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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.

October 29, 2020:  The official responses to submitted questions are available.  See details below under "How To Apply".

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.

MassDEP is initiating 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.

Please read the official announcement for more in depth explanation of the grant program, eligibility, and requirements for submitting a proposal.

Additional Resources for

Grant Informational Meeting

On September 22, 2020, MassDEP held an informational meeting for interested parties to give an overview of the grant program and application process.  The power point presentation is available below.  Included in the presentation is the grant calendar with important dates for the application process.

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Who is Eligible to Apply?

The MOSPRA Grant Program is open to both public and private entities for projects in Massachusetts that advance the goals of the Massachusetts Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act.

Eligible Projects

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.

Available Funding

The total anticipated expenditures for projects under this Grant Announcement are $500,000.  MassDEP anticipates most grants will be under $50,000.  However, MassDEP will consider eligible grant applications for amounts exceeding $50,000 based on advancing goals of MOSPRA.

How to Apply

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.

The Grant Announcement and Application are also available on COMMBUYS.

UPDATE- Please see the answers to questions submitted by October 20, 2020 (due date for questions under the grant calendar) in the below document- "BWSC-NOI-2020-MOSPRA GRANT QUESTIONS & ANSWERS". 

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