Coastal Renewal

There are often ongoing and well-established programs that can be overlooked simply because they’ve been around and people figure the funds are already allocated.

However, many of these programs get additional cash infusions or something comes along that creates funding opportunities for parks and recreation districts. Recently, we found an outlet for districts with coastlines. First, some background…

The Coastal Zone Management Program (CZMP) is authorized by the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 and supports states through financial assistance ($78.963 million in FY 2002), mediation, technical services and information, and participation in priority state, regional and local forums.

The program is a unique state-federal partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and 34 states and territories with federally approved coastal management programs. Currently, 95,331 national shoreline miles are managed through the program.

States that participate include Alabama, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

Finding Funding

Annual funding allocations vary from state to state. Project sponsors are expected to make the initial outlays for the project and then request reimbursement from OCMP.

Eligible project sponsors include: a) Units of local government, including municipalities, townships, counties and villages; b) Area-wide agencies, including county and regional planning agencies; c) State agencies whose activities affect or are affected by activities in the coastal area; d) Colleges, universities and other institutions of higher learning; e) School districts; f) Park districts, conservancy districts and port authorities; and g) non-profit organizations that are legally constituted as 501(c)(3) organizations and have been nominated to undertake the project by one of the other eligible entities listed above. Nonprofit organizations are only eligible for non-construction/non-acquisition projects.

Applications will be printed and distributed in September and are due in early December. Grant awards will be announced in March. Projects begin in July and must be completed by 15 months later in September of the following year

Comprehensive Community Planning is the priority for CMZ funding. This priority comes under the project category Coastal Land Use and Development. The goal is to promote community planning that will address enhanced public access, hazard mitigation, natural resource protection and restoration and sustainable coastal development issues.

There are six eligible project categories:

1) Water Resources and Watersheds;

2) Coastal Land Use and Development;

3) Coastal Habitat, Wetlands and Natural Areas;

4) Coastal Flooding and Erosion;

5) Recreational Opportunities;

6) Fisheries and Wildlife Resources.

There are several types of projects that are not eligible, including: restroom facilities, construction of erosion control structures, beach re-nourishment, maintenance, general recreational facilities such as playgrounds, ball fields and courts, road and parking lot construction, water and sewer line construction, and wetland or other habitat restoration that is required as a condition of a permit or other regulatory action.

If you are a coastal community, grants may be available if your project falls within the objectives of the grant program, which include:

(1) Protection, restoration, or enhancement of the existing coastal wetlands base, or creation of new coastal wetlands.

(2) Preventing or significantly reducing threats to life and destruction of property by eliminating development and redevelopment in high-hazard areas, managing development in other hazard areas, and anticipating and managing the effects of potential sea level rise and Great Lakes level rise.

(3) Attaining increased opportunities for public access, taking into account current and future public access needs, to coastal areas of recreational, historical, aesthetic, ecological or cultural value.

(4) Reducing marine debris entering the Nation’s coastal and ocean environments by managing uses and activities that contribute to the entry of such debris.

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