Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Comprehensive Plan Component Program

 

The primary objective of this program is to disburse funds to eligible entities for the purpose of restoring and protecting the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, coastal wetlands, and economy of the Gulf Coast region using the best available science. Projects and programs must achieve one or more of the seven objectives listed in the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Initial Comprehensive Plan: (1) Restore, Enhance and Protect Habitats, (2) Restore, Improve, and Protect Water Resources, (3) Protect and Restore Living Coastal and Marine Resources, (4) Restore and Enhance Natural Processes and Shorelines, (5) Promote Community Resilience, (6) Promote Natural Resource Stewardship and Environmental Education, and (7) Improve Science-Based Decision-Making Processes.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Active
Program Number
87.051
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Not Applicable.
Authorization
Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States (RESTORE) Act of 2012, Sec. 1603(2); 33 U.S.C. 1321(t)(2)., Section 1603, Public Law 112-112-141, 126 Stat. 588, 33 U.S.C 1321(t)(2).
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
The Council will periodically request proposals from its eleven state and federal members. The Council members are the only entities eligible to submit proposals. The RESTORE Council does not award Council-Selected Restoration Component grants directly to other entities or individuals. Under the RESTORE Act, Council members are the Governors of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Secretaries of the U.S. Departments of the Interior, Commerce, Agriculture, Homeland Security, and Army. When selecting projects and programs to be prioritized for funding under the Comprehensive Plan, the Council assigns primary authority and responsibility for overseeing and implementing projects and programs to a Gulf Coast state or federal agency represented on the Council. Council members may select sub-recipients to carryout approved projects or programs. Interested third parties may contact the Council members listed above to learn more about how the eligible entities select proposed activities.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Beneficiaries are the people, wildlife, and natural resources of the Gulf Coast region.
Credentials/Documentation
The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Initial Comprehensive Plan, August 2013, applies to this program. Department of the Treasury Regulations for the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund, 31 CFR Part 34, publication date of the Interim Final Rule August 15, 2014 (79 FR 48039) (publication date of the Final Rule TBD), applies to this program. All proposals must demonstrate that best available science has been taken into consideration and must clearly articulate how it meets each part of the definition of best available science provided by the RESTORE Act. Best available science is defined in the RESTORE Act as science that (A) maximizes the quality, objectivity, and integrity of information, including statistical information; (B) uses peer-reviewed and publicly available data; and (C) clearly documents and communicates risks and uncertainties in the scientific basis for such projects. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
To receive funding under the Council-Selected Restoration Component, Council members must take part in a two-phase submission and application process. Both phases of the submission and application process must be completed before a member will receive an official award from the Council and be able to receive funding. This process is explained in the Notice of Application Process, published May 4, 2015 (80 FR 25294). An environmental impact assessment is required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Eligible applicants will submit proposals for projects and programs to the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council who will select projects and programs to be included in the Funded Priorities List (FPL) Addendum to the Initial Comprehensive Plan. A Request for Applications (RFA) will be published on Grants.gov, and, after publication of the FPL addendum to the Initial Comprehensive Plan, eligible entities must submit grant or interagency agreement application documents as specified in the RFA.
Award Procedure
Applications are approved by the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council.
Deadlines
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
> 180 Days. Projects and programs submitted to be included in the FPL Addendum to the Comprehensive Plan must be reviewed for eligibility, technical completeness, compliance with submission requirements, best available science, and environmental readiness. Projects are selected for inclusion on the FPL and published for public comment. The final FPL Addendum is then published upon approval by the Council. After the FPL Addendum publication, eligible entities must submit a complete application package to request funding for individual approved projects. Required application materials will be specified in the RFA, publication TBD. Applications are reviewed and approved by the Council.
Appeals
No formal procedure. If an application is unacceptable, the applicant is fully informed and the applicant may submit a revised application.
Renewals
Not Applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Focus and emphasis areas will be used to help ensure that the Funded Priorities List (FPL) represents a focused, integrated, and efficient use of currently available funds. Proposals for inclusion in the initial FPL should discuss how the proposed activity is designed primarily to address habitat or water quality. Proposals should also address the following emphasis areas:
1.How a project/program is foundational in the sense that it forms the initial core steps in addressing a significant ecosystem issue and that future projects can be tiered to substantially increase the benefits;
2.How a project/program will be sustainable over time;
3.Why a project/program is likely to succeed; and
4.Whether and how a project/program benefits the human community.
These Focus Areas and Emphasis Areas may be modified for subsequent amendments to the FPL.

Pursuant to the Initial Comprehensive Plan of the RESTORE Council and RESTORE Act, all proposals must include and address elements of the six subsections below.

(1). Initial Comprehensive Plan Goals:
Proposals must identify which goals the proposal will address. A proposal sponsor must select a single primary goal. Multiple secondary goals are encouraged to be identified.
1.Restore and Conserve Habitat – Restore and conserve the health, diversity and resilience of key coastal, estuarine and marine habitats.
2.Restore Water Quality – Restore and protect water quality of the Gulf Coast region’s fresh, estuarine and marine waters.
3.Replenish and Protect Living Coastal and Marine Resources – Restore and protect healthy, diverse and sustainable living coastal and marine resources.
4.Enhance Community Resilience – Build upon and sustain communities with capacity to adapt to short- and long-term changes.
5.Restore and Revitalize the Gulf Economy – Enhance the sustainability and resiliency of the Gulf economy.

(2). Initial Comprehensive Plan Objectives:
Proposals must clearly identify which objectives from the Initial Comprehensive Plan the proposal will address. A proposal sponsor must select a single primary objective. Multiple secondary objectives are encouraged to be identified.
1.Restore, Enhance, and Protect Habitats.
2.Restore, Improve, and Protect Water Resources.
3.Protect and Restore Living Coastal and Marine Resources.
4.Restore and Enhance Natural Processes and Shorelines.
5.Promote Community Resilience.
6.Promote Natural Resource Stewardship and Environmental Education.
7.Improve Science-Based Decision-Making Processes.

(3). RESTORE Act and Initial Comprehensive Plan Priority Criteria:
All proposals must explain if the proposal addresses one or more of the priority criteria as established by the RESTORE Act and Initial Comprehensive Plan and, if so, how.
1.Projects that are projected to make the greatest contribution to restoring and protecting the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, and coastal wetlands of the Gulf Coast region, without regard to geographic location within the Gulf Coast region.
2.Large-scale projects and programs that are projected to substantially contribute to restoring and protecting the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, and coastal wetlands of the Gulf Coast ecosystem.
3.Projects contained in existing Gulf Coast State comprehensive plans for the restoration and protection of natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, and coastal wetlands of the Gulf Coast region.
4.Projects that restore long-term resiliency of the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, and coastal wetlands most impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

(4). Initial Comprehensive Plan Commitments:
All proposals must demonstrate how the proposal will achieve any or all of the commitments in the Initial Comprehensive Plan. The commitments in the Initial Comprehensive Plan are as follows:
1.Science-based Decision-Making
2.Regional Ecosystem-based Approach to Restoration
3.Engagement, Inclusion, and Transparency
4.Leveraging Resources and Partnerships
5.Delivering Results and Measuring Impacts

(5). Science:
All proposals must demonstrate that best available science has been taken into consideration and must clearly articulate how it meets each part of the definition of best available science provided by the RESTORE Act. Best available science is defined in the RESTORE Act as science that (A) maximizes the quality, objectivity, and integrity of information, including statistical information; (B) uses peer-reviewed and publicly available data; and (C) clearly documents and communicates risks and uncertainties in the scientific basis for such projects.

(6). Environmental Compliance:
All proposed projects and programs must list, using a checklist that will be provided by the Council, all applicable environmental compliance requirements with the associated proposal, as well as the status of those compliance requirements.
How may assistance be used?
The primary objective of this program is to disburse funds to eligible entities for the purpose of restoring and protecting the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, coastal wetlands, and economy of the Gulf Coast region using the best available science. All projects, programs, and activities must be eligible activities pursuant to clauses (i) and (ii) of 33 U.S.C. 1321(t)(1)(B). Proposals must identify which Comprehensive Plan goals the proposal will address. A proposal sponsor must select a single primary goal. Multiple secondary goals are encouraged to be identified. The Comprehensive Plan goals are as follows. 1. Restore and Conserve Habitat – Restore and conserve the health, diversity and resilience of key coastal, estuarine and marine habitats. 2. Restore Water Quality – Restore and protect water quality of the Gulf Coast region’s fresh, estuarine and marine waters. 3. Replenish and Protect Living Coastal and Marine Resources – Restore and protect healthy, diverse and sustainable living coastal and marine resources. 4. Enhance Community Resilience – Build upon and sustain communities with capacity to adapt to short- and long-term changes. 5. Restore and Revitalize the Gulf Economy – Enhance the sustainability and resiliency of the Gulf economy. Proposals also must clearly identify which Comprehensive Plan objectives the proposal will address. A proposal sponsor must select a single primary objective. Multiple secondary objectives are encouraged to be identified. The Comprehensive Plan objectives are as follows: 1. Restore, Enhance, and Protect Habitats; 2. Restore, Improve, and Protect Water Resources, 3. Protect and Restore Living Coastal and Marine Resources, 4. Restore and Enhance Natural Processes and Shorelines, 5. Promote Community Resilience, 6. Promote Natural Resource Stewardship and Environmental Education, and 7. Improve Science-Based Decision-Making Processes. Additional information may be found in the Initial Comprehensive Plan. Projects must be listed in the Funded Priorities List Addendum to the Initial Comprehensive Plan in order to be eligible for funding. Not more than 3 percent of the amounts received by a Gulf Coast State may be used for administrative costs, as defined in the Department of the Treasury Regulations for the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund, 31 CFR Part 34, publication of Interim Final Rule August 15, 2014 (79 FR 48039); (publication of Final Rule TBD).
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Reporting
Individual awards and agreements will specify if and when program reports are required. Individual awards and agreements will specify if and when cash reports are required. Progress reports are required semiannually, unless the risk assessment of the applicant and/or subapplicant indicate that more frequent reports are required. Financial status reports are required semiannually, unless the risk assessment of the applicant and/or subapplicant indicate that more frequent reports are required. Individual awards and agreements will specify performance monitoring requirements. Recipients are responsible for oversight of the operations of award supported activities, including monitoring of subrecipients, to assure that compliance with applicable Federal requirements and performance expectations are being achieved.
Auditing
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.
Records
All financial and programmatic records, supporting documents, statistical reports, and other records of recipients or sub-recipients are required to be maintained by the terms of the award. The recipient must retain records for three years from the date when the final expenditure report is submitted.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
This program has no statutory formula.
This program has no matching requirements.
This program does not have MOE requirements.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Project periods are specified in the grant award and interagency agreement documents. Funds are disbursed on a reimbursement basis, although advances may be authorized as specified in 2 CFR Chapter i, Chapter II, Part 200. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: lump sum.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None.
Headquarters Office
Kristin Smith 500 Poydras St, Suite 1117, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130 Email: kristin.smith@restorethegulf.gov Phone: 504-444-3558
Website Address
http://www.restorethegulf.gov
Financial Information
Account Identification
95-1770-0-1-452.
Obligations
(Project Grants) FY 14 $0; FY 15 est $0; and FY 16 est $139,600,000
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
No data available.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Department of the Treasury Regulations for the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund, 31 CFR Part 34, publication date of the Interim Final Rule August 15, 2014 (79 FR 48039); publication date of the Final Rule TBD.
The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Initial Comprehensive Plan, August 2013.
2 CFR Part 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, (December 26, 2013).
Council Member Proposal Submission Guidelines For Comprehensive Plan Funded Priorities List of Projects and Programs, July 2014, available at www.restorethegulf.gov.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not Applicable.