top of page

Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB) Program




September 20, 2023



January 31, 2024





Award Floor:



Match Required?





Entity Types:

Public & State controlled institutions of higher education, Nonprofits (with 501(c)(3) status), City or township governments, County governments, State governments, Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized), For profit organizations other than small businesses

Eligible applicants for Federal financial assistance in this competition are U.S. institutions of higher education, other non-profits, state, local, Indian Tribal government entities, U.S. Territories, U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands institutions, and for-profit organizations. Federal agencies that possess the statutory authority to receive transfers of funds are eligible to submit applications for intra- or inter- agency funds transfers through this competition. Department of Commerce (DOC)/NOAA supports cultural and gender diversity and encourages women and minority individuals and groups to submit applications to its programs. In addition, DOC/NOAA is strongly committed to broadening the participation of historically black colleges and universities, Hispanic serving institutions, tribal colleges and universities, and institutions that work in underserved areas. DOC/NOAA encourages applications involving any of the above institutions to apply.Please note that:(1) PIs must be employees of an eligible entity listed above; and applications must be submitted through that entity. Non-Federal researchers should comply with their institutional requirements for application submission.(2) Non-Federal researchers affiliated with NOAA-University Cooperative/Joint Institutes will be funded through cooperative agreements.(3) Foreign researchers must apply as subawards or contracts through an eligible U.S. entity.(4) Federal applicants are eligible to submit applications for intra- or inter-agency funds transfers through this competition. Non-NOAA Federal applicants will be required to submit certifications or documentation showing that they have specific legal authority to accept funds for this type of research.(5) An eligible U.S. entity may propose Federal agency researchers as funded or unfunded collaborators. If Federal agency researchers are proposed as funded collaborators, the applicant should present the collaborator's funding request in the application in the same way documentation is provided for a subrecipient for purposes of project evaluation, even though intra- or inter-agency funding transfers will generally be used if the project is selected.(6) NCCOS researchers may apply through an eligible U.S. entity as funded or unfunded collaborators, but cannot be the lead PI on the application. NOAA Federal salaries will not be paid.





Source Type:


1. Overview of the NCCOS Competitive Research Program The Competitive Research Program (CRP), part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), supports the development of actionable information and tools that improve how the nation protects, manages, and conserves ocean and coastal ecosystems. NCCOS/CRP funds regional-scale and targeted research through a competitive, peer-reviewed process to address our Nations most pressing issues including harmful algal blooms and hypoxia research as authorized under the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act, coastal resiliency, sea-level rise, ocean acidification, mesophotic coral ecosystems, and effective ecosystem-based management.Research supported by NCCOS/CRP seeks to produce actionable information and user-driven products that will enable resource managers to assess management and policy strategies, as well as increase scientific understanding on issues threatening ecosystems and communities. To accomplish this, NCCOS/CRP emphasizes a collaborative research process that involves resource managers, planners, policymakers, and impacted communities as research project partners or advisors. To ensure useful results, NCCOS/CRP requires articulation of outcomes that benefit management in proposals and recipients must report progress toward achieving outcome-based goals annually (see Section IV.B.). 2. Ecology and Oceanography of HABs (ECOHAB) Program Objectives a) Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Occurrence and Growing Problem of Impacts Marine, estuarine, and Great Lakes waters of the United States are increasingly impacted by HABs with blooms reported in nearly every coastal state. The species that cause HABs in the U.S. are as diverse as the habitats in which they occur. HABs impact public health, key sectors of our Blue Economy (4), and the health of our coastal ecosystems. Multiple human poisoning syndromes are associated with the consumption of seafood contaminated with algal toxins. Human exposure to aerosolized or water- borne algal toxins and dermatological contact with HABs can also cause negative impacts. HABs can cause mortalities of fish and wildlife, ecosystem disruption, hypoxia and anoxia from high biomass blooms, and noxious impacts associated with the accumulation and decay of massive microalgal and seaweed blooms. These many and diverse impacts makes it challenging to derive a single national estimate of the annual economic impact from all U.S. HABs.The increase in frequency, extent, and variety of HABs has increased society's concerns about the safety of our seafood and drinking water, the health of endangered species, fish and wildlife, the sustainability of beach and lakeside communities, losses to fisheries and aquaculture, increased strain on shrinking state, local, cultural and tribal resources, and long-term aquatic ecosystem changes. Economic costs associated with HAB impacts on public health, fisheries, recreation, and tourism, as well as the use of scarce funds for monitoring and management can be significant for local communities. A single HAB event can cost tens of millions of dollars, including toxin monitoring; closures of shellfish beds; fish, shellfish, turtles, birds, and mammal mortalities; closures of affected fisheries; disruptions in recreation and tourism; threats to public and coastal resource health; publication of watershed, health, drinking water and seafood advisories; and medical treatments (5). Additional socio-economic costs can stem from public reactions to HAB events such as canceled vacations, job losses due to decreased demand for seafood, lower value for coastal or lake-front real-estate or property, or loss of access to key subsistence foods. b) The ECOHAB ProgramThe ECOHAB program, based on The Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms: A National Research Agenda (6), was authorized under the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act (HABHRCA) in 1998 as an applied competitive research program designed to increase the understanding of the fundamental processes underlying the causes and impacts of HABs. Such understanding is required to develop appropriate HAB management and response strategies. Numerous additional reports and plans have provided more information about the magnitude of the HAB problem and outlined research plans to systematically address this issue. While considerable progress has been made toward understanding and predicting HAB events and their impacts, the complexity of HABs has become more apparent and new HAB problems have emerged. Thus, basic research into the causes and impacts of HABs and toxins is still essential and will require a multi-disciplinary, holistic approach to advance our current understanding. The overall goals of ECOHAB are to develop:1) Quantitative understanding of HABs and, where applicable, their toxins in relation to the surrounding environment with the intent of developing new information and tools, predictive models and forecasts, and prevention strategies to aid managers in coastal environments; and2) Understanding leading to models of trophic transfer of toxins, knowledge of biosynthesis and metabolism of toxins, and assessment of impacts of toxins on higher trophic levels.

Tired of searching for grants? Consider a Scouting Report.

bottom of page