Financial Assistance

Coastal Community Grant Program

Coastal Community Grants are an important element of the MPAP’s work to encourage and promote efforts of coastal communities and regional planning organizations pursuant to the goals of the Growth Management Act (M.R.S.A. 30-A, Chapter 187) and Coastal Management Policies (M.R.S.A. 38, Chapter 19).

The grants are for municipal and regional projects in Maine’s coastal zone. Funding for these technical assistance grants comes from Maine Coastal Program’s annual grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Eligible projects must be designed to improve water quality, increase resiliency/adaptation to erosion and flooding, conserve coastal habitat, promote sustainable development, and enhance the coastal-dependent economy while preserving natural coastal resources. This program is designed to address the five priority goals of the Maine Coastal Program:  

  • Ensuring Sustainable, Vibrant Coastal Communities
  • Improving Coastal Public Access
  • Addressing the effects of land use activity on water quality
  • Restoring Coastal Habitats
  • Preparing for coastal storms, erosion and flooding, coastal hazards

Those eligible to apply include towns and unorganized territories in Maine’s coastal zone, groups of towns and unorganized territories in Maine’s coastal zone, coastal regional planning commissions, and coastal councils of governments.

For your reference, here is the FY20 Coastal Community Grant Program Statement (PDF).  MPAP anticipates the Coastal Community Grant Program Statement for Fiscal Year 2021 will be released in March 2020.

Past Coastal Community Grant Projects

Since 2012, this grant program has provided over $1.7 million for 65 projects throughout coastal Maine. List of Coastal Community Grant Awards (XLS).

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.

FY20 Round of Coastal Community Planning Grants Awarded
For Fiscal Year 2020, The Department of Agriculture Conservation and Forestry (DACF) awarded nearly $145,000 through its Coastal Community Grant Program for four projects located throughout coastal Maine. This year’s grants, awarded and administered by DACF’s Municipal Planning Assistance Program, will help coastal communities by supporting  green infrastructure design to address run-off and erosion and restore coastal habitat; dam redesign to provide for fish passage and improve inland and coastal resilience; study saltwater intrusion on island water supply; and advancing work in GIS economic vulnerability assessments of flood hazard impacts to coastal property, evaluate associated implications to municipal tax base, and develop locally relevant, strategies to help towns prepare for sea level rise.

The grants are made possible by the Maine Coastal Program, 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 $1.87 million for 69 projects in coastal Maine.

This year, grants totaling $143,229 have been awarded to the following projects:

Bustins Island Village Corporation: Green Infrastructure Design ($17,802)

Project Description: Funds will support further analysis of upland hydrology and stormwater run-off which aggravates bluff erosion to inform detailed, actionable designs for green infrastructure to slow and retain upland rainfall. The goal of the project is to design adaptive green infrastructure to replenish the island's aquifer, restore native habitat, reduce stormwater run-off. "Living shoreline" bluff protection and repair will be examined in addition to other alternative designs.

Project Partner: Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District

Camden: Camden Harbor Park Seawall and Montgomery Dam Redesign ($40,000)

Project Description:  Funds will help Camden complete engineering and design plans for the partial or full removal of the Montgomery Dam and the reconfiguration of the seawall and adjacent area in Camden’s Harbor Park. The project will result in a final design for modifications to the Montgomery Dam and reconfiguration of the adjacent seawall and adjacent area in Harbor Park to improve coastal and inland flood resilience and the passage of fish and other species from Camden Harbor up the Megunticook. Overall this project is an essential step in addressing more frequent storm surge events and improving the health of the entire Watershed.

Project Partners: Island Institute, Megunticook Watershed Association, Coastal Mountains Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy, George’s River Chapter of Trout Unlimited

Monhegan Plantation: Alternative Water Supply Feasibility Study ($39,240)

Project Description: Monhegan and the Monhegan Water Company will conduct a risk assessment of their sole source fresh water aquifer in light of recent studies predicting flood hazard scenarios related to sea level rise and increased storm surge.  The Study will examine  current groundwater fed bedrock wells to gauge vulnerability to saltwater intrusion and evaluate the feasibility of drilled bedrock wells as a safer and more reliable alternative public water source for residents of Monhegan.

Project Partners:  Island Institute, Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission, Monhegan Water Company

Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission: Tides, Taxes and New Tactics ($46,187)

Project Description: Working closely with the municipalities of York, Kennebunk and Wells, the project team will investigate municipal-level economic and social impacts of sea level rise and storm surge hazards and develop locally-relevant adaptation and resiliency planning strategies that address local and regional vulnerabilities. The project team and advisory committee will use recently updated and downscaled sea level rise projections, storm surge modeling, and local tax and property data, to conduct a GIS-based economic vulnerability assessment of flood hazard impacts to coastal private property, evaluate associated implications for the municipal tax base, and research, evaluate, and implement locally relevant, creative adaptation strategies to help towns and the region prepare for sea level rise.

Project Partners: Towns of York, Kennebunk and Wells, Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, Maine SeaGrant, Island Institute


Maine's Community Planning & Investment Program grants have been suspended due to state budget cuts

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

Brownfields

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.