Requests for Proposals III


RFP III was announced in January 2019 for $2 million in Centers of Excellence grants across three RA disciplines. As in prior RFPs, disciplines 2 and 5 were eligible, with the addition of RA 1 (Coastal and deltaic sustainability, restoration, and protection, including solutions and technology that allow citizens to live in a safe and sustainable manner in a coastal delta in the Gulf Coast Region). The objectives of RFP III were to address:

  • Marine wildlife grants aimed at advancing research and technology to address critical uncertainties and support and inform resource management. (Target: 2-3 CE awards)
  • Florida panhandle estuary system assessment to develop a scientific basis for strategic planning and project implementation in the Pensacola/Perdido, Choctawhatchee, and St. Andrews estuarine systems. (Target: 1 CE award)
  • West Florida unified mapping project to develop and apply a unified mapping framework for benthic habitats on the West Florida Shelf. (Target: 1 CE award)

There are six funded Centers of Excellence, with projects in progress through 2023.

The West Florida mapping project was re-developed into a new RFP (III.5) in order to refine the goals to include framework development and a Gulf-wide focus. A single Center of Excellence was awarded to develop this framework.

Research Projects

Using ecosystem modeling to understand the impacts of seagrass restoration and red tides on sea turtles, marine mammals, and seabirds on the West Florida Shelf

P.I.: Cameron Ainsworth, University of South Florida

Co-Investigator: Chuanmin Hu, University of South Florida

Predicting benefits in Panhandle Estuary Systems: A partnership to quantify impacts, stressors, and outcomes using adaptive management frameworks

P.I.: Matthew Deitch, University of Florida

Understanding genomic, behavioral, and microbial drivers of ontogenetic shifts in early sea turtle foraging ecology and habitat use

P.I.: Katherine Mansfield, University of Central Florida

Co-Investigators: Anna Savage, Erin Seney, & Anna Forsman, University of Central Florida; Nathan Putman, LGL Ecological Research Associates

After the tide: Characterizing sub-lethal effects of a catastrophic red tide on nesting sea turtles

P.I.: Kelly Sloan, Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation

Tissue Clocks: new methods for ageing and decoding sea turtle life histories

P.I.: Hannah Vander Zanden, University of Florida

Co-Investigators: William Patterson & Dave Chagaris, University of Florida

Health and movements of Florida’s dolphins

P.I.: Randall Wells, Mote Marine Lab



Deitch, M.J., H.N. Gancel, A.C. Croteau, J.M. Caffrey, W. Scheffel, B. Underwood, J.W. Muller, D. Boudreau, C.G. Cantrell, M.J. Posner, J. Bibza, A. McDowell, B. Albrecht, 2021. Adaptive management as a foundational framework for developing collaborative estuary management programs, Journal of Environmental Management, 295, DOI:

Phillips, K.F., K.R. Martin, G.D. Stahelin, A.E. Savage, and K.L. Mansfield. Genetic variation among sea turtle life stages and species suggests connectivity among ocean basins. Ecology and Evolution. Volume 12, Issue 11, 30 October, 2022. DOI: