Fiscal Year 2017 Chesapeake Bay Fisheries Research Program

Funding Agency:
Department of Commerce

NCBO’s Fisheries Research Program targets better understanding of fisheries status, trends, and ecosystem value to inform ecosystem based management of Chesapeake Bay estuarine species and habitats. The program seeks to establish a strong understanding of the Chesapeake Bay system, the complex connections among organisms and their habitats, multispecies interactions, and the wide range of processes that affect their dynamics. Research conducted under this program should help to inform fisheries management and natural resource decisions through:

-Increased understanding of climate change and related ecological shifts,

-Improved habitat assessment techniques,

-Quantification of habitat ecosystem services, and

-Integration of species, habitat and ecosystem information.

Findings supported through this research program should lead to tools and applications that guide management decisions for commercial, recreational, and non-consumptive uses of Chesapeake Bay living resources to support vibrant coastal communities and economies.

This research program has previously addressed timely management questions and research needs as identified by the science and resource management community. For example, multiple research projects focused on blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) from 2011-2014 in response to fishery managers and stakeholders expressing concern about the potential ecological impact of this non-native species on the Bay ecosystem. Funded research included diet and growth studies that directly informed work of the Chesapeake Bay Invasive Catfish Task Force. More recently, several studies were funded as part of the Oyster Reef Ecosystem Services (ORES) project. These projects seek to quantify the ecosystem service benefits of tributary-scale oyster restoration projects. 

This FY17 Request for Proposals will focus on forage species and their habitats. Focus and interest in forage species has grown over the past several years among both the management community and fisheries stakeholders in the Bay and along the Atlantic Coast. The 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement includes a forage outcome that highlights the importance of forage species in the Chesapeake Bay. In support of this outcome, the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Sustainable Fisheries Goal Implementation Team (Fisheries GIT) developed an associated management strategy and workplan that document efforts to better understand the role of forage species in the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. One of these efforts was a Forage Workshop (funded by the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) of the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP)) held in November 2014. The workshop defined what taxa constitute the forage base (species, groups, etc.), discussed how the scientific community can begin to quantify Chesapeake forage, identified existing data and data gaps, suggested potential forage indicators and discussed management applications. Information about the CBP Forage Fish outcome, management strategy, and workplan, can be found here: 

Deadline: Jan. 19, 2017

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible applicants are institutions of higher education, non-profit or for-profit organizations, U.S. territories, and state, local and Native American tribal governments. Applications from individuals, federal agencies, or employees of federal agencies will not be considered. Individuals and federal agencies are strongly encouraged to work with states, non-governmental organizations, municipal and county governments, and others that are eligible to apply.



Amount Description

This solicitation announces that approximately $500,000 may be available in FY 2017 in award amounts to be determined by the proposals and available funds. Funding is anticipated to maintain cooperative agreements for up to 2 years duration, but is dependent on funding made available annually by Congress. NOAA does not anticipate supporting project proposals requesting federal funding less than $25,000 annually or greater than $125,000 annually. 

Funding Type





Environmental & Life Sciences

External Deadline

January 19, 2017