The Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program (Program or ACCSP) is issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) to Program Partners and Committees for FY22 funding.

ACCSP’s Funding Decision Document (FDD) provides an overview of the funding decision process, guidance for preparing and submitting proposals, and information on funding recipients’ post-award responsibilities. Projects in areas not specifically addressed in the FDD may still be considered for funding if they help achieve Program goals. These goals, listed by priority, are improvements in:

1a. Catch, effort, and landings data (including licensing, permit and vessel registration data);

1b. Biological data (equal to 1a.);

2. Releases, discards and protected species data; and,

3. Economic and sociological data.              

Project activities that will be considered according to priority may include:

• Partner implementation of data collection programs;

• Continuation of current Program-funded partner programs;

• Funding for personnel required to implement Program related projects/proposals; and

• Data management system upgrades or establishment of partner data feeds to the Data Warehouse and/or Standard Atlantic Fisheries Information System.

Proposals for biological sampling should target priority species in the top quartile (Attachment II) of the Biological Priority Matrix. Proposals for observer coverage should align with fisheries affecting the top quartile priority species (Attachment III) of the Bycatch Priority Matrix. Brief descriptions of the current levels of biological or bycatch sampling by any of the Partners would be helpful to the review process. Projects for recreational catch and effort data should target the priorities set by the Recreational Technical Committee (Attachment IV). Projects involving socioeconomic data should reference the Socioeconomic Priority Data Elements (Attachment V).

Proposals to continue Program-funded partner projects (“maintenance proposals”) may not contain significant changes in scope (for example the addition of bycatch data collection to a dealer reporting project), and must include in the cover letter whether there are any changes in the current proposal from prior years’ and, if so, provide a brief summary of those changes.

Additionally, in FY16 a long-term funding strategy policy was instituted to limit the duration of maintenance projects. Maintenance projects are now subject to a funding reduction following their fourth year of maintenance funding. For maintenance projects entering year 6, a further 33 percent cut will be applied and funding will cease in year 7.

In consideration of the unique situation COVID 19 has created, the step down process will be paused in FY22. This means that all maintenance projects that would have progressed out of eligibility have the opportunity to submit proposals for funding up to the FY21 level. All of these maintenance project submissions are required to submit an appendix to the proposal indicating that they would like to request funding under the extension, a summary of why the additional funding is needed, and if there are any funds from the previous year that were not spent. The relevant projects are reflected in Appendix A of the FDD, which has a list of those maintenance projects entering year 6 as of FY21 and the maximum funding available to them.

All project submissions must comply with the Program Standards found here. Please consider using this successful project proposal as a template. Overhead rates may not exceed 25% of total costs unless mandated by law or policy. Items included within overhead should not also be listed as in-kind match.

Submissions will be reviewed in accordance with the FDD (Attachment I), ranking criteria (Attachment VII), and funding allocation. Current funding allocation guidelines are 75% for maintenance projects and 25% for new projects within the Program priorities. If either allocation is not fully utilized, remaining funds will be available to approved projects in the other category. For example, if maintenance projects only use 67% of the total available funds, the remaining balance would be added to the 25% new project allocation to fund new projects as approved by the Coordinating Council.

Attachment VI provides a timeline for the FY22 funding process. The final decision on proposals to be funded for FY22 will be made in October 2021. Project awards will be subject to funding availability and, if there is a funding shortfall, awards may be adjusted in accordance with the FDD. Successful applicants will be notified when funding becomes available.

Project Investigators will be required to report progress directly to the Program’s Operations and Advisory Committees in addition to meeting the standard Federal reporting requirements. Please submit initial proposals as Microsoft Word and Excel files no later than June 12, 2021 by email to Julie DeFilippi Simpson, ACCSP Deputy Director julie.simpson@accsp.org. If you have any questions about the funding decision process, please contact your agency’s Operations Committee member (http://www.accsp.org/committees) or ACCSP staff (703-842-0780).

RELEVANT ATTACHMENTS can be found here.