Find Nonprofit and Small Business Grants

Advance Search

Only Available for Paid Subscribers
Clear Filters
Search Filters

Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Projects of Special Merit Competition - FY2020

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

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

Add to My Calendar 

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

Deadline Date:

01/15/20 11:59 PM ET Receipt


Request a Grant Writer

Grants 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 hazard mitigation, ocean and Great Lakes resources planning, and public access.

Funding Opportunity Description: 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: Hazards, Ocean and Great Lakes Resources (with a focus on comprehensive planning), and Public Access (with a focus on underserved communities). 

Proposed projects shall further the objectives of an approved enhancement area strategy but shall not be essential to meeting specific benchmarks in the strategy. PSM projects shall not be dependent on long-term levels of funding to succeed. 

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

  • 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 hazards initiatives that are prioritized within a CMP’s 2016-2020 Section 309 Strategy.
  • Ocean and Great Lakes Resources: Planning for the use of ocean and Great Lakes resources. Ocean and Great Lakes Resources projects submitted to this competition should be designed to advance comprehensive ocean and Great Lakes planning efforts (e.g., planning initiatives that address multiple ocean and Great Lakes resources and uses rather than single-sector, single-species, or single-issue plans). Projects may support sub-regional, state or regional planning initiatives that are prioritized within a CMP’s 2016-2020 Section 309 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 2016-2020 Section 309 Strategy. In alignment with the 2018-2023 National CZM Strategic Plan priority will be given to projects that broaden and enhance safe access for all, including underserved communities, people with disabilities, and non-English speakers.

NOAA will prioritize providing funding for at least one CMP that has not yet been awarded funding during this current 2016-2020 Section 309 Assessment and Strategy cycle. 

Eligible expenses can be found at

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182588

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

It is estimated that approximately 6-15 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:

The standard financial assistance award period for FY 2020-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, such as unforeseen circumstances that prevent the project from being completed within the original period of performance.

In order to qualify for an extension, award recipients must be in good standing (i.e., up-to-date on all progress and financial reports), demonstrate progress during the initial period of performance, and be able to demonstrate that additional time is likely to result in successful completion of the project.

It is anticipated that projects funded under this announcement will have an award start date of October 1, 2020.

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 2016-2020 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.

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.

Federal agencies and employees are not allowed to receive funds under this announcement but may serve as collaborative project partners.

Funds may not be used for land acquisition or construction projects.

Ineligible projects:
The following projects will not be eligible for funding: (1) Activities that constitute legally required mitigation for the adverse effects of an activity regulated or otherwise governed by state or federal law; (2) Activities that constitute mitigation for natural resource damages under federal or state law; and (3) Activities that are required by a separate consent decree, court order, statute, or regulation.

Additional eligibility information can be found at

Pre-proposal Conference:

At least one informational teleconference with the NOAA program officers will occur on dates to be determined, in December 2019 or early January 2020. Teleconference information will be sent out via the CZM Program Managers’ listserve, or you may contact Elizabeth Mountz to obtain call-in information. Whenever possible, individuals from the same institution should try to join the teleconference from the same phone line.

Pre-Application Information:

Dates: Full proposals must be received and validated by on or before 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time on January 15, 2020.

Successful applicants will be notified in approximately September 2020. The anticipated start date for cooperative agreement awards made under this competition is October 1, 2020, 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.

There are no match requirements under this competition.

Each applicant may submit no more than two applications for consideration under this competition.

During the competition period, eligible applicants (the designated lead agency for implementing each approved CMP) should submit any questions regarding the competition via email to the competition manager listed above. Questions and answers will be compiled on a bi-weekly basis, at a minimum, and sent out to the CMP program managers' email list in order for all potential applicants to have access to the same level of information. All competition policy-related questions should be submitted to NOAA no later than two weeks prior to the application deadline in order to allow NOAA to respond in a timely manner for the information to be useful for all potential applicants developing proposals. NOAA will not answer any competition policy-related questions submitted in the two weeks prior to the application deadline. Competition policy-related questions include inquiries on project eligibility, eligible costs, and project narrative requirements. However, during this period, NOAA will continue to assist applicants with questions regarding the application submittal process, such as resolving issues related to

- Note, to the extent applicable, any proposal awarded in response to this announcement will be required to use the System for Award Management (SAM). Applicants are also required to use the Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS).
- Applicants should allow a minimum of seven days to complete the SAM registration, although complete registration for SAM may take several weeks if problems arise.

Please note: Validation or rejection of your application by may take up to two business days after submission. Please consider this process in developing your submission timeline. Applications received after the deadline will be rejected/returned to the sender without further consideration.

View this opportunity on

For a list of application documents, see the Package tab (press Preview) on the page above.

Contact Information:

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

Elizabeth Mountz

Office for Coastal Management
NOAA National Ocean Service
1305 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

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

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)