The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Maine Coastal Program announced that it is seeking applications for a new round of coastal grants for FY 2016. The grants are for municipal and regional projects in Maine’s Coastal Zone. The two types of available grants covered by this announcement are Coastal Communities Grants and Shore and Harbor Planning Grants. Funding for these technical assistance grants comes from Maine Coastal Program’s annual grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as well as the Submerged Lands Program within the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

The Coastal Communities grants have a maximum award of $50,000, while the Shore and Harbor grant have a maximum award of $30,000. Those eligible to apply include towns in Maine’s coastal zone, groups of towns in Maine’s coastal zone; coastal Regional Planning Commissions; and coastal Councils of Government. Grant applications are due May 14.

Eligible projects must be designed to improve water quality, increase resiliency/adaptation to erosion and flooding, conserve coastal habitat, promote sustainable development, and enhance the coastal-dependent economy while preserving natural coastal resources.

This program is designed to address the five priority goals of the Maine Coastal Program:
• Ensuring Sustainable, Vibrant Coastal Communities
• Improving Coastal Public Access
• Addressing the effects of land use activity on water quality
• Restoring Coastal Habitats
• Preparing for coastal storms, erosion and flooding, coastal hazards

Shore and Harbor Technical Assistance Grants promote sound waterfront planning and harbor management, balanced development of shore and harbor areas, advance planning for waterfront infrastructure improvements and access to the shore. Funds may be used for development of plans for waterfront, harbor, and mooring areas; development of regulatory and non-regulatory approaches to waterfront conservation and improvement; development of planning studies for public and working access; development of plans and designs for harbor improvements; and development of management plans for municipal waterfront facilities.