CELCP | For Recipients

Managing Your Grant - Selected Projects

Submitting a final grant application

Managing a CELCP grant

Once selected, how do I apply for my CELCP grant?

CELCP grant applications are submitted to the national competition through Grants.gov by the lead state agency.  If your project is selected for funding, this information will form the basis of your final grant application but you may be asked to provide additional information.  

What do I need to include in my grant application?

Final CELCP NOAA grant applications consist at minimum of the following materials:
  1. Standard forms for federal assistance: SF-424, SF-424A, 424B, CD-511, and
    if applicable, SF-LLL and CD-346
  2. Project Description/Scope of Work , includes a description of the properties to be purchased and/or used as in-kind match, as well as a timeline for completing the project
  3. Budget that describes the costs of the project, the use of the federal funds, and how the non-Federal match will be met
  4. CELCP Project Checklist
  5. Site Map and/or Aerial Photo
  6. Region Map

If available, the following information items should be submitted with your application. If the information is not yet available, a Special Award Condition (SAC) will be placed on the grant requiring that they be submitted to and approved by NOAA before federal funds can be expended.

  1. A complete, Self-Contained Appraisal prepared to the federal appraisal standards
  2. Survey for each property
  3. Evidence of Title for each property that shows that the seller is the legal owner of the property and identifies any easements or other encumbrances on the property to be acquired.  Examples of such documentation include an attorney title opinion or property report from a title insurance company.
  4. Contract for Purchase/Sale or Option Agreement
  5. Willing Seller Letter
  6. Copy of Draft Deed and/or Conservation Easement containing the required deed restriction language
  7. Documentation of Federal Consistency Review or documentation that the state has waived review of CELCP projects.  Contact the Federal consistency coordinator in your state’s coastal management program for more information.
  8. Documentation of project review by the State Historic Preservation Officer.
  9. Certification that Project Complements Working Waterfronts.  The recipient should submit certification from the CELCP lead agency that the proposed project complements (i.e. does not conflict with or impede) working waterfront needs. 
  10. Copy of any other Easements and/or Use Agreements to be placed on the property
  11. OPTIONAL - Environmental Assessment if available, (e.g. Phase I environmental assessment)

What are the cost-share requirements?

By statute, CELCP requires a 1:1 cost-share on projects. Information regarding costs and contributions that are acceptable match can be found in the CELCP
guidelines and at 15 CFR 24.24 (the Department of Commerce’s codification of the Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments/Matching or Cost-Sharing).

The preferred source of match is an equal cash contribution from the Recipient, another state or local public entity involved in the project, or private source of funding. However, other acquisition-related costs (e.g., appraisal and attorney fees, closing costs), if accrued during the award period, and under certain circumstances, the value of donated lands, such as another similar conservation property purchased by or donated to the grant recipient, may also be eligible as in-kind match.

In-kind match must be accrued during the award period (e.g. value of services provided), with the exception of the value of acquired or donated land being used as match.  In-kind acquisitions/donations may qualify if they occurred up to three years prior to the date of final application. For further details, please review the CELCP guidelines or match provisions in the funding opportunity notice.

How long will it take to approve my grant application?

Once NOAA receives a final application, it can take up to 120 days before the award is made. NOAA encourages applicants to submit applications as early in the fiscal year as possible after funding decisions have been made. NOAA cannot guarantee that any application received by NOAA’s Grants Management Division after June 30 will be awarded in the current fiscal year (i.e., by September 30). If special circumstances affect the time needed for processing (i.e., an expiring option date), please contact the CELCP program officer for the project.

If possible, recipients should not close on properties until after NOAA has received and approved the supporting due diligence documentation. Recipients should allow 120 days for review of a complete due diligence package prior to closing. Recipients who close on properties without first getting NOAA approval of due diligence documentation do so at their own risk. NOAA cannot guarantee reimbursement for these costs if the project or the supporting due diligence documentation is found to be unacceptable.

 

How will I manage my grant and submit information?

Once your grant is awarded, all grant management activities will be conducted electronically through NOAA Grants On-line, a web-based system, including the submittal of project documentation, progress and financial reporting, and extension requests.

How often do I need to submit progress and financial reports?

Progress and financial reports are required every six months from the time an award starts until it is closed. Within 30 days of the conclusion of each six-month period, you must submit a progress report summarizing activities conducted in support of the project during the prior six months, as well as a financial report (SF-425 form).

Where can I find detailed information on CELCP requirements?

The CELCP Guidelines are available here: Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Final Guidelines (June 2003)

How will I access my funds?

Award payments are made through electronic funds transfer. NOAA uses the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Automated Standard Application for Payment (ASAP) system. The ASAP system allows grant recipients to withdraw funding directly from an established ASAP account for each award once approval for the funding is given and the recipient has enrolled in ASAP.

NOAA will provide instructions for enrolling in ASAP, which takes approximately 6-8 weeks. If your organization already has an ASAP account, you will simply need to provide the account number to NOAA’s Grants Management Division. If the funds are needed less than 6 weeks after the award is due to start, it may be possible to request the funds using the SF-270 (Request for Cash Advance or Reimbursement), which usually takes 10 business days. Otherwise, use of ASAP is mandatory. If the project's circumstances will require quick access to the funds, contact your CELCP program officer as soon as possible.

What are Special Award Conditions?

Your grant will have special award conditions that you are required to meet if you accept the funds. For example, the conditions include requirements to record language in the property deed restricting the use and disposition of the property, as well as to install a permanent sign at the site acknowledging NOAA’s funding. View a sample list of the conditions.

If you do not submit all the required documentation at the time of the grant application, the grant will also have a condition requiring that the remaining documentation be submitted and approved before funds are released.

How long do I have to complete my CELCP project?

The standard CELCP grant performance period is 18 months, but the grant may be extended up to an additional 18 months if circumstances warrant (e.g. demonstrable progress is being made and the recipient is current on all financial and performance reports).

How do I close out my grant?

A grant is not considered complete when the property closing occurs. You will need to demonstrate, through performance and financial reports, that all award conditions have been met before an award can be closed.

Within 90 days of the end of your grant, you must submit through NOAA grants online a final report and financial report (SF-425 form).  CELCP has the following resources to help with your final report.

If you complete all work on the project early (long before the grant expires), you may request to terminate the award “for convenience” to begin the closeout period early.

For more information, contact Elaine Vaudreuil at (301) 713-3155 ext. 103.