America's Marine Highway Grants
Mitigate landside congestion, expand transportation options, and realize public benefit and external cost savings by awarding Marine Highway grants to qualified applicants to implement designated Marine Highway projects.
General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Maritime Administration, Department of Transportation
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Fiscal Year 2016
The Marine Highway Open Season “Call for Projects” was published in April 2016 and is currently open. The Office of Marine Highways will review applications on a rolling basis every 6 months until December 31, 2018. These projects represent concepts for new services or expansion of existing Marine Highway services that have the potential to offer public benefits and long-term sustainability without long-term Federal support. These projects receive preferential treatment for any future federal assistance from the Department of Transportation and MARAD. The projects will help start new businesses or expand existing ones to move more freight or passengers along America’s coastlines and waterways.Fiscal Year 2017
The Office of Marine Highways will review applications on a rolling basis every 6 months until December 31, 2018.Fiscal Year 2018
The Office of Marine Highways will review applications on a rolling basis every 6 months until October 5, 2018.
2016 National Defense Authorization Act, Public Law 114-113, U.S.C.
2010 National Defense Authorization Act (Section 3515), Public Law 111-84, 46 Section 55601(g) U.S.C. 55601 (g)
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Grant applicants must be public agencies at the state, regional or local level including, but not limited to, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, State governments (including State Departments of Transportation) and port authorities. They must also have had their projects for which they are requesting funds be designated as "Marine Highway Projects" by the Secretary of Transportation under America's Marine Highway Program (110th Congress, Public Law 110-140). In order to receive a grant under this program, applicants must submit an application to the Secretary and demonstrate that the project is financially viable, the funds will be spent efficiently and effectively, and that a market exists for the services of the proposed project as evidenced by contracts or written statements of intent from potential customers. An applicant shall provide at least 20 percent of the project costs from non-Federal sources. In awarding grants under the program, the Secretary shall give a preference to those projects or components that present the most financially viable transportation services and require the lowest percentage Federal share of the costs.'' Eligible applicants include those entities defined within OMB 2 CFR 200 excluding Federal agencies due to matching-fund regulatory requirements.
Eligible beneficiaries include those entities defined in OMB 2CFR 200.
The following documentation is required: 1. First page of application: A. Marine Highway Project name (as stated in the Department's Letter of Designation) B. Primary point of contact for applicant C. Amount of dollars of Grant Funds the applicant is seeking, sources and share of other matching funds. D. Summary of what the grant funding will be used for E. Project parties F. Recipients of Marine Highway grants and their first-tier sub-awardees will be required to have a DUNS number (http://www.dnb.com) and a current registration in the Central Contractor Registration (http://www.ccr.gov). While these items do not need to be provided as part of the application, a Marine Highway Grant will not be awarded if a recipient or first-tier sub-awardee does not have these items. 2. Contact Information: An application should include the name, phone number, e-mail address and organization address of the primary point of contact for the applicant. The Department will use this information to inform parties of the Department's decision regarding selection of grantees, as well as to contact parties in the event that the Department needs additional information about the application. 3. Grant Funds and Sources and Uses of Project Funds: An application should include information about the amount of grant funding requested, sources and uses of all project funds, total project costs, percentage of project costs that would paid for with Marine Highway Grant funds and the identity and percentage shares of all parties providing funds for the project (including Federal funds provided under other programs). 4. Selection Criteria: In general, applications will be evaluated based on the information provided in the original application for designation as a Marine Highway Project as set forth in the (final rule). However, as addressed in section (IV) "Selection Criteria" of this notice, applicants may provide additional information. This information should be provided in the order it was solicited in the (final rule). 5. National Environmental Policy Act Requirement: An application must detail whether the project will significantly impact the natural, social and/or economic environment. If the NEPA process is completed, an applicant must indicate the date of, and provide a Web site link or other reference to, the final Categorical Exclusion, Finding of No Significant Impact or Record of Decision. If the NEPA process is underway but not complete, the application must detail where the project is in the process, indicate the anticipated date of completion and provide a website link or other reference to copies of any NEPA documents prepared. 6. Environmentally Related Federal, State and Local Actions: An application must indicate whether the proposed project is likely to require actions by other agencies (e.g., permits), indicate the status of such actions and provide a website link or other reference to materials submitted to the other agencies, and/or demonstrate compliance with other Federal, State and local regulations as applicable. 7. Certification Requirements: In order for an application to be considered for a grant award, the Chief Executive Officer of the applicant is required to certify, in writing, to the following: A. That, except as noted in this grant application, nothing has changed from the original application for formal designation as a Marine Highway Project. B. The project sponsor will administer the project and any funds received will be spent efficiently and effectively. C. Applicants will provide information, data and reports as required by the grantor
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Preapplication coordination is required. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. An environmental impact assessment is not required for this listing. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review. As stated in the Notice of Funding Opportunity, “Section 55601 of Title 46 of the United States Code directs the Secretary to establish a short sea transportation grant program to implement projects or components of designated projects. “ The Final Rule for America’s Marine Highway Program (46 CFR Part 393) provides the criteria to submit an application to become a designated Marine Highway Project. From the Notice of Funding Availability, “Requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) may apply. Applicants should consult 40 CFR Section 1500 if there are any questions regarding NEPA requirements. An application must detail whether the project will significantly impact the natural, social and/or economic environment. If the NEPA process is completed, an applicant must indicate the date of, and provide a Web site link or other reference to, the final Categorical Exclusion, Finding of No Significant Impact or Record of Decision. If the NEPA process is underway but not complete, the application must detail where the project is in the process, indicate the anticipated date of completion and provide a website link or other reference to copies of any NEPA documents prepared.”
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. See guidance provided herein throughout.
All applicable Federal laws, rules and regulations will apply to projects that receive Marine Highway Grants or Cooperative Agreements. How soon after award a project is expected to expend Grant Funds and start construction, acquisition or procurement will be considered on a case-by case basis and will be specified in the project-specific grant agreement. The Department reserves the right to revoke any award of Marine Highway Grant funds and to award such funds to another project to the extent that such funds are not timely expended and in accordance with the project schedule.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 30 to 60 days. Contingent on publication date. The end date is 4 weeks following publication
The Department's ability to obligate funds for Marine Highway Grants and Cooperative Agreements is dependent upon current available appropriations. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 (Public Law 114-113) signed by the President on December 18, 2015 appropriated $5,000,000 for the Short Sea Transportation Program.
How are proposals selected?
Three criteria will be considered in the evaluation process, which were established in the final rule. This information will have been provided by applicants during the project designation process. No additional applicant input is required to address these criteria. These criteria establish the degree to which projects are expected to: 1. Reduce external cost and provide public benefit, 2. Offer a lower-cost alternative to increasing land-based capacity in the Corridor, and 3. Demonstrate the likelihood of becoming self-supporting in a specified and reasonable timeframe. Applicants may, however opt to provide additional information specific to the above criteria if they desire. In evaluating this option, applicants should consider paragraph (g)(2)(B) of section 3515 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2010, which requires that, in order to receive a grant under the program, the following factors will be taken into consideration: 1. Applicants shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Secretary that the funds received will be spent efficiently and effectively, 2. Applicants shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Secretary that a market exists for the services of the proposed project as evidenced by contracts or written statements of intent from potential customers, 3. An applicant shall provide at least 20 percent costs from non-Federal sources, and, 4. In awarding grants or cooperative agreements under the program, the Secretary shall give preference to those projects or components that present the most financially viable transportation services and require the lowest percentage Federal share of the costs. While the criteria above were generally addressed in the original Marine Highway Project application requirements (Section 393.4(e)1(G); Proposed Project Timeline; and (F)(ii) and (i); Business Planning, respectively), these more specific requirements may warrant submission of additional information in response to this Notice of Funding Availability. It is important that this information is available to the Department during the grant evaluation process.
How may assistance be used?
The assistance will be used to expand the use of water transportation using through designated Marine Highway Projects to create new or expand existing services along designated Marine Highway Routes.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Monthly per SF-425
In the section of the grant agreement cited "Other Reports in accordance with the purposes of the Recovery Act, the grantee may be required to submit additional information in responses to requests from DOT, OMB, the Congressional Budget Office, the Government Accountability Office of the DOT inspector General." The Government will inform recipients if and when such additional reports are required.
Records must be maintained as outlined in the Federal Acquisition Regulations and OMB A -136 (Financial Reporting Requirements).
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory Formula: Public Law 114-113
Matching is voluntary. 20%. Applicants are required to provide at least 20 percent of the project costs from non-Federal sources.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Applicants shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Secretary that the funds received will be spent efficiently and effectively. How soon after award a project is expected to expend Grant Funds and start construction, acquisition, or procurement will be considered on a case-by case basis and will be specified in the project-specific grant agreement. Grants are expended upon invoicing.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Maritime Administration Gateway Offices
Maritime Administration, Office of Marine Highways and Passenger Services, 1200 New Jersey Ave., Mail Stop 201
Washington, DC 20590 US
(Project Grants (Cooperative Agreements)) FY 18$4,500,000.00; FY 19 est $6,790,000.00; FY 20 est $0.00; FY 17$5,000,000.00; FY 16$5,000,000.00; - (Project Grants (Cooperative Agreements)) FY 18 FY 19 FY 20 -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Existing literature includes MARAD 2010-0035 (April 9, 2010). In addition, the Maritime Administration solicited a call for projects on April 15, 2010 (Federal Register, Vol. 75, No. 68; p. 18095).
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2016
Did not award projects in FY2016.Fiscal Year 2017
Port New York/New Jersey—Training Infrastructure for New York Harbor Container and Trailer for Barge Services; Commonwealth of Virginia – Richmond Marine Terminal Barge Service OptimizationFiscal Year 2019
Marine Highway Grants for the development and expansion of documented vessels, and port and landside infrastructure. Add Examples 1. Port and Terminal infrastructure including wharves, docks, terminals and paving, etc., 2. Cargo, passenger and/or vessel handling equipment, 3. Efficiency or capacity improvements in ports, terminals, aboard vessels and intermodal connectors, etc., 4. Investments that improve environmental sustainability, 5. New or used vessel purchase, lease, or modification, 6. Marine Highway demonstration projects of a limited duration, and 7. Planning, preparation and design efforts in support of Marine Highway Projects (However market related studies are ineligible to receive Marine Highway Grants