Friday, January 14, 2011
Ohio Accepting Requests for Two Federal Funding Opportunities for Land Preservation Projects in the Lake Erie Watershed
Sandusky, OH – Communities within Ohio's Lake Erie watershed interested in acquiring land for preservation and recreation have two recently announced opportunities for funding assistance, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
ODNR’s Office of Coastal Management (OCM) is accepting applications for the Great Lakes Areas of Concern Land Acquisition Grant program and the Coastal & Estuarine Land Conservation Program.
For both grant opportunities, fee-simple land acquisitions and/or conservation easements must be acquired from willing sellers. The acquired land must be then owned by a non-federal public entity (state, local or regional unit of government) and preserved in perpetuity for conservation purposes.
Great Lakes Areas of Concern grants
Applications for the Great Lakes Areas of Concern Land Acquisition Grant program must be submitted to the Office of Coastal Management by January 31 at 4 p.m. Developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), this new grant program will support projects which assist in the delisting of fish and wildlife habitat–related beneficial use impairments in Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOC).
The U.S.-Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement identifies AOC as geographic areas where the beneficial uses of the waterbody have been severely impaired in up to 14 areas that deal with the area's ability to support aquatic life. There are 42 areas of concern in the Great Lakes, including four in Ohio. These include portions of the Maumee, Black, Cuyahoga and Ashtabula rivers.
Eligible projects for this grant program must be located within a designated AOC or its watershed and must be endorsed by the associated Remedial Action Plan implementation group. Project proposals may range between $100,000 - $1.9 million. A grant fact sheet and application template can be downloaded at www.ohiodnr.com/tabid/23157/default.aspx or by contacting the Office of Coastal Management.
Coastal & Estuarine Land Conservation Program grants
Applications for grants from the Coastal & Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP) must be submitted to the Office of Coastal Management by March 4 at 4 p.m. Each CELCP application may range up to $3 million per project and require a 1:1 match ratio from non-federal sources.
CELCP was established by NOAA in 2002 to help protect coastal and estuarine lands that are considered important for their ecological, conservation, recreational, historical or aesthetic values. Sites with these characteristics will be top contenders for funding.
Ohio will nominate up to three CELCP projects and submit them to NOAA for consideration and funding. Sites within Ohio's designated Coastal Management Area will be given highest priority, followed by sites in coastal counties and then other sites in the Lake Erie watershed.
NOAA ranks projects received from each U.S. coastal state and territory nationally and makes recommendations to Congress for funding. Federal funding will be available in June 2012. Since the CELCP began, Ohio has secured more than $18 million for 20 projects that leveraged more than $35.3 million local dollars to acquire and conserve more than 3,265 acres.
The ODNR Office of Coastal Management works to achieve a balance between use and preservation of Lake Erie's coastal resources, in collaboration with its partners, by effectively administering the Ohio Coastal Management Program.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at www.ohiodnr.com.