Notice of Funding Opportunity for America’s Marine Highway Projects

Notice of Funding Opportunity for America's Marine Highway Projects

This notice announces the availability of funding for grants and establishes selection criteria and application requirements for the America's Marine Highway Program (AMHP). The purpose of this program is to make grants available to previously designated Marine Highway Projects that support the development and expansion of documented vessels or port and landside infrastructure. The U.S. Department of Transportation (Department) will award Marine Highway Grants to implement projects or components of projects previously designated by the Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) under the AMHP. Only Marine Highway Projects the Secretary designates before the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) closing date are eligible for funding as described in this notice.

Applications must be received by the Maritime Administration (MARAD) by 5:00 p.m. EDT on June 25, 2021.

The primary goal of the AMHP is to expand the use of the nation's navigable waters to relieve landside congestion, reduce air emissions, and generate other public benefits by increasing the efficiency of the surface transportation system, and Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Marine Highway Grants will be awarded to further this purpose.

The America's Marine Highway Program Office (Program Office) follows a three-step approach when supporting investment opportunities for marine highway transportation services.

The first step is designation of a Marine Highway Route by the Secretary. The Department accepts Marine Highway Route Designation requests at any time from Route Sponsors.

Once a Route is designated, the second step is designation as a Marine Highway Project by the Secretary. Marine Highway Projects represent concepts for new services or expansions of existing marine highway services on designated Marine Highway Routes that use documented vessels and mitigate landside congestion or promote marine highway transportation. MARAD announces by notice in the Federal Register open season periods to allow Project Applicants opportunities to submit Marine Highway Project Designation applications.

A Project Applicant must receive a Project Designation to then become eligible for Marine Highway Grant funding for that Project, the third step referenced above. Marine Highway Grant funding (the subject of this NOFO) is provided to successful public and private sector applicants as funds are appropriated by Congress.

Pursuant to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Pub. L. 116-260, December 27, 2020), eligible projects proposed for funding must support the development and expansion of documented vessels or port and landside infrastructure. Only projects or their components that the Secretary has designated as Marine Highway Projects by the closing date of this notice are eligible for this round of grant funding. The current list of designated Marine Highway Projects can be found on the MARAD website at:​grants/​marine-highways/​marine-highway-project-description-pages.