The NOAA RESTORE Science Program has completed two funding competitions which have provided $19.3 million to 22 teams of researchers and resource managers. These teams and their projects were selected following rigorous and highly competitive processes which included a review by panels of outside experts.
The first competition (FFO-2015) led to the awarding of $2.7M to seven projects that focus on assessing ecosystem modeling, evaluating indicators for ecosystem conditions, or assessing and developing recommendations for monitoring and observing in the Gulf of Mexico. These projects are synthesizing current scientific understanding and management needs to inform the future direction of the NOAA RESTORE Science Program as well as the other science and restoration initiatives in the region. The results from these projects will also inform the development of management strategies to support the sustainability of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem, including its fisheries.
The second competition (FFO-2017) led to the awarding of $16.7M to 15 projects that focus on living coastal and marine resources and their habitats in the Gulf of Mexico. Six of the teams will be working directly with resource managers to improve the decision support tools available for managing living coastal and marine resources in the region. Nine of the teams will be conducting research on living coastal and marine resources to answer questions resource managers need answered about food webs, habitat use, fisheries recruitment, the impact of stressors, and connections between habitats. The results from these projects will increase our understanding of how living coastal and marine resources, including fish, birds, marine mammals, shellfish, and deepwater corals, use the Gulf of Mexico and provide valuable information and tools to inform their management.
Collectively, these awards demonstrate the Science Program´s commitment to producing timely and high-quality scientific findings and products to support the management and sustainability of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem, including its fisheries.