New Hampshire Coastal Program Accepting Land Protection Proposals
Portsmouth, NH - The New Hampshire Coastal Program at the Department of Environmental Services is currently accepting proposals for the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program FY2012 funding cycle. CELCP, a competitive federal program, aims to protect coastal lands with significant ecological value. Qualifying land protection projects in New Hampshire must be located within the 42 coastal watershed towns and provide a one to one match. In addition, lands designated as priorities for protection in New Hampshire are identified in N.H.’s CELCP Plan.
The Coastal Program will forward up to three proposals to reviewers at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, who will rank each proposal and release a national priority listing. Then, depending on funding availability, Congress will allocate funding using the list, with grant monies becoming available in May 2012.
The CELCP recognizes that protecting our most exceptional coastal resources is of national importance. Ecological value and other factors, such as threat of immediate development, influence a proposal’s ranking.
Under the program, each of the 34 states with coastal management programs can participate. In addition, the CELCP process requires states to develop a CELCP plan in order to be eligible to nominate projects. The Land Conservation Plan for New Hampshire’s Coastal Watersheds was initiated by the Coastal Program and Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership to help fulfill that requirement, and has since served as the foundation of the state’s CELCP plan. The Society for the Protection of N.H. Forests, The Nature Conservancy, and the Strafford and Rockingham regional planning commissions were all major players in the development of that plan.
Proposals are due to the Coastal Program by March 21, 2011 at 4 p.m. A public meeting to discuss the proposals and reach consensus on ranking is scheduled for April 5, 2011 at 9:00 a.m. at the DES Field Office in Portsmouth.
The RFP, application materials and NH’s CELCP Plan are all available at www.des.nh.gov. Click on the A-Z list in the top right hand corner and select Coastal Estuarine Land Conservation Program.
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