Funding Opportunity – Closed

Download printer-friendly PDF file here: SEA-MDI RFP 2012-2013

Southeast Atlantic Marine Debris Initiative

2012-2013 Funding Opportunity

The Southeast Atlantic Marine Debris Initiative (SEA-MDI), in partnership with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program, is pleased to announce our 2012-2013 Funding Opportunity for projects addressing marine debris issues in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

Funding Opportunity Title

Southeast Atlantic Marine Debris Initiative (SEA-MDI) 2012-2013 Funding Opportunity

Announcement Type

Request for proposals

Funding Opportunity Description

We are soliciting proposals to address marine debris in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina in support of projects that work toward one or more of the following NOAA and SEA-MDI goals: 1) benefit living marine resources, 2) improve navigation safety, 3) help to restore NOAA trust resource species and habitats (e.g.,, and 4) prevention, education, and outreach activities that aid in accomplishing the first three objectives.


Proposals must be received by 5 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, December 21, 2012. No extensions. Important dates are as follows:

Funding announcement released November 9, 2012

Proposals due December 21, 2012

Notification of funding decisions estimated to be January 18, 2013

Response to reviewer comments due January 23, 2013

Project initiation February 1, 2013

Funding Levels

Awards will be funded for one year up to $10,000 (no minimum required) with a total of $30,000 available in funding for this solicitation.


This competitive funding opportunity is open to investigators in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. SEA-MDI welcomes proposals from individuals, institutions of higher education, nonprofit organizations, schools/teachers, tribal, state, and local governments from eligible states. No person shall be excluded on grounds of race, color, age, sex, national origin, or disability from participation in, denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving financial assistance from SEA-MDI. However, unsatisfactory performance under prior federal awards may result in an application not being considered for funding.

All work must be completed in the states (or in coastal waters) of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Scale of projects can range from local to regional within those states.

Projects selected for funding must comply with applicable federal regulations. Applicants must have all necessary local, state and federal permits to conduct their work prior to project initiation. Status of any required permits must be described within the proposal.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) — Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), NOAA must analyze the potential environmental impacts of projects or proposals seeking funding from NOAA (since SEA-MDI is funded by NOAA, this requirement is also in effect for this solicitation). Detailed information on compliance with NEPA can be found at the following website:  including the NOAA Administrative Order 216-6 for NEPA (, and the Council on Environmental Quality implementation regulations, Consequently, as part of an applicant’s package, applicants are required to provide detailed information on the activities to be conducted, locations, sites, species and habitat to be affected, possible construction activities, and any environmental concerns that may exist (for example, the use and disposal of hazardous or toxic chemicals, introduction of non-indigenous species, impacts to endangered and threatened species, aquaculture projects, and impacts to coral reef systems). Do this by answering the questions provided at the end of this solicitation and submit them with your proposal. After the application is submitted, SEA-MDI may require additional information to fulfill NEPA requirements.

Funding Priorities

The objective of SEA-MDI mini-grants is to reduce marine debris and its associated impacts within the region. Mini-grants provide the opportunity for people/groups to propose unique and innovative solutions to local and regional marine debris issues. All marine debris projects will be considered, but the SEA-MDI Consortium has also identified the following priorities in this funding cycle:

  • Assessment of policies that guide waste management practices, including those for fishing gear, derelict vessels and other debris.
  • Providing platforms for cross-boundary communication in the region amongst entities, e.g., government, agencies, non-profits, academia and the public with a goal of decision-support for marine debris policy development.
    • Forums for open discussion, workshops, data sharing opportunities, comparison of programs  within the region
    • Marine debris reduction in local habitats of importance, e.g., estuarine areas.

In addition, Projects should be synergistic or complementary with current or historic marine debris efforts in the region and those listed on the SEA MDI website (

Where appropriate, proposals are encouraged to integrate NOAA monitoring protocols ( and the mobile phone app Marine Debris Tracker and/or the associated website and data available here (

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria, including the percentage assigned to each.

1) Importance and applicability of proposal (30%) – Provide context and background for rationale in support of need for the project. Give justification for the work to be completed. Provide details about the potential benefits to living marine resources, improvement of navigation safety, and/or restoration of NOAA trust resource species and habitats.

2) Technical and scientific merit (20%) – Projects should include quantitative performance measures for monitoring purposes, specify a robust project tracking strategy, and provide evaluation of performance measures (e.g., how will you assess project “success”?). Include materials and methods proposed for the work (e.g., marine debris data collection, management, and analysis, if appropriate).

3) Overall qualifications of applicants (15%) – Describe qualifications as well as previous work completed and/or necessary background and experience needed to complete the proposed work. Letters of support/commitment will be taken into account here (See Letters of Support section).

4) Outreach, education and community involvement (20%) – Describe how outreach and education will be conducted and how the community will be involved. Include potential/proposed numbers of participants or users and how you will record/monitor this.

5) Project costs and reporting (15%) – An interim and final report will be required (guidelines to be provided) and will be made available as PDF files on the SEA-MDI website. Budget must be in the required form described in this solicitation (see Budget Justification section).

Applicants should also note that the following activities will not be considered for awards: (1) Activities that constitute legally required mitigation for the adverse effects of an activity regulated or otherwise governed by local, state or federal law; (2) activities that constitute restoration for natural resource damages under federal, state or local law; and (3) activities that are required by a separate consent decree, court order, statute or regulation.

Proposal Development Instructions

A 12-point or larger font size and Times New Roman or an equivalent serif typeface should be used with 1-inch margins all around. Incomplete pre-proposals will not be considered.

Cover page (1 page, not included in page limit of narrative)

Cover page should include: title of project, principle investigator (PI) and co-PIs or other collaborating entities, a project summary (250 words or less), and budget requested (include direct, indirect and total cost).

Project Narrative (5 pages)

The maximum length for the narrative is five pages, single-spaced. Additional pages will not be considered. The project narrative must include the following subsections: Importance and applicability of proposal; Technical and scientific merit; Overall qualifications of applicants; Outreach, education and community involvement; and Reporting. References, budgets, budget justification, curriculum vitae and letters of support are not included in the five-page limit.

References (Literature Cited) (not included in page limit of narrative)

Provide a list of literature cited.

Budget and Budget Justification (up to 3 pages, not included in page limit of narrative)

Budget and narrative must include:

Salary/Stipend (identify by name and each personnel)

Fringe (identify by name and each personnel)


Materials and Supplies (describe)

Indirect Costs – limited to 25% of direct costs or the federally negotiated rate, whichever is lower. Not allowed for individuals

Purchase of equipment (equipment are items >$5,000) is not allowed under this solicitation

Letters of Support (not included in page limit of narrative)

Letters of support/commitment signed by authorized representatives are required for collaborating entities mentioned in the proposal (if there are no collaborating entities, no letters are required). Strong proposals will include letters of support from potential participants or entities benefiting from the completion of the work.

CVs/Resumes (not included in page limit of narrative)

Provide 2-page CVs/resumes for each PI or co-PI.

NEPA Questionnaire

Complete the NEPA questions located at the end of this document. Provide each numbered question and answer in this section.

Submission Information

Proposals may be submitted either electronically or in hard copy; all must arrive by 5pm Eastern Standard Time on December 21, 2012.

Electronic mail submissions should be addressed to

Submission should be in one PDF file containing:

  1. Cover page
  2. Project narrative
  3. References
  4. Budget and Budget Justification
  5. Resumes/CVs
  6. Letters of commitment/support
  7. NEPA Questionnaire

Non-electronic submissions:

One hard copy should be submitted along with a CD or other electronic media device containing a single PDF file of the proposal and mailed to:

Jenna Jambeck

Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering

Faculty of Engineering – University of Georgia

412 Driftmier Engineering Center

Athens, GA  30602


Contact Information

For questions regarding proposal preparation contact:

Jenna Jambeck

Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering

Faculty of Engineering – University of Georgia

412 Driftmier Engineering Center

Athens, GA  30602

Office: 706-542-6454


NEPA Questions

Question C1. Is the proposed activity going to be conducted in partnership with NOAA or would the proposed activity require NOAA’s direct involvement, activity, or oversight? If yes, describe NOAA’s involvement, activity, or oversight, including the name of the office or program that is involved.

Question C2. Would the proposed activity involve any other federal agency(ies) partnership, direct involvement, activity, or oversight? If yes, provide the name(s) of the agency(ies) and describe its involvement, activity, or oversight.

Question D1. Provide a brief description of the location of the proposed Activity.

Question E1. List any federal, state, or local permits, authorizations, or waivers that would be required to complete the proposed activity. Provide the date the permit, authorization, or waiver was obtained or will be obtained. Provide copies of the permit, authorization, or waiver as appropriate. Was a NEPA analysis prepared for the permit, authorization, or waiver? If yes, state the title of the NEPA analysis and provide copies of the NEPA analysis.

Question F1. Is there the potential for the proposed activity to cause changes that would be different from normal ambient conditions (for example, temperature, light, turbidity, noise, other human activity levels, etc.)? If yes, describe the changes and the circumstances that would cause these changes.

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