OLYMPIA, Wash. - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is soliciting applications for land acquisition projects (fee simple interest or conservation easements) through their Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP). The purpose is protection of coastal and estuarine areas that have significant value or that are threatened by conversion. Applications must be submitted through the Department of Ecology.
CELCP was authorized “for the purpose of protecting important coastal and estuarine areas that have significant conservation, recreation, ecological, historical, or aesthetic values, or that are threatened by conversion from their natural, undeveloped, or recreational state to other uses.”
The CELCP helps advance the national goals and priorities of the Coastal Zone Management Administration, including:
- Protection of coastal ecosystems, including wetlands, corals, and natural shorelines;
- Preservation of natural features that provide storm protection such as dunes and barrier islands;
- Minimizing loss of life and property by directing development out of high risk areas;
- Safeguarding coastal water quality;
- Preservation of historic, cultural, and archaeological features;
- Protection of aesthetic coastal features such as scenic vistas; and
- Providing opportunities for public access to the coast.
A couple of highlights:
- A total of about $3 million is anticipated nationwide. Individual applications are expected to be between $100,000 and $1 million.
- Ecology can “sponsor” two applications.
- There is a 50% match requirement.
- The grants start date is expected to be July 1-Oct 1 2014, and projects are expected to be able to complete in 18 months (although extension is possible under certain conditions).
- Applications must be submitted by November 15, 2013.
- Eligible entities are local governments, tribes, DNR, DFW, State Parks and Padilla Bay.
That is a very brief synopsis of the extensive announcement. Anyone interested please contact Chris Hempleman, WA Dept. of Ecology at 360-407-0239. Visit NOAA’s website for additional information.