Marine Debris Program


To provide grants and cooperative agreements to help identify, determine sources of, assess, reduce, and prevent marine debris and its adverse impacts on the marine environment and navigation safety within the coastal United States and territories. Awards made under this program will remove marine debris from coastal habitats; explore non-regulatory incentives to reduce the quantity and impacts of derelict fishing gear; support regional coordination among marine debris practitioners, states, and tribes; conduct outreach and education activities aimed at preventing marine debris; develop interagency plans to respond to ?severe marine debris events?; assess debris composition, volume, and trajectory in different marine and coastal ecosystems; conduct research and development on marine debris impacts and distribution; and estimate the potential impacts of marine debris on coastal resources, habitats and economies.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants; Z - Salaries and Expenses
Program Accomplishments
Not applicable.
Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act, 33 U.S.C. 1951 - 1958
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Eligible applicants for assistance include 1) state and local governments including public universities and colleges; 2) U.S. territorial agencies and organizations; 3) federally and State-recognized Indian Tribal governments; 4) private universities and colleges; 5) private / commercial for-profit organizations; and 6) nonprofit research and conservation organizations.
Beneficiary Eligibility
This program benefits Federal, State, and interstate marine resource conservation and management agencies; U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States; U.S. and foreign commercial and recreational fishing industries; conservation organizations, academic institutions; international and Indian Tribal treaties; private and public research groups; consumers; and the general public.
Applicants are required to satisfy all DOC/NOAA standards and regulations as it relates to applying for and administering financial assistance, including routine and special terms and conditions, for financial assistance programs application and conduct.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. An environmental impact statement is required for this listing. 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.
Application Procedure
This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.
Award Procedure
Proposals are evaluated by the appropriate NOAA subject matter experts, and are subject to review for technical merit, soundness of design, competency of the applicant to perform the proposed work, potential contribution of the project to national or regional goals, and appropriateness and reasonableness of proposed costs. Projects approved for funding will be submitted to the NOAA Grants Management Division and the Department of Commerce's Office of Federal Assistance for review and approval.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
More than 180 days. Refer to the federal funding opportunities posted on for specific submission and deadline information.
Not applicable.
From 60 to 90 days. Grants and cooperative agreements are approved on an annual basis. Financial assistance may be continued beyond the original project period, but cannot exceed 5 years. Such extensions depend on NOAA approval of the project's scope of work, satisfactory progress toward project goals, and availability of agency funds. Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the sole discretion of the Department.
How are proposals selected?
Applications for marine debris removal projects are funded through competitive solicitations for proposals, non-competitive awards, or unsolicited applications for which no competition exists. Proposals are evaluated by at least three individual technical reviewers and scored according to the criteria and weights described in the specific funding opportunity description. These criteria are: Importance and Applicability; Technical/Scientific Merit; Overall Qualifications of Applicants; Project Costs; and Outreach and Education. Reviewer comments, composite project scores, and a rank order of reviewed proposals are presented to the NOAA Marine Debris Program Selecting Official. The Selecting Official, in consultation with NOAA Marine Debris Program staff, will identify the proposals to be recommended to the NOAA Grants Management Division for funding and will determine the amount of funds available for each approved proposal.
How may assistance be used?
Financial assistance can be used to support the implementation of locally-driven marine debris projects that achieve the objectives of the program listed above. These generally include prevention, identification and assessment, research, and removal projects including reducing and preventing fishing gear loss that will benefit coastal habitat, waterways, and NOAA trust resources. Education and outreach projects directed at stakeholders and the general public are also high priorities for this program.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: Performance monitoring is required as referenced in 2 CFR 200.328 and other associated terms and conditions applicable at the time of award.
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, nonfederal 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
Generally, a recipient is required to retain records relating to a particular grant for three years from the date of submission of the final financial report. In cases where litigation, claim or an audit is initiated prior to expiration of the three-year period, records must be retained until the action and resolution of any issues associated with it are complete or until the end of the three-year retention period; whichever is latest.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching is voluntary. 50%. The Marine Debris Act Section 3 (c) (2) (a) requires that Federal funds for any grant under this section must not exceed 50 percent of the total cost of such project. The non-Federal share of project costs may be provided by in-kind contributions and other non-cash support. The Marine Debris Act allows the NOAA Administrator to waive all or part of the matching requirement in certain instances.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Award periods are normally for 12-24 months, but may vary. Award funds must be spent in the indicated budget period and expended in accordance with DOC/NOAA finance and reporting procedures. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded / released. Funds are released as needed through the Department of Treasury’s Automated Standard Application for Payments (ASAP) or by reimbursement, as indicated in the Standard Terms and Conditions document required for each grant.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None/Not specified.
Headquarters Office
Kadija Baffoe-Harding
1305 East West Highway
SSMC 4 Rm 13267
Silver Spring, MD 20910 US
Phone: 301-713-3050
Fax: 301-713-4292
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Salaries and Expenses) FY 17 est $2,213,514.00; FY 16$1,944,901.00; FY 18 est $2,000,000.00;
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Range: $15,000 - $250,000 Average: $90,000
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Not applicable.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


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