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Great Lakes Sediment Surveillance Program 2020 RFA


University of Minnesota Duluth - Natural Resources Research Institute 

News release Senior EPA Officials Announce Great Lakes Grants During Visit to Superior and Duluth

RFA Info

Funding Opportunity Number: EPA-R5-GL2020-SSP

This Request for Applications (RFA) solicits applications from eligible entities for a cooperative agreement to be awarded pursuant to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan III.

EPA is seeking applications to monitor the spatial distributions and temporal trends of persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic chemicals in sediments of the Great Lakes.

Program Components

These are the three components of the Great Lakes Sediment Surveillance Program (GLSSP):

Program Activities

The GLSSP Monitoring Program monitors legacy contaminants and conducts surveillance for contaminants of emerging concern in sediment cores and ponar grabs within open lake sampling locations in each of the Great Lakes. 

  1. Sample Analysis – Applicants are expected to collect and analyze for all required contaminants in sediment samples (See list below). Physical characteristics of sediment must also be collected (i.e. bulk density, percent moisture, grain size, etc). Applicants must describe their proposed analysis methods and minimum detection levels (MDL) of all proposed methods. Applicants may also propose new contaminants of interest for analysis that are not included in this list.

    Required analyte list for sediment samples
    • PCBs 
    • PCDDs 
    • PCDFs 
    • PCNs 
    • PCDEs 
    • PBDEs 
    • Non-PBDE brominated flame retardants 
    • Non-DP chlorinated flame retardants 
    • Organochlorine pesticides 
    • Triazine herbicides 
    • Musk fragrances 
    • PFOA/PFAS 
    • Polyhalogenated Carbazoles 
    • PAHs 
    • Lead 
    • Mercury 
  2. Data Management, Interpretation, Statistical Analysis and Reporting – Applicants are expected to manage data generated through sample analysis and submit the data to EPA. Applicants are expected to interpret data through statistical analysis and report findings to EPA. Annual progress summaries and a final report at the end of the five-year cycle are also expected. It is expected that the recipient of this cooperative agreement, if awarded, will share this data with applicable federal and state agencies, and tribal organizations managing chemical contaminant surveillance programs. Any data generated pursuant to this cooperative agreement, if awarded, will be provided to EPA and to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC).
  3. Quality Assurance and Quality Control – Applicants are expected to develop, implement and maintain a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP).

Field Activities

Applicants are expected to participate in field work aboard the R/V Lake Guardian. Applications for this cooperative agreement must include proposed open lake depositional zones for sampling within each of the five Great Lakes. One lake will be sampled per year, beginning with Lake Michigan in the 2020 field year. More information about the R/V Lake Guardian​ 

Field Activities Schedule

  • 2020: Lake Michigan
  • 2021: Lake Superior
  • 2022: Lake Huron
  • 2023: Lake Ontario
  • 2024: Lake Erie

Special Studies/Cooperative Science and Monitoring

Information on the Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative

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Under this competition, approximately $3 million may be awarded for one cooperative agreement over a five-year period, consisting of incremental funding of about $600,000 per year. Proposed projects must be limited to the specified project duration of five years. All incrementally funded awards will be subject to the availability of funding, future appropriations, satisfactory performance of work, and other applicable considerations.  

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Who Can Apply

Nonfederal governmental entities are eligible to apply for funding under this RFA, including:

  • state agencies,
  • interstate agencies,
  • federally recognized Indian tribes and tribal organizations,
  • local governments,
  • institutions of higher learning (i.e., colleges and universities),
  • and non-profit organizations as defined in 2 C.F.R. § 200

Not eligible:

  • individuals
  • foreign organizations and governments,
  • nonprofit organizations exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code that engage in lobbying,
  • and “for-profit” organizations

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