Maine Coastal Program News

March 12, 2021: Announcement of Grant Availability -
Shore and Harbor Planning Grants

The Department of Marine Resources Coastal Program announces the availability of funds for Shore and Harbor Planning grants. Funds are provided through the state’s NOAA Coastal Program Grant and the Shore and Harbor Fund managed by the Maine Department of Marine Resources Coastal Program.

Shore and Harbor Planning Grants promote: sound waterfront planning and harbor management, balanced development of shore and harbor areas, planning for waterfront infrastructure improvements, planning for climate resiliency and access to the shore. Funds may be used for development of plans for waterfront facilities and amenities, harbor and mooring plans, waterfront vulnerability assessments and resiliency plans, development of regulatory and non-regulatory approaches to waterfront conservation and improvement, development of planning studies for public and working access, development of plans and designs for harbor improvements, and development of management plans for municipal waterfront facilities.

Project planners are encouraged to consider projects that contribute to multi-town or regional planning and resource management efforts such as addressing shared bay-wide harbor management and use issues, tackling regional comprehensive planning efforts, enhancing efforts to acquire and/or secure public recreational and working access to tidal waters, supporting marine resource management activities, advancing strategic land conservation planning efforts, and contributing to waterfront develop efforts for public access and sustainable eco-tourism. 

Note: For this grant round, distribution of awards will place emphasis on coastal waterfront climate resilience with a focus on projects that advance the recommendations identified in Maine Won’t Wait: A Four-Year Plan for Climate Action.

Released in December 2020, the Plan identifies the need for communities to be proactive about understanding, planning and acting to reduce their risk from climate change.


Shore and harbor grants are available to municipalities in the State’s designated coastal zone, which includes all towns with tidal waters, to the head of tide on tidal rivers. Funds will be awarded on a competitive basis, based on the results of a project scoring and selection process. Grants are intended to be issued to municipalities, but other entities and organizations may participate through a partnership with a lead municipality.

Grant Requirements and Conditions

A match, in cash or in-kind, of 25% of total project cost is required. Projects showing a substantial additional municipal share will improve the competitiveness of the project proposal.  The project match can include direct project cost and documented values of in-kind services, including expenditures for the development and preparation of the grant application.  

Maine Coastal Program intends to allocate approximately $150,000 in grants. Individual grants may not exceed $30,000. Potential applicants are encouraged to contact Kathleen Leyden, Maine Coastal Program at to discuss project ideas and consistency with the purposes of the Shore and Harbor Grant Program.

Final deadline for proposals will be May 3rd, 2021, 5PM.

For more information, please visit

Coastal Grants Available for Municipal and Regional Projects

Contact: Ruta Dzenis,, Municipal Planning Assistance Program

The Municipal Planning Assistance Program at the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is seeking applications for a new round of Coastal Community Grants for FY 2022. The grants are for municipal and regional projects in Maine’s Coastal Zone. Funding for this technical assistance grants comes from Maine Coastal Program’s annual grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Communities eligible to apply include towns in Maine’s coastal zone, groups of towns in Maine’s coastal zone; coastal Regional Planning Commissions; and coastal Councils of Government.

This program statement invites proposals in three categories that focus on building community resiliency and adapting to climate change; particularly those that address the State of Maine’s Adaptation Goals in Maine Won’t Wait: A Four-Year Plan for Climate Action (December 2020). Eligible Coastal Community Grant project categories include:

  • Ensuring Sustainable, Vibrant Coastal Communities
  • Restoring Coastal Habitats
  • Preparing for coastal storms, erosion and flooding, coastal hazards

Grant applications are due Thursday, April 15, 2021.

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. The Coastal Community Grant Program (CCG) Statement can be found at:

More information about the Maine Coastal Program can be found at:

September 1, 2020: Notice of Approval of Changes to the Maine Coastal Program

This notice is issued to inform the members of the public, local governments, and state and federal agencies of approval by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office for Coastal Management (“NOAA”) of changes to the Maine Coastal Program. Under the federal Coastal Zone Management Act (“CZMA”), Maine and other states with a federally-approved coastal zone management program are authorized to review federal agencies’ activities for consistency with their programs’ enforceable policies. Select state land use and environmental laws and related agency rules serve as the core laws that provide the enforceable policies of the Maine Coastal Program (“MCP”).

Changes to the MCP’s core laws require NOAA’s approval. If NOAA does not approve a change to a core law the state may not use that provision as an enforceable policy when reviewing federal agency activities under the CZMA’s federal consistency authority. However, NOAA’s decision has no effect on the provision’s applicability as state law for permitting-related, natural resources management, or other purposes.

In May 2020, the Department of Marine Resources (“DMR”), which administers the MCP, submitted for NOAA’s review and approval the following changes and additions to the core laws and rules which provide enforceable policies of the state coastal management program:

  • Changes to the core law statutes of the MCP enacted by the Second Regular Session of the 129th Maine Legislature - P.L. 2019 c. 581 (amending the Natural Resources Protection Act to add rivers, streams and brooks to the list of protected natural resources for which Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) may develop a compensation fee program; and P.L. 2019 c. 619 (amending various provisions regarding solid waste processing facilities in the Hazardous Waste, Septage and Solid Waste Management Act). These public laws may be viewed on-line at: ; and
  • Changes to core law rules administered by LUPC and DEP: amendments to Chapter 10 of the Land Use Planning Commission’s (LUPC) rules regarding its adjacency principle for siting development, list of lakes on which personal watercraft are prohibited, and roads and water crossings, as effective June 17, 2019; and amendments to DEP rules ch. 692 (requirements for siting of oil storage facilities), effective as amended August 7, 2019. These rules may be viewed on-line at:

By its letter dated August 31, 2020 (PDF, 27 pages), NOAA approved the above-described program changes in their entirety, with the exception and qualification that the requirements for compensatory mitigation under 38 M.R.S. §480-Z are not approved as enforceable policies in the review of federal actions as authorized under the CZMA. These NOAA-approved program changes are now effective, if and as applicable, as enforceable policies for federal consistency purposes, as of September 1, 2020, the date this notice was published on DMR’s website.

For additional information, please contact: Todd Burrowes, Department of Marine Resources, Coastal Program, 21 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333, tel:
207.707.2324; e-mail:

Maine Coastal Program Launches Pilot Oyster Shell Recycling Project

The Maine Coastal Program, in collaboration with the Casco Bay Estuary Partnership, is excited to announce the start of our shell recycling program. With the help of local restaurants, we will collect and return waste shell to the coastal waters of Maine. The Ocean to Plate to Ocean initiative seeks to combat ocean acidification and help ensure the tidal flats remain a favorable place for natural shellfish growth. We’ll also stockpile shell for other coastal projects in Maine.

Eat an oyster a day and help protect the bay!

Participating Restaurants Include:

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