Calls for Proposals


Call for Full Project Proposals (FPPs)

Environmental and Social Studies – Corals and Sponges Workshop

Corals and sponges play an important ecological role in deep-sea environments such as offshore Newfoundland and Labrador. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has recently developed and published Regional Guidance on Measures to Protect Corals and Sponges, that oil and gas operators are required to implement prior to conducting exploratory drilling in the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador offshore area.

For several years, based on Canada-Newfoundland & Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) requirements, offshore oil and gas operators have conducted surveys for coral colonies of specific species prior to establishing drilling operations to avoid any damage or disturbance to those colonies from anchor placement and drilling operations. In addition, in response to conditions established as part of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, the Impact Assessment Act, 2019, and the Regulations Respecting Excluded Physical Activities (Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Exploratory Wells), other mitigation measures were required and confirmed by the issuance of the above noted guidance from DFO in the Fall of 2023. Recent exploratory drilling programs by industry have applied this guidance to their operations.

In the context of the application of the DFO guidance to offshore exploration drilling it is timely to review the application of this guidance to determine its effectiveness and efficiency in protecting corals and sponges in an operational context. To that end, this call for proposals aims at bringing together the government, regulators, scientific experts, and industry to review current practices, implementation and outcomes from recent drilling programs.


To design, organize, and facilitate a workshop to consider the practical experience gained by industry in using DFO’s Regional Guidance on Measures to Protect Corals and Sponges. Specifically, to share lessons learned on its application and interpretation, and potentially to identify knowledge gaps to inform future research that will enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the Guidance.

Closing date:  23:59 ET August 18, 2024

Eligible Funding Recipients must be:

  1. Legal entities validly incorporated or registered in Canada, including:
    • For profit and not for profit organizations such as companies, industry associations, research associations, etc.;
    • Indigenous organizations and groups;
    • Community groups; and
    • Canadian Post-Secondary Institutions; or
  2. Federal, provincial, territorial, regional and municipal governments and their departments, agencies and research centres.

Submitting a Full Project Proposal (FPP)

Respondents are requested to complete and submit the ESRF Program Registration Form. Upon submission of the Registration Form, a FPP Application Form template and the Applicants’ Guide will be sent to you via e-mail.

The FPP Application Form must then be submitted by  23:59 ET August 18, 2024 to with the subject “FPP – Corals and Sponges - APPLICANT NAME”. Incomplete and/or late FPPs will not be accepted. We recommend applicants keep a record of the date and time their FPP was submitted.

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