MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission are seeking project proposals to be funded by the N.C. Marine Resources Fund.

The fund, created by the N.C. General Assembly to receive proceeds from the sale of Coastal Recreational Fishing Licenses, provides grants for projects that help manage, protect, restore, develop, cultivate and enhance the marine resources of the state. This is the first request for proposals issued for the fund.

Only universities, North Carolina local governments, the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission are eligible to apply. Others wishing to apply must partner with an eligible entity.

Proposals will be evaluated based on the CRFL Strategic Plan for the Conservation and Improvement of North Carolina's Marine Resources, which considers priority research needs identified in fishery management plans approved by the Marine Fisheries Commission, issues identified in the Coastal Habitat Protection Plan and research needs identified cooperatively with other agencies. The strategic plan can be found on the Division of Marine Fisheries Web site at

Projects that will be considered for this funding cycle should fall under one of the three following programmatic areas:

* Fish. Research projects pertaining to estimates of fishing effort, harvest and mortality of important coastal fish species, as well as to socio-economic attributes of coastal fisheries or the characterization of catch and release mortality;

* Habitat. Projects that improve the effectiveness of existing environmental programs or that identify, designate or protect coastal fish habitat;

* People. Projects that provide increased angler access to fisheries resources and enhancement structures.

All proposals must be submitted to the director of the Division of Marine Fisheries by 5 p.m. Aug. 20. Directions for submitting a proposal and an application form can be downloaded from the Division of Marine Fisheries Web site at Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

For more information, contact CRFL Project Coordinator Bonnie Jones at (252) 808-8113 or (800) 682-2698 or