NOAA Funding Opportunity for Ocean Exploration

NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration & Research (OER) is soliciting proposals for ocean exploration in waters under U.S. jurisdiction, including the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and areas mapped by, or of interest to, the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf (ECS) Project. Presently, important marine habitats and living and non-living resources are neither fully explored nor characterized. OER’s intent is to address these knowledge gaps and support growth in the Nation’s Blue Economy by soliciting ocean exploration proposals that focus on:

1. Discovering microorganisms, sponges, corals, and other organisms with biopharmaceutical or biotechnical potential;

2. Acquiring baseline ocean environmental information to better inform decision-making where future ocean energy development or critical mineral extraction may occur;

3. Finding and characterizing shipwrecks and submerged cultural resources that played a role in America’s past ocean-based economy (e.g., transport, trade, warfare, etc.) and could inform decisions on future seabed activities and potential environmental impacts.


The deadline for the pre-proposal submission is July 26, 2018.


Please click here for the full text of the federal funding opportunity announcement that was published on June 19, 2018. This announcement may also be found on the Ocean Explorer website. Questions may be directed to