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Cooperative Agreements to USA, Canada, and Mexico Nonprofits,
For-Profits, Agencies, and IHEs to Protect the Marine Environment

Marine Debris Prevention

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Commerce - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - National Ocean Service (NOS)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

02/11/22 11:59 PM Eastern Time - Receipt


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Cooperative agreements to USA, Canada, and Mexico nonprofit organizations, for-profits, government agencies, tribes, and IHEs to protect the marine environment. A letter of intent must be submitted prior to submitting a full proposal. Required registrations may take several weeks to complete. Funding is intended to support marine debris prevention projects that actively engage and educate a target audience in hands-on programs.

Projects awarded through this grant competition will actively engage and educate a target audience (such as students, teachers, recreational fisher communities, state or local governments, industries, elected officials, etc.) in hands-on programs designed to raise awareness, reduce barriers to marine debris prevention (e.g., lack of access to waste receptacles or alternatives to single-use items), and encourage and support changes in behaviors to ensure long-term prevention of marine debris.

This funding opportunity supports efforts to prevent marine debris from entering the environment, as described in this section, and as such it is not intended for large-scale debris removal projects or scientific research. Small scale removal activities, enhancing the overall prevention efforts, could be included, but should not be the primary focus. Competitive proposals will demonstrate meaningful, measurable, and sustainable ecological benefits to coastal and marine and Great Lakes resources by preventing debris from entering the marine environment and will incorporate priorities identified in the NOFO (see

Marine debris is defined as "any persistent solid material that is manufactured or processed and directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, disposed of or abandoned into the marine environment or the Great Lakes". Marine debris can include land-based, solid waste items, from activities that take place on land, such as plastic bags, cigarette butts, foam take-out containers, and balloons, as well as ocean-based items such as derelict fishing gear and abandoned vessels.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182245

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

The NOAA MDP anticipates that between 8 and 15 awards will be made under this solicitation, depending upon appropriations.

Estimated Size of Grant:

The NOAA MDP does not plan to fund proposals for prevention activities at less than $50,000 or more than $400,000 under this solicitation.

Term of Contract:

Applications should cover a project period of performance from one to two years in duration. If behavior change monitoring activities are to be conducted during the project, NOAA may consider applications with a period of performance beyond two years, as long as there is reasonable justification provided. However, NOAA expects that all primary project activities would be completed within two years of the start date of the award.

The earliest anticipated start date for awards will be September 1, 2022 – applicants should consider this date when developing plans for initiating proposed project activities.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

As outlined in the Marine Debris Act, eligible applicants for projects taking place in the United States, territories, or Freely Associated States (or their adjacent waterways), are state, local, tribal, territory, and freely associated state governments whose activities affect research or regulation of marine debris. Equally eligible are any institution of higher education, nonprofit organization, or commercial (for-profit) organization with expertise in a field related to marine debris. Eligible applicants for projects taking place in Mexico or Canada are limited to any institution of higher education, nonprofit organization, or commercial (for-profit) organization with expertise in a field related to marine debris. This includes community based organizations, business associations, and non-public foreign organizations.

Projects awarded through this competition may be implemented throughout all United States coastal, marine, and Great Lakes areas; the coastal and marine areas of United States territories and Freely Associated States, or; within Mexico or Canada as long as the benefits to United States resources, navigation, or economy can be clearly demonstrated.

Applications from federal agencies or employees of federal agencies will not be considered. Interested federal agencies may collaborate with eligible applicants but may not receive funds through this competition. Foreign public entities (see 2 CFR 200.1) from outside of the Freely Associated States are not eligible to apply as the primary applicant but can be involved as project partners.

Foreign public entities (see 2 CFR 200.1), from Canada or Mexico are not eligible to receive awards or subawards under the Marine Debris Act and will not be considered. Interested governmental agencies in Canada or Mexico may collaborate with eligible applicants but may not receive funds through this competition.

The geographic focus for proposed projects in Mexico or Canada are border regions with the United States that have the potential for debris to impact United States resources. Activities occurring wholly within Mexico or Canada should demonstrate that such activities will address debris that impacts the United States economy, the United States marine environment (including the U.S. exclusive economic zone, territorial sea, coastal waters, Great Lakes, navigable waters of the United States, and the lands therein and thereunder, and adjacent shorelines and shorelands), or navigation safety in the United States.

For additional guidance specific to projects taking place in Mexico or Canada, see

Applicants should also note that the following activities, in general, will not be considered for use of federal dollars under project awards: (1) activities that constitute legally required mitigation for the adverse effects of an activity regulated or otherwise governed by local, state, or federal law; (2) activities that constitute restoration for natural resource damages under federal, state, or local law; and (3) activities that are required by a separate consent decree, court order, statute, or regulation.

Applications addressing other types of pollution not fitting the definition of marine debris provided above are not priorities for this solicitation and may not be considered.

In general, funding requests for equipment purchases such as vehicles, boats, and similar items will be a low priority.

This solicitation is not intended for large-scale debris removal projects or scientific research.

Pre-Application Information:

This funding opportunity requires a Letter of Intent to be submitted for competitive review before a full proposal can be submitted. LOIs must be received via e-mail no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern time, October 29, 2021.

Full proposals may only be submitted if invited by the NOAA MDP. Invited full proposals must be received and validated by on or before 11:59 p.m. Eastern time, February 11, 2022.

Successful applications generally will be identified by May 1, 2022.

Applicants must be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) in order to apply via and to be funded by NOAA. Applicants must: (1) Be registered in the federal System for Award Management (SAM) before submitting an application; (2) provide a valid Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number 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.

The System for Award Management (SAM) may be accessed online at

Applicants can receive a DUNS number at no cost online at

Applicants should allow a minimum of several weeks to complete each of these registration processes. Registrations may need to be periodically renewed.

Applicants must provide a minimum 1:1 ratio of non-federal matching contributions to NOAA funds requested to conduct the proposed project. If the match requirement cannot be met, the Marine Debris Act allows the NOAA Administrator to waive all or part of the matching requirement if the applicant can demonstrate the fulfillment of specific criteria.

View this opportunity on

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

Proposal Submission Guidance for Applicants:

Contact Information:

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

LOIs must be submitted as an e-mail attachment to

Please put "FY2022 Marine Debris Prevention Letter of Intent (LOI)" in the email subject heading. Do not direct questions to this email address.

For further information contact Amanda Dwyer (, 240-533-0402).

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)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Canada: Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;

International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.

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