Financial Assistance

Coastal Community Planning Grants Opportunity

FY24 (Coming Spring 2023)

Program Statement will be released in the Spring of 2023. Interested parties may choose to be notified of the Program Statement release by contacting Joan Walton.

FY23 (proposals were due October 14, 2022)

FY23 Coastal Community Grant Program (CCG) Statement
FY23 Project Budget Tables
FY23 Questions received and answers

The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry's Municipal Planning Assistance Program (MPAP) is seeking applications for a new round of Coastal Community Grants (CCG). CCG applications are due Friday, October 14, 2022, by 5:00 pm.

Open to counties, municipalities, unorganized territories, tribal governments, and Regional Planning Organizations in Maine's coastal zone, CCG competitive grants include projects in Maine's coastal zone with a focus on the following priority coastal issues, as identified by the Maine Coastal Program and the Maine Climate Council's Maine Won't Wait: A Four-Year Plan for Climate Action:

  • Building Community Resiliency to Adapt to a Changing Climate
  • Planning for Green Infrastructure
  • Preparing for Flooding, Sea Level Rise, Coastal Storms and Storm Surge, and Shoreline Erosion
  • Land Use Activity Impacts to Water Quality

The Municipal Planning Assistance Program anticipates making multiple Coastal Community Grant awards in the range of $20,000-$50,000. The total amount of funds available for the FY 2023 program is approximately $150,000. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration provides funding for these grants in cooperation with the Maine Department of Marine Resources Maine Coastal Program.

Eligible applicants include counties, municipalities, unorganized territories, tribal governments, and Regional Planning Organizations in Maine’s coastal zone. Groups of two or more coastal municipalities are eligible to submit a multi-municipal application.

This CCG statement is being released to coincide with the second round of Community Action Grants from the Community Resilience Partnership in the Governor's Office of Policy Innovation and the Future. CCG applicants are encouraged to examine opportunities for coordinating these two grant programs to maximize project scope and efficiencies. As non-federal funding, Community Action Grants provide an eligible match for the federal Coastal Community Grant opportunity.

CCG case Studies, which include ‘Lessons Learned’ from previously funded projects, are available on MPAP’s CCG Case Studies webpage. Questions about CCG applications should be directed to Joan A. Walton, (207) 419-8661.

Past Coastal Community Grant Projects

Since 2012, this grant program has provided over $2 million for 74 projects throughout coastal Maine. List of Coastal Community Grant Awards (XLSX).

Coastal Community Grant Program Case Studies

At the conclusion of each project, grant recipients prepare a case study to describe the project’s approach and results, identify next steps and needs, share lessons learned and applicability for other municipalities and help identify municipal and regional needs and emerging coastal issues. The case studies focus on sharing lessons learned “in their own words” and can be found on our Coastal Community Grant Case Studies webpage.

FY21 Round of Coastal Community Planning Grants Awarded

The Department of Agriculture Conservation and Forestry (DACF) has awarded nearly $157,000 through its Coastal Community Grant Program for five projects located throughout coastal Maine. This year’s grants, awarded and administered by the Municipal Planning Assistance Program, will help coastal communities by improving social resiliency, improving the health of shellfish beds, developing a model coastal resilience ordinance, developing standards for the control of erosion and sediment in storm sewer systems, and strengthening downtowns.

The grants are made possible by the Maine Coastal Program at the Department of Marine Resources, which provides funding through Maine’s federal coastal zone management award from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. Each project involves regional or local-level partnerships and each grantee provides a minimum of 25% in matching funds or services.

Coastal Community Grants are an important element of the Municipal Planning Assistance Program’s mission to foster innovative and effective approaches to land use management by providing technical and financial assistance to Maine municipalities. This was the tenth round of the grant program, which since 2012, has provided $2.03 million for 74 projects in coastal Maine. FY21 Coastal Community Grant Statement (closed for applications).

FY21 grants totaling $156,956 were awarded to the following projects:

Town of Phippsburg/ Kennebec Estuary Land Trust: Collaboration to Increase Social Resilience in Midcoast Maine ($19.541)
Project Description: This project will bring together representatives from the municipal, emergency response, social service, and conservation community to take part in a facilitated scenario planning exercise that simulates a coastal hazard event in the southern Midcoast region. Participants will take part in a table-top exercise to illustrate how each would engage in preparation for and recovery from a storm event designed to highlight opportunities for the sectors to coordinate more effectively to determine how, if at all, they included the element of ‘social vulnerability’ in their work planning for the impacts of and recovery from coastal hazards. 

Project Partners: Bowdoin College, The Nature Conservancy, Casco Bay Estuary Partnership, Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, Maine Sea Grant and Maine Cooperative Extension and the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust.

Town of Waldoboro: Septic System Vulnerability Analysis ($22,535)
Project Description
:  This project is an outgrowth of work by the Waldoboro Shellfish Committee’s initiative which led to the formation of the Medomak Task Force to eliminate sources of fecal bacteria from entering the river and its Medomak River Watershed-Based Management Plan. The goals of this project are two-fold; (1) to develop a formal guidance document which will provide coastal communities with a clear and effective roadmap for assessing and prioritizing septic system vulnerability; (2) to complete a thorough septic system vulnerability assessment for coastal parcels in the Town of Waldoboro to continue to improve water quality in the Medomak River and sustain the shellfish community.
Project Partners: Waldoboro Shellfish Committee, Midcoast Conservancy, FB Environmental, Maine Department of Environmental Protection

Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission: Developing A Model Coastal Resilience Ordinance to Protect Maine’s Coastal Cities, Towns and Residents ($48,600)
Project Description: This project will engage one city and four towns that are representative of communities along the Maine coast, and their varied social demographics, geography, and exposure to coastal risks. This work is an outgrowth of preliminary recommendations of the Maine Climate Council’s Community Resilience Working Group. The model ordinance will provide a menu of options that municipalities can implement and tailor to their individual risks and needs in order to protect their built infrastructure, citizens, and natural environments. Collaboration among communities from such varied locations along the coast will enable integration of a diversity of coastal issues that communities need to prepare for and adapt to the onset of climate change. The mixed composition of coastal municipalities will ensure that the model ordinance reflects the unique and complex vulnerabilities faced by these communities.
Project Partners: Towns of Kittery, Wells, Vinalhaven and Tremont, City of South Portland and FB Environmental

City of Gardiner: Downtown Master Plan - Reinforcing the City’s Connection to Nature ($33,750) 
Project Description: Funding will be provided to  develop a master plan for the City of Gardiner’s historic downtown. The master plan will incorporate, and improve upon, past planning efforts and utilize elements of sustainable development to effectively solidify and further promote Gardiner as a place of economic, recreational, social, and natural resource growth.
Project Partners: Gardiner Main Street, Gardiner Library Association and the Kennebec Valley Council of Governments

Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission: Development of Checklist and Technical Standards for Erosion and Sediment Control Plans for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) communities ($32,550)
Project Description: The purpose of this project is to develop regional checklist and standards document for Sediment and Erosion Control Plans for development sites to inform ordinance revisions and ensure sound stormwater management, minimize soil pollution and protect the region’s water quality. Funds provided to this project will be used to facilitate at least three meetings and two workshops of municipal representatives, review technical documents by the project team, and develop needed materials for assisting participating municipalities address and at a minimum meet state requirements and anticipated requirements for ordinance revisions along with incorporation of local goals and consistencies across communities. The documents will be used by municipal personnel to update ordinances in the next two years to ensure sound stormwater management, minimize soil pollution and protect the region’s water quality.
Project Partners: Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District, Integrated Environmental Engineering Inc. and municipal staff of the Southern Maine Stormwater Working Group and Interlocal Stormwater Working Group of the Greater Portland area.

Maine's Community Planning & Implementation Grant Programs have been suspended due to state budget cuts

These include first-time comprehensive planning grants, implementation grants, and update grants.


Additional Federal & State Funding Opportunities

  • Catalog of Federal Funding Sources for Watershed Protection U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Community Development Block Grant Program Maine's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program provides funding and technical support for projects that achieve local community and economic development objectives while principally benefiting low-moderate income persons. These grants are administered by the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development.
  • Maine Safe Routes to School Program A matching grant program to improve safety for Maine children who bike or walk to school. Typical improvements include sidewalks, multi-use paths, crosswalks and traffic signals designed to separate children from vehicular traffic in school areas. The program is open to all Maine municipalities and school districts. These grants are administered by the Maine Department of Transportation.
  • Section 319 Program A matching grant program for planning and implrementation of measures to address non-point source water pollution. These grants are administered by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.