Depending on appropriations, NOAA National Sea Grant College Program expects to have available a total of $7,000,000 to $11,500,000 across fiscal years 2018, 2019 and 2020 as part of the Sea Grant National Aquaculture Initiative (NAI). As part of the NAI, this competition is designed to foster the expansion of a sustainable U.S. ocean, coastal and Great Lakes aquaculture sector by addressing one or more of the following priorities:

  • (a) supporting the development of emerging systems or technologies that will advance aquaculture in the U.S., including projects that will help stimulate aquaculture production by nascent industries;
  • (b) developing and implementing actionable methods of communicating accurate, science based messages and information about the benefits and risks of U.S. marine aquaculture to the public; and
  • (c) increasing the resiliency of aquaculture systems to natural hazards and changing conditions.

Successful applications must describe projects that clearly address major constraints, barriers or hurdles limiting aquaculture production in the U.S. The overall objectives of the Sea Grant NAI are to:

  1. Address the needs of the U.S. ocean, coastal and Great Lakes aquaculture sector by supporting research, technology transfer, and best practices related to the sustainable aquaculture of ocean, coastal, or Great Lakes fish, shellfish, or algae species (including state- and federally-managed species),
  2. Increase production of such species in federal waters and the coastal zone of state waters (as defined by the Coastal Zone Management Act to include the Great Lakes), and
  3. Address major constraints, barriers, or hurdles of domestic aquaculture development that currently limit increased production (this can include research, extension, technology transfer, regulatory/policy and/or legal activities to support production, market access, distribution, etc.).

Sea Grant encourages proposals that:

  1. Utilize a team approach that fully integrates at least one Sea Grant program and at least one end-user or public-private partnership in the effort,
  2. Involve Sea Grant Extension personnel and include a technology transfer component, where appropriate,
  3. Address how project impacts will be applicable to a broader geographic area through regional or topical partnerships, and
  4. Discuss how, upon completion, the work will have a high likelihood of increasing aquaculture production or address how the work will stimulate or advance nascent aquaculture industry(ies).

Proposals should meet the program objectives to the extent practicable. This Federal Funding Opportunity includes the information needed and the criteria for applications requesting up to $750,000 in total federal funding for a one- to three-year period. Non-federal matching funds of at least a running total of 50% is required for each year of requested funding (e.g., Year 1 = $250,000 requested would require $125,000 match; Year 2 = $250,000 requested would require $125,000 match; Year 3 = $250,000 requested would require $125,000 match).

Please note that, per law, grant applications from Guam Sea Grant waive the first $200,000 of federal matching requirements; thus no match is required for Federal shares up to $400,000. Match would then be required for balances above $400,000 (e.g., $800,000 requested would require Guam Sea Grant project to provide $200,000 in match).

NOAA anticipates funding projects ranging from lesser amounts up to the maximum amount ($750,000) to ensure a diversity of priorities are addressed with the available funding. Awards are anticipated to start on September 1, 2018. Additional applications from this competition may be selected for funding in subsequent fiscal years based on future appropriated funds.


Florida applicants must submit a proposal to Melissa Macarages ( by 5:00 p.m. EST on March 2, 2018. Applicants are strongly encouraged to reach out to their Sea Grant Program one to two months prior to the Sea Grant program application deadline to receive guidance regarding proposal development and discuss their proposed project(s).

If you should have any questions, email Karl Havens, Florida Sea Grant Director, at

For more information on this funding opportunity, visit: NOAA-OAR-SG-2018-2005489