Funding available from Maine Coastal and Marine Climate Action

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Funding for Maine Coastal and Marine Climate Action

Application Deadline: October 12, 2023
This funding effort seeks to support projects that are aligned with coastal and marine related recommendations of the Maine’s climate plan. There is $1.5M available this year. Grant awards to range from $20,000 up to $200,000.


We understand that significant federal and state funding is needed to move on much of the Maine Won’t Wait climate plan. Therefore, we hope to support work that fills in gaps, leverages other resources, or forms the foundation or baseline of certain issues that require additional understanding before other resources can be secured.

Our priorities primarily cover nature-based solutions and ecosystem-related activities. Strategies may include mapping, research, convening, and planning and should have actionable results, including policy outcomes. Potential projects should address one or more of the following:

  • Habitat protection and restoration: Salt marshes, eel grass, seaweed, etc.
  • Ocean acidification understanding, monitoring, and mitigation
  • Blue Carbon sequestration
  • Inclusion of traditional Indigenous ecological knowledge into nature-based solutions
  • Coastal or marine ecosystem monitoring, data collection, baseline environmental studies, etc.
  • Data analysis and understanding impacts in the marine environment
  • Emergence or transfer of traditional ecological knowledge through citizen science, video, photo history, documentary filmmaking, digital storytelling, mapping, or cartographic approaches
  • Understanding impacts on species, including distribution shifts

Applications must be submitted by a nonprofit or academic institution, municipality, state agency, or tribal government. For-profit companies may serve as project partners. Given the enormity of challenges we face, the review committee will favor projects that are collaborative and demonstrate a spirit of cooperation and mutual benefit.

Organizations that received funding in 2022 may submit proposals for new projects; however, the committee may prioritize organizations that did not receive funding.

Ineligible Projects

Activities that are part of the organization’s mission with no clear start or end date, or those that have been implemented for more than three years and are continuing without expansion. Equipment expenses that are not part of a defined project.

Though projects may have economic development implications or outcomes, these funds are not intended to be used exclusively for business/industry innovation or adaptation. The funds will also not support municipal or regional construction; however, planning and modeling efforts for nature-based solutions that support coastal habitat restoration, such as tidal flow restoration projects, living shoreline projects, and habitat improvement projects, are eligible.

Project Evaluation Criteria

  • Alignment with the Maine Climate Action Plan and the Coastal and Marine Working Group’s Strategies submitted to the Maine Climate Council
  • Measurable benefit or contribution to the understanding of coastal and marine climate change trends
  • Timeliness and urgency of the proposed activity
  • Ability to foster relationships with other partners
  • Innovation and relevance to emerging issues Interdisciplinary approach (i.e. includes multiple forms of knowledge, recognizes that knowledge comes from different sources, and considers both social and environmental issues related to the challenge)
  • Demonstrated technical expertise, including traditional ecological knowledge and interdisciplinary approach.


Deadline for application: October 12, 2023
Funding decisions will be made before the end of 2023.
Grant period up to 24 months.

Application Materials

The complete application packet should be emailed to by October 12, 2023.

Materials to include:

  • Cover sheet with
    • The name of the organization that would receive the grant
    • Project Coordinator with email address and phone number
    • Fiscal Contact (responsible for payment detail, if project is awarded) with email address, mailing address, and phone number
    • Start date and end date for project (grant funds will be released by the end of December 2023)
  • List of key personnel with qualifications (please limit to one paragraph per person)
  • Project budget with expenses and revenue, including in-kind support and income from other sources. 12% max indirect (financial match is not required)
  • Current fiscal year organizational Budget to Actuals (not required for municipalities, state agencies, or tribal governments)
  • A 2-3 page narrative with the following sections:
    • Problem statement: What is the problem you intend to address and how is it related to climate change?
    • Solutions: How will you address this problem? What specific strategies, activities, or products will you produce?
    • Maine Climate Action Plan: How does your project align with the State’s climate plan and the Coastal and Marine Working Group Strategies?
    • Capacity: Who is involved in this project and why is this group well positioned to do the work you propose? Also, how will the group seek the participation of community members and stakeholders that aren't normally involved in conservation? How will the group accommodate different stakeholders’ abilities, comfort level, or willingness to participate or be involved in projects?
    • Limiting factors: Are there any specific challenges or limiting factors that could shape your ability to achieve success in your project?

Andrea Perry, Broad Reach Fund:

This funding effort is a collaboration that involves the Broad Reach Fund of the Maine Community Foundation and the Builders Initiative. An advisory committee comprised of scientists, agency staff, and other stakeholders will review proposals and make funding recommendations.

The Broad Reach Fund is a component fund of the Maine Community Foundation. The Fund has awarded fisheries-related projects for over a decade and is embedded in the philosophy of community-based co-management.

Builders Initiative is a national foundation that invests in and collaborates with non-profits, businesses, and others working towards sustainable solutions to societal and environmental challenges. Builders Initiative’s Oceans Program is focused on fisheries, aquaculture, climate resilience and ocean plastics/circular economy solutions.