Funding to Support the Development of Innovative New Marine Technologies

Sea bass look for food among the schools of smaller fish in this healthy coral reef. Marine biodiversity data and information are critical for understanding the health and status of ecosystems, which is essential for coastal management, conservation, and alternative energy planning. (Image credit: NOAA)

The Department of Commerce and NOAA have announced $16.7 million in funding across 12 awards to support the development of innovative new technologies and public-private partnerships focused on sustainability, equity, biodiversity, and climate adaptation as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act. These awards are part of the US Integrated Ocean Observing System’s Marine Life and Ocean Technology Transition programs.

“To tackle climate change nationwide, we have to better understand and manage our coasts,” said US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “These awards will advance new technologies needed to gain critical insights into the status and health of our coastal ecosystems.”

Delaware

  • University of Delaware/Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System is recommended to receive $1,750,000 to establish and develop a Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON) for the Mid-Atlantic coast.

Delaware/Florida/Canada

  • The Shark Research Foundation is recommended to receive $1,750,000 to expand BioTrack, a collaborative network established by the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network, and the Animal Tracking Network to assess and monitor biodiversity hotspots where marine megafauna share habitat.

Massachusetts

  • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is recommended to receive $1,197,911 to develop and implement more robust, real-time monitoring of harmful algal blooms via satellite-based telemetry.

Michigan

  • The Great Lakes Observing System is recommended to receive $1,199,426 to deploy low-cost, in-lake observing platforms capable of capturing the full spectrum of waves in real time.
  • The University of Michigan is recommended to receive $1,750,000 for the Great Lakes Marine Biodiversity Observation Network to assess biodiversity, habitat and key ecosystem functions in the region to meet stakeholders’ information needs.

Montana

  • The University of Montana is recommended to receive $935,976 to develop an in situ system for combined pH and alkalinity measurements that will improve our understanding of the magnitude of ocean acidification and its effect on marine organisms.

New Hampshire

  • Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS) is recommended to receive $1,900,000 to continue and expand the Gulf of Maine Marine Biodiversity Observation Network.
  • NERACOOS is recommended to receive $1,198,592 to transition an existing National Data Buoy Center meteorological buoy into a multi-purpose ecosystem monitoring buoy that would provide in situ real-time data and information on ocean conditions for the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.
  • NERACOOS and MARACOOS are recommended to receive $1,189,353 to streamline the integration and distribution of metocean data from offshore wind operations across the US to marine stakeholders.

Oregon

  • Oregon State University is recommended to receive $1,750,000 to continue development of the Northern California Current Marine Biodiversity Observation Network with an established community of resource managers, tribal partners and stakeholders.

Rhode Island

  • The Ocean Discovery League is recommended to receive $1,199,918 to develop a deep-diving, low-cost Deep Ocean Research & Imaging System to lower the financial and technical barriers to deep-sea exploration and research.

Washington, DC/Puerto Rico/US Virgin Islands

  • The Ocean Foundation is recommended to receive $924,644 to assess the emerging threat of sargassum inundation on coastal ocean acidification in the US Caribbean by streamlining and operationalizing existing observing technologies and deploying them in the region.

“These projects are foundational elements for building resilient communities,” said Nicole LeBoeuf, Director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service. “New, innovative, and cost-effective tools and systems to observe more of our coastal waters and gain a more comprehensive understanding of marine ecosystems to support good decision making are essential for efficient and sustainable use of our coasts.”

The Marine Life awards advance a nationwide effort to establish a sustained biodiversity research and observing system for the nation. These projects will provide data, information, and tools to understand the health and status of ecosystems, which is essential for coastal resilience and management, conservation, and alternative energy planning. The Ocean Technology Transition awards support new technologies that address known requirements, such as improving harmful algal bloom monitoring and bringing new, lower-cost technologies to market to fill data and information gaps, ultimately increasing our ability to efficiently monitor and forecast environmental conditions and increase the resilience of coastal communities to climate change.

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