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Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation
Introduction
The Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program, or CELCP, is a federal grant program to provide funding to states for coastal conservation land acquisitions. Grants for CELCP acquisitions are awarded on the basis of a national-level competition, and are subject to annual appropriations for CELCP. Federal funds for CELCP projects must be matched at least 1:1 by non-federal funds. Only state agencies and local governments authorized to hold title to conservation lands are eligible to apply for CELCP funds.

The Oregon Coastal Management Program (OCMP) is the “lead agency” in Oregon for implementing CELCP. As the lead agency, the OCMP developed and submitted to NOAA a draft Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Plan, and therefore Oregon is eligible to submit proposals for CELCP funding. The OCMP also manages a process to solicit, select, and submit eligible projects in Oregon for the national-level competition. The result of the national competition is a ranked list of CELCP projects from all participating states, which is used to select projects that will receive funding. The demand for CELCP funding is always far more than the level of funding available, and in general, the highest-scoring projects on the ranked list receive funding. A portion of CELCP funds are reserved for projects that improve National Estuarine Research Reserves. Since 2002, annual federal funding levels for CELCP have ranged from about $1 to $50 million.

Four coastal conservation land acquisitions in Oregon have been funded by CELCP, for a total of a little over $4.9 million. Oregon’s CELCP projects are at Fort Stevens State Park in Clatsop County, in Tillamook Bay in Tillamook County, Big Creek in Lane County, and at the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve in Coos County. More details on the national scope of CELCP are available at
NOAA’s CELCP website.

The criteria for CELCP projects and the national-level review and selection process are described in the CELCP Program Guidelines and the Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity for projects in 2014, both of which are available by link below. Projects selected for CELCP funding must: 

  • Protect important coastal and estuarine areas that have significant conservation, recreation, ecological, historical, or aesthetic values, or that are threatened by conversion from their natural or recreational state to other uses;
  • Give priority to lands that can be effectively managed and protected and that have significant ecological value; and
  • Directly advance the goals and objectives of the state or territory’s CELCP plan, coastal management program, National Estuarine Research Reserve management plan, or a regional or state watershed protection plan.
 
Additional details on the national criteria are available in the CELCP Guidelines.

 
CELCP Solicitation for FY 2014
In September 2013, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released an Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity for CELCP projects in 2014. Funding for projects under this competition still depends on a congressional appropriation for CELCP in the budget for federal fiscal year (FY) 2014. NOAA anticipates an appropriation of about $3 million. Should CELCP receive funding for 2014, projects selected for funding under this competition are anticipated to have a grant start date between July 1 and October 1, 2014.

States that submitted draft CELCP plan to NOAA before September 15, 2013 are eligible to participate in the FY 2012 funding opportunity. Oregon submitted a draft CELCP Plan to NOAA in December 2005, and a revised version in July 2007. Oregon’s
revised draft CELCP Plan (version 5.0) provides the basis for Oregon’s participation in this FY 2014 funding opportunity.

Under the
CELCP Guidelines, states may solicit CELCP project proposals from qualified entities upon notice of the availability of CELCP funds. In September 2013 the OCMP notified state agencies, local governments, and other interested parties in Oregon of the FY 2014 national solicitation. (Here is a link to the OCMP solicitation.) The OCMP solicitation directed interested parties to websites (including this one) for further information and materials to use to prepare an application for CELCP funding. Links below provide access to all the materials needed for an application for CELCP funds.

States may submit up to two separate applications for federal funding under the 2014 competition. NOAA anticipates that CELCP awards in 2014 will range from $100,000 up to a maximum of $1,000,000. Federal grant funds for CELCP must be matched at least dollar for dollar by non-federal funds or in-kind contributions.

As the lead agency for CELCP in Oregon, the OCMP will solicit, review, select, and submit up to two proposals for the 2014 CELCP competition. The deadline for the national-level CELCP competition is November 15, 2013.

If you want to submit a proposal for CELCP funding, you must arrange a pre-application meeting with the OCMP to present a summary of your project based on the Evaluation Criteria in Section V.A. of the
Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity. Pre-application meetings will occur in October 2013. In these meetings, project proponents will be asked to describe how their project addresses all the Evaluation Criteria, with particular emphasis on criteria 1. Importance and/or relevance of proposed project to the program goals, and 2. Technical/Scientific merit. Applicants must contact the OCMP by October 18th, 2013 (contact information below) to arrange a pre-application meeting. The OCMP will select up to two proposals to submit to the national level competition based on how proposals score against the Evaluation Criteria, and will notify those applicants that they should proceed with the development of a complete CELCP application for FY 2014.

The national CELCP competition is extremely competitive. The OCMP will manage Oregon’s CELCP submittal, but prospective applicants are responsible for the content and quality of CELCP proposals. The OCMP will not submit a proposal for CELCP funding that does not meet the CELCP application requirements or minimum standards for completeness, accuracy, and quality.

To arrange a pre-application meeting, email
Jeff Weber or call 971.673.0964 by October 18th, 2013. Pre-application meetings will occur in late October.  

To submit a proposal
To allow time for the Oregon Coastal Management Program to review and prepare applications to forward for the national-level competition, applications for 2012 CELCP funding in Oregon must be delivered by 5:00 PM on November 8, 2013 to:

Applications that are received by the OCMP after November 8, 2013 may not be eligible to be considered by the OCMP to forward to the national-level competition.
 

 
Oregon's draft CELCP Plan (July 2007)

The Oregon Coastal Management Program submitted a Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Plan to NOAA’s Office of Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) in December 2005. OCRM provided comments to Oregon in late 2006, and the OCMP revised the CELCP Plan and re-submitted it to OCRM in July 2007. OCRM has provided additional comments to Oregon on the revised draft. OCMP has not yet submitted a second revised CELCP Plan. The July 2007 draft Oregon CELCP Plan (Version 5.0) is the basis for the OCMP’s solicitation for applications for funding in FY 2014.

 
The Oregon Coastal Management Program Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Plan, July 2007 (pdf)



 
CELCP FY 2014 Application Materials
Projects eligible for CELCP funding in federal fiscal year 2014 must meet all CELCP criteria and the requirements described in the Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity. The announcement lists the criteria for project selection and describes the project review and ranking process at the national level. Most importantly, the announcement includes appendices with templates and a checklist that must be used in preparing a complete application. The OCMP will help complete “Appendix C: Project Application Checklist” in the application package.

The deadline for proposals for 2014 CELCP funding is 11:59 p.m. ET November 15, 2013. Applications much be submitted through Grants.gov or by mail. As the lead agency for CELCP in Oregon, the Oregon Coastal Management Program will submit the FY 2014 application for CELCP funds using Grants.gov. The OCMP will assist applicants with their CELCP applications, but responsibility for the content and completeness of proposals remains with project applicants.

Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity (including application templates)
 
For Further Information
To arrange a pre-application meeting with the Oregon Coastal Management Program or for  further information about the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program, Oregon's CELCP Plan, or the Oregon Coastal Management Program, please contact Jeffrey Weber, the OCMP Conservation Coordinator, at jeff.weber@state.or.us or 971.673-0964.