NOAA Ocean Exploration FY25 Funding Opportunity Announced

(Image credit: NOAA)

NOAA Ocean Exploration is pleased to announce its Ocean Exploration Fiscal Year 2025 Funding Opportunity. NOAA Ocean Exploration is dedicated to exploring the unknown ocean, unlocking its potential through scientific discovery, technological advancements, partnerships, and data delivery. By leading national efforts to fill gaps in basic understanding of the marine environment, we are providing critical ocean data, information, and awareness needed to strengthen the economy, health, and security of the United States and the world.

NOAA Ocean Exploration is soliciting proposals for ocean exploration-related projects under two themes. By supporting exploration, i.e., discovery through disciplined, diverse observations, NOAA Ocean Exploration seeks to advance our basic understanding of waters under US 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 US jurisdiction, but proposals should address how projects will provide national benefit.

For Fiscal Year 2025 funding, NOAA Ocean Exploration 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, nondestructive 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.

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

The notice of funding opportunity was published on April 2, 2024, and is accessible through the NOAA Ocean Exploration website, on, and attached for your convenience.

A webinar about the funding opportunity will be held on April 16, 2024, at 3 pm EDT. Registration is open. A recording will be posted on the funding opportunities web page after the event. Additional questions may be directed to [email protected].

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