John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grant Program; Main Hawaiian Islands, 34061-34064 [E6-9205]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 113 / Tuesday, June 13, 2006 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [Docket No. 030602141–6145–39; I.D. 060506A] John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grant Program; Main Hawaiian Islands jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of availability of financial assistance. SUMMARY: The John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grant Program (Prescott Grant Program) provides funding to eligible marine mammal stranding network participants to fund the recovery or treatment (i.e., rescue and rehabilitation) of stranded marine mammals, data collection from living or dead stranded marine mammals for scientific research regarding marine mammal health, and facility operations directly related to the recovery or treatment of stranded marine mammals and collection of data from living or dead stranded marine mammals. The Prescott Grant Program is administered through the NMFS Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program (MMHSRP). As stranding services have become unavailable in the crucial geographic area of the main Hawaiian Islands, the Prescott Grant Program is making this special announcement to inform the public of the availability of funding up to $200,000 for marine mammal stranding response and rehabilitation activities in this area. The annual competitive cycle of the Prescott Grant Program will be announced separately. DATES: Applications must be submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on June 27, 2006. Applications received after that time will not be considered for funding. ADDRESSES: Applications should be submitted via www.grants.gov. If www.grants.gov cannot reasonably be used, applications must be postmarked, or provided to a delivery service and documented with a receipt, by June 27, 2006, and mailed to: NOAA Fisheries, Office of Protected Resources, Prescott Grant Program (F/PR2), 1315 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910– 3282. ATTN: Prescott Hawaii. No facsimile or electronic mail applications will be accepted. Electronic Access to the full funding announcement for this program is available via the Grants.gov Web site: http://www.grants.gov. The announcement will also be available at VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:40 Jun 12, 2006 Jkt 208001 34061 the Program Web site: http:// www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/health/prescott/ or by contacting the program official identified below. All application requirements contained in the full funding announcement must be adhered to in submitted proposals. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah Wilkin, (301) 713–2322, or by email at sarah.wilkin@noaa.gov SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: medical attention, or is in waters under the jurisdiction of the United States but is unable to return to its natural habitat under its own power or without assistance. The Prescott Grant Program is administered through the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program (MMHSRP) of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Background Information on marine mammal stranding response and rehabilitation projects funded to date under the Prescott Grant Program can be found on the World Wide Web at: http:// www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/health/prescott. As has been the case since October 1, 2004, applicants can access the full funding announcement and download and submit electronic grant applications for NOAA Financial Assistance at the Grants.gov Web site: http:// www.grants.gov. Applicants responding to this soliciation are strongly encouraged to submit applications through the Grants.gov web site (see ADDRESSESS). The Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Act of 2000 amended the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) to establish the John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grant Program (16 U.S.C. 1421f–1). An annual competition is conducted for stranding network organizations nationwide. Stranding response services have become unavailable in the crucial geographic area of the main Hawaiian Islands. For this reason, the Prescott Grant Program is making this special announcement of the availability of funds for stranding response in the main Hawaiian Islands outside of the annual competitive cycle, which will be announced separately. This document describes how to submit proposals for funding under this special announcement of the Prescott Grant Program and how we will determine which proposals will be funded. The Prescott Grant Program is conducted by the Secretary of Commerce to provide Federal assistance to eligible stranding network participants (see section I.E. of this document) for (A) basic needs of organizations for response, treatment, and data collection from living and dead stranded marine mammals, (B) scientific research objectives designed to answer questions about marine mammal strandings, health, or rehabilitation techniques utilizing data from living and dead stranded marine mammals, and (C) facility operations directly related to the recovery, treatment, and data collection from living and dead stranded marine mammals and investigation of scientific research objectives designed to answer questions about marine mammal strandings, health, or rehabilitation techniques utilizing data from living and dead stranded marine mammals. For purposes of this document, a stranded marine mammal is a marine mammal in the wild that is (1) dead and on a beach, shore, or in waters under the jurisdiction of the United States or (2) is live and on a beach or shore of the United States and unable to return to the water, is in apparent need of PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Electronic Access Initiative Priorities For this solicitation, all applications must fall within one of the following two priorities. The priorities are not listed in any particular order and each is of equal importance. Note that the purpose of the priority list is to guide applicants in application development by identifying those applications that will best compete during this grant cycle for these limited funds, and to provide technical reviewers with guidance for their evaluations. Details of the priorities are as follows: 1. Enhance network operations to respond to, transport, sample, necropsy, analyze, and dispose of dead stranded marine mammals, including the collection, reporting and sharing of quality Level A, B, and C data, while protecting human health. This may include purchase of supplies and equipment or salary support for veterinary and staffing needs. Specific concerns are: (1) To conduct thorough necropsies to enhance the ability to detect human-interaction and humaninduced injuries and mortalities (e.g. entanglements, hookings and gear interaction, and boat strikes); (2) to diagnose and investigate marine mammal disease; and (3) training for network members and members of the general public. 2. Enhance network operations to respond to, rescue, transport, treat, rehabilitate, and humanely euthanize, when necessary, live stranded marine E:\FR\FM\13JNN1.SGM 13JNN1 34062 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 113 / Tuesday, June 13, 2006 / Notices mammals that are sick or injured, while protecting human health. These Program priorities pertain only to species that are under the authority of the Department of Commerce (cetaceans and pinnipeds, except walrus) as stated in the MMPA. Additionally, proposals for stranding response and rehabilitation of Hawaiian monk seals will not be accepted under this competition. No Prescott funds under this competition will go towards basic scientific research on nonstranded marine mammals (i.e., wild population studies). In addition, no projects involving construction of new facilities for the rescue and rehabilitation of stranded marine mammals will be considered; however, construction projects in established facilities (i.e., those that involve buildouts, alterations, upgrades and renovations) would be appropriate for Category C projects. NOAA will consider funding more than one project under a single award; however, all projects should be sufficiently developed as per the guidelines and information requirements listed in this document for an application to be competitive, and all projects should be able to be completed within the award period specified below. Applicants are advised to review the Interim Policies and Best Practices for Marine Mammal Stranding Response, Rehabilitation and Release (available on our Web site at: http:// www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/health/eis.htm) before submitting their proposed projects. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES Funding Availability Funding of up to $200,000 is expected to be available for stranding response in the main Hawaiian Islands. The maximum Federal award for each grant cannot exceed $100,000, as stated in the legislative language (16 U.S.C. 1421f–1). NOAA does not guarantee that sufficient funds will be available to make awards for all proposals. Publication of this document does not obligate NOAA to award any specific project or obligate all or any parts of any available funds. There is no limit on the number of proposals that may be submitted by the same stranding network participant during this competition, nor is there any limit on the number of proposals that may be funded to a single institution; however, only $200,000 is expected to be available at this time. Applicants with current or previous Prescott funding may apply and receive funds under this competition in addition to any active or future awards, including VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:40 Jun 12, 2006 Jkt 208001 the FY 2007 Prescott competition (announced separately). Authority The Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Act of 2000 amended the MMPA to establish the John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grant Program (16 U.S.C. 1421f–1). Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance 11.439, Marine Mammal Data Program. Eligibility There are 3 categories of eligible stranding network participants that may apply for funds under this Program: (1) Stranding Agreement or Letter of Agreement (SA/LOA) holders; (2) researchers; and, (3) state, local, or tribal government employees. In this competition, applicants without an organizational history within the stranding network may be considered, provided that the Principal Investigator and Co-Investigators demonstrate the appropriate experience to carry out the proposed activities. Award recipients should be participants in the Hawaiian Islands Marine Mammal Response Network as SA/LOA holders, researchers, or 109(h) responders (government employees) at the time the award is made, unless extenuating circumstances exist. Guidance regarding eligibility status is available from the Full Funding Opportunity posted on Grants.gov or from Program staff (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). The Department of Commerce/ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (DOC/NOAA) is strongly committed to broadening the participation of historically black colleges and universities, Hispanicserving institutions, tribal colleges and universities, and institutions that work in under served areas. The Prescott Grant Program encourages proposals from or involving any of the above institutions. Cost Sharing Requirements All proposals submitted must provide a minimum non-Federal cost share of 25 percent of the total budget (i.e., .25 x total project costs > total non-Federal share), as stated in the legislative language (16 U.S.C. 1421f–1). For assistance in calculating the required match, please use the cost-share calculator on our Web site at: http:// www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/health/prescott/ proposals/costshare.htm. Match to NOAA funds can come from a variety of public and private sources and can include in-kind goods and PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 services and volunteer labor. Federal funds are not considered matching funds. Applicants are permitted to combine contributions from multiple non-Federal partners in order to meet the 25–percent match expected, as long as such contributions are not being used to match any other funds. Applicants whose proposals are selected for funding will be bound by the percentage of cost-sharing reflected in the award document signed by the NOAA Grants Officer. Successful applicants should be prepared to carefully document matching contributions, including the overall number of volunteers and in-kind participation hours devoted to stranding response. Match must be applied to the project during the award period. Intergovernmental Review Applications under this initiative are subject to the provisions of Executive Order 12372, Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs. Applicants are required to complete item 16 on SF–424 regarding clearance by the State Single Point of Contact (SPOC) established as a result of the Executive Order. To find out about and comply with a State’s process under Executive Order 12372, the names, addresses and phone numbers of participating SPOC’s are available on the Internet at: http:// www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants/ spoc.html. Evaluation and Selection Criteria and Procedures Peer reviewers will assign scores to proposals ranging from 0 to 100 points in each of the five standard NOAA evaluation criteria. Scores will be weighted as specified: 1. Importance and Applicability of Proposal (weight 40 percent) This criterion ascertains whether there is intrinsic value in the proposed work and/or relevance to NOAA, Federal, regional, state or local activities. 2. Technical/Scientific Merit (weight 30 percent) This criterion assesses whether the approach is technically sound and/or innovative, if the methods are appropriate, and whether there are clear project goals and objectives. 3. Overall Qualifications of Applicants (weight 10 percent) This criterion ascertains whether the applicant possesses the necessary education, experience, demonstrated commitment, training, facilities, and administrative resources to accomplish the project. 4. Project Costs (weight 10 percent) E:\FR\FM\13JNN1.SGM 13JNN1 jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 113 / Tuesday, June 13, 2006 / Notices This criterion evaluates the project’s budget to determine if it is realistic and commensurate with the project needs and time-frame. 5. Outreach and Education (weight 10 percent) NOAA assesses whether the project provides a focused and effective education and outreach strategy regarding NOAA’s mission to protect the Nation’s natural resources. Further explanation of the evaluation criteria and their specific application to this competition can be found in the Full Funding Opportunity available at grants.gov. Applications will be initially screened by NOAA staff to determine if they are eligible, complete and in accordance with instructions detailed in the standard NOAA Grants Application Package. Proposals that pass the initial screening will undergo a technical and merit review, ranking, and selection process. Applications will be evaluated by at least three individual peer reviewers from outside of the state of Hawaii, according to the criteria and weights described in this solicitation. No consensus advice will be provided by the peer reviewers. The proposals will be rated, and reviewer comments and composite project scores and a rank order will be presented to the merit review panel, which will consist of the NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Marine Mammal Response Coordinator, the National Stranding Coordinator, the Prescott Grant Manager, and other MMHSRP staff as appropriate. The merit review will use the peer review comments and application materials in making recommendations regarding equitable distribution of funds among regions, in ranking all proposals recommended for funding, and in justifying any discrepancies between the peer reviewers’ comments and the merit reviewers’ recommendations. The merit review will prepare a recommendation to the Selecting Official, the Director of the Office of Protected Resources. The Selecting Official will select the proposals to be recommended to the Grants Management Division (GMD) for funding and will determine the amount of funds available for each approved proposal. The proposals shall be recommended in rank order unless the proposal is justified to be selected out of rank order based upon one or more of the following factors: 1. The availability of funding; 2. The balance/distribution of funds: (a) Geographically, (b) by type of institutions, (c) by type of partners, (d) VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:28 Jun 12, 2006 Jkt 208001 by research areas, and (e) by project types; 3. Duplication of other projects funded or considered for funding by NOAA and/or other Federal agencies; 4. Initiative priorities and policy factors as set out in the Full Funding Opportunity available on grants.gov; 5. The applicant’s prior award performance; 6. Partnerships and/or participation of targeted groups; and 7. Adequacy of information necessary for NOAA staff to make a NEPA determination and draft necessary documentation before funding recommendations are acted upon by GMD. Hence, awards may not necessarily be made to the highest scoring proposals. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified that their proposal was not among those recommended for funding. Unsuccessful applications submitted in hard copy will be kept on file for at least one year and then destroyed. Every effort will be made to award these grants as quickly as possible, in order to minimize the lapse in stranding network coverage in the state of Hawai’i. NOAA suggests reasonable start dates of summer or fall 2006. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) NOAA must analyze the potential environmental impacts, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), for applicant projects or proposals which are seeking NOAA Federal funding opportunities. Detailed information on NOAA compliance with NEPA can be found at the following NOAA NEPA website: http:// www.nepa.noaa.gov/, including our NOAA Administrative Order 216–6 for NEPA, http://www.nepa.noaa.gov/ NAO216_6_TOC.pdf, and the Council on Environmental Quality implementation regulations, http:// ceq.eh.doe.gov/nepa/regs/ceq/ toc_ceq.htm). Consequently, as part of an applicant’s package, and under their description of their program activities, applicants are required to provide detailed information on the activities to be conducted, locations, sites, species and habitat to be affected, possible construction activities, and any environmental concerns that may exist (e.g., the use and disposal of hazardous or toxic chemicals, introduction of nonindigenous species, impacts to endangered and threatened species, aquaculture projects, and impacts to coral reef systems). In addition to providing specific information that will serve as the basis PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 34063 for any required impact analyses, applicants may also be requested to assist NOAA in drafting of an environmental assessment, if NOAA determines an assessment is required. Applicants will also be required to cooperate with NOAA in identifying and implementing feasible measures to reduce or avoid any identified adverse environmental impacts of their proposal. The failure to do so shall be grounds for the denial of an application. Pre-Award Notification Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements The Department of Commerce PreAward Notification Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements contained in the Federal Register notice of December 30, 2004 (69 FR 78389) are applicable to this solicitation. Limitation of Liability In no event will NOAA or the Department of Commerce be responsible for proposal preparation costs if this initiative fails to receive funding or is cancelled because of other agency priorities. Publication of this announcement does not oblige NOAA to award any specific project or to obligate any available funds. Recipients and subrecipients are subject to all Federal laws, agency policies, regulations and procedures applicable to Federal financial assistance awards. Paperwork Reduction Act This notification involves collectionof-information requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act. The use of Standard Forms 424, 424A, 424B, and SF-LLL and CD–346 has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under OMB control numbers 0348–0043, 0348–0044, 0348– 0040, 0348–0046 and 0605–0001 respectively. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number. Executive Order 12866 It has been determined that this notice is not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism) It has been determined that this notice does not contain policies with Federalism implications as that term is defined in Executive Order 13132. E:\FR\FM\13JNN1.SGM 13JNN1 34064 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 113 / Tuesday, June 13, 2006 / Notices Administrative Procedure Act/ Regulatory Flexibility Act Prior notice and an opportunity for public comment are not required by the Administrative Procedure Act or any other law for rules concerning public property, loans, grants, benefits, and contracts (5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2)). Because notice and opportunity for comment are not required pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 or any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) are inapplicable. Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis has not been prepared. Dated: June 7, 2006. William T. Hogarth, Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. E6–9205 Filed 6–12–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [I.D. 051806G] Marine Mammals and Endangered Species; National Marine Fisheries Service File No. 31–1741; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service File No. MA081663 jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Interior. ACTION: Notice; receipt of application for amendment. SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), 2300 Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY 10460 (Dr. Howard C. Rosenbaum, Principal Investigator) has requested an amendment to scientific research Permit No. 31–1741/MA081663. DATES: Written or telefaxed comments must be received on or before July 13, 2006. ADDRESSES: The application request and related documents are available for review upon written request or by appointment in the following office(s): U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Management Authority, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Room 700, Arlington, VA 22203; phone (800) 358– 2104; fax (703) 358–2281; and Permits, Conservation and Education Division, Office of Protected Resources, VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:28 Jun 12, 2006 Jkt 208001 NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 713–2289; fax (301) 427–2521. Written comments or requests for a public hearing on this application should be mailed to the Chief, Branch of Permits, Division of Management Authority, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Room 700, Arlington, VA 22203. Those individuals requesting a hearing should set forth the specific reasons why a hearing on this particular request would be appropriate. Comments may also be submitted by facsimile at (703) 358–2281, provided the facsimile is confirmed by hard copy submitted by mail and postmarked no later than the closing date of the comment period. Comments may also be submitted by e-mail. The mailbox address for providing e-mail comments is managementauthority@fws.gov; include in the subject line of the e-mail comment the following document identifier: File No. 31–1741/MA081663. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Monica Farris, Division of Management Authority, US Fish and Wildlife Service, (703) 358–2104. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The subject permit amendment is requested under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (MMPA; 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) and the regulations governing the taking and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR parts 18). The WCS Conservation Genetics Program, a collaboration between WCS and the American Museum of Natural History, maintains one of the largest collections of marine mammal tissues and specimens in the world. WCS wishes to amend their current permit to obtain, import and export/re-export specimens and materials from polar bears (Ursus maritimus), including shed hair, feces, and DNA and tissue samples from the wild, tissue banks, and collaborators. Such tissues would be obtained by co-investigators or other named individuals and institutions working under their own permits. Export of specimens or tissues, irrespective of their source, would be made on temporary loan basis only to bona fide institutions for the sole purpose of exhibit or scientific research. The permit would be amended for the remainder of the 5–year period of the currently authorized permit. In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), an initial determination has been made that the activities proposed are categorically PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement. Concurrent with the publication of this notice in the Federal Register, FWS is forwarding copies of this application to the Marine Mammal Commission and its Committee of Scientific Advisors. Dated: June 7, 2006. Charlie R. Chandler, Chief, Branch of Permits, Division of Management Authority, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Dated: June 7, 2006. P. Michael Payne, Chief, Permits, Conservation and Education Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. E6–9208 Filed 6–12–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [I.D. 050406A] Small Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Movement of Barges through the Beaufort Sea between West Dock and Cape Simpson or Point Lonely, Alaska AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of receipt of application and proposed incidental harassment authorization; request for comments. SUMMARY: NMFS has received a request to authorize FEX L.P. (FEX), a subsidiary of Talisman Energy, Inc. to take small numbers of marine mammals by harassment incidental to conducting a barging operation within the U.S. Beaufort Sea. Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to authorize FEX to incidentally take, by harassment, small numbers of bowhead whales, beluga whales, ringed seals, bearded seals, and spotted seals in the above mentioned area between approximately July 1 and November 30, 2006. DATES: Comments and information must be received no later than July 13, 2006. ADDRESSES: Comments on the application should be addressed to P. Michael Payne, Chief, Permits, Conservation and Education Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 EastWest Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910–3225, or by telephoning the E:\FR\FM\13JNN1.SGM 13JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 113 (Tuesday, June 13, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 34061-34064]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-9205]



[[Page 34061]]

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[Docket No. 030602141-6145-39; I.D. 060506A]


John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grant Program; 
Main Hawaiian Islands

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of availability of financial assistance.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grant 
Program (Prescott Grant Program) provides funding to eligible marine 
mammal stranding network participants to fund the recovery or treatment 
(i.e., rescue and rehabilitation) of stranded marine mammals, data 
collection from living or dead stranded marine mammals for scientific 
research regarding marine mammal health, and facility operations 
directly related to the recovery or treatment of stranded marine 
mammals and collection of data from living or dead stranded marine 
mammals. The Prescott Grant Program is administered through the NMFS 
Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program (MMHSRP). As 
stranding services have become unavailable in the crucial geographic 
area of the main Hawaiian Islands, the Prescott Grant Program is making 
this special announcement to inform the public of the availability of 
funding up to $200,000 for marine mammal stranding response and 
rehabilitation activities in this area. The annual competitive cycle of 
the Prescott Grant Program will be announced separately.

DATES:  Applications must be submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on 
June 27, 2006. Applications received after that time will not be 
considered for funding.

ADDRESSES:  Applications should be submitted via www.grants.gov. If 
www.grants.gov cannot reasonably be used, applications must be 
postmarked, or provided to a delivery service and documented with a 
receipt, by June 27, 2006, and mailed to: NOAA Fisheries, Office of 
Protected Resources, Prescott Grant Program (F/PR2), 1315 East West 
Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910-3282. ATTN: Prescott Hawaii. No 
facsimile or electronic mail applications will be accepted. Electronic 
Access to the full funding announcement for this program is available 
via the Grants.gov Web site: http://www.grants.gov. The announcement 
will also be available at the Program Web site: http://
www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/health/prescott/ or by contacting the program 
official identified below. All application requirements contained in 
the full funding announcement must be adhered to in submitted 
proposals.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah Wilkin, (301) 713-2322, or by e-
mail at sarah.wilkin@noaa.gov

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Act of 2000 amended the Marine 
Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) to establish the John H. Prescott Marine 
Mammal Rescue Assistance Grant Program (16 U.S.C. 1421f-1). An annual 
competition is conducted for stranding network organizations 
nationwide. Stranding response services have become unavailable in the 
crucial geographic area of the main Hawaiian Islands. For this reason, 
the Prescott Grant Program is making this special announcement of the 
availability of funds for stranding response in the main Hawaiian 
Islands outside of the annual competitive cycle, which will be 
announced separately. This document describes how to submit proposals 
for funding under this special announcement of the Prescott Grant 
Program and how we will determine which proposals will be funded.
    The Prescott Grant Program is conducted by the Secretary of 
Commerce to provide Federal assistance to eligible stranding network 
participants (see section I.E. of this document) for (A) basic needs of 
organizations for response, treatment, and data collection from living 
and dead stranded marine mammals, (B) scientific research objectives 
designed to answer questions about marine mammal strandings, health, or 
rehabilitation techniques utilizing data from living and dead stranded 
marine mammals, and (C) facility operations directly related to the 
recovery, treatment, and data collection from living and dead stranded 
marine mammals and investigation of scientific research objectives 
designed to answer questions about marine mammal strandings, health, or 
rehabilitation techniques utilizing data from living and dead stranded 
marine mammals. For purposes of this document, a stranded marine mammal 
is a marine mammal in the wild that is (1) dead and on a beach, shore, 
or in waters under the jurisdiction of the United States or (2) is live 
and on a beach or shore of the United States and unable to return to 
the water, is in apparent need of medical attention, or is in waters 
under the jurisdiction of the United States but is unable to return to 
its natural habitat under its own power or without assistance. The 
Prescott Grant Program is administered through the Marine Mammal Health 
and Stranding Response Program (MMHSRP) of the National Marine 
Fisheries Service (NMFS).

Electronic Access

    Information on marine mammal stranding response and rehabilitation 
projects funded to date under the Prescott Grant Program can be found 
on the World Wide Web at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/health/prescott. 
As has been the case since October 1, 2004, applicants can access the 
full funding announcement and download and submit electronic grant 
applications for NOAA Financial Assistance at the Grants.gov Web site: 
http://www.grants.gov. Applicants responding to this soliciation are 
strongly encouraged to submit applications through the Grants.gov web 
site (see ADDRESSESS).

Initiative Priorities

    For this solicitation, all applications must fall within one of the 
following two priorities. The priorities are not listed in any 
particular order and each is of equal importance. Note that the purpose 
of the priority list is to guide applicants in application development 
by identifying those applications that will best compete during this 
grant cycle for these limited funds, and to provide technical reviewers 
with guidance for their evaluations. Details of the priorities are as 
follows:
    1. Enhance network operations to respond to, transport, sample, 
necropsy, analyze, and dispose of dead stranded marine mammals, 
including the collection, reporting and sharing of quality Level A, B, 
and C data, while protecting human health. This may include purchase of 
supplies and equipment or salary support for veterinary and staffing 
needs. Specific concerns are: (1) To conduct thorough necropsies to 
enhance the ability to detect human-interaction and human-induced 
injuries and mortalities (e.g. entanglements, hookings and gear 
interaction, and boat strikes); (2) to diagnose and investigate marine 
mammal disease; and (3) training for network members and members of the 
general public.
    2. Enhance network operations to respond to, rescue, transport, 
treat, rehabilitate, and humanely euthanize, when necessary, live 
stranded marine

[[Page 34062]]

mammals that are sick or injured, while protecting human health.
    These Program priorities pertain only to species that are under the 
authority of the Department of Commerce (cetaceans and pinnipeds, 
except walrus) as stated in the MMPA. Additionally, proposals for 
stranding response and rehabilitation of Hawaiian monk seals will not 
be accepted under this competition. No Prescott funds under this 
competition will go towards basic scientific research on non-stranded 
marine mammals (i.e., wild population studies). In addition, no 
projects involving construction of new facilities for the rescue and 
rehabilitation of stranded marine mammals will be considered; however, 
construction projects in established facilities (i.e., those that 
involve build-outs, alterations, upgrades and renovations) would be 
appropriate for Category C projects.
    NOAA will consider funding more than one project under a single 
award; however, all projects should be sufficiently developed as per 
the guidelines and information requirements listed in this document for 
an application to be competitive, and all projects should be able to be 
completed within the award period specified below.
    Applicants are advised to review the Interim Policies and Best 
Practices for Marine Mammal Stranding Response, Rehabilitation and 
Release (available on our Web site at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/
health/eis.htm) before submitting their proposed projects.

Funding Availability

    Funding of up to $200,000 is expected to be available for stranding 
response in the main Hawaiian Islands. The maximum Federal award for 
each grant cannot exceed $100,000, as stated in the legislative 
language (16 U.S.C. 1421f-1). NOAA does not guarantee that sufficient 
funds will be available to make awards for all proposals. Publication 
of this document does not obligate NOAA to award any specific project 
or obligate all or any parts of any available funds.
    There is no limit on the number of proposals that may be submitted 
by the same stranding network participant during this competition, nor 
is there any limit on the number of proposals that may be funded to a 
single institution; however, only $200,000 is expected to be available 
at this time. Applicants with current or previous Prescott funding may 
apply and receive funds under this competition in addition to any 
active or future awards, including the FY 2007 Prescott competition 
(announced separately).

Authority

    The Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Act of 2000 amended the MMPA to 
establish the John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grant 
Program (16 U.S.C. 1421f-1).

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

    11.439, Marine Mammal Data Program.

Eligibility

    There are 3 categories of eligible stranding network participants 
that may apply for funds under this Program: (1) Stranding Agreement or 
Letter of Agreement (SA/LOA) holders; (2) researchers; and, (3) state, 
local, or tribal government employees.
    In this competition, applicants without an organizational history 
within the stranding network may be considered, provided that the 
Principal Investigator and Co-Investigators demonstrate the appropriate 
experience to carry out the proposed activities. Award recipients 
should be participants in the Hawaiian Islands Marine Mammal Response 
Network as SA/LOA holders, researchers, or 109(h) responders 
(government employees) at the time the award is made, unless 
extenuating circumstances exist. Guidance regarding eligibility status 
is available from the Full Funding Opportunity posted on Grants.gov or 
from Program staff (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).
    The Department of Commerce/National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration (DOC/NOAA) is strongly committed to broadening the 
participation of historically black colleges and universities, 
Hispanic-serving institutions, tribal colleges and universities, and 
institutions that work in under served areas. The Prescott Grant 
Program encourages proposals from or involving any of the above 
institutions.

Cost Sharing Requirements

    All proposals submitted must provide a minimum non-Federal cost 
share of 25 percent of the total budget (i.e., .25 x total project 
costs > total non-Federal share), as stated in the legislative language 
(16 U.S.C. 1421f-1). For assistance in calculating the required match, 
please use the cost-share calculator on our Web site at: http://
www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/health/prescott/proposals/costshare.htm.
    Match to NOAA funds can come from a variety of public and private 
sources and can include in-kind goods and services and volunteer labor. 
Federal funds are not considered matching funds. Applicants are 
permitted to combine contributions from multiple non-Federal partners 
in order to meet the 25-percent match expected, as long as such 
contributions are not being used to match any other funds.
    Applicants whose proposals are selected for funding will be bound 
by the percentage of cost-sharing reflected in the award document 
signed by the NOAA Grants Officer. Successful applicants should be 
prepared to carefully document matching contributions, including the 
overall number of volunteers and in-kind participation hours devoted to 
stranding response. Match must be applied to the project during the 
award period.

Intergovernmental Review

    Applications under this initiative are subject to the provisions of 
Executive Order 12372, Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs. 
Applicants are required to complete item 16 on SF-424 regarding 
clearance by the State Single Point of Contact (SPOC) established as a 
result of the Executive Order. To find out about and comply with a 
State's process under Executive Order 12372, the names, addresses and 
phone numbers of participating SPOC's are available on the Internet at: 
http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants/spoc.html.

Evaluation and Selection Criteria and Procedures

    Peer reviewers will assign scores to proposals ranging from 0 to 
100 points in each of the five standard NOAA evaluation criteria. 
Scores will be weighted as specified:
    1. Importance and Applicability of Proposal (weight 40 percent)
    This criterion ascertains whether there is intrinsic value in the 
proposed work and/or relevance to NOAA, Federal, regional, state or 
local activities.
    2. Technical/Scientific Merit (weight 30 percent)
    This criterion assesses whether the approach is technically sound 
and/or innovative, if the methods are appropriate, and whether there 
are clear project goals and objectives.
    3. Overall Qualifications of Applicants (weight 10 percent)
    This criterion ascertains whether the applicant possesses the 
necessary education, experience, demonstrated commitment, training, 
facilities, and administrative resources to accomplish the project.
    4. Project Costs (weight 10 percent)

[[Page 34063]]

    This criterion evaluates the project's budget to determine if it is 
realistic and commensurate with the project needs and time-frame.
    5. Outreach and Education (weight 10 percent)
    NOAA assesses whether the project provides a focused and effective 
education and outreach strategy regarding NOAA's mission to protect the 
Nation's natural resources.
    Further explanation of the evaluation criteria and their specific 
application to this competition can be found in the Full Funding 
Opportunity available at grants.gov.
    Applications will be initially screened by NOAA staff to determine 
if they are eligible, complete and in accordance with instructions 
detailed in the standard NOAA Grants Application Package. Proposals 
that pass the initial screening will undergo a technical and merit 
review, ranking, and selection process.
    Applications will be evaluated by at least three individual peer 
reviewers from outside of the state of Hawaii, according to the 
criteria and weights described in this solicitation. No consensus 
advice will be provided by the peer reviewers. The proposals will be 
rated, and reviewer comments and composite project scores and a rank 
order will be presented to the merit review panel, which will consist 
of the NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Marine Mammal Response 
Coordinator, the National Stranding Coordinator, the Prescott Grant 
Manager, and other MMHSRP staff as appropriate. The merit review will 
use the peer review comments and application materials in making 
recommendations regarding equitable distribution of funds among 
regions, in ranking all proposals recommended for funding, and in 
justifying any discrepancies between the peer reviewers' comments and 
the merit reviewers' recommendations.
    The merit review will prepare a recommendation to the Selecting 
Official, the Director of the Office of Protected Resources. The 
Selecting Official will select the proposals to be recommended to the 
Grants Management Division (GMD) for funding and will determine the 
amount of funds available for each approved proposal. The proposals 
shall be recommended in rank order unless the proposal is justified to 
be selected out of rank order based upon one or more of the following 
factors:
    1. The availability of funding;
    2. The balance/distribution of funds: (a) Geographically, (b) by 
type of institutions, (c) by type of partners, (d) by research areas, 
and (e) by project types;
    3. Duplication of other projects funded or considered for funding 
by NOAA and/or other Federal agencies;
    4. Initiative priorities and policy factors as set out in the Full 
Funding Opportunity available on grants.gov;
    5. The applicant's prior award performance;
    6. Partnerships and/or participation of targeted groups; and
    7. Adequacy of information necessary for NOAA staff to make a NEPA 
determination and draft necessary documentation before funding 
recommendations are acted upon by GMD.
    Hence, awards may not necessarily be made to the highest scoring 
proposals. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified that their proposal 
was not among those recommended for funding. Unsuccessful applications 
submitted in hard copy will be kept on file for at least one year and 
then destroyed.
    Every effort will be made to award these grants as quickly as 
possible, in order to minimize the lapse in stranding network coverage 
in the state of Hawai'i. NOAA suggests reasonable start dates of summer 
or fall 2006.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

    NOAA must analyze the potential environmental impacts, as required 
by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), for applicant projects 
or proposals which are seeking NOAA Federal funding opportunities. 
Detailed information on NOAA compliance with NEPA can be found at the 
following NOAA NEPA website: http://www.nepa.noaa.gov/, including our 
NOAA Administrative Order 216-6 for NEPA, http://www.nepa.noaa.gov/
NAO216_6_TOC.pdf, and the Council on Environmental Quality 
implementation regulations, http://ceq.eh.doe.gov/nepa/regs/ceq/toc_
ceq.htm).
    Consequently, as part of an applicant's package, and under their 
description of their program activities, applicants are required to 
provide detailed information on the activities to be conducted, 
locations, sites, species and habitat to be affected, possible 
construction activities, and any environmental concerns that may exist 
(e.g., the use and disposal of hazardous or toxic chemicals, 
introduction of non-indigenous species, impacts to endangered and 
threatened species, aquaculture projects, and impacts to coral reef 
systems).
    In addition to providing specific information that will serve as 
the basis for any required impact analyses, applicants may also be 
requested to assist NOAA in drafting of an environmental assessment, if 
NOAA determines an assessment is required. Applicants will also be 
required to cooperate with NOAA in identifying and implementing 
feasible measures to reduce or avoid any identified adverse 
environmental impacts of their proposal. The failure to do so shall be 
grounds for the denial of an application.

Pre-Award Notification Requirements for Grants and Cooperative 
Agreements

    The Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification Requirements for 
Grants and Cooperative Agreements contained in the Federal Register 
notice of December 30, 2004 (69 FR 78389) are applicable to this 
solicitation.

Limitation of Liability

    In no event will NOAA or the Department of Commerce be responsible 
for proposal preparation costs if this initiative fails to receive 
funding or is cancelled because of other agency priorities. Publication 
of this announcement does not oblige NOAA to award any specific project 
or to obligate any available funds. Recipients and sub-recipients are 
subject to all Federal laws, agency policies, regulations and 
procedures applicable to Federal financial assistance awards.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This notification involves collection-of-information requirements 
subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act. The use of Standard Forms 424, 
424A, 424B, and SF-LLL and CD-346 has been approved by the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) under OMB control numbers 0348-0043, 0348-
0044, 0348-0040, 0348-0046 and 0605-0001 respectively. Notwithstanding 
any other provision of law, no person is required to respond to, nor 
shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a 
collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA unless 
that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control 
number.

Executive Order 12866

    It has been determined that this notice is not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.

Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    It has been determined that this notice does not contain policies 
with Federalism implications as that term is defined in Executive Order 
13132.

[[Page 34064]]

Administrative Procedure Act/Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Prior notice and an opportunity for public comment are not required 
by the Administrative Procedure Act or any other law for rules 
concerning public property, loans, grants, benefits, and contracts (5 
U.S.C. 553(a)(2)). Because notice and opportunity for comment are not 
required pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 or any other law, the analytical 
requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) 
are inapplicable. Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis has not 
been prepared.

    Dated: June 7, 2006.
William T. Hogarth,
Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. E6-9205 Filed 6-12-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S