National TRAP Program

Open RFPs

Current funding opportunities

When derelict fishing trap removal funding opportunities become available, you will find them on this page.  For information on the proposal submission process, go to our grantees webinars page. To submit your proposal to an open rfp, go to our application portal.

Nationwide Fishing Trap Removal, Assessment, and Prevention Program (TRAP) - Due May 30, 2024



Proposal Due Date: May 30, 2024 by 11:59 p.m. EDT


The Nationwide Fishing Trap Removal, Assessment, and Prevention Program (TRAP) focuses on derelict trap removal in four areas: 1) standardization of data collection and monitoring, 2) reduction of economic and ecological impacts, 3) prevention and mitigation of harmful effects, and 4) comprehensive data sharing and analysis. The Program will coordinate the removal of derelict fishing traps (blue crab, American lobster, spiny lobster, Dungeness crab, stone crab, and potentially other types of traps) nationwide. This Program will benefit coastal and estuarine natural resources by reducing target species and bycatch mortality of living marine resources and by the removal of abandoned and derelict traps from sensitive habitats, as well as provide economic benefits such as increased harvests. Projects should also foster awareness of the effects of derelict fishing traps to further the conservation of living marine resources and their habitats and contribute to the understanding of nationwide derelict fishing trap distribution and impacts. This competition is supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Debris Program (NOAA) with funding provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Successful proposals in this solicitation will be funded through cost-reimbursable subawards and will be subject to NOAA terms and conditions. 

The Nationwide Fishing TRAP Program anticipates that between 6 and 15 awards will be made annually under this solicitation. The exact number of awards to be awarded and the exact amount of funds made will be at the discretion of the Nationwide Fishing TRAP Program following pre-award negotiations with highly meritorious applicants. The Nationwide Fishing TRAP Program may request that a highly ranked applicant submitting more than one meritorious proposal combine all or parts of its proposals into one award. Publication of this opportunity does not obligate the Nationwide Fishing TRAP Program to award any specific project or obligate all or any part of available program funds. There is no guarantee that sufficient funds will be available to make awards for any or all proposals. The number of awards to be made under this solicitation will depend on the number of eligible applications received, the amount of funding requested by recommended applicants, the merit and ranking of the proposals, and the amount of funds available. Funding of up to $1,475,000 is expected to be available for Nationwide Fishing TRAP Program Removal grants in Fiscal Year 2024. Typical awards will range from $50,000 to $150,000, but awards may be more than that range if deemed appropriate. Awards are for one-year projects; longer-term projects are not permissible under this program. The minimum amount of award funding that may be requested is $50,000. The maximum award amount is $200,000. Anticipated project start dates for awards made under this competition will range from October 1, 2024 to January 1, 2025.


The program priorities for this solicitation are the detection and removal of derelict fishing traps and the collection of standardized data associated with the removed traps. Derelict fishing traps are passive cage-style gear that are lost, abandoned, discarded, or otherwise no longer under control of a commercial or recreational fisher. These traps target crustaceans and some types of finfish, and they include, but are not limited to, abandoned crab or lobster pots/traps. Such projects must comply with applicable federal and state laws regarding handling and ownership of derelict fishing traps. This program does not focus on other types of derelict gear, such as lost nets and lines. 

Projects taking place in Sanctuaries, Reserves, Tribal or Indigenous community fishing grounds, or other protected areas may receive greater consideration for funding in this competition. 

Projects are not limited to these areas, however, and may take place anywhere that derelict fishing traps are present. All proposals must primarily emphasize removal activities that provide ecological and/or economic benefits and must clearly lay out the direct links to such benefits. 

Strong proposals will integrate innovative, sustainable approaches to the “end of life” of derelict fishing traps (i.e. re-use, recycling, energy recovery, partnering with local waste management companies, etc.). 

Prevention, outreach, education, and volunteer activities are valuable aspects of derelict fishing trap removal efforts, but they are not a priority focus of this program. Proposals including one or more of these aspects are allowed, but their inclusion is not required. 

Applications addressing other types of pollution not fitting the definition of Derelict Fishing Traps provided above are not priorities for this solicitation and will not be considered. 


All projects must take place within the coastal waterways of the United States, territories, or the Freely Associated States (FAS) of the Pacific, which includes the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau. Projects in international waters will not be considered. 

Eligible applicants include non-profit 501(c) organizations, state and territorial government agencies, local governments, municipal governments, commercial (for-profit) organizations, American Indian and Alaska Native governments and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Organizations, and educational institutions. Tribal governments include both federal and staterecognized tribes. The Nationwide Fishing TRAP Program is strongly committed to broadening the participation of American Indian Tribes and Indigenous communities, minority-serving institutions, and entities that work in underserved areas (as defined by NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science via their Underserved Communities and Environmental Justice webpage) and will follow The CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance. The Nationwide Fishing TRAP Program encourages proposals from, or involving, any of the above types of institutions. For-profit applicants should see the Budget section below for specific budget considerations for for-profit entities. Applicants with a proven track record of success in implementing derelict trap removal projects with specific, measurable results are encouraged to apply. 

Ineligible applicants include federal agencies or employees of federal agencies, foreign organizations, foreign public entities, and unincorporated individuals. 


Applicants must have the capability to collect basic data described in the Basic Data Collection Requirements section and enter the data via the ArcGIS Survey123 TRAP App (provided to all successful applicants) or through an online browser. 


TRAP Funds may not be used to support political advocacy, food costs, fundraising, lobbying, litigation, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, or any illegal activities. TRAP funds may not be used to support ongoing efforts to comply with existing legal requirements, including permit conditions, mitigation, and settlement agreements.