NOAA Announces 2025 Ocean Exploration Funding

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NOAA Ocean Exploration has announced its Ocean Exploration Fiscal Year 2025 Funding Opportunity and is soliciting proposals focused on either one of the following two themes:

OCEAN EXPLORATION: Ocean Exploration proposals should support exploration of unknown or poorly known ocean areas, processes, or resources in waters deeper than 200 meters or in tropical mesophotic environments. Projects can entail conducting ocean exploration (e.g., mapping and characterizing ocean habitats, combining seismic and acoustic methods), advancing ocean exploration through the use or development of novel technologies (e.g., autonomous systems, non-destructive sensors, artificial intelligence/machine learning), and/or analysis of ocean exploration datasets or samples that already exist and are publicly accessible.

NOAA Ocean Exploration is particularly interested in projects that explore the physical, chemical, and biological environments and processes in the deep oceanic water column and projects that will improve genetic libraries for species-level environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis of deep-sea species.

All proposals must demonstrate how the proposed project relates to at least one of the exploration variables identified by NOAA Ocean Exploration.

MARITIME HERITAGE: Maritime Heritage proposals should address the exploration for significant maritime heritage resources that improve our understanding of the past and inform decisions about management and preservation. Maritime heritage projects can be conducted at any water depth.

NOAA Ocean Exploration is particularly interested in proposals that target conflict archeology, incorporate Indigenous knowledge, or perform wide-area searches in areas poorly mapped for maritime heritage. NOAA Ocean Exploration welcomes the use of innovative technology and/or methods for quantitative assessment of targets to improve archaeological site identification and documentation.

By supporting exploration, i.e., discovery through disciplined, diverse observations, NOAA Ocean Exploration seeks to advance basic understanding of waters under U.S. jurisdiction. All proposals must support priorities in the NOAA Ocean Exploration Strategic Plan and should also consider the Strategic Priorities for Ocean Exploration and Characterization of the United States Exclusive Economic Zone. Proposed projects are not restricted to waters under U.S. jurisdiction, but proposals should address how projects will provide national benefit.

The deadline for the pre-proposals, which are required, is May 30, 2024, at 4:59 p.m. ET. Full proposals are due by October 3, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

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