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Title 15 Part 917

Title 15 → Subtitle B → Chapter IX → Subchapter A → Part 917

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 15 Part 917

e-CFR data is current as of October 12, 2018

Title 15Subtitle BChapter IXSubchapter A → Part 917


Title 15: Commerce and Foreign Trade


PART 917—NATIONAL SEA GRANT PROGRAM FUNDING REGULATIONS


Contents

Subpart A—General

§917.1   Basic provisions.

(a) This section sets forth the basic purposes for which Sea Grant funding may be made pursuant to the following sections of the Act: 33 U.S.C. 1124, 1127, 1125 and 1124a. These sections provide for the funding of programs and projects in fields related to ocean and coastal resources that involve marine research, marine education and training, and marine advisory services. However, there is a significant difference in focus among these sections since section 1124(a) is concerned chiefly with regional and state needs relative to ocean and coastal resources (including the funding of Sea Grant Fellowships under section 1127) while section 1125 is concerned with national needs and problems relative to ocean and coastal resources, and section 1124a is concerned with programs of international cooperation assistance with respect to those resources.

(b) Comment: Statutory citation 33 U.S.C. 1124(a):

In General. The Secretary may make grants and enter into contracts under this subsection to assist any Sea Grant program or project if the Secretary finds that such program or project will—

(1) Implement the objective set forth in Section 202(b); and

(2) Be responsive to the needs or problems of individual states or regions.

The total amount paid pursuant to any such grant or contract may equal 6623 percent, or any lesser percent, of the total cost of the Sea Grant program or project involved.

(c) Comment: Statutory citation 33 U.S.C. 1127(a):

In General. The Secretary may enter into contracts and make grants under this section to—

(1) Enhance the research and development capability of developing foreign nations with respect to ocean and coastal resources.

(2) Promote the international exchange of information and data with respect to the assessment, development, utilization, and conservation of such resources.

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§917.2   Definitions.

(a) The term Act means the Sea Grant Program Improvement Act of 1976, as amended (33 U.S.C. 1121 et seq.).

(b) The term Secretary means the Secretary of Commerce.

(c) The term Administrator means the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

(d) The term Office of Sea Grant means the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Sea Grant, which administers the National Sea Grant Program provided for in the Act.

(e) The term objective of the Act means the objective set forth at 33 U.S.C. 1121(b) and is “is to increase the understanding, assessment, development, utilization, and conservation of the Nation's ocean and coastal resources by providing assistance to promote a strong educational base, responsive research and training activities, and broad and prompt dissemination of knowledge and techniques.”

(f) The term ocean and coastal resource(s) is as defined at 33 U.S.C. 1122(7) and means:

any resource (whether living, nonliving, manmade, tangible, intangible, actual, or potential) which is located in, derived from, or traceable to, the marine environment.

Such term includes the habitat of any such living resource, the coastal space, the ecosystems, the nutrient rich areas, and the other components of the marine environment which contribute to or provide (or which are capable of contributing to or providing) recreational, scenic, esthetic, biological, habitational, commercial, economic, or conservation values. Living resources include natural and cultured plant life, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, and wildlife. Nonliving resources include energy sources, minerals, and chemical substances.

(g) The term marine environment used in the definition for “ocean and coastal resources” in §917.2(e) and used elsewhere in these regulations is as defined at 33 U.S.C. 1122(6) and means:

the coastal zone, as defined in Section 304(1) of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1453(1)); the seabed, subsoil, and waters of the territorial sea of the United States; the waters of any zone over which the United States asserts exclusive fishery management authority; the waters of the high seas; and the seabed and subsoil of and beyond the outer Continental Shelf.

(h) The term person is as defined at 33 U.S.C. 1122(9) and means: “any individual; any public or private corporation, partnership, or other association or entity (including any Sea Grant College, Sea Grant Regional Consortium, education, institute, or laboratory); or any state, political subdivision of a state, or agency or officer thereof.”

(i) The term Sea Grant College is as defined at 33 U.S.C. 1122(10) and means: “any public or private institution of higher education which is designated as such by the Secretary .  .  .” pursuant to regulations promulgated at 15 CFR part 918.

(j) The term Sea Grant Program is as defined at 33 U.S.C. 1122(11) and means: “any program which” (1) is administered by a Sea Grant College, Sea Grant Regional Consortium, institution of higher education, institute, laboratory, or state or local agency; and (2) includes two or more projects involving one or more of the following activities in fields related to ocean and coastal resources:

(i) Research,

(ii) Education,

(iii) Training, or

(iv) Advisory services.

(k) The term Sea Grant Program Directors means the local Directors of the Sea Grant coherent area programs, insititutional programs, Sea Grant Colleges, and Sea Grant Regional Consortia.

(l) The term Sea Grant Regional Consortium is as defined at 33 U.S.C. 1122(12) and means: “any association or alliance which is designated as such by the Secretary .  .  .” pursuant to regulations promulgated at 15 CFR part 918.

(m) The term state is as defined at 33 U.S.C. 1122 (14) and means: “any state of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands, or any other territory or possession of the United States.”

(n) The term developing foreign nations includes any foreign nation other than a foreign nation that is ineligible for designation under section 502(b) of the Trade Act of 1974, (19 U.S.C. 2462(b)) as a beneficiary developing country under Title of that Act.

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Subpart B—Sea Grant Matched Funding Program

§917.10   General.

(a) 33 U.S.C. 1124(a) establishes a program for the funding of Sea Grant Programs and projects dealing with marine research, marine education and training, and/or marine advisory services, that are designed to achieve the objective of the Act and that generally respond to the needs of individual states or regions. Included as a part of this program is the Sea Grant Fellowship Program, established by 33 U.S.C. 1127. Any person may apply to the Office of Sea Grant for Sea Grant Matched Funding Program Monies, except for Sea Grant Fellowship funding. Sea Grant Fellowship funding may be granted only to Sea Grant Colleges, Sea Grant Regional Consortia, institutions of higher education, and professional associations and institutions.

(b) Federal Sea Grant funding for the section 1124(a) Matched Funding Program cannot exceed 6623 percent of the total cost of the project involved.

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§917.11   Guidelines for Sea Grant Fellowships.

(a) Sea Grant Fellowships are designed to provide educational and training assistance to qualified individuals at the undergraduate and graduate levels of education in fields related to ocean and coastal resources. The objective of the program is to increase the national supply of individuals educated and trained in the assessment, development, utilization, and conservation of ocean and coastal resources. The purpose of this section is to provide guidelines regarding the content of applications for Sea Grant Fellowship funding.

(b) Funding will be made to eligible entities (see §917.10 of this part) that are selected to award and administer Sea Grant Fellowships. Fellowships will not be awarded directly to students by the Office of Sea Grant. The entity receiving Fellowship funding will select the students to be awarded the Fellowships and will handle the administration of the Fellowships.

(c) Proposals for Fellowship funding will be expected to address (1) the nature and focus of the proposed Fellowship Program, (2) the utilization of institutional or other appropriate resources in the education and training of Sea Grant Fellows, (3) the method of advertising availability of the Fellowships, (4) the method of selection of recipients, and (5) the terms of tenure and method of determining continuity of tenure.

(d) Innovation and uniqueness will be significant factors in the determination of which proposals will be funded. Another factor considered will be the potential of the proposed program to stimulate interest in marine related careers among those individuals; for example, minorities, women, and the handicapped whose previous background or training might not have generated such an interest.

(e) The total amount that may be provided for grants under the Sea Grant Fellowship Program during any fiscal year cannot exceed an amount equal to five percent of the total funds appropriated for the Matched Funding Program for that year. Fellowship programs are subject to the requirement of a minimum of 3313 percent matching funds from non-Federal sources to which all Matched Funding Program projects are subject. Indirect costs are not allowable for either the Fellowships or for any costs associated with the Fellowships.

Considering the variations in the cost-of-living and the differences in tuition, fees, etc., between one college or university and another, the amount of money requested and awarded per Fellowship may vary.

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Subpart C—National Projects

§917.20   General.

(a) 33 U.S.C. 1125 requires the Secretary to identify specific national needs and problems relative to ocean and coastal resources. This responsibility has been delegated to the Administrator. The designation is intended to focus public attention on needs and problems of the marine environment that are considered to be of particular national importance at a given point in time.

(b) 33 U.S.C. 1125 provides for the funding of national projects in marine research, marine education and training, and marine advisory services that are designed to deal with the national needs and problems concerning ocean and coastal resources identified by the Administrator.

(c) The Administrator will identify the national needs and problems apart from considerations of Office of Sea Grant funding for “National Projects” responsive to national needs and problems that are identified.

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§917.21   National needs and problems.

(a) The Administrator will, periodically, publish in the Federal Register the identified national needs and problems with respect to ocean and coastal resources at a given point in time.

(b) Suggestions from the general public as to the identity of national needs and problems may be submitted to the Office of Sea Grant at any time. These suggestions will be reviewed by the Office of Sea Grant and the Sea Grant Review Panel, and those receiving a positive critique will be forwarded to the Administrator. In addition, suggestions concerning the identification of national needs and problems will be requested from the Sea Grant Program Directors.

(c) The Administrator has identified the following as currently being national needs and problems with respect to ocean and coastal resources:global and regional climate and primary productivity.

(1) Improve the prediction of extreme natural events and their effects on ocean coastal and continental shelf locations as well as analogous regions of the Great Lakes.

(2) Improve the predictability of global sea-level change and determine the impact of this change on coastal areas.

(3) Define the processes that determine ocean variability on the time scale of a few weeks to a few years, and the relationship to fluctuations in global and regional climate, primary productivity, and fisheries production.

(4) Improve understanding of the flow fields and mixing processes on the continental shelves of the United States.

(5) Develop an increased understanding of the arctic and antarctic environment and a capability to predict the special hazards posed to transportation and resource development.

(6) Develop and increased capability to characterize the engineering properties of ocean botton sediments.

(7) Reduce the recurring economic loss due to corrosion of structures, vessels, and other devices in the marine environment.

(8) Gain a fundamental understanding of the processes by which biological fouling and associated corrosion are initiated upon material surfaces exposed to seawater.

(9) Investigate methods to improve man's underwater capability to conduct undersea research and perform useful work.

(10) Investigate the wider application of remotely operated and artificial intelligence techniques for vehicles for undersea activities.

(11) Expand/improve remote sensing technologies for use on the ocean and Great Lakes.

(12) Advance knowledge of acoustics in the ocean and ocean bottom in order to exploit the burgeoning acoustics technologies.

(13) Develop techniques for in-situ monitoring of biological, chemical, and physical processes in the Great Lakes, oceans, and their connecting waterways which are cost effective and provide data in real time.

(14) Improve the position of the U.S. seafood industry in world seafood markets.

(15) Design more efficient mechanisms to allocate U.S. fish resources to achieve optimum yield and minimize industry dislocations.

(16) Gain a fundamental understanding of the biological productivity of estuarine and coastal waters.

(17) Conduct research leading to the restoration and/or enhancement of heavily exploited fishery stocks.

(18) Improve the capability for stock assessment, predicting yield, age-class strength, and long-term population status of important fisheries.

(19) Conduct research to increase the economic potential of low-value, high-volume fish products.

(20) Develop productive and profitable aquaculture industries in the United States and technology that can be exported to less developed nations of the world with different climate, cultural, and economic constraints.

(21) Explore marine biochemicals as source of chemical feedstocks, enzymes, pharmacological substance, and other bioactive agents such as pesticides.

(22) Apply modern biotechnology to exploiting marine plants, animals, and microorganisms for good and services.

(23) Develop rapid, efficient, and specific methods for assaying the potential of marine organisms to communicate disease to humans.

(24) Develop innovations that would promote safe, nondestructive, recreational access to and use of marine and Great Lakes water.

(25) Re-examine the ocean as an appropriate place for the disposal of wastes from land-based society.

(26) Develop an increased understanding of the impacts of low density, nonbiodegradable, solid wastes on marine and Great Lakes species.

(27) Conduct research for realizing the economic potential of the nonliving resources of the U.S. 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone.

(28) Investigate the effect of seafloor hydrothermal systems on the seafloor, oceans, and atmosphere.

(29) Develop a better understanding of the value the marine sector contributes to the U.S. economy and culture.

(30) Improve the competitive position of American ports in the face of rapid technological and social change.

(31) Improve the capability of developing nations to address their marine resource needs.

(32) Develop eductional programs to increase application of marine sector research.

(33) Develop syntheses of and better access to existing multidisciplinary marine and Great Lakes information.

[43 FR 15307, Apr. 11, 1978, as amended at 51 FR 35210, Oct. 2, 1986]

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§917.22   National Projects funding.

(a) National Projects funding proposals will be expected to address: (1) The relevance of the proposed project to a national need or problem that has been identified by the Administrator; (2) the nature and focus of the proposed project; (3) a demonstrated capacity to carry out the proposed project in a competent and cost-effective manner; and (4) the utilization of existing capability and coordination with other relevant projects. Innovation and uniqueness will be significant factors in determining whether to fund a proposed project.

(b) Any person may apply to the Office of Sea Grant for National Project funding. In addition, the Office of Sea Grant may invite applications for National Project funding.

(c) The total amount provided for National Projects' funding during any fiscal year can never exceed an amount equal to 10 percent of the total funds appropriated for the Matched Funding Program. Federal Sea Grant funding for National Projects can be up to 100 percent of the total cost of the project involved.

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Subpart D—International Cooperation Assistance

§917.30   General.

(a) 33 U.S.C. 1124a sets up a program of International Cooperation Assistance in marine reseach, marine education and training, and marine advisory services designed to enhance the research and technical capability of developing foreign nations with respect to ocean and coastal resources and to promote the international exchange of information and data with respect to the assessment, development, utilization, and conservation of such resources. Any Sea Grant College or Sea Grant Regional Consortium or any institution of higher education, laboratory, or institute (if such institution, laboratory or institute is located within any state) may apply for and receive International Cooperation Assistance funding.

(b) International Cooperation Assistance funding proposals will be expected to address: (1) The nature and focus of the proposed project, (2) the utilization of institutional and other appropriate resources in the implementation of the project, (3) a clear indication of the foreign participant's (individual or institution) commitment to the project, (4) identification of accomplishments expected from a single granting interval, (5) implicit or explicit out-year commitment of resources, and (6) the impact of the proposed project on the institution receiving funding.

(c) The projects supported by International Cooperation Assistance funding are intended to be genuinely cooperative. Innovation and uniqueness will be significant factors in the determination of proposals to be funded. In the case of a proposed international project that is submitted from an institution where a Sea Grant program is in existence, the extent to which the proposed project takes advantage of the Sea Grant institutional capability existing at that institution and thereby strengthening it, as opposed to being a mere appendage to the ongoing Sea Grant program, will also be an important evaluation factor. The U.S. Department of State will be given the opportunity to review all International Cooperation Assistance projects and none will be funded without this consultation. Because the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) also funds international projects of the kind that can be funded under the Sea Grant International Cooperation Assistance program, and, to effect coordination in this area between Sea Grant and UNESCO, the Division of Marine Sciences (UNESCO) will be informed of all International Cooperation Assistance projects funded.

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Subpart E—General Considerations Pertaining to Sea Grant Funding

§917.40   General.

This subpart sets forth general considerations pertaining to Sea Grant funding.

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§917.41   Application guidance for Sea Grant funding.

(a) Detailed guidance for submission of applications for National Sea Grant Program Funding is given in the publication, “The National Sea Grant Program: Program Description and Suggestions for Preparing Proposals,” available on request from: Office of Sea Grant Program, 3300 Whitehaven Street NW., Washington, DC 20235.

(b) It is noted here that application for Sea Grant funding shall be made pursuant to the following Federal provisions:

(1) OMB Circular A-110 “Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations.”

(2) OMB Circular A-111, “Designation of Federal Programs Suitable for Joint Funding Purposes.”

(3) GSA FMC 73-6, “Coordinating Indirect Cost Rates and Audit at Educational Institutions.”

(4) GSA FMC 73-7, “Administration of College and University Research Grants.”

(5) GSA FMC 73-8, “Cost Principles for Educational Institutions.”

(6) GSA FMC 74-4, “Cost Principles Applicable to Grants and Contracts with State and Local Governments.”

(7) OMB Circular A-102, “Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants-in-Aid to State and Local Governments.”

(8) NOAA General Provisions implementing OMB Circular A-110, “Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations.”

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§917.42   Categories of support available for the conducting of Sea Grant activities.

(a) Three categories of support are available for the conducting of Sea Grant activities: Projects; coherent area programs; and institutional programs. In general, funding for institutional programs and coherent area programs are made with expectation of renewal, as long as the funding recipient maintains a high level of quality and relevance in its activities. Project funding is made generally for a single item of research, education and training, or advisory service, but may be renewed under certain conditions; each renewal is negotiated individually.

(b) Project support is for a clearly defined activity to be conducted over a definite period of time to achieve a specified goal. The project may be in research, education, training, or advisory services. Support for a project is made to an individual investigator or project director through his organization.

(c) Intermediate between the institutional programs and individual projects are coherent area programs. These have two main purposes:

(1) To bring into the National Sea Grant Program institutions of higher education that have a strong core of capability in some aspects of marine affairs, but which do not qualify or do not wish to qualify for institutional program support at this time. The purpose of support in such cases is to enable the institution to apply its existing competence to its regional problems and opportunities while developing the broader base of capability and the internal organization that will lead to institutional support. This program category requires a definite commitment on the part of the institution to develop an institutional program and to present a multiproject, multidisciplinary program involving the existing competence of an institution in a unified or coherent attack on well-defined local or regional problems. Such a coherent area program should include research, education and training, and advisory services, to the extent of the institution's capability.

(2) To bring into the National Sea Grant Program (on a more or less continuing basis) qualified entities that have rare or unique capability in a specialized field of marine affairs. Such entities need not be institutions of higher education.

(d) Institutional grants are made to institutions of higher education or to a combination of institutions that have an existing broad base of competence in marine affairs. To qualify, an institution must make a positive, long-range commitment to objectives of the National Sea Grant Program as evidence by committing the institution's own resources in the form of matching funds, creation of the organization necessary for management of the Sea Grant Program, quality education programs in marine areas, establishment of interdisciplinary research teams, and development of advisory service mechanisms for strong interaction with marine communities in its region. A Sea Grant institutional program is expected to provide intellectual leadership in assisting its region to solve problems and to realize opportunities of its marine environment. To the extent possible, an institutional program should involve all appropriate elements of the institution, whether colleges or departments, and devise cooperative or mutally supporting programs with other institutions of higher education, and with Federal and state agencies, local agencies, and industry. An institutional program should have substantial strength in the three basic Sea Grant activities: research, education and training, and advisory services. Sea Grant institutional programs that meet the qualifications for Sea Grant College or Sea Grant Regional Consortium status set forth at 15 CFR part 918 will be so designated by the Secretary.

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§917.43   Terms and conditions of Sea Grant funding.

No Sea Grant funding may be applied to:

(a)(1) the purchase or rental of any land or (2) the purchase, rental, construction, preservation, or repair of any building, dock, or vessel, except that payment under any such grant or contract may (if approved by the Assistant Administrator for Administration of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or designee) be applied to the purchase, rental, construction, preservation, or repair of non-self-propelled habitats, buoys, platforms, and other similar devices or structures, or to the rental of any research vessel which is used in direct support of activities under any Sea Grant program or project.

(b) In addition, Sea Grant funding under the Sea Grant Matched Funding Program will be subject to the limitation that the total amount which may be obligated within any one state to persons under the Sea Grant Matched Funding Program in any fiscal year shall not exceed an amount equal to 15 percent of the funds appropriated for the Sea Grant Matched Funding Program.

(c) Any person who receives or utilizes Sea Grant funding shall keep the records required by OMB Circular A-110, “Grant and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations,” and by NOAA General Provision, implementing OMB Circular A-110, by OMB Circular A-102, “Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants-in-Aid to State and Local Governments,” including records that fully disclose the amount and disposition by the recipient of such proceeds, the total cost of the program or project in which such proceeds were used, and the amount, if any, of such cost which was provided through other sources. Such records shall be maintained for three years after the completion of such a program or project. The Secretary and the Comptroller General of the United States, or any of their duly authorized representatives, shall have access, for the purpose of audit and evaluation, to any books, documents, papers, and records of receipt which, in the opinion of the Secretary or the Comptroller General, may be related or pertinent to such grants and contracts.

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