Deep Ocean DDT+ Contamination in Southern California

New Report and Research Funding Opportunity from Sea Grant and University of Southern California

A Deep Ocean DDT+ Research Needs Assessment for the Southern California Bight January 2023

The University of Southern California (USC) Sea Grant Program and the California Sea Grant Program jointly announced the release of a new report and StoryMap detailing what research is needed most urgently to address the deep ocean DDT contamination off the coast of Los Angeles.

DDT, an insecticide banned in 1972, has harmful impacts on wildlife and potential carcinogenic effects on humans. The unknowns about deep ocean DDT+ instigated a call to action by researchers, national and state leadership, and the broader Southern California community.

“This report provides a critical roadmap for priority research needs to increase understanding of DDT impacts and identify solutions to protect marine ecosystems and human health from ongoing harmful effects,” says Jenn Eckerle, the newly appointed Deputy Secretary for Oceans and Coastal Policy at the California Natural Resources Agency and Executive Director of the Ocean Protection Council.

There are 14 known deep ocean disposal sites off Southern California. Disposal Sites #1 and #2 are confirmed DDT disposal sites. The Assessment focuses on these deep ocean sites outside of the Palos Verdes Shelf Superfund area.

Briefing on the DDT+ Research Needs Assessment Report

A remote briefing on the DDT+ Research Needs Assessment Report will be jointly facilitated by the Ocean Science Trust, USC Sea Grant, and California Sea Grant on Thursday, January 26, 2023 from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm Pacific Time.

Join us for a Q&A with expert panelists:

  • Dr. Dave Valentine, UC Santa Barbara
  • Gabrielle Crowe, Ballona Wetlands Land Trust / Gabrielino-Shoshone Tribal Council
  • Dr. Pádraig Duignan, The Marine Mammal Center
  • Jenn Eckerle, California Ocean Protection Council

Including Sea Grant Assessment Report Authors:

  • Dr. Amalia Almada, USC Sea Grant
  • Dr. Lian Guo, California Sea Grant

Moderated by Dr. Liz Whiteman, Executive Director, Ocean Science Trust

Registration Open Now

California Deep Ocean DDT+ Research: Call for Proposals

This newly released report informed a California Deep Ocean DDT+ Research Request for Proposals. The State Water Board, University of Southern California Sea Grant, and California Sea Grant are jointly soliciting applications for awards of up to 18 months in duration and will fund up to $5,200,000 worth of projects that improve regulatory outcomes by increasing the understanding of the risk that arises from deep ocean DDT+ deposits in the Southern California Bight on human health and the ecosystem.

The Request for Proposals (linked below) contains full details on funding priorities. Applicants are recommended to propose budgets that do not exceed $2,000,000; budgets may exceed $2M if good cause is provided and the State Water Board Department of Water Quality Deputy Director approves the exceedance. Multi-institution/highly collaborative proposals are encouraged. Projects are expected to start on June 1, 2023, and end by November 30, 2024.

Important Dates:

  • February 1, 2023, 10-11:15 a.m. PT – Informational Webinar and Researcher Mixer (Register here)
  • February 14, 2023, 5 p.m. PT – Letter of Intent (LOI) due
  • March 28, 2023, 5 p.m. PT – Full Proposal due*

* Only applicants who have submitted a letter of intent may submit a full proposal.

Dates are subject to change. Please refer to the funding solicitation for the most up-to-date information.

Categories: Funding Opportunities and Updates, Marine Pollution, Strategic Goal 3: Biodiversity, Water Quality