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Overview of FFO-2017

This federal funding opportunity (FFO-2017) (full announcement) is focused on living coastal and marine resources and their habitats and continues 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. The funding competition has two priorities. A research priority directed at six specific areas of living coastal and marine resource research and a decision-support tool priority directed at improving the tools available for resource management. To receiving funding, applicants will need to directly address a resource management need and have a clear plan for how their research findings or decision support tool will be used by specific resource managers.

This funding opportunity is an open competition. All applications will be evaluated and scored individually using an independent peer review process. This process is designed to identify the strongest applications based on the merit of the work being proposed.

FFO-2017 Priorities

Research Priority

Proposals addressing this competition’s research priority will increase our understanding of living coastal and marine resources and their habitats in the Gulf of Mexico in one or more of these six specific areas of research:

  • Movement of living coastal and marine resources between and among habitats;
  • Use of habitat by living coastal and marine resources;
  • Recruitment of juvenile fish to fisheries;
  • Food web structure and dynamics, trophic linkages, and/or predator-prey relationships;
  • Impact of multiple stressors on food web structure and dynamics and/or habitat quality and quantity; and
  • Connections between restored habitat and surrounding habitats and the living coastal and marine resources and wildlife that use those habitats.

Proposals that clearly describe how the research will be applied, relate to a challenge facing resource managers, and detail a path for communicating their research results to the management community will be given priority.

Decision-Support Tool Priority

Proposals addressing this competition’s decision-support tool priority will improve decision-support tools for the management of living coastal and marine resources and their habitats in the Gulf of Mexico. The tools should inform a current or near-term management decision or challenge that has been identified as a priority by the management community. In addition, there must be a clear path forward for the use of the tool by resource managers.

These decision-support tools can take the form of a data integration platform; models for identifying and predicting the impacts of stressors or interactions among components of the ecosystem; and/or structured approaches for making decisions which develop and evaluate alternatives. Proposals focused on improving an existing decision-support tool actively being used a resource manager will be given priority.

Research to Application

The scientific information and decision-support tools resulting from this funding opportunity will contribute to improved understanding and more informed management of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem. Highest consideration will be given to applications incorporating management-driven research studies and decision-support tool development, which includes participation by the resource management community. Applicants must demonstrate clear connections to relevant management and restoration entities that will use the results of their proposed work. They must define the specific steps they will use to ensure the application of their findings or the decision-support tools they develop.