Dabob Bay, Washington

Applying for a CELCP Grant

Fiscal Year 2017 selections have been announced on the “About” page; there will not be a Fiscal Year 2018 CELCP Funding Competition.

Information about the 2017 CELCP Federal Funding Opportunity:

  • Great Lakes states that have submitted a draft CELCP plan to NOAA for review on or before October 1, 2016, may participate.
  • The maximum funding that may be requested for each project is $1.5 million.
  • Each eligible state or territory may submit up to four projects for this solicitation.
  • The deadline for eligible applicants (state CELCP lead agencies) to submit proposals via is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (10:59 Central Time) on October 26, 2016; if an applicant does not have effective electronic access, an original paper application must be postmarked or provided to a delivery service by October 26, 2016 and received by NOAA within three business days.
  • Projects funded under this competition are expected to be completed within 18 months from the start date of the award (anticipated between September 1, 2017, and October 1, 2017).
  • Applicants should read the Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity for information on program priorities, applicant eligibility, and project eligibility, as well as the information below on submitting an application. Details of the funding opportunity are available on under opportunity number NOAA-NOS-OCM-2017-2004932.

    Application Process

    Each year, subject to available funding, NOAA runs a funding competition, which has two phases—a state competition and a national competition. NOAA initiates the competition by issuing an annual federal funding opportunity notice, which describes the eligibility criteria for the competition, including who may apply, how many projects each eligible coastal state or territory may submit, and how much funding may be requested for each project.

    Phase 1—State Competition
    The state or territory CELCP lead contact (CELCP in Your State) runs the state-level selection process to determine which projects are eligible and best suited for the national competition. Interested parties should contact their state or territory lead contact for information on submitting a project proposal to the state competition. The CELCP lead agency submits selected applications for the national competition through (, Applicant Resources).

    Phase 2—National Competition
    For the national competition, NOAA conducts a technical review and a merit-based peer review to rank the projects. The ranked list serves as a guide for selecting projects for funding. Once NOAA announces the list of winning projects, CELCP staff members work with recipients to finalize their grant application for NOAA approval.


    Coastal states having a coastal management program or National Estuarine Research Reserve approved under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 may participate in CELCP. A state must have developed a CELCP plan (CELCP in Your State) to compete for funding. Each participating state or territory has a lead CELCP contact who coordinates the program (typically, the coastal management agency), including the development of its CELCP plan, and runs the state selection process.

    Within those states eligible to compete for funds, additional state agencies and local governments, as defined in the CELCP Final Guidelines, may receive funds and hold title to land under CELCP. Eligible state and local governments should contact their state CELCP lead for information on the state’s priorities and selection process.

    The maximum amount of grant funds available per project is specified in the federal funding opportunity notice. To be eligible for funding, the proposed project must fulfill these criteria:

    • Protect important coastal and estuarine areas that have significant conservation, ecological, historical, aesthetic, or recreation values, or that are threatened by conversion from their natural or recreational state to other uses.
    • Be located within a state’s designated CELCP area (as defined in its CELCP plan), which is based on its coastal watershed or state coastal zone boundaries.
    • Be submitted by an eligible public entity, i.e., state agency, local government, or other entity specified in the CELCP Final Guidelines.
    • Provide for nonfederal public ownership in perpetuity. Note that in-kind match properties may be held by a qualified nongovernmental organization whose primary mission is to acquire and manage land for the purposes of conservation.
    • Provide public access, or other public benefit, as appropriate and consistent with resource protection.
    • Acquire property or conservation easements from willing sellers.
    • Provide nonfederal matching funds in the form of cash or in-kind contributions at a 1:1 ratio. Visit the “Cost Share Requirements” section of the CELCP Final Guidelines for more information.
    • Advance the goals, objectives, or implementation of the state coastal management program or plan or National Estuarine Research Reserve management plan or a local, regional, or state watershed protection plan.
    • Be consistent with the state’s approved coastal management program.

    CELCP’s authorizing legislation requires that 15 percent of funds be provided to projects that benefit National Estuarine Research Reserves. To qualify, applicants must include a support letter from the appropriate reserve manager describing and validating benefits to the reserve. Applicants should show the relative location of the project to the reserve’s targeted watershed boundary, within which conservation activities provide direct benefits to the reserve. Targeted watershed maps may be found in CELCP in Your State.

    For more information, contact us.