Mashek Creek, Wisconsin

Managing a CELCP Grant

All CELCP grant applications are submitted to the national competition through by the lead state agency. If your project is selected for funding, follow the steps provided below.

Once Selected, How Do I Apply for a CELCP Grant?
NOAA will notify applicants selected for funding. To complete the final grant application process, applicants may be asked to provide additional information beyond that submitted with the competitive proposal.

What Should I Include in My Grant Application?
Final CELCP NOAA grant applications consist at minimum of the following materials:

  1. Standard forms for federal assistance: SF-424, SF-424A, 424B, CD-511, and if applicable SF-LL and CD-346.
  2. Project description and scope of work includes a description of the properties to be purchased or used as an in-kind match, as well as a timeline for completing the project.
  3. Project budget and justification of proposed costs describe the costs of the project, the use of the federal funds, and how the nonfederal match will be met.
  4. CELCP project application checklist.
  5. Site map or aerial photograph.
  6. Region map.

If available, the following information should be submitted with the application. If the information is not yet available, a special award condition will be placed on the grant requiring that they be submitted to and approved by NOAA before federal funds can be expended for each property.

  1. A complete, self-contained appraisal prepared to the federal appraisal standards.
  2. Survey for each property.
  3. Evidence of title for each property showing that the seller is the legal owner of the property and identifies any easements or other encumbrances on the property to be acquired. Examples of such documentation include an attorney title opinion or property report from a title insurance company.
  4. Contract for purchase, sale, or option agreement.
  5. Willing seller letter (samples).
  6. Copy of draft deed or conservation easement containing the required deed-restriction language.
  7. Documentation of federal consistency review or documentation that the state has waived review of CELCP projects. Contact the federal consistency coordinator (State Coastal Management Program Manager and Federal Consistency Contacts) in your state’s coastal management program for more information.
  8. Documentation of project review by the National Register of Historic Places Program (State Historic Preservation Officers).
  9. Certification from the CELCP lead agency that the proposed project complements (i.e., does not conflict with or impede) working waterfront needs.
  10. Copy of any other easements or use agreements to be placed on the property.
  11. OPTIONAL - Environmental assessment, if available (e.g., phase I environmental assessment).

What Are The Cost-Share Requirements?
By statute, CELCP requires a 1:1 cost-share on projects. Information regarding costs and contributions that are acceptable can be found in the CELCP Final Guidelines and at 15 CFR 24.24 (the Department of Commerce’s codification of the Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments/Matching or Cost-Sharing).

The preferred source of match is an equal cash contribution from the recipient, another state or local public entity involved in the project, or private source of funding. However, other acquisition-related costs (e.g., appraisal and attorney fees, closing costs), if accrued during the award period, and under certain circumstances the value of donated lands, such as another similar conservation property purchased by or donated to the grant recipient, may also be eligible as in-kind match.

The in-kind match must be accrued during the award period (e.g., value of services provided), with the exception of the value of acquired or donated land being used as match. In-kind acquisitions or donations may qualify if they occurred up to three years before the date of final application. For further details, please review the CELCP Final Guidelines or match provisions in the funding opportunity notice.

How Long Will It Take to Approve My Grant Application?
Once NOAA receives a final application, it can take up to 120 days before the award is made. NOAA encourages applicants to submit applications as early in the fiscal year as possible after funding decisions have been made. NOAA cannot guarantee that any application received by NOAA’s Grants Management Division after June 30 will be awarded in the current fiscal year (i.e., by September 30). If special circumstances affect the time needed for processing (e.g., an expiring option date), please contact the CELCP program officer for the project.

If possible, recipients should not close on properties until after NOAA has received and approved the supporting due diligence documentation. Recipients should allow 120 days for review of a complete due diligence package prior to closing. Recipients who close on properties without first getting NOAA approval of due diligence documentation do so at their own risk. NOAA cannot guarantee reimbursement for these costs if the project or the supporting due diligence documentation is found to be unacceptable.

How Will I Manage My Grant and Submit Information?
Once your grant is awarded, all grant management activities will be conducted electronically through NOAA Grants Online, a Web-based system, including the submittal of project documentation, progress and financial reporting, and extension requests.

How Often Do I Need to Submit Progress and Financial Reports?
Progress and financial reports are required every six months from the time an award starts until it is closed. Within 30 days of the conclusion of each six-month period, you must submit a progress report summarizing activities conducted in support of the project during the prior six months, as well as a financial report (SF-425 form).

Where Can I Find Detailed Information on CELCP Requirements?
Consult the CELCP Final Guidelines.

How Will I Access My Funds?
Award payments are made through electronic funds transfer. NOAA uses the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Automated Standard Application for Payment (ASAP) system. The system allows grant recipients to withdraw funding directly from an established account for each award once approval for the funding is given and the recipient has enrolled in the automated system.

NOAA provides enrollment instructions; enrollment takes approximately six to eight weeks. If the organization already has an account, you will simply need to provide the account number to NOAA’s Grants Management Division. If the funds are needed less than six weeks after the award is due to start, it may be possible to request the funds using the SF-270 (Request for Cash Advance or Reimbursement), which usually takes 10 business days. Otherwise, using the ASAP system is mandatory. If the project’s circumstances will require quick access to the funds, contact your CELCP program officer as soon as possible.

What Are Special Award Conditions?
Grants have special award conditions that must be met. An example is a requirement to record language in the property deed restricting the use and disposition of the property, and another is the installation of a permanent sign at the site acknowledging NOAA’s funding. View a sample list of Special Award Conditions.

If you do not submit all the required documentation at the time of the grant application, the grant will also have a condition requiring that the remaining documentation be submitted and approved before funds are released.

How Long Do I Have to Complete My CELCP Project?
The standard CELCP grant performance period is 18 months, but the grant may be extended up to an additional 18 months if circumstances warrant (e.g., demonstrable progress is being made and the recipient is current on all financial and performance reports).

How Do I Close Out My Grant?
A grant is not considered complete when the property closing occurs. You will need to demonstrate, through performance and financial reports, that all award conditions have been met before an award can be closed.

Within 90 days of the end of your grant, you must submit through NOAA Grants Online a final report and financial report (SF-425 form). CELCP has the following resources to help with your final report.

If you complete all work on the project early (long before the grant expires), you may request to terminate the award “for convenience” to begin the closeout period early.

For more information, contact us.