[Federal Register Volume 66, Number 204 (Monday, October 22, 2001)]
[Notices]
[Pages 53398-53402]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 01-26553]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[Docket No. 000202024-1248-02; I.D. 100401B]
RIN 0648-ZA79


Announcement of Funding Opportunity to Submit Proposals for the 
South Florida Ecosystem Research and Monitoring Program (SFP)

AGENCY: Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research/Coastal Ocean 
Program (CSCOR/COP), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of Funding Availability for financial assistance for 
project grants and cooperative agreements.

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SUMMARY: The purpose of this notice is to advise the public that CSCOR/
COP is soliciting 1-year and 2-year proposals to support coastal 
ecosystem studies in South Florida including Florida Bay, Florida Keys, 
the Florida Keys National

[[Page 53399]]

Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS), and adjacent coastal waters. It will provide 
support for research and monitoring activities for the South Florida 
Ecosystem Restoration Prediction and Modeling Program (SFERPM), the 
South Florida Living Marine Resources Program (SFLMR), and the Florida 
Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS). The overall goal of this 
Announcement is to fund high priority research and monitoring needed to 
predict the impacts of Everglades restoration on the South Florida 
coastal ecosystem. Funding is contingent upon the availability of 
Federal appropriations. It is anticipated that projects funded under 
this announcement will have a March 1, 2002 start date.

DATES: The deadline for receipt of proposals at the COP office is 3 
p.m., e.s.t. November 29, 2001. (Note that late-arriving applications 
provided to a delivery service on or before November 28, 2001, with 
delivery guaranteed before 3 p.m., e.s.t. on November 29, 2001, will be 
accepted for review if the applicant can document that the application 
was provided to the delivery service with delivery to the address 
listed below guaranteed prior to the specified closing date and time, 
and, in any event, the proposals are received in the COP office by 3 
p.m., e.s.t., no later than 2 business days following the closing 
date.)

ADDRESSES: Submit the original and 19 copies of your proposal to Center 
for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research/Coastal Ocean Program (N/SCI 2), 
SSMC#4, 8th Floor, Station 8243, 1305 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, 
MD 20910. NOAA and Standard Form Applications with instructions are 
accessible on the following COP Internet Site: http://www.cop.noaa.gov 
under the COP Grants Support Section, Part D, Application Forms for 
Initial Proposal Submission. Forms may be viewed and, in most cases, 
filled in by computer. All forms must be printed, completed, and mailed 
to CSCOR/COP with original signatures. Blue ink for original signatures 
is recommended but not required. If you are unable to access this 
information, you may call CSCOR/COP at 301-713-3338 to leave a mailing 
request.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Technical Information. Larry Pugh, SFP 
2002 Program Manager, CSCOR/COP, 301-713-3338/ext 160, Internet: 
larry.pugh@noaa.gov
    Business Management Information. Leslie McDonald, COP Grants 
Administrator, 301-713-3338/ext 155, Internet: Leslie.McDonald@noaa.gov

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Electronic Access

    Background information on the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration 
Prediction and Modeling program, including descriptions of presently 
funded projects, results, data management, and programmatic 
infrastructure (including small boat access and policy) can be found at 
http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/ocd/sferpm.
    Background information on the Florida Bay and Adjacent Marine 
Systems Interagency Science Program, including the Program Management 
Committee (PMC), Scientific Oversight Panel (SOP), copies of the annual 
science conference abstracts, workshop reports, and present Strategic 
Science Plan, can be found at http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/flbay.
    Background information regarding Florida Keys National Marine 
Sanctuary can be found at http://www.fknms.nos.noaa.gov.
    Background information regarding South Florida Ecosystem 
Restoration (SFER) in general can be found at http://www.sfrestore.org, 
but the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) can be found 
at http://www.evergladesplan.org.

Background

Program Description

    For complete program description and other requirements criteria 
for the Coastal Ocean Program, see COP's General Grant Administration 
Terms and Conditions annual notification in the Federal Register (65 FR 
62706, October 19, 2000) and at the COP home page.
    This program is one of the Federal and state programs contributing 
to the Florida Bay and Adjacent Marine Systems Interagency Science 
Program, which is designed to understand the effects of South Florida 
ecosystem restoration.
    The activities conducted to restore the South Florida ecosystem 
occur predominantly upstream of Florida Bay, and restoration impacts 
may not be direct or immediate. Through funding of the research 
priorities identified here, COP will fund an integrated suite of 
activities to better understand the coastal and marine ecosystem 
adjacent to the Everglades, comprising Florida Bay and the FKNMS. The 
GOAL of the complete effort is to develop a capability to predict the 
impacts of proposed Everglades Restoration activities on the coastal 
system from the mangroves to the coral reefs.

Research Areas

    To address the goal of developing a capability to predict changes 
in coastal ecosystems resulting from Restoration activities, this 
announcement has five specific areas of interest: nutrient inputs and 
dynamics, water quality, circulation and physical oceanography, 
fisheries and protected resources, and Florida Keys habitat 
characterization and research.
    (1) Nutrient Inputs and Dynamics. Proposals are solicited to 
quantitatively address the extent, relative contribution, and 
distribution of groundwater-derived nutrients into Florida Bay and the 
FKNMS at present and under various upstream water management 
alternatives. Proposals are also solicited on nutrient cycles within 
the water column and between the water column and benthos. A priority 
topic for nutrient proposals will be biogeochemical processes 
(including the microbial loop) governing the bio-availability of 
organic nitrogen.
    (2) Water Quality. The health of the coral reef community of the 
FKNMS depends upon the quality (temperature, salinity, nutrients, 
inorganic particulate load and chemical contaminants) of the waters 
that flow over them. With Everglades restoration, water quality 
throughout South Florida coastal waters will be changed. Proposals are 
now solicited that address the chemical, biological, and optical 
characteristics of Bay waters that exit Keys passes and potentially 
reach the reef tract and protected areas in the FKNMS. Priority will be 
given to projects coordinated with and complementary to physical 
oceanographic field studies and to projects addressing timely 
dissemination of information to the Interagency SFER science community 
and the public.
    (3) Circulation and Physical Oceanography. In the area of 
Circulation and Physical Oceanography, emphasis is placed on predicting 
the impacts of different restoration scenarios both upstream and in the 
Keys in the context of integrated natural system variability. Proposals 
are solicited to monitor the oceanographic parameters needed in order 
to verify and initialize circulation models; quantify flows 
intermittently exiting through Keys passages and potentially reaching 
the reef tract; determine basin residence and turnover times, 
circulation, and flow within the Bay and upstream effects upon the Dry 
Tortugas Ecological Reserve; and improve evaporation and sediment 
transport estimates.
    (4) Fisheries and Protected Resources. Ecosystem changes caused by 
SFER

[[Page 53400]]

activities have ultimate impacts on the sustainability of higher 
trophic level (HTL) species, including fishery and protected resources, 
which have widely recognized importance. Proposals are solicited to 
build models and provide information to increase predictive capability 
in linking higher trophic levels to ER activities. Proposals should be 
directed at the following research priorities: (1) determining human 
(e.g., water management, fishing) and natural influences on biological 
processes affecting growth, survival, and recruitment of HTL species; 
(2) determining the major factors that influence distribution and 
abundance patterns and community and trophic structure; (3) identifying 
major pathways, mechanisms, and influencing factors in the transport of 
pre-settlement stages of offshore-spawning species onto nursery 
grounds; or (4) defining and quantifying major ecological processes 
that are substantially influenced by HTL species distributions or 
community and trophic structure.
    (5) Florida Keys Habitat Characterization and Research. Coral 
reefs, seagrass beds, and hardbottom communities comprise the 
submerged, biogenic habitats of the FKNMS that support diverse species 
assemblages. Monitoring the coral reefs, seagrass beds, and hardbottom 
communities is necessary to provide a basis for detecting potential 
changes associated with Everglades restoration and fully protected 
zones.
    Over the past several years, there has been a decline in the 
abundance of live coral in the FKNMS and shifting patterns of relative 
abundance of seagrass species in Florida Bay. Recently, management 
issues concerning hardbottom communities could not be addressed because 
of a lack of ecological research. Proposals are now solicited to 
investigate (a) causes of coral decline with emphasis on cause and 
effect; (b) possible associations between water quality and seagrass 
distribution; and (c) the functional significance of hardbottom 
communities in the FKNMS ecosystem.
    The fully protected zones of the FKNMS, including the Tortugas 
Ecological Reserve, were created to assist in the protection of 
biological diversity and to disperse resource utilization in order to 
reduce user conflicts and to lessen the concentrated impact to marine 
organisms on heavily used reefs. Proposals are solicited to monitor 
commercially important species (e.g., spiny lobster) and key depleted 
fishery species (e.g., queen conch) and to create ecosystem models of 
reef fish communities to predict the effects of zoning on species 
diversity, abundance, and trophic structure.

Part I: Schedule and Proposal Submission

    This document requests full proposals only. The provisions for 
proposal preparation provided here are mandatory. Proposals received 
after the published deadline or proposals that deviate from the 
prescribed format will be returned to the sender without further 
consideration. Information regarding this announcement, additional 
background information, and required Federal forms are available on the 
COP home page.

Full Proposals

    Applications submitted in response to this announcement require an 
original proposal and 19 proposal copies at time of submission. This 
includes color or high-resolution graphics, unusually sized materials, 
or otherwise unusual materials submitted as part of the proposal. For 
color graphics, submit either color originals or color copies. The 
stated requirements for the number of proposal copies provide for a 
timely review process. Facsimile transmissions and electronic mail 
submission of full proposals will not be accepted.

Required Elements

    All recipients must follow the instructions in the preparation of 
the CSCOR/COP application forms included in this document in Part II: 
Further Supplementary Information, (10) Application forms and kit. Each 
proposal must also include the following eight elements:
    (1) Signed Summary title page. The title page should be signed by 
the Principal Investigator (PI). The Summary Title page identifies the 
project's title starting with the acronym SFP 2002 (South Florida 
Project), a short title (less than 50 characters); and the PI's name 
and affiliation, complete address, phone, FAX and E-mail information. 
The requested budget for each fiscal year should be included on the 
Summary Title page. Multi-institution proposals must include signed 
Summary Title pages from each institution.
    (2) One-page abstract/project summary. The Project Summary 
(Abstract) Form, which is to be submitted at time of application, shall 
include an introduction of the problem, rationale, scientific 
objectives and/or hypotheses to be tested, and a brief summary of work 
to be completed. The prescribed COP format for the Project Summary Form 
can be found on the COP Internet site under the COP Grants Support 
section, Part D.
    The summary should appear on a separate page, headed with the 
proposal title, institution(s), investigator(s), total proposed cost 
and budget period. It should be written in the third person. The 
summary is used to help compare proposals quickly and allows the 
respondents to summarize these key points in their own words.
    (3) Statement of work/project description. The proposed project 
must be completely described, including identification of the problem, 
scientific objectives, proposed methodology, relevance to the SFP 2002 
program goal. The project description section (including relevant 
results from prior support) should not exceed 15 pages. Page limits are 
inclusive of figures and other visual materials, but exclusive of 
references and milestone chart.
    This section should clearly identify project management with a 
description of the functions of each PI within a team. It should 
provide a full scientific justification for the research, do not simply 
reiterate justifications presented in this document. It should also 
include:
    (a) The objective for the period of proposed work and its expected 
significance;
    (b) The relation to the present state of knowledge in the field and 
relation to previous work and work in progress by the proposing 
principal investigator(s);
    (c) A discussion of how the proposed project lends value to the 
program goal;
    (d) Potential coordination with other investigators; and,
    (e) References cited.
    Reference information is required. Each reference must include the 
name(s) of all authors in the same sequence in which they appear in the 
publications, the article title, volume number, page numbers and year 
of publications. While there is no established page limitation, this 
section should include bibliographic citations only and should not be 
used to provide parenthetical information outside the 15-page project 
description.
    (4) Milestone chart. Provide time lines of major tasks covering the 
12- to 24-month duration of the proposed project.
    (5) Budget and Application Forms. Both NOAA and COP-specific 
application forms may be obtained at the COP Grants website. Forms may 
be viewed and, in most cases, filled in by computer. All forms must be 
printed, completed, and mailed to CSCOR/COP; original signatures in 
blue ink are encouraged. If applicants are unable to access this 
information, they may contact the CSCOR/COP grants administrator 
previously listed in the

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section FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    At time of proposal submission, all applicants must submit the 
Standard Form, SF-424 (Rev 7-97) Application for Federal Assistance to 
indicate the total amount of funding proposed for the whole project 
period. Applicants must also submit a COP Summary Proposal Budget Form 
for each fiscal year increment. Multi-institution proposals must 
include a Summary Proposal Budget Form for each institution. Use of 
this budget form will provide for a detailed annual budget and for the 
level of detail required by the COP program staff to evaluate the 
effort to be invested by investigators and staff on a specific project. 
The COP budget form is compatible with forms in use by other agencies 
that participate in joint projects with COP and can be found on the COP 
home page under COP Grants Support, Part D. All applications must 
include a budget narrative and a justification to support all proposed 
budget categories. The SF-424A, Budget Information (Non-Construction) 
Form, will be requested only from those applicants subsequently 
recommended for award.
    (6) Biographical sketch. With each proposal, the following must be 
included: abbreviated curriculum vitae, two pages per investigator; a 
list of up to five publications most closely related to the proposed 
project and up to five other significant publications; and list of all 
persons (including their organizational affiliation), in alphabetical 
order, who have collaborated on a project, book, article, or paper 
within the last 48 months. If there are no collaborators, this should 
be so indicated. Students, post-doctoral associates, and graduate and 
postgraduate advisors of the PI should also be disclosed. This 
information is used to help identify potential conflicts of interest or 
bias in the selection of reviewers.
    (7) Proposal format and assembly. The original proposal should be 
clamped in the upper left-hand corner, but left unbound. The 19 
additional copies can be stapled in the upper left-hand corner or bound 
on the left edge. The page margin must be one inch (2.5 cm) margins at 
the top, bottom, left and right, and the typeface standard 12-points 
size must be clear and easily legible. Proposals should be single 
spaced.

Part II: FURTHER SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION

    (1) Program authorities. For a list of all program authorities for 
the Coastal Ocean Program, see the General Grant Administration Terms 
and Conditions of the Coastal Ocean Program published in the Federal 
Register (65 FR 62706, October 19, 2000) and at the COP home page. 
Specific Authority cited for this Announcement is 33 U.S.C. 1442.
    (2) Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number. The CFDA 
number for the Coastal Ocean Program is 11.478.
    (3) Program description. For complete COP program descriptions, see 
the General Grant Administration Terms and Conditions of the Coastal 
Ocean Program published in the Federal Register (65 FR 62706, October 
19, 2000).
    (4) Funding availability. Funding is contingent upon receipt of 
fiscal years 2002-2003 Federal appropriations. Approximately $2.8 
million per year for FY2002 and FY2003 will be available for SFP 
activities under this announcement. Up to $2.1 million of these funds 
will be provided by COP and up to $0.6 million will be provided by 
NOAA/NMFS/SEFSC.
    If an application is selected for funding, NOAA has no obligation 
to provide any additional prospective funding in connection with that 
award in subsequent years. Renewal of an award to increase funding or 
to extend the period of performance is based on satisfactory 
performance and is at the total discretion of the funding agency.
    Publication of this notice does not obligate any agency to any 
specific award or to obligate any part of the entire amount of funds 
available. Recipients and subrecipients are subject to all Federal laws 
and agency policies, regulations and procedures applicable to Federal 
financial assistance awards.
    (5) Matching requirements. None. (6) Type of funding instrument. 
Project Grants for non-Federal applicants, interagency transfer 
agreements, or any other appropriate mechanisms other than project 
grants or cooperative agreements for Federal applicants.
    (7) Eligibility criteria. For complete eligibility criteria for the 
COP, see COP's General Grant Administration Terms and Conditions annual 
document in the Federal Register (65 FR 62706, October 19, 2000) and 
the COP home page. Eligible applicants are institutions of higher 
education, not-for-profit institutions, international organizations, 
state, local and Indian tribal governments and Federal agencies. COP 
will accept proposals that include foreign researchers as collaborators 
with a researcher who is affiliated with a U.S. academic institution, 
Federal agency, or any other non-profit organization.
    Applications from non-Federal and Federal applicants will be 
competed against each other. Proposals selected for funding from non-
Federal applicants will be funded through a project grant or 
cooperative agreement under the terms of this notice. Proposals 
selected for funding from NOAA employees shall be effected by an intra-
agency fund transfer. Proposals selected for funding from a non-NOAA 
Federal agency will be funded through an inter-agency transfer.
    PLEASE NOTE: Before non-NOAA Federal applicants may be funded, they 
must demonstrate that they have legal authority to receive funds from 
another Federal agency in excess of their appropriation. Because this 
announcement is not proposing to procure goods or services from 
applicants, the Economy Act (31 USC 1535) is not an appropriate legal 
basis.
    (8) Award period. Full Proposals can cover a project period from 1 
to 2 years, i.e. from date of award up to 24 consecutive months. Multi-
year project period funding will be funded incrementally on an annual 
basis. For NOAA awards, each annual award shall require an 
Implementation Plan and statement of work that can be easily divided 
into annual increments of meaningful work representing solid 
accomplishments (if prospective funding is not made available, or is 
discontinued).
    (9) Indirect costs. If indirect costs are proposed, the total 
dollar amount of the indirect costs proposed in an application must not 
exceed the indirect cost rate negotiated and approved by a cognizant 
Federal agency prior to the proposed effective date of the award.
    (10) Application forms and kit. For complete information on 
application forms for the COP, see COP's General Grant Administration 
Terms and Conditions annual Document in the Federal Register (65 FR 
62706, October 19, 2000); at the COP home page; and the information 
given under Required Elements, paragraph (5) Budget.
    (11) Project funding priorities. For description of project funding 
priorities, see COP's General Grant Administration Terms and Conditions 
annual notification in the Federal Register (65 FR 62706, October 19, 
2000) and at the COP home page.
    (l2) Evaluation criteria. For complete information on evaluation 
criteria, see COP's General Grant Administration Terms and Conditions 
annual Document in the Federal Register (65 FR 62706, October 19, 2000) 
and at the COP home page.
    (13) Selection procedures. For complete information on selection 
procedures, see COP's General Grant Administration Terms and Conditions

[[Page 53402]]

annual Document in the Federal Register (65 FR 62706, October 19, 2000) 
and at the COP home page. All proposals received under this specific 
Document will be evaluated and ranked individually in accordance with 
the assigned weights of the above evaluation criteria by independent 
peer mail review and panel review. No consensus advice will be given by 
the independent peer mail review or the review panel.
    (14) Other requirements. As participants in the Interagency Science 
Program, funded principal investigators will be expected to:
    (a) Participate in meetings for planning and coordination of the 
Program. This includes attending and contributing to the annual 
Interagency Florida Bay Science Program Conference, Research Team 
Meetings, and other relevant technical workshops.
    (b) Promptly quality control their data and make them readily 
available through the Coordinating Office in accordance with the Data 
Policy, mentioned earlier in this document.
    (c) Assist the Coordinating Office in the synthesis and 
interpretation of research results and the development of products of 
value to restoration and resource.
    (d) Work with the Coordinating Office regarding small boat 
requirements (if any) to schedule access to the dedicated research 
vessel (description available on the SFERPM website earlier cited). If 
your project will have small boat needs that you cannot furnish, please 
provide description and schedule requirements in your proposal.
    (e) If your project uses or relies on data/information from the 
NOAA CMAN SEAKEYS meteorological/oceanographic monitoring network, 
please provide description and requirements in your proposal. 
Similarly, if your project uses/relies on data/information from 
research categories in this Announcement, other than the one you are 
proposing to study, please describe.
    For a complete description of other requirements, see COP's General 
Grant Administration Terms and Conditions annual Document in the 
Federal Register (65 FR 62706, October 19, 2000) and at the COP home 
page. NOAA has specific requirements that environmental data be 
submitted to the National Oceanographic Data Center.
    (f) The Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification Requirements 
for Grants and Cooperative Agreements contained in the Federal Register 
(66 FR 49917, October 1, 2001) are applicable to this solicitation.
    (15) Intergovernmental review. Applications under this program are 
not subject to Executive Order 12372, ``Intergovernmental Review of 
Federal Programs.''
    (16) This notification involves collection-of-information 
requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act. The use of 
Standard Forms 424, 424A, 424B, and SF-LLL has been approved by the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under control numbers 0348-0043, 
0348-0044, 0348-0040 and 0348-0046.
    The following requirements have been approved by OMB under control 
number 0648-0384: a Summary Proposal Budget Form (30 minutes per 
response), a Project Summary Form (30 minutes per response), a 
standardized format for the Annual Performance Report (5 hours per 
response), a standardized format for the Final Report (10 hours per 
response) and the submission of up to 20 copies of proposals (10 
minutes per response). The response estimates include the time for 
reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and 
maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the 
collection of information. Send comments regarding this burden estimate 
or any other aspect of this collection of information, including 
suggestions for reducing this burden, to Leslie.McDonald@noaa.gov. 
Copies of these forms and formats can be found on the COP home page 
under Grants Support sections, Parts D and F.
    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required 
to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure 
to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements 
of the Paperwork Reduction Act, unless that collection displays a 
currently valid OMB control number.

    Dated: October 16, 2001.
Jamison S. Hawkins,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Ocean Services and Coastal Zone 
Management.
[FR Doc. 01-26553 Filed 10-19-01; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-JS-S