More than a month ago, the NOAA director for the Saltonstall-Kennedy grant program said the agency was in the home stretch of determining which applicants would share in the $5 million to $11 million expected to be dispersed to grant applicants.
In the interim, February has come and gone, one-third of March is in the books and NOAA appears no closer to announcing the successful recipients than it was in late January.
“The overwhelming number of applicants and the volume of reviews needed for a robust review process takes time, but the selection process is nearly complete,” read a NOAA prepared statement sent Monday by spokesman Scott Smullen in answer to queries from The Times.
On Jan. 29, Daniel Namur, NOAA’s Maryland-based program director for the Saltonstall-Kennedy grant program, said the agency’s reviewers were “wrapping up the merit review process” and the final list of successful candidates could be finalized “within the next week.”
That has not proven to be the case. The national field of 261 applicants for the grants — including 123 from the Northeast region and more than a half-dozen from Gloucester — are still waiting to hear if they made the cut.