Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, competitive and non-competitive program capacity funds will be provided through the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) to protect and restore ecologically significant habitats, including conserving lands that play a critical role in increasing community resilience to natural hazards.

Eligible Uses

All projects must be within the reserve boundary or targeted watershed. Eligible project types include: habitat restoration; habitat restoration planning, engineering, and design; and ecosystem conservation.

Eligible Recipients

National Estuarine Research Reserves serve as primary applicants. However, reserve partners under a memorandum of understanding may also receive funds, if approved. Eligible NERRS partners can include: state, local, and tribal governments, U.S. territories, individuals, academic institutions, and non-profit organizations.

Approx Annual Funding Amount

The Bipartisan Infrastructure law provided $77 million over five years beginning in 2022. Approximately $15 million per year will be provided for competitive and non-competitive program capacity funds, with competitive projects expected to range from $200,000 to $4 million per project. Non-competitive funds to support program capacity will be available up to $100,000 per year for each reserve to support work plans focused on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Cost Share Requirements

No matching requirements are required for competitive or non-competitive awards. However, leveraged funding is strongly encouraged.

Application Cycle

  • Summer: Letters of Intent (required) due
  • January (of following year): Proposal submission deadline


Other Info

The National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) is a network of 30 coastal sites designated to protect and study estuarine systems that was established by the Coastal Zone Management Act. Each reserve represents a partnership program between NOAA and the participating coastal states.