Great Lakes Biology Monitoring Program: Zooplankton, Mysis, and Benthic Components

Funding Agency:
Environmental Protection Agency

This Request for Applications (RFA) solicits applications from eligible entities for a cooperative agreement to be awarded pursuant to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (“GLRI” or “Initiative”) Action Plan III. Applications are requested for a project to complete sample collection and analyses in support of the Zooplankton, Mysis, and Benthic components of the Great Lakes Biology Monitoring Program (GLBMP).

Under this competition, approximately $6,750,000 may be awarded for one cooperative agreement over approximately five years, consisting of incremental funding of about $1,350,000 per year. Applications should specify a start date on or around January 17, 2022 and should specify an end date that will allow for the collection, processing, and analysis of the 2022-2026 field seasons. All incrementally funded awards will be subject to the availability of funding, future appropriations, satisfactory performance of work, and other applicable considerations.

Applicants must propose program activities that support the following general goals of the program: 1) the continued documentation of the status and trends of the ecological health of the open waters of the Great Lakes based on zooplankton, Mysis, and benthic fauna analysis; 2) determination of the impacts of changing lower food web communities on fisheries; 3) special studies for the pelagic lower food web (zooplankton and Mysis) coincident with the Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative (CSMI)1 five-year rotation; and 4) whole-lake benthic fauna assessment coincident with the CSMI five-year rotation. These project activities must also support the following objectives as described below: Sample Collection and Project Design; Taxonomic Analysis; Data Management; Data Interpretation, Statistical Analysis and Report Writing; and Applied Research.

Applicants should describe their plans to collect zooplankton and Mysis samples on all five Great Lakes in spring and summer, starting in summer 2022 through summer 2026. Applicants should also describe their plans to collect benthic samples during summer, along with two Lake Erie benthic sampling locations in the spring. In addition, applicants should describe how they intend to carry out intensive synoptic assessments of the zooplankton, Mysis, and benthic communities annually on the CSMI intensive lake; these assessments should include studies of the zooplankton, Mysis, and benthic community abundances and distributions, as well as quagga mussel percent coverage, biomass, and/or density using benthic video data.

Deadline: Oct. 29, 2021

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Qualified non-federal entities eligible to apply for grants include non-federal governmental entities, nonprofit organizations, and institutions. This includes state agencies; any agency or instrumentality of local government; interstate agencies; federally recognized tribes and tribal organizations; colleges and universities; non-profit organizations; and other public or non-profit private agencies, institutions, and organizations.



Amount Description

Approximately $6,750,000 in EPA funding is expected to be awarded under this RFA for one project. The maximum award for this award is $6,750,000. Applications seeking more than $6,750,000 of EPA funding will be rejected. Any application for a multi-phase project will be treated as one application and the application will be rejected if the combined amount requested for the multi-phase project is more than $6,750,000. EPA expects to provide up to $6,750,000 for one cooperative agreement over a five-year period, consisting of incremental funding of about $1,350,000 per year.

Funding Type





Environmental & Life Sciences

External Deadline

October 29, 2021