Marine Sanctuary Program


National marine sanctuaries conduct and support monitoring programs tailored to the information needs of each sanctuary. These programs target a wide array of topics involving natural processes, human influences on water, habitat, living resources and maritime archaeological resources. Research projects within the sanctuary system also allow scientists to address information needs that are not recognized through site characterization and monitoring.

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
Program Accomplishments
Not applicable.
Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972, Title 3, Public Law 92-532, 16 U.S.C. 1431
National Marine Sanctuaries Amendments Act of 2000, Public Law 106-513
National Marine Sanctuaries Preservation Act of 1996, Public Law 104-283
The National Marine Sanctuaries Act Section 311 (16 U.S.C. § 1442) authorizes ONMS to enter into agreements to carry out the purposes and policies of the Act. Section 316 (16 U.S.C. 1445.b.g.1) authorizes ONMS to enter into agreements with non-profit organizations to assist in the administration of the sanctuary sponsorship program.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Agreements to solicit private donations may only be made with nonprofit organizations.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Financial assistance is made for a public purpose. The ultimate beneficiary is the public. The scholarship program benefits individuals who do not have the financial means of pursuing graduate level studies and, in turn, ensures that women and minorities are representative in the areas supported by the scholarship program.
The applicants must provide all funding and related documentation in order to apply for a grant.
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 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. The standard application forms, as furnished by NOAA and required by 15 CFR Part 24, must be used when applying for Federal funding. These forms can be obtained from the NOAA Grants Management Division. Informal preapplication conferences are recommended. Consultation and assistance is available from NOAA in the preparation of an application. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372. For the scholarships to individuals, there is no preapplication requirement.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Applications must be submitted by due dates issued by the servicing agency and all applications must be done in good faith in order for the application to successfully approved by governmental agency attorneys and the grant office.
Award Procedure
Applications are required for competitive and non-competitive grants. Grantees must apply by the due date published in the announcement posted on Application packages must be submitted on time, be complete and meet minimum requirements in order to be considered for funding.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
More than 180 days. Up to 240 DAYS
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
1) Importance and/or relevance and applicability of proposal to the program goals; (2) Technical Merit; (3) Overall qualifications for applicants; (4) Project costs, and (5) Financial need of student
How may assistance be used?
ONMS funds grant recipients who work with the office on educational and outreach activities such as advisory councils, conferences and workshops that focus on ocean conservation.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: 200.328 The non federal entity must submit performance reports using OMB approved standard information collection when providing performance reports.
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
"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.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory Formula: Title Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 Chapter Title 3 Public Law Public Law 92-532 Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Typically, ONMS awards have a 1 year period of performance. However, applicants should rely on the funding announcements posted on for specific details pertaining to the financial assistance being sought. The Grants Officer will notify successful applicants in a written Award Notice when they have been selected for an award. Prior to official Grants Officer notification, other officials and employees from the operating unit are prohibited from either formally or informally notifying applicants verbally or in writing that they have been selected for awards. After consultation with the Program Officer, the Grants Officer shall determine the best method for notifying unsuccessful applicants. These notifications must be in writing. Specific details about this process can also be found in the specific funding announcements posted on
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Regional or Local Office. Local Offices at each sanctuary.
Headquarters Office
Joseph Faulkner
Joe T. Faulkner, Federal Program Officer
NOAA,Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
1305 East West Highway, SSMC4, Station 11653
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Telephone: 301-713-7241

Silver Spring, MD 20910 US
Phone: 301-713-7241
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Cooperative Agreements) FY 22$40,254,847.00; FY 23 est $16,067,784.00; FY 24 est $29,999,999.00; FY 21$8,787,528.00; FY 20$11,101,379.00; FY 16$9,501,000.00; FY 18 est $5,999,521.00; FY 17 est $7,608,471.00; - We are keeping this listing open in the event there are funds available in FY24. If there aren't funds in FY24, we plan on archiving this listing next year.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Not applicable/available.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Refer to 2 CFR 200.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2016 In Fiscal Year 2016 The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation will continue to receive funding for education and outreach events such as Capital Oceans Week, and several round tables on ocean conservation where National Marine Sanctuaries are located. The ONMS will provide grants for California BWET, Great Lake BWET, Pacific Northwest BWET and. Nancy Foster Scholarship will provide funds to graduate students of studies in ocean conservation and marine science. BWET Programs provides funds to educate students in each region on ocean science and conservation.,
Fiscal Year 2017 9546441
Fiscal Year 2022 FY 2022 - $40,254,847 for 6 new and existing projects.
Fiscal Year 2023 During FY 2022 – 2023, $16,067,784 was awarded to 55 new projects.
Fiscal Year 2024 FY24 - $16M for 55 new and existing awards. $20M to $30M for 3 – 5 IRA awards. Multiple awards are anticipated, subject to availability of funds