FY24 Marine Debris Removal Funding Opportunity Applicant Webinar

This informational webinar on the Fiscal Year 2024 Marine Debris Removal through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding opportunity took place September 12, 2023. The NOAA Marine Debris Program provided an overview of the funding available, the priorities of this competition, an overview of the submission process, and application resources.

This funding opportunity prioritizes the development of large scale marine debris removal projects. These removal projects should focus on large marine debris, including abandoned and derelict vessels, derelict fishing gear, and other debris that is generally unable to be collected by hand. Letters of Intent are due on October 27, 2023, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. Learn more on our Funding Opportunities page.


[SLIDE 1] Welcome everyone to the first of the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s applicant webinars for this year. Today’s webinar will be highlighting our FY24 Marine Debris Removal funding opportunity, under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Tomorrow, we have another webinar focused on our second funding opportunity regarding interception technology. My name is Sarah Lowe and I am a grants management specialist with the NOAA Marine Debris Program. I’m joined today by Amanda Dwyer and Tom Barry who are also part of the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Grant team. If you have questions throughout this presentation, please enter them in the question box. Our moderator will be collecting them and we will either address them on the webinar or we will follow up with you afterwards. Also, this webinar will be recorded and will be available on our website as soon as possible.


[SLIDE 2] For today’s presentation, we will be providing you with a background on our program and the funding, and will also be getting into the details regarding this funding opportunity. We will share the anticipated funding levels, eligibility, competition priorities and process, application content and resources, information on how the applications will be evaluated, tips and submission instructions, the anticipated timeline for this competition, and lastly we will be answering some questions.


[SLIDE 3] Through this webinar today, we are hoping to communicate our expectations for proposal submission, timelines, process, and of course answer questions.


[SLIDE 4] We will start with a brief introduction of the NOAA Marine Debris Program, which was established as the federal lead for marine debris in 2006 through the Marine Debris Act. Our mission is to investigate and prevent the adverse impacts of marine debris. Our team consists of around 30 people of which about half are located in the NOAA HQ office in Silver Spring, MD and the other half are in field offices around the country.


[SLIDE 5] Eleven of our staff are regional coordinators who are both regional and technical experts on marine debris, and who may be able to answer any region-specific questions about your proposed project ideas. We encourage you to reach out to these individuals with those questions - and I’ll share this slide again at the end of the webinar for their contact information.


[SLIDE 6] Funding for this competition is being provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, formerly known as Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). NOAA will receive $1.467 billion dollars for their Climate Ready Coasts portfolio, which focuses on helping coastal communities build the future they want to see. NOAA will be investing in high-impact natural infrastructure projects that build coastal resilience, create jobs, store carbon, and restore habitat.


[SLIDE 7] Within NOAA’s Climate Ready Coasts BIL portfolio, two provisions are designed to address the issue of marine debris. Provision 7 which is overseen by the NOAA MDP in the National Ocean Service, and Provision 8 which is overseen by the National Sea Grant office in NOAA’s Oceanic and Atmospheric Research line office. Specifically, the NOAA Marine Debris Program will receive $150 million over 5 years (from FY22 - FY26) for “marine debris assessment, prevention, mitigation, and removal.” Most of this funding is expected to be used for competitive removal grants, such as this one. 


[SLIDE 8] Last year, we had offered our first round of BIL funding. With combined funding from FY22 and FY23, NOAA MDP has awarded $54.5M in competitive grant awards with an additional $12.64M of leveraged one-time Inflation Reduction Act funding. 13 transformational multi-year marine debris removal projects were funded under two priorities:


  • 11 projects were selected under the first priority which included removal of significant legacy debris such as abandoned and derelict vessels (ADVs) and derelict fishing gear (DFG). Other examples of large debris to be removed under this priority include a plane, oil and gas infrastructure, and other large debris.


  • Under the second priority, 2 projects were awarded that deploy marine debris interception technologies. These are devices that will capture and remove marine debris before it enters waterways.


  • The NOAA MDP received requests for $330.6 million in federal funds under these two priorities last year, to give you an idea of the competitiveness of this funding opportunity. 


[SLIDE 9] For this year, we have split our two general priorities (removal and interception technologies) into two separate funding opportunities. Again, the funding opportunity we are highlighting today is only covering our FY24 removal funding opportunity. For this fiscal year, up to $24M will be available to award to meritorious removal projects. Individual removal projects should request at least $800,000, but no more than $6M. We expect typical awards to range from $1M to $4M dollars.


Through this competition, matching funds are not required, but are strongly encouraged. These match funds can be in the form of direct cost sharing, in-kind support (such as volunteer labor or equipment use) and also leveraged funds. Please note, there will be an evaluation criteria regarding cost sharing and leveraged funds, which is why it is strongly encouraged, where possible.


[SLIDE 10] Eligible applicants include state, local, Tribal, territory, and freely associated state governments whose activities affect research or regulation of marine debris, as well as any institution of higher education, nonprofit organization, or commercial (for-profit) organization with expertise in a field related to marine debris. All proposed work must take place in the coastal areas and waterways of the U.S., including Great Lakes, US territories, and freely associated states.


[SLIDE 11] Non-eligible applicants would be federal agencies or employees of federal agencies. Although interested federal agencies or employees may collaborate with eligible applicants, they cannot receive funding through this competition. Additionally, foreign public entities, individuals, and organizations, from outside the Freely Associated States and United States are not eligible to apply. Please note as we walk through the priorities for this competition, there are additional expectations applicants will need to demonstrate to be competitive for the various priorities of this competition. 


[SLIDE 12] The highest priority for this funding opportunity is to support impactful, large marine debris removal projects. This competition considers impactful projects to be those that will have long-lasting, transformational benefits to marine and coastal NOAA Trust Resources, coastal communities, and/or local economies. For the purposes of this funding opportunity, “large debris” is defined as abandoned and derelict vessels (ADVs), derelict fishing gear (DFG), and other debris that is unable to be easily collected by hand. That said, we also encourage you to review our website for examples of currently funded projects as NOAA will consider the proposals in the context of already-funded projects, including projects that received funding through previous Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Marine Debris Removal Grants, to avoid duplication of removal efforts in similar locations.


[SLIDE 13] Through this funding, there are a variety of ways that projects can propose to be structured. Applicants may conduct removal activities on their own, collaborate with other organizations and partners on removal efforts, pass-through funding to already identified subawardees, or administer a competitive funding opportunity to allow for funding of smaller projects and lower the administrative burden on applicant organizations. Applicants may propose one or a combination of these structures. 


[SLIDE 14] The second identified priority for this competition is that NOAA will prioritize applications that demonstrate clear removal and disposal outcomes. Applicants should identify clear target removal metrics, such as pounds removed, and removals should also be conducted with a focus on alternative disposal methods when possible, which means applicants should use disposal methods that are the most environmentally friendly given the location, availability, and resources of the specific removal effort.


[SLIDE 15] Removal projects proposed to this competition that include strategies to prevent the reaccumulation of marine debris in the future may also be prioritized. Marine debris prevention activities should aim to reduce the recurrence of the debris that is being targeted in the removal efforts. Examples of various prevention activities include, but are not limited to, the development or expansion of state, regionally, or nationally focused marine debris prevention programs, vessel or fishing gear turn-in opportunities, vessel or fishing gear recycling programs, and targeted programs working with boaters, fisherman, or other relevant stakeholders.


[SLIDE 16] Removal projects that include monitoring activities to demonstrate long-term outcomes are encouraged. Monitoring refers to project-specific, pre- or post-removal data collection where important ecological metrics are analyzed to show the effect of the removal project. Long-term outcomes can be described as the anticipated benefits to habitats, communities, and the economy. Examples include the ecological services to be restored, benefits to local economies from an increase in tourism, the economic benefit to fishers from the removal of ghost gear, jobs created, or how planned prevention activities will sustain the benefits of the marine debris removal activity. All monitoring activities must be complementary to the proposed large-debris removal efforts.


[SLIDE 17] NOAA is committed to advancing equity and support for underserved communities. We strongly encourage applicants (and when relevant, subawardees) to incorporate diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and accessibility into their projects through proactive, meaningful, and equitable community engagement at various stages of the proposed projects. This work can be demonstrated in a variety of ways, which include, but are not limited to working in or with underserved communities, working with stakeholders for whom there is currently limited direct engagement on marine debris issues, encouraging diverse perspectives from project leaders and partners (including, but not limited to, sectors, age, career stage, gender, ethnicity, disability, geography), incorporating different learning or engagement approaches into the project, or translation of resources/signage into other languages. Applicants should describe any project activities that will take place within, have a portion of the benefits flow to, and/or meaningfully engage Tribal or underserved communities. Meaningful engagement refers to an intentional exchange between the applicant and the underserved community where both have multiple opportunities to ensure the other is correctly understanding each other’s perspectives and ideas.


Applicants should note that greater consideration will be given to projects that propose to work in areas with underserved communities that have been historically marginalized and overburdened by pollution. Please see the notice of funding opportunity for additional details and tools to aid you in this priority. 


[SLIDE 18] We also wanted to outline the competition process, as this is different from our previous round of BIL funding. This year, our competition includes a Letter of Intent step to determine if proposed projects are well-suited for this specific competition. Applicants must submit a letter of intent (or LOI) and receive an invitation from the NOAA MDP before submitting a full proposal. Additionally, LOIs are NOT submitted via grants.gov, but must be submitted via email as an attachment to our grants email grants.marinedebris@noaa.gov by 11:59pm ET on October 27th. You will then receive an email confirmation from our team. We highly recommend that LOIs are submitted early in the event that there are issues with the email submission or attachment. 


The goal of the LOI process is to streamline the proposal review and to provide feedback and guidance on invited application ideas. LOIs will be reviewed by at least 3 qualified reviewers, in accordance with the LOI evaluation criteria, which I will outline more in a few slides. Based on the merits of the proposal and alignment with funding priorities, applicants will receive an email indicating whether their project is invited to submit a full proposal or not. Feedback on the reviewed LOI and full proposal submission instructions will be included at that time.


Again, only applicants who have been invited to submit a full proposal may do so. Full proposals are then due to be submitted to the grants.gov website by February 23, 2024. These full proposals will then also enter our merit review process, as outlined in the funding opportunity. The exact amount of funds to be awarded and other changes will be determined in any pre-award negotiations with successful applicants. 


[SLIDE 19] The LOIs that are submitted must be no more than 3 pages in length, and be single spaced using 11 or 12 point font on an 8.5x11 page size. They should also have page margins that are no smaller than 1” on each edge. A 4th page may be submitted showing only project site maps and photographs of the area or the debris targeted for removal. 


Letters of Intent should have the following 9 components highlighted here in letters A through I. They should include the applicant organization, project title, the list of principal investigators and project partners (including their contact info and experience), and the project location. The project description should outline the purpose of the project and the list of tasks to be completed, it should identify the debris type and explanation as to why it was chosen, and describe the mechanism for the distribution of funds (meaning how is the project to be structured; referring back to whether this is an applicant-led removal, a collaboration with partners, pass-through to identified subawardees, a subaward competition, or any combination of those options). The project description should also describe the proposed removal techniques and their duration and describe any associated prevention and/or monitoring activities.


Following the project description, the LOIs should list the anticipated removal activity start date (not the proposed award start date), the approximate federal funds being requested and the approximate non-federal match or informal leverage anticipated, it should highlight project outcomes and metrics, and lastly describe how the project demonstrates principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, justice & accessibility.  


[SLIDE 20] Besides the NOFO, we encourage you to check out our website (marinedebris.noaa.gov) for additional guidance and resources for your applications.  Most notably for this first step in the application process, we provide an LOI template and some NOFO guidance. There are additional resources for the full proposal stage as well.


[SLIDE 21] As mentioned previously, LOIs will be evaluated by at least 3 reviewers according to the evaluation criteria as outlined in the NOFO. We’ve copied that here for your general awareness. There are 5 pieces which follow our identified priorities: will the project have impactful benefits to NOAA trust resources and the surrounding coastal environment or community?; Are there clearly identified project goals and objectives with a realistic and cost-effective approach?; the applicant capabilities, experience, or expertise; are prevention activities included and appropriate?; and does the project demonstrate how diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and accessibility will be promoted in the project. There are additional detailed questions in those evaluation criteria as outlined here and in the NOFO.


[SLIDE 22] Next we have some general application tips. Please note adobe PDF is the preferred format for application attachments. Please combine files into one pdf, if necessary.


As mentioned earlier, please carefully review the NOFO for certain details about proposal requirements we were not able to cover today. Again, we highly encourage you to view the guidance on our Proposal Submission Guidance for Applicants webpage.


[SLIDE 23] When you are ready to submit your LOI, we have outlined the submission instructions here. As mentioned previously, you MUST submit a LOI and receive an invitation from the NOAA MDP before submitting a full proposal. LOIs must be submitted as an email attachment to grants.marinedebris@noaa.gov by 11:59pm ET on October 27, 2023. Please submit early as we cannot extend the deadline for folks who may experience technical difficulties or other extenuating circumstances on the day the submissions are due. Within the NOFO, you will also see another due date (February 23rd). Please note that this due date is only for invited full proposals. Again, LOIs are due on October 27th.


When emailing the LOI, please put “FY24 NOAA Marine Debris Removal Letter of Intent or LOI” in the email subject line.


Once submitted, you will receive an email confirmation indicating successful submission. If you do not receive an email, that is an indication that the LOI submission was not successful and therefore will not be reviewed. So again, please submit early in case there are issues with your submission.


[SLIDE 24] For your planning purposes, here is the anticipated timeline for award review and notifications. Again, LOIs are due to our grants.marinedebris@noaa.gov email address by 11:59pm ET Oct 27, 2023. The LOI will be reviewed in November 2023. We are then planning to send invitations for full proposals out in early December 2023. After that point, we will have another information webinar like this, which will be for invited full proposal applicants only. Those invited applications will then be due to grants.gov by 11:59pm ET on February 23, 2024. The full proposal review will occur from March through April 2024. We are hoping to recommend projects for funding and notify those successful and unsuccessful full proposal applicants in May 2024. And finally, awards will receive an official offer and project activities can begin in late summer/early fall of 2024 (so around this time next year).


[SLIDE 25] There are several other funding opportunities related to marine debris that we also wanted to highlight. As mentioned previously, the NOAA MDP has a second funding opportunity open currently, directed at supporting the installation, monitoring, and maintenance of proven marine debris interception technologies. If you are also interested in that opportunity, we are having a similar webinar tomorrow at 3pm ET. Registration information is available on our website. 


The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law also provided $50 million to the National Sea Grant College Program for marine debris prevention and removal over the next 5 years.

They anticipate offering similar funding opportunities as they have previously with an expected announcement soon. Their focus in FY22 was on community action coalitions and a marine debris challenge competition.

Look for future announcements for Fy24 Sea Grant funding at seagrant.noaa.gov/marinedebris

If after today’s overview of the NOAA MDP’s removal competition priorities you realize your project might not align with this particular funding opportunity, we highly suggest you review these other marine debris competition opportunities, to see if they would be a better fit for your project ideas. 


[SLIDE 26] That concludes the overview of our removal funding opportunity, but we would like to take some time to address a few questions that were submitted through the registration process. 


Switch over to that document a second. So, the first question that we had received was 


‘Will NOAA consider projects that remove derelict debris and project costs below the minimum $800,000 dollars?’ 


So the answer there, the proposals that request under  $800,000 dollars will unfortunately not meet the minimum requirements of this competition and will not be reviewed.


The second question that we had received


‘Are there business designation requirements for this, such as small business or minority-owned businesses?’


There are no business designation requirements for this funding, such as small business owners or minority-owned businesses. As we highlighted in the presentation today and in the funding opportunity, eligible applicants include state, local, Tribal, territory and freely associated state governments whose activities affect research or regulation on marine debris, as well as any institution of higher education, non-profit organization, or commercial for-profit organization with expertise in a field related to marine debris. Again, all proposed work must take place in the coastal areas and waterways of the United States which includes the Great Lakes, U.S territories, and freely associated states.


Alright, our third question

‘Does the applicant organization have to have an official safety plan?’


Yes, so all NOAA funded projects do require a written safety plan. So if the proposed project is selected as one of the projects that is recommended for funding, it will require one before work begins. The next question


‘Would vessels abandoned on land such as on a local street be eligible for removal and disposal through the grant program?’


So to answer that question, priority will be placed on proposals that clearly demonstrate the beneficial impacts the removal project will have on NOAA trust resources and the surrounding coastal environment or community. So NOAA Trust resources generally refer to marine or Great Lakes habitats and resources in which NOAA has a stewardship interest. So if the case can be adequately made that by removing these dry dock vessels there will be a beneficial impact on these resources they would be eligible. However, please note that the proposal will be competing against in-water derelict vessels, so there needs to be a strong connection made to NOAA trust resources and the likelihood of these vessels becoming marine debris.


Alright, one final question for me I think


‘Can we use these grants for purchasing equipment to remove traps and nets from water or waterways?’


So the answer there, equipment costs can be included in proposals for this competition as long as the specific need for the equipment to conduct the proposed project activities is clearly explained in the proposal in addition to a clearly stated plan for the equipment's maintenance and use following the award period. So this explanation should include why the equipment is being purchased rather than leased, which could include basically it will be used and maintained

following the award period, it is more cost effective to purchase than lease it, there are no leasing options for the equipment, etc. Please note that the NOAA budget guidelines defines equipment as a purchase that has a useful life of more than one year and a per unit acquisition cost equal to or greater than  $5,000 dollars. So any item that costs less than $5,000 dollars individually should be included as supplies in your budget line.


And now I think I am going to hand things over to my colleague Amanda who's going to answer a few more of your questions. Amanda.


Thanks, Sarah. So the next question is 


‘If you are looking for funding to focus on educational programs related to marine debris removal, is that something that is allowable?’ 


And yes, prevention activities such as educational programs are encouraged but should be complementary to removal efforts and not the primary focus of the proposed project.


Next question is about subawards. 


‘So if subawards are made, should all subawardee activities and deliverables be wrapped up by the end of the grant duration?’ 


And yes, all project activities including those by subawardees need to be completed before the end date of the award.


Next question is 


‘I would like to get a clearer idea of the preference for very specific projects versus broader scoped removal projects?’


So both specific projects that have previously identified removal targets and broader removal projects, such as applications that propose administering a competition for subawards, are eligible for this competition as long as the other eligibility criteria in the notice of funding opportunity are met. We recommend reading through the program priorities and evaluation criteria in the notice of funding opportunity for more information on what may make a given proposal competitive.


Okay, the next question is 

‘Does this funding opportunity consider a community driven approach to marine debris removal to be aligned with the grant intent?’ 


And yes, we encourage partnership and community-based decision making in project development and execution.


The last question for me is 


‘Are there any significant changes from the 2022 marine debris removal funding opportunity?’ 


So, the marine debris removal and NOAA marine debris interception technologies are different notice of funding opportunities this year and additionally as Sarah described a letter of intent needs to be submitted to our grants.marinedebris@noaa.gov email before full proposals are invited. The funding thresholds for eligible projects are also different from our last competition. The minimum federal request for this solicitation is $800,000 dollars and in some cases up to $6 million dollars may be awarded. 


And now I'll turn it over to my colleague Tom Barry to answer some more questions. Oh yeah, thanks Amanda. So there was a question.


‘How much funding is available for ADVs in California?’


So, removal of derelict vessels in California, so we don't have a designated amount of funding per state or per debris type for this competition. It's a nationwide competition and solicits applications from any eligible coastal area. So, we don't have funding set aside for specific project types or locations. Our selection process is based on the merit of all applications, even though we do try to strive for geographic equity where possible.


The next question 


‘Does this marine debris program grant include Vieques and Culebra?’ 


So yes, those areas are part of the U.S., a U.S territory, and are eligible to apply for funding under this competition.


This was addressed above 


‘Can a group outside of the U.S apply for this funding opportunity?‘


So as Sarah mentioned, uh foreign public entities from outside of the freely associated states and the United States are not eligible to apply. uh And again a reminder projects must take place within the coastal United States territories or freely associated states.


Let's see was a question here


‘How is this RFP different from a bid to collect marine debris?’


So, this is not a contractual bid solicitation where the government is asking for you to complete you know a specific removal or focus on a specific target. We're soliciting projects that are proposed by the public for the benefit of the public. Hence the fact that this is a grant competition. So it's not considered a contractual bid. In the case of this grant competition really we're asking for your ideas for marine debris removal projects based on the needs that you see within your communities and regions.


and I think those were it. Sarah I think we would pass it back to you. I think there were a few other questions. Yeah, thanks Tom. So a couple more questions to address for today. 


So the next question 


‘Is an unrepairable bulkhead marine debris? We are building an oyster reef and need to remove the bulkhead.’


So, 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 marine environment or the Great Lakes. So if the bulkhead fits this definition, the fact that it is part of a larger restoration or development project is okay.


Some other general questions that we have.


‘How does this funding opportunity differ from the other funding opportunities related to marine debris that NOAA is providing through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law?’ 


So, we did roughly talk about this in the presentation today and I mentioned that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is providing $3 billion dollars over five years for NOAA including $150 million to the NOAA marine debris program and $50 million dollars was also appropriated to NOAA Sea Grant. So, funding opportunities through NOAA Sea Grant have been primarily focused on building community level marine debris coalitions and supporting innovative research and development projects that will address the prevention and/or removal of marine debris. They do anticipate offering similar funding opportunities as they have previously and there is an expected announcement soon. So keep an eye on their website for that announcement.


‘How are the marine debris funding opportunities through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law being coordinated between the NOAA Marine Debris Program and NOAA Sea Grant?’


So, the NOAA Marine Debris Program does work closely with NOAA Sea Grant to coordinate our activities and share information in order to reduce duplication and identify opportunities for collaboration. So, through the various funding elements of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law the NOAA Marine Debris Program will continue to work closely with NOAA partners to coordinate efforts and make a collective impact.


Another question that has come in 


‘Would minor habitat restoration work following removal, for example, replanting after removing an abandoned derelict vessel, be an approved cost?’


Minor restoration work and other monitoring activities should be complementary to removal efforts and costs and not be the primary focus of the proposed project.


Okay, we're going to move into some of the questions that we have received as we've been going through the presentation today.


So one of those questions 


‘Can multiple agencies combine for a grant?’ 


And there was a question and 

‘I doubt our agency alone can meet the minimum grant amount?’


The answer is yes, an applicant may partner with other eligible organizations in putting together an application. So, if you are partnering with other groups, you should ensure that the overall proposal represents a cohesive project or series of related projects that are responsive to the priorities of the competition.


Another question.


‘What is the definition of leverage for funding?’ 


Leverage simply refers to non-federal contributions, so be it cash contributions or other in-kind contributions, that are combined with the requested federal funding to increase the impact of the proposed project. So, hopefully that answers that question.


Another question that has come in. 


‘Can more than one letter of intent be submitted by a single organization?’


Yes, you can submit more than one LOI for a separate, distinct project.


Alright, another question here. 


‘Can cubic yards be used versus pounds?’


Yes, but please also try to estimate the total weight in pounds as well.


Another question. 


‘Can a project proposal be submitted to scale up a project currently funded by the NOAA Bipartisan Infrastructure Law?’


So, funding is primarily aimed at supporting new or impactful removal efforts or programs that require funding to scale up or expand their existing removal efforts to achieve those broader and more impactful outcomes. So, the proposals that scale up projects that were funded through the previous Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Marine Debris Removal Competition are allowed but the proposals must clearly indicate how additional funding will lead to outcomes above and beyond what was considered through the previous grant application.


Alright another question.


‘Will commercial for-profit businesses with expertise and salvage be encouraged to show recent or past performance and will it help with proposal score?’


So, all applicants are asked to describe their technical capabilities and should include a description of necessary experience, training, facilities, and administrative resources to meet proposal objectives. So for more specific information about the LOI and proposal scoring you can see the evaluation criteria in the notice of funding opportunity.


Okay, another question. 

‘I understand that LOIs must be accepted before a full proposal is invited but is it true there will be no reply to LOIs or acknowledgement of receipt unless invited for a proposal?’


So, an email confirmation will be sent indicating successful submission of the LOI. If there's no confirmation email received that is an indication that the LOI submission was not successful and will not be reviewed. In such cases, please contact the NOAA Marine Debris Program to resolve that issue prior to the deadline.


Okay another question


‘If awarded, will funds be available at award?’


So, the earliest anticipated start date for awards will be August 1st 2024. So applicants should consider this date when developing plans for initiating proposed project activities. Applicants selected to receive funding may be also asked to modify the project start date to accommodate any delays in federal funding or environmental compliance consultations as well.


‘Does allowing a woman-owned small business to participate in the project address the underserved community?’


Yes, this could be considered as addressing an underserved community. However, please closely refer to the notice of funding opportunity which includes important additional details including that greater consideration will be given to projects that propose to work in areas with underserved communities that have been historically marginalized and overburdened by pollution as well as that priority will also be given to removal projects that fully meet the other priorities of this competition and describe that meaningful engagement with tribal or underserved communities.


I think that addresses oh maybe there's one more question here.


‘Will NOAA focus more on recreational craft removal or derelict barges removal?’


So the answer there is priority will be placed on proposals that clearly demonstrate the beneficial impacts the removal project will have on NOAA Trust resources and the surrounding coastal environment or community. NOAA Trust Resources generally refer to marine and Great Lakes habitats and resources in which NOAA has a stewardship interest.


Okay, so I think that addresses all of the questions. If we did not get to your question, please note we will either follow up with you directly via email if it's more specific to a specific project idea you have. We are recording them and we'll be sure to address those questions after the webinar as well.


Alright let me switch back to the presentation.


[SLIDE 27] So again we just hope we have provided helpful information that you might have had today and answered any questions you may have had.


If you have other questions specific to your project or if questions come up following this webinar please feel free to reach out to the NOAA Marine Debris Program Grants team email that's grants.marinedebris@noaa.gov.


If you have project-based questions related to a particular region of your proposed work please reach out to the regional coordinator in the area the work is being proposed and again here's that regional contact list if you need it. 


[SLIDE 28] Again this is also available on our website. If you need to jot it out for a few more seconds.


[SLIDE 29] Alright and as a reminder this webinar has been recorded and will be available on our website as soon as possible. We do thank you all for your participation this afternoon and hope you have a great rest of your day. Thank you.