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Approximately $10m available for fisheries projects

New process provides more guidance for Saltonstall-Kennedy grant applicants.

The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Fisheries division announced the availability of approximately $10 million in funding for projects focusing on sustainable fisheries and coastal fishing communities.

Also, changes to how stakeholders apply for the grants — the 2017 round of NOAA’s Saltonstall-Kennedy grants — will help applicants sharpen their submissions for greater success.

The new “pre-proposal” process asks applicants to briefly show the technical merits and relevance of their project before they submit a full proposal. Applicants will then either be encouraged to submit a full proposal or given feedback how to improve their submission. A pre-proposal is required in order to be eligible to submit a full proposal.

“The Saltonstall-Kennedy grants are one of the primary ways NOAA Fisheries supports fisheries and fishing community research each year,” said Eileen Sobeck, assistant NOAA administrator for fisheries. “We want to make sure all stakeholders interested in applying and have fresh ideas about improving fisheries sustainability and coastal community resilience are well-informed about the application process.”

This new process builds upon improvements made to the program in 2016 that increased transparency and expanded stakeholder participation in the review process. Proposals undergo a rigorous evaluation process, including extensive technical review both within the agency and by an external constituent panel before final agency review.

To be considered for 2017 funding, projects should advance research in one of the following focus areas:

* Marine aquaculture;

* Fishery data collection;

* Techniques for reducing bycatch and other adverse impacts;

* Adapting to climate change and other long-term ecosystem change;

* Sustainable seafood promotion, development and marketing;

* Socio-economic fisheries research, and

* Advancing fisheries science in U.S. territories, including research into enhancing annual catch limits and ecosystem-based fishery management.

The deadline for pre-proposals is Sept. 20. Information on eligibility and application requirements can be found at www.grants.gov and the Saltonstall-Kennedy grant program website. NOAA will hold online webinars to introduce the new application process and address questions this August.

President Dwight Eisenhower signed the Saltonstall-Kennedy Act, authored by then-U.S. Sens. Leverett Saltonstall and John F. Kennedy, both of Massachusetts, in 1954. Its grants have been a key source of funding for innovative and collaborative projects that advance efforts to achieve sustainable fisheries and enhance economic opportunities for fishing communities and working waterfronts.

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