition.

Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)
- Applicants should: (1) Be registered in the federal System for Award Management ( before submitting an application; (2) provide a valid Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) on an application; and (3) continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active federal award or an application or plan under consideration by a federal awarding agency. NOAA may not make a federal award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable unique entity identifier and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time NOAA is ready to make a federal award, NOAA may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a federal award and use that determination as a basis for making a federal award to another applicant.
- Applicants should allow a minimum of two weeks to complete the SAM registration; registration is required only once but must be periodically renewed. On April 4, 2022, the federal government began using a new Unique Entity Identifier number provided by SAM. Your organization’s Employer Identification Number (EIN) will be needed to receive a UEI, which is provided by SAM. If your entity is already registered in, your new UEI has already been assigned and is viewable in This includes inactive registrations.
- Applicants are strongly encouraged not to wait until the application deadline date to begin the application process through

More information:

View this opportunity on

Additional Funding Information:

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

It is estimated that approximately 5-10 proposals will be selected.

Estimated Size of Grant:

It is anticipated that awards will range from $50,000 to $250,000. The maximum amount that may be requested for the federal share of a PSM is $250,000.

Term of Contract:

It is anticipated that projects funded under this announcement will have an award start date of October 1, 2023.

The standard financial assistance award period for FY 2023-funded projects is 18 months. NOAA may extend an award up to an additional 18 months, for a maximum performance period of three years if circumstances warrant.

Contact Information:

Direct questions to:
Kris Wall
NOAA Office for Coastal Management
4003 Cirrus Drive
Medford, OR 97504

RFP & Supporting Documents:

Full Grant Text RFP

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

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