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North Coast Marine Protected Areas Baseline Program Request for Proposals now available

The North Coast Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Baseline Program Request for Proposals is now available on the California Sea Grant website. The North Coast MPA Baseline Program is a collaborative effort among the California Ocean Protection Council, the MPA Monitoring Enterprise, a program of the California Ocean Science Trust (OST), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), and California Sea Grant. Members of the North Coast community, including North Coast tribes, elected officials, scientists, ocean users, and interested members of the public, informed the development of this RFP. As in the other three regions (i.e., North Central Coast, Central Coast, South Coast), the OPC has authorized $4 million to support the North Coast MPA Baseline Program.

Proposals are requested for projects that address the purposes of the Baseline Program, which are:

1. To provide a summary description, assessment, and understanding of ecological and socioeconomic conditions, or ‘benchmark’ in the North Coast region, inside and outside MPAs designated pursuant to the Marine Life Protection Act, against which future MPA performance can be measured; and

 2. To document initial ecological changes and the short-term net socioeconomic benefits or costs following MPA implementation.

The deadline for submission of project proposals is 5:00 p.m. PDT August 14, 2013. Awards are anticipated to be made in October 2013. Proposals will be accepted for projects of any duration up to three years, with anticipated award start date of early 2014 and end date of early 2017. This opportunity is contingent upon continued availability of state funding.

The North Coast MPA Baseline Program Bidders Conference will be held on May 9, 2013 from 4:00-7:30 p.m. at the Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center. This conference will provide more information to potential applicants and aims to facilitate partnerships and information exchange among applicants and collaborators, including those involved in existing monitoring programs in the region. RSVPs for the bidders conference should be made to sgmpaproposal@ucsd.edu (please use “Bidders Conference RSVP” as the subject line) or by phone to (858) 534-0577. RSVPs are requested no later than 5:00 p.m. on May 1, 2013. To stay informed of upcoming workshops, meetings, and other North Coast MPA monitoring planning activities, please email Erin Meyer (erin.meyer@calost.org) to join the North Coast listserv, and please visit the North Coast MPA Baseline Program page at http://oceanspaces.org/program/north-coast-mpa-baseline-program.

Please read the full RFP on the California Sea Grant Program website at: http://www.csgc.ucsd.edu/FUNDING/APPLYING/NorthCoastMPA2014-15.html

Questions related to proposal requirements should be directed to Sea Grant, DFW, or the Monitoring Enterprise (see Section VI on the web page above for guidance and contact information). Answers to frequently asked questions, additional details regarding the bidders conference, and any updates relating to this RFP will be available on the California Sea Grant website (http://www.csgc.ucsd.edu/FUNDING/APPLYING/NorthCoastMPA2014-15.html). Persons intending to submit proposals in response to this RFP should consult this website frequently for updates and additional information.

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