Request for Proposals: SFERPM
South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Prediction and Modeling
sferpm at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Fri Dec 6 18:42:24 EST 1996
SOUTH FLORIDA ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION PREDICTION AND MODELING
ANNOUNCEMENT OF AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS
The NOAA South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Prediction and
Modeling (SFERPM) program under the sponsorship of the NOAA
Coastal Ocean Program announces an opportunity for Environmental
Research and Modeling studies of the Florida Bay and surrounding
Since 1994, the NOAA role within the Interagency Program has
been a focus upon the larger oceanographic, atmospheric,
geological and fisheries context within which Bay restoration
will proceed. This implied studying the Bay's interaction and
exchange with the adjacent Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal
marine ecosystems (specifically including fisheries species) and
its regulation by large scale atmospheric and meteorological
processes that so intimately link the coastal marine to the
coastal terrestrial systems in South Florida.
The NOAA South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Prediction and
Modeling program will conduct empirical studies, develop and run
models, assess risks and evaluate the ecological response of the
South Florida coastal marine ecosystem. Evaluation of the
ecological response will provide federal, state and regional
restoration managers and policy-makers the most accurate and
relevant technical information available.
Approximately $2M dollars has been made available to fund
Environmental Research and Modeling activities to be initiated in
March 1997. The FY1997 Implementation Plan for the overall
SFERPM program can be obtained from the World-Wide Web at the
following address: http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/ocd/sferpm.html
On the advice of its Oversight Panel the Interagency Florida
Bay Science Program has recently developed a Strategic Science
Plan. This will be in final form and available to the public from
the Interagency Florida Bay Program Management Committee ca. mid-
January 1996. Proposals must address one or more of the central
questions articulated in the Strategic Plan of the Interagency
Florida Bay Science Program. These include:
How and at what rates do storms, changing freshwater flows, sea
level rise and local evaporation/precipitation patterns
influence circulation and salinity patterns within Florida Bay
and the outflow from the Bay to adjacent waters?
What is the relative importance of the import of exogenous
nutrients and internal nutrient cycling in determining the
nutrient budget of Florida Bay? What mechanisms control the
sources and sinks of the Bay's nutrients?
What regulates the onset, persistence and fate of planktonic
algal blooms in Florida Bay?
What are the causes and mechanisms for the observed changes in
seagrasses and the hardbottom community of Florida Bay? What
is the effect of changing salinity, light and nutrient regimes
on these communities?
What is the relationship between environmental change, habitat
change and the recruitment, growth and survival of animals in
III. Areas of Interest
All proposals should demonstrably contribute to answering
the above scientific questions. Planning letters are encouraged
on topics consistent with the expected NOAA contribution to
addressing those questions.
The NOAA Florida Bay Program FY96 Implementation Plan
relying principally upon the Standing Panel review of the October
1995 Annual Principal Investigators meeting, began the process of
changing direction and refocusing its program about a central
theme. As expressed therein:
How and why has the Florida Bay ecosystem (and its
function as a nursery for commercially and
recreationally significant species) changed as a
result of seagrass die off and the consequent
shift from a purely seagrass dominated benthic
system to a semi-pelagic system experiencing dense
episodic plankton blooms? This general question
specifically includes the question: what is the
cause, consequence and fate of plankton blooms?.
In fact, an area that has received comparatively
little attention in the overall Interagency effort
is the "effect of changing species composition,
both plants and animals, on ecosystem processes
and trophic pathways". Bloom mechanisms are but
one aspect of a more general and fundamental
phenomenon, ecosystem shift. From a NOAA
perspective the fundamental ecosystem shift, its
causes and consequences, is a critical issue
since it is directly relevant to the two most
significant regional management concerns of NOAA -
i.e., the commercially and recreationally
significant living resources for whom the Bay
represents a nursery ground and the adjacent
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and its
fragile coral reef systems. The former since
those resources depend upon the underlying
ecosystem and the primary productivity that
supports it and the latter in light of reports
that the reef ecosystem is being deleteriously
affected by the quality of the Florida Bay waters
that exit through the passes between the Keys and
contact the reefs.
Over the last few months the Interagency Florida Bay PMC has
convened three workshops directly germane to the Research and
Modeling Program. The expert outside panel reports submitted to
the PMC after these workshops supplemented by the specific input
we have received from our agency partners on the Interagency
Florida Bay Program Management Committee in the course of
drafting the Strategic Science Plan have been the major
significant determinants of the substantive content of this
Modeling efforts will continue to be a major emphasis. These
have included a Regional Circulation Model which provides tides
and advective inputs to the Bay Circulation Model being developed
by the Army Corps of Engineers (ACoE) while our Atmospheric Model
is intended to provide the Everglades Hydrology Model with
rainfall and the Bay Circulation Model with both rainfall and
wind fields. Proposals are solicited to continue to fulfill these
Proposals are solicited to determine how and to what degree
the ecological and physical changes associated with Ecosystem
Restoration will affect micro-climates within the South Florida
We intend to initiate a pelagic habit/lower trophic level
(plankton) ecosystem modeling effort that will integrate the
research results of SFERPM biological and physical process
projects. It would rely upon the ACoE Florida Bay Circulation
and Water Quality models and couple to the ecological modeling
planned by the National Biological Service (NBS/DOI), SFWMD and
the NMFS Living Marine Resources program. An explicit emphasis
of the pelagic plankton model should be implications for the
health and sustainability of the adjacent coral reef tracts of
Physical oceanographic field proposals are solicited with
particular emphasis upon the linkage between the west Florida
Shelf and the western Bay, the region immediately offshore of
the Keys and the southwesterly flow connecting the Bay to the
FKNMS reef tract. As recommended by the Circulation Model Panel
in regard to Bay modeling, "boundary conditions are inadequately
addressed at this time... [they recommended] that the western
boundary be extended over the shelf and northward of the Shark
River inflow point and, offshore of the Keys". Physical studies
will have to be closely integrated with the ACoE modeling effort
which has been extended both to the west and the south and now
includes the FKNMS. NOAA has agreed to take a lead role in
providing the requisite physical data for parameterizing and
validating the Bay Circulation Model.
Proposals are solicited on cycling and transformation of
nutrients, and upon mechanisms and fluxes rather than upon
monitoring of nutrient distributions. These should address
previously unmeasured parameters and processes such as the
availability of Bay sediment nutrient loads to phytoplankton,
the exchange and transformation between available and unavailable
chemical species and physical states, limitation by micro-
nutrients, and the relative roles of bacteria and phytoplankton
(delineating the significance of the so-called microbial loop).
One of the major nutrient input fluxes (atmospheric deposition)
will be a high priority. Multidisciplinary process and modeling
studies to simultaneously assess production and loss terms over
appropriate time and space scales throughout the Bay will also be
a high priority. Moreover, as noted by the Nutrient Dynamics
Panel "an important determinant of the supply of nutrients to the
Bay is water flow and circulation, the most poorly quantified
element of which is the exchange between western and central
Florida Bay". Interdisciplinary field studies addresses these
issues are solicited.
Limited paleoecological studies are solicited. Accurate
knowledge of the historical sequence of environmental change is
essential to make predictions (and help understand) the sequence
of change observed as Bay restoration proceeds and water flow
(and related parameters) are altered. From the interagency
perspective paleoecology is essential to defining the restoration
objectives for Florida Bay.
Multidisciplinary proposals explicitly linking the Bay and
the reef tract are solicited. The former should specifically
include monitoring outflow from and exchange between the Bay and
the FKNMS reef tract. Coral Reef Initiative-related activities
would specifically include additional fixed moorings in and near
inlets and enhancing instrumentation on present and planned fixed
stations in and near inlets as well as provision of a central
real time WWW site that will assimilate and distribute the data
from these fixed sites to the scientific user community.
Experimental studies relating to ecosystem shifts are
solicited as are collection of biological and physical field data
coupled to physiological experiments upon planktonic organisms.
Studies quantitatively defining trophic trophic linkages
connecting Bay communities are also solicited as are
physical/biological studies of the processes relating to algal
bloom formation and maintenance.
The establishment and maintenance of explicit collaborations
between field scientists, experimentalists and ecosystem modelers
will be strongly encouraged by the SFERPM program. The
collaborative web must include all the mutually dependent
projects in the interagency Florida Bay program and is
facilitated by the formal structure of that program and mutual
reliance upon a common Strategic Science Plan in establishing
individual agency priorities.
IV. Planning Letter and Proposal Submission Process
A. The SFERPM program is a cooperative effort meant to encompass
both NOAA line organizations, its' agency partners and the
academic community. Cooperative proposals between NOAA
scientists and academic, state or other federal scientists are
strongly encouraged but not specifically required. In some
cases, the submission of an individual investigator or single
institution proposal may be more appropriate. The decision is
left to the investigators. Proposals from traditionally under-
represented groups and institutions (e.g. - women or minority
principals or institutions) are encouraged.
All investigators must follow the procedures described below:
Applicants should submit a short (no more than 3 page) planning
letter to the Program Office of the SFERPM program at
NOAA/AOML/OCD in Miami.
Electronic submissions will facilitate review. If this mechanism
is chosen please supply text as plain vanilla ASCII (not word
processor specific) and associated figures as either *.GIF or
Postscript files. See VII below for email address.
Hardcopy submissions should be single spaced, typewritten on 8 2
x 11 inch paper. All planning letters are to include rationale,
brief research plans including methods and a preliminary budget.
A one page curriculum vitae of each of the Principal
Investigators must be attached. These planning letters will be
reviewed with the assistance of the SFERPM Technical Advisory
B. Only when evaluation of planning letters has been completed
and decisions as to program priorities have been made, will the
PMC send requests for more detailed (8-10 pages of text)
proposals to principal investigators. All requests for
preparation of proposals will include specific technical and
budgetary guidance. Suggestions will also be made concerning
collaboration with other investigators (and agencies) where
appropriate. Proposal submissions should then be directed to
research plans and technical approaches rather than justifying
the significance of the proposed research.
Both external peer review and the SFERPM Technical Advisory
Panel will be used to assist the PMC in determining whether the
proposals received have been responsive to the requests. Funding
decisions will be reported to the Interagency Florida Bay Program
Management Committee for their review prior to final funding
Each full proposal should include the following:
1. Cover page
As required by the sponsoring organization.
2. Brief Introduction
Describe how the proposal relates to this announcement and
the implementation plan.
3. Brief Background/Justification
4. Research Work plan [the bulk of the proposal]
a. Objectives to be achieved or hypotheses to be tested.
b. Detailed sequence of tasks and activities including
individual responsibilities in multiple investigators
5. Coordination, collaborations with other projects and
Describe the relationship and interdependence of the
6. Special Budget Items
Describe and justify any special budget items such as:
o Permanent equipment over $1,000, travel, subcontracts, etc.
o Subcontracts should have a separate budget page.
Each Principal Investigator should have a budget page as
well as a cumulative budget for the entire proposal. Annual
work plans and budgets should be prepared for the duration
of the proposed study. A Sea Grant 90-4 form is required
for investigators from academic institutions.
C. How to Submit
Principal Investigators in multi-investigator proposals
should submit an original and two copies of the entire
proposal with appropriate budget sheets to their sponsoring
organization (SO) and simultaneously to the SFERPM (PMC).
For NOAA scientists, the SO is their NOAA line organization.
For academic scientists the SO is either the Sea Grant
Program in your state or the NOAA/academic cooperative
institute if one has been established at your institution.
V. Obligations of Principal Investigators
Investigators participating in the program must agree to
undertake the following:
1. Participate in meetings for planning and coordination
of program activities. This includes participation in the
Annual Interagency Florida Bay Science Program Conference
and technical workshops sponsored by the Interagency PMC.
2. Promptly quality control data and make it available
through the SFERPM program data manager to other Florida Bay
investigators supported by NOAA and its agency partners.
3. Deposit processed field data, if appropriate, in NODC
within two years of acquisition.
4. Participate in the synthesis and interpretation of
research results and the development of products of value to
restoration and resource managers.
5. Publish research results in the peer-reviewed literature
for the benefit of the scientific community.
VI. Schedule (absolutely no extensions can be granted):
1. December 24, 1996 - Closing date for Planning letters
in the SFERPM Program Office
2. January 15, 1997 - Planning Letter Review Complete
3. January 22, 1997 - Request for proposals with specific
directions based on Planning Letter review
4. February 14, 1997 - Closing date for Requested
proposals submitted to PMC and local Sea Grant Offices
5. March 7, 1997 - Notification of awards
VII. Letter Submissions to:
The South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Prediction
and Modeling Program Office
c/o Dr. Peter B. Ortner
4301 Rickenbacker Cy.
Miami, FL 33149
Voice: (305) 361-4380 (AOML/OCD secretary)
FAX: (305) 361-4392 (AOML/OCD)
email: "ortner at aoml.noaa.gov"
More information about the Coral-list-old