Research Funding Request Proposal
Great Barrier Reef Damage Study
Please accept this application for a $40,000 USD grant to fund a study of the damage done to the Great Barrier Reef by the grounding of the vessel Xerxe5 in 20xx. We believe that it is crucial to analyze and document such reef damaging incidents and publish results and recommendations for the benefit of the international community. We believe the estimates we’ve enclosed will be valid for approximately six months. Any monies received but not actually expended for our study will be contributed to our nonprofit organization for further research.
We hope to receive funding and begin our study soon. On April 4th, 20xx, the transport ship, Xerxe5, ran aground within the Great Barrier Reef natural refuge. Healthy Seas Forever is seeking funding to travel to the reef, gather data and perform experiments to determine extent of damage to the reef. Results will be used to assist the reef in recovery and how to prevent similar damage in the future.
We will contact you shortly to follow up with this request as our window of opportunity to study the newly damaged site is very narrow. We have identified the following issue to be investigated. What is the extent of the damage to the coral reef caused by the tanker collision.
On April 4th, 20xx, the transport ship, Xerxe5, ran aground within the Great Barrier Reef natural refuge. Although we know that damage was done to the reef and fuel was spilled, we do not now understand the extent of the environmental damage, so we cannot develop an effective recovery plan or make recommendations for avoiding this type of situation in the future. See the Research section of this proposal for information about tasks to be carried out to resolve this question. To determine the extent of the damage done to the reef by the grounding of the vessel Xerxe5, we still study the following data.
Existing data – We have the reports of the grounding accident, the reported position, the damage to the ship, and the estimates of lost fuel and cargo. Collected data – We anticipate collecting more exact mapping data with our dive teams and research vessel, as well as up to 100 samples of surface plants animals, up to 100 samples of sand in the damage area, and up to 100 samples of water taken near the surface of the reef. All samples will be examined and tested for contaminants.
Exact numbers of data and samples may vary because we do not currently have an accurate description of the extent of the damaged area. See the Mapping page for more information about how divers will create an accurate map and gather samples. See the Experiments page for more details on tests to be conducted.
To understand how much damage has been done to the reef, it’s crucial to have a good map of the area. We will begin with the latest topographic map of the seafloor created by sonar imagery in 1999. Using GPS units on the dive boat, we will position our vessel at the coordinates first reported by the grounded vessel to begin our survey.
The dive vessel will drop a team of three divers into the water. One diver will be equipped with the new UnderSeaPC Computer, which will display the topographic map overlaid with a writable plastic sheet. This diver will mark the visibly damaged area on the map and number positions where photos are taken.
The second diver will be equipped with an underwater camera, and will be responsible for taking photos. The third diver will carry sample bags and tools to take samples of visibly damaged plants, surface sands, and water immediately above the reef to check for contaminants. Any tiny animals that appear to be damaged by the collision will also be collected.
The third diver will be responsible for marking positions at which samples are taken on the map, and for numbering samples accordingly. The dive team will conduct their investigation for 50 minutes or until they are running low on air, at which time they will mark their position on the reef with an anchored balloon, and surface. The dive vessel will retrieve the divers at this new location, noting GPS coordinates and correlating them on the map. Dive team #1 will confer with Dive Team #2, and then spend the next hour writing reports of their observations.
While Dive team #1 rests and records their observations, Dive team #2 will enter the water and begin their survey at the point that the first dive team surfaced. They will perform the same tasks as Dive team #1 in the adjacent area of damage.
Each dive team will do three dives per day, weather and sea conditions permitting. We anticipate that mapping and collecting samples will take 2-3 days.
A detailed map showing the current condition of the reef will be created for future use. This map will be available to the international marine community. See Experiments for a description of tests to be performed on the collected samples.
Samples of surface plants, sands, and water will be subjected to the following tests in our lab in Cairns.
Divers will collect water samples close to the surface of the reef. These samples will be analyzed for petroleum, coal dust, toxic paint, and other pollutants discharged by the vessel when it ran aground. Examination testing of damaged plants and animals.
Divers will collect visibly damaged surface plants and animals. These will be examined by biologists in our laboratory and their conditions documented. Chemical tests will also be performed to determine if these samples have been contaminated with petroleum, coal dust, toxic paint, or other pollutants discharged by the vessel when it ran aground. Examination testing of sands.
Samples of sand in and adjacent to the visibly damaged area will be collected and tested for petroleum, coal dust, toxic paint, and other pollutants. Following all tests, we will publish a report documenting the extent of damage done to the reef and correlating that damage with our map. We will also issue recommendations on how to assist the reef in recovery and how to prevent similar damage in the future.
Under optimum conditions, our study to determine the extent of damage to the reef should take only a few days. However, we want to point out the following variables that could extend our timetable and costs.
Weather Sea Conditions
We will schedule our mapping and sample collection expedition to the reef using the best forecast tools available for the area. If weather conditions and surface conditions are calm, our research vessel will remain in place for as long as it takes to complete the mapping and sample collection. However, if conditions change while the vessel is at the reef, we may need to return to port and come back another day, which would mean additional expenditures of time and money. If weather conditions keep us in port for multiple days, we could incur additional costs for meals, dock fees, and other expenses.
Extent of Reef Damage
At this time, we have only a rough estimate of the extent of the damage to the reef. If the damaged area proves to be much larger or deeper than we anticipate, extra time will be needed for mapping and sample collection.
Availability Health of Dive Team Scientists
Our two dive teams are made up of six experienced divers, who are all qualified marine biologists or oceanographers. They will map the area, collect the samples, test the samples, then create reports and issue recommendations. In the event that one or more team members is injured or becomes ill, the study schedule could be affected.
We will strive to keep our travel expenses low, as indicated in the included Estimated Cost Summary. However, if costs increase for travel expenses and marine fuel, our expedition costs will increase accordingly.
Functionality of Equipment
We are dependent on our dive vessel, our dive equipment, and our computers. We carry some spare equipment, but in the unexpected event of damage to a vital piece of equipment, our research study schedule could be impacted. We will use best practices to ensure the safety of our team and our equipment, and we will strive to carry out our research project as efficiently and professionally as possible.
Personnel Expenses Price. 6 Diver Scientists @ $700 day each for 5 days $21,000.00. 3 Person Boat Crew @ $900 day total for 3 days $2,700.00.
Total Personnel Costs $23,700.00. Marine fuel $600.00. Research vessel rental @ $1500 day for 3 days includes meals & $4,500.00. Rental of Cairns marine laboratory facilities @ $700 day for 2 days $1,400.00.
6 air tickets for diver scientists L.A. to Sydney Australia @ $4,200.00. Travel cost from Sydney to Cairns for 6 diver scientists @ $900.00. Meals not included on ship $1,000.00.
Three hotel rooms for 6 diver scientists @ $175 night for 2 nights $1,050.00. Report Writing & Reproduction Costs $1,500.00. TOTAL ESTIMATED STUDY $38,850.00.
Standard Disclaimer. The numbers represented above are to be used as an estimate for this project. The above Cost Summary in no way constitutes a warranty of final costs. Estimates are subject to change if project specifications are changed or costs change due to variables beyond our control.
Please see the Variables page for discussion of these variables.