- Outreach and Impact
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This Broad Agency Announcement is a mechanism to encourage research, education and outreach, innovative projects, or sponsorships that are not addressed through NOAAs competitive discretionary programs. This announcement is not soliciting goods or services for the direct benefit of NOAA. Funding for activities described in this notice is contingent upon the availability of Fiscal Year 2018, Fiscal Year 2019, and Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations. Applicants are hereby given notice that funds have not yet been appropriated for any activities described in this notice. Publication of this announcement does not oblige NOAA to review an application beyond an initial administrative review, or to award any specific project, or to obligate any available funds.
As an agency with responsibilities for maintaining and improving the viability of marine and coastal ecosystems, for delivering valuable weather, climate, and water information and services, for understanding the science and consequences of climate change, and for supporting the global commerce and transportation upon which we all depend, NOAA must remain current and responsive in an ever-changing world. We do this in concert with our partners and stakeholders in Federal, state, and local governments and private organizations, applying a systematic approach that links our strategic goals through multi-year plans to the daily activities of our employees. Every year we are committed to re-evaluate our progress and priorities, look for efficiencies, and take advantage of new opportunities to improve our information, products, and services. In furtherance of this objective, NOAA issues this BAA for extramural research, innovative projects, and sponsorships (e.g., conferences, newsletters, etc.) that address one or more of the following four mission goal descriptions contained in the NOAA Strategic Plan:
Projected future climate-related changes include increased global temperatures, melting sea ice and glaciers, rising sea levels, increased frequency of extreme precipitation events, acidification of the oceans, modifications of growing seasons, changes in storm frequency and intensity, air quality, alterations in species' ranges and migration patterns, earlier snowmelt, increased drought, and altered river flow volumes. Impacts from these changes are regionally diverse, and affect numerous sectors related to water, energy, transportation, forestry, tourism, fisheries, agriculture, and human health. A changing climate will alter the distribution of water resources and exacerbate human impacts on fisheries and marine ecosystems, which will result in such problems as overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution, changes in species distributions, and excess nutrients in coastal waters. Increased sea levels are expected to amplify the effects of other coastal hazards as ecosystem changes increase invasions of non-native species and decrease biodiversity. The direct impact of climate change on commerce, transportation, and the economy is evidenced by retreating sea ice in the Arctic, which allows the northward expansion of commercial fisheries and provides increased access for oil and gas development, commerce, and tourism.
These changes already have profound implications for society, underscoring the need for scientific information to aid decision makers, develop and evaluate options that mitigate the human causes of climate change, and adapt to foreseeable climate impacts. While the Nation has made significant progress in understanding climate change and variability, more work is needed to identify causes and effects of these changes, produce accurate predictions, identify risks and vulnerabilities, and inform decision making. No single organization can accomplish these tasks alone. NOAA will advance this long-term goal of climate adaptation and mitigation as it builds upon a strong scientific foundation and decades of engagement with interagency, academic, and private sector partners to strengthen scientific understanding of climate; monitor changes in the atmosphere, oceans, and land; produce climate assessments; develop and deliver climate services at global and regional scales; and increase public knowledge of climate change and its impacts. Through its stewardship responsibilities and expertise, NOAA will improve its capacity to monitor, understand, and predict the impacts of a changing climate on weather patterns, water resources, and ocean and coastal ecosystems.
A weather-ready nation is a society that is able to prepare for and respond to environmental events that affect safety, health, the environment, economy, and homeland security. Urbanization and a growing population increasingly put people and businesses at greater risk to the impacts of weather, water, and climate-related hazards. NOAA's capacity to provide relevant information can help create a society that is more adaptive to its environment; experiences fewer disruptions, dislocation, and injuries; and that operates a more efficient economy.
Over the long-term, climate change may increase the intensity and even the frequency of adverse weather events, which range from drought and floods, to wildfires, heat waves, storms, and hurricanes. Changing weather, water, and climate conditions affect the economic vitality of communities and commercial industries, including the energy, transportation, and agriculture sectors. Environmental information aligned with user needs will become ever more critical to the safety and well-being of those exposed to sudden or prolonged hazards and is essential to sustain competitive advantage, expand economic growth, and to secure the Nation. All of the objectives within the Weather-ready Nation goal are highly dependent on progress toward the objectives under the Climate Adaptation and Mitigation goal. Likewise, progress toward this goal will benefit many of the objectives of the Healthy Oceans and Resilient Coastal Communities and Economies goals, and vice versa.
Ocean ecosystems provide many benefits to humans. They provide food and recreational opportunities, and they support economies. Yet the resources that our marine, coastal, and Great Lakes environments present to us are already stressed by human uses. Habitat changes have depleted fish and shellfish stocks, increased the number of species that are at-risk, and reduced biodiversity. Because humans are an integral part of the ecosystem, declines in ecosystem functioning and quality directly impact human health and well-being. As long-term environmental, climate, and population trends continue, global demands for seafood and energy, recreational use of aquatic environments, and other pressures on habitats and over-exploited species will increase as will concerns about the sustainability of ecosystems and safety of edible fish. Depleted fish stocks and declines in iconic species (such as killer whales, salmon, and sea turtles) result in lost opportunities for employment, economic growth, and recreation along the coasts. In addition, climate change impacts to the ocean, including sea level rise, acidification, and warming, will alter habitats and the relative abundance and distribution of species. Climate change poses serious risks to coastal and marine ecosystems productivity, which, in turn, affects recreational, economic, and conservation activities.
NOAA's goal of healthy ocean ecosystems will ensure that ocean, estuarine, and related ecosystems and the species that inhabit them are vibrant and sustainable in the face of challenges. A strong understanding of these systems supports an ecosystem-based approach to management. The approach accounts for the complex connections among organisms (including humans); their physical, biotic, cultural, and economic environments; and the wide range of processes that control their dynamics. An ecosystem-based approach will assist policy makers to weigh trade-offs between alternative courses of action. By working toward the long-term sustainability of all species, NOAA will also help ensure for present and future generations that seafood is a safe, reliable, and affordable food source; that seafood harvest and production, recreational fishing opportunities, and non-consumptive uses of living marine resources continue to support vibrant coastal communities and economies; and that species of cultural and economic value can flourish.
The complex interdependence of ecosystems and economies will grow with increasing uses of land, marine, and coastal resources, resulting in particularly heavy economic and environmental pressures on the Nation's coastal communities. Continued growth in coastal populations, economic expansion, and global trade will further increase the need for safe and efficient maritime transportation. Similarly, the Nation's profound need for conventional and alternative energy presents many economic opportunities, but will also result in greater competition for ocean space, challenging our ability to make informed decisions that balance conflicting demands as well as economic and environmental considerations. At the same time, the interdependence of ecosystems and economies makes coastal and Great Lakes communities increasingly vulnerable to chronic and potentially catastrophic impacts of natural and human-induced hazards, including climate change, oil spills, harmful algal blooms and pathogen outbreaks, hypoxia, and severe weather hazards.
NOAA's long-term coastal goal will invigorate coastal communities and economies, and lead to increased resiliency and productivity. Comprehensive planning will help protect coastal communities and resources from the impacts of hazards and land-based pollution to vulnerable ecosystems by addressing competing uses, improving water quality, and fostering integrated management for sustainable uses. Geospatial services will support communities, navigation, and economic efficiency with accurate, useful characterizations, charts and maps, assessments, tools, and methods. Coastal decision makers will have the capacity to adaptively manage coastal communities and ecosystems with the best natural and social science available