Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Funding, Deadline Sept. 28

This Request for Applications (RFA) solicits applications from eligible entities for grants and/or cooperative agreements to be awarded pursuant to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan II ( http://greatlakesrestoration.us/actionplan/pdfs/glri-action-plan-2.pdf).  This RFA is EPA’s major competitive grant funding opportunity under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (“GLRI” or “Initiative”) for FY 2015 and is one of several funding opportunities available through federal agencies under the GLRI.  Applications are requested for projects within the five categories listed below.

Invasive Species Prevention (EPA-R5-GL2015-ISP)

The Great Lakes remain vulnerable to the introduction of new invasive species. A number of pathways, such as ballast water from commercial shipping, are being addressed through regional and national programs. However, innovative approaches are still needed to reduce the risk from a variety of pathways including, but not limited to, movement through canals and waterways; accidental contamination of nursery, water garden, and live bait products; uninformed use of invasive species in landscaping and water gardens; and internet sales of invasive species. EPA expects to provide approximately $2.5 million for approximately 5 to 8 projects in amounts up to a maximum of $500,000 that block pathways of invasive species introductions into the Great Lakes ecosystem.

Projects submitted in this category must implement activities that actively reduce the risk of introduction of invasive species, as opposed to projects that perform basic research or “proof of concept” testing of prevention methodologies/technologies.

Invasive Species Control (EPA-R5-GL2015-ISC)

Progress toward restoring the Great Lakes has been significantly undermined by the effects of non-native invasive species. However, many invasive species can be controlled to reduce their impacts on the Great Lakes ecosystem. There is an ongoing need for enhancing the capacity for managing invasive species in the Great. Funding for on-the-ground and in-the-water control projects can greatly assist ecological restoration and help create long-term stewardship programs. Applicants are responsible for the maintenance of these significantly improved project sites after the initial funding period has ended.

EPA expects to provide approximately $5,200,000 for approximately 8 to 12 projects in amounts up to a maximum of $650,000 that control invasive species and initiate long-term stewardship of project sites.  Projects submitted in this category must implement on-the-ground and/or in-the-water invasive species control actions and result in acres of invasive species controlled, rather than perform basic research or “proof of concept” testing of control methodologies/technologies. Up to 20% of the federal share of the project budget may be used to retreat areas that were previously treated by GLRI-funded projects.

Urban Watershed Management Implementation (EPA-R5-GL2015-UWM)

Nearshore water quality has increasingly become degraded, as evidenced by excessive nutrients; harmful algal blooms; mats of Cladophora on beaches; avian botulism; and beach closings. Causes of these problems include excessive nutrient loadings from both point and nonpoint sources, bacteria and other pathogens, development and shoreline hardening, agricultural practices, failing septic systems, improper grey-water discharge, increased frequency and intensity of storm events due to climate change, and invasive species. Nonpoint sources are now the primary contributors of many pollutants to the Great Lakes and their tributaries. Implementation of best management practices addressing those sources can have multiple benefits, including simultaneous reductions in runoff of soils, nutrients, pesticides, and other nonpoint source pollutants.

EPA expects to provide approximately $2,700,000 for approximately 6 to 10 projects to reduce nonpoint source pollution from urban areas to the Great Lakes.  The maximum amount of federal funds that will be awarded for any project in this category is $500,000. For the purposes of this announcement, an eligible urban watershed is defined as including urban and downtown areas, city neighborhoods, suburban municipalities, and exurban communities and unincorporated areas characterized by encroaching urban sprawl where the urban land use has a documented impact on water quality. Proposed project locations must be located within the same HUC12 subwatershed where the documented water quality problem occurs.

Projects submitted in this category must address an urban nonpoint source problem. Proposals are limited to projects implementing an urban component(s) of existing watershed-based plans that are consistent with the components outlined in EPA’s Nine Elements Guidance. Such plans are designed to address documented nonpoint source-related water quality problems and to help prevent future nonpoint source water quality-related problems. The plans are based upon sound science and evaluation techniques; have measurable outcomes; are developed with stakeholder/public involvement; and leverage additional resources. See the following links for approved Nine-Element Watershed Management Plans or information about the plans:

•  Michigan: http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,1607,7-135-3313_3682_3714—,00.html (Follow the NPS  Approved and Pending Watershed Plans link.)

Agricultural Watershed Management Implementation (EPA-R5-GL2015-AWM)

Nearshore water quality has become degraded, as evidenced by excessive nutrients; harmful algal blooms; mats of Cladophora on beaches; avian botulism; and beach closings. Causes of these problems include excessive nutrient loadings from both point and nonpoint sources, bacteria and other pathogens, development and shoreline hardening, agricultural practices, failing septic systems, improper grey-water discharge, increased frequency and intensity of storm events due to climate change, and invasive species. Nonpoint sources are now the primary contributors of nutrients and sediments to the Great Lakes and their tributaries. Implementation of best management practices addressing those sources can have multiple benefits, including decreasing surface runoff with simultaneous reductions in runoff of soils, nutrients, pesticides, and other nonpoint source pollutants.

EPA expects to provide approximately $3,000,000 for approximately 6 to 8 projects to reduce nonpoint source pollution to the Great Lakes.  The maximum amount of federal funds that will be awarded for any project in this category is $500,000.  Projects submitted in this category must be projects implementing agricultural best management practices or management measures from watershed-based plans that are consistent with the components outlined in EPA’s Nine Elements Guidance. Such plans are designed to address documented nonpoint source-related water quality problems and to help prevent future agricultural nonpoint source water quality-related problems. The plans are based upon sound science and evaluation techniques; have measurable outcomes; are developed with stakeholder/public involvement; and leverage additional resources. See the following links for approved Nine-Element Watershed Management Plans or information about the plans:
•  Michigan: http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,1607,7-135-3313_3682_3714—,00.html (Follow the NPS  Approved and Pending Watershed Plans link.)

Maumee River Watershed Nutrient Prevention Pilot Project (EPA-R5-GL2015-MNP)

This pilot initiative seeks to increase the longevity and cost-effectiveness of nutrient discharge reduction measures in the Maumee River watershed by investing in permanent land conservation easements2 and other measures that support long-term nutrient reduction. EPA expects to provide approximately $1,000,000 for up to 2 projects in this category.

Funding/Awards: Approximately $13.9 million may be awarded in total as grants and/or cooperative agreements under this RFA for up to about 40 projects in the five categories listed above, contingent upon funding availability, the quality of applications received and other applicable considerations.  However, EPA expressly reserves the right to make no awards under a particular category or to adjust the number of awards originally anticipated under a specific category.

Proposed projects must be limited to the project duration identified for the respective categories.  Awards may be fully or incrementally funded.  All incrementally funded awards will be subject to the availability of funding, future appropriations, satisfactory performance of work, and other applicable considerations.  Applicants may submit applications under each funding opportunity number listed above and multiple applications per funding opportunity number, provided that each application is for a different project, is submitted separately, and each application cannot address more than one category.

  • Monday, September 28, 2015 –Applications must be submitted to EPA through http://www.grants.gov by 10:59 p.m. Central Daylight Time / 11:59 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time.  See Section IV for further submission information.
  • October 2015 (tentative) – EPA will begin notifying finalists.
  • December 2015 (tentative) – EPA will begin making official awards.
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Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Funding, Deadline Sept. 28

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