Marine Oil Spill Prevention & Response Grant Program

Find Information on MassDEP's grant program to support projects that enhance oil spill prevention and response activities.

Overview of MOSPRA Grant Program

In 2003, the barge B-120 grounded at the entrance to Buzzards Bay.   In response to that grounding and subsequent oil spill, the Massachusetts Legislature enacted Chapter 251, Acts of 2004, An Act Relative to Oil Spill Prevention and Response in Buzzards Bay and Other Harbors and Bays of the Commonwealth (also known as the Massachusetts Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act or MOSPRA or simply the Oil Spill Act), on August 4, 2004.

A key element of the Act is a Trust Fund managed by MassDEP to ensure that the Massachusetts coastline is protected from oil spills, via spill prevention and response efforts and programs that include: (a) improvements to vessel navigational systems and infrastructure; (b) development of spill response plans for local, regional, and/or state responders; (c) procurement and maintenance of spill response equipment for local, regional, and/or state responders; (d) development and implementation of spill response drills and exercises; and (e) implementation of spill prevention/response research efforts.

In 2020, MassDEP initiated a grant program to fund projects that will enhance the protection of the Massachusetts coastline in accordance with the Oil Spill Act and M.G.L. Chapter 21M.  The projects selected for an award are listed below.  MassDEP anticipates an annual grant process starting in late winter/early spring.

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Next Grant Opportunity

MassDEP anticipates issuing the next MOSPRA grant opportunity in the fall of 2023.  Please check back here in late summer 2023 for updates.

2020 MOSPRA Grant Information

The first MOSPRA grant opportunity was made available in the fall of 2020.  MassDEP anticipated funding multiple grant proposals of up to $50,000 for projects that strengthened spill prevention measures and/or increased spill response capabilities and demonstrated a community benefit.

MassDEP received 13 project proposals of which 9 were selected for funding.  Selected projects included wildlife rehabilitation training, drone program support, spill detection equipment and first responder training.  For the description of funded projects please see MOSPRA Program's 2020 Grant Recipients.

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Eligible Projects for 2020 Grant Program

Eligible projects are those which advance the goals of the Massachusetts Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act, including those that prevent oil spills (e.g., navigational aids), enhance response to spills (planning/training), or increase our understanding of oil spills and their short- and long-term effects.  Projects must be based/implemented in Massachusetts.

Examples of potentially eligible projects:

  • preparedness training, 
  • spill prevention systems and/or equipment,
  • vessel navigational safety improvements,
  • identifying and mitigating risks,
  • sensitive area data management and mapping,
  • geographic response plans,
  • research projects,
  • wildlife rehabilitation training,
  • spill detection equipment, and
  • research & improvements on climate change resiliency in oil & hazardous materials marine transportation and/or storage.

During the initial 2020 grant cycle, MassDEP is not planning to fund response equipment (such as response trailers, deployment equipment such as boats, boom/other spill containment supplies, etc.).  MassDEP may include response equipment grants in future grant cycles.

How to Apply

Information in this section pertains to the 2020 MOSPRA Grant but it is included here for reference prior to the issuance of the next grant announcement and application.

The "Marine Oil Spill Prevention & Response Program Grant Announcement and Application" includes the eligibility guidelines, schedule for the grant process including due date, and lists the required application submittals.  The Grant Announcement (BWSC-NOI-2020-MOSPRA GRANT) and Application (BWSC-NOI-2020-MOSPRA GRANT APPLICATION) are below.

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