NOAA/FKNMS Special Research Opportunity

Coral Health and Monitoring Program coral at
Fri May 30 09:26:16 EDT 1997

Ben Haskell of NOAA's Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary has asked
that I post the following announcement, which may also be viewed at:



                1997 Special Research Opportunity
                          by NOAA's
             Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

Long-term Monitoring of Marine Reserves

	The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) announces a
Special Research Opportunity (SRO) to conduct long-term monitoring in the
Nation's first large-scale coral reef marine zones located in the Florida
Keys. Proposals are sought for the initial phase of a five year monitoring
effort. The Sanctuary will work with the National Undersea Research Center
at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (NURC/UNCW) for review
of proposals. The Sanctuary and NURC/UNCW will also provide logistical
support for field and shore-based operations. Prospective investigators
are requested to contact the Sanctuary for additional information. Details
are provided below regarding specific program requirements and funding.

Background on the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

	In 1990 the U.S. Congress, recognizing the national significance
of this coral reef ecosystem and the real threats to its integrity,
designated a 9,500 km2 area surrounding the Keys as a national marine
sanctuary to protect its biodiversity and achieve sustainable use of its
resources. After a six year planning process, the Sanctuary will be
implemented as of July 1, 1997. A significant management action taking
effect in 1997 will be a series of marine zones (See Figure at that offer different
levels of habitat protection; the most restrictive of which are no-take
and no-diving. Three of the zones, with special protection, are the focus
of this research announcement.

Monitoring Programs in the FKNMS

	Three large-scale monitoring programs, funded by the Environmental
Protection Agency as part of their water quality protection program, are
currently underway in the Sanctuary. The programs are designed to discern
long-term trends in coral cover, seagrass productivity, and water quality
throughout the Keys. In addition to these programs, the SRO described
here, will begin in 1997 to specifically monitor benthic resources in the
marine zones. The Sanctuary will take a hierarchical approach to monitor
the zones, where Level I Monitoring (the focus of this SRO) addresses
monitoring in the two largest zones and one smaller research-only area,
Level II Monitoring focuses on 13 additional smaller and heavily used
zones, and Level III Monitoring utilizes volunteers to collect core data
in all of the zones.

Scope of Work for Writing Proposals

	The focus of this SRO includes three of the 23 no-take zones in
the Sanctuary:  the Western Sambos Ecological Reserve, the Eastern Sambos
Research-only Area, and the Carysfort Sanctuary Preservation Area (see
above chart). Additionally, diving is prohibited in the Eastern Sambos
Research-only Area. The objectives of the Level I Monitoring are
relatively specific, as other programs address fish, lobster, conch, and
seagrass. Close coordination will be required among groups working in the
zones (which will be provided through the Sanctuary program). The specific
objective of the monitoring program addressed by this announcement is to
determine whether or not the no-take regulations have an effect on the
benthic coral reef communities and on important ecological processes.

	The sample design should encompass the wide variety of coral
habitats found within each zone, as well as the spatial and temporal
variation in animal and algal populations. Seagrass habitats and water
quality monitoring are not included in the scope of work. Expected
products after one year of effort should include at a minimum the basic
parameters measured by standard coral reef monitoring programs. Methods
should also include video and/or photographic techniques. Parameters must
include, but are not limited to: abundance, cover, and diversity
measurements for hard and soft corals, sponges, macroalgae, and other
important invertebrates. Flexibility and creativity are sought in setting
up the monitoring program to detect spatial and temporal change within the
zones. Process-based measures (e.g. grazing rates, productivity,
recruitment) or indicator species should be included in proposals.
Reference sites outside the zones should be established as part of a
statistical design that addresses the specific management strategy
(no-take) that will be implemented. Data produced by Level I Monitoring
should be also be used to: 1) help evaluate the replenishment potential of
the zones to surrounding environments; and 2) help calculate measures of
non-use value that may or may not increase during the first five years of

Proposal Guidelines

	Proposals shall be limited to 12 pages and are due July 14, 1997.
Proposals should be for two years with the first year of funding not to
exceed $200,000. Work proposed in the second year should be identified
along with a separate budget not to exceed $150,000. The FKNMS program
will undergo a major review after five years by the State of Florida and
NOAA. Proposals responding to this announcement should also address work
and costs, in less detail, for years three through five. The Sanctuary
will use recommendations provided in the proposals to seek appropriate
funding for years three through five. Funding requests can include
salaries, equipment, and supplies. Boat time and dive support including
NITROX should be described; however, they will be provided by NURC/UNCW
and FKNMS. Continuation of the project beyond year one will be contingent
upon funding and project performance. Awards will be made by August 4,
1997. Field work must begin in 1997, and can be initiated as soon as
August 11, 1997. To request proposal guidelines and more details about the
marine zones contact:

Mr. Benjamin Haskell
Science Coordinator
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
P.O. Box 500368
Marathon, FL 33050
Phone: (305) 743-2437 Email: bhaskell at

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