This work describes the fabrication, characterization, and biological evaluation of a thin protein-resistant poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-based hydrogel coating for antifouling applications. The coating was fabricated by free-radical polymerization on silanized glass and silicon and on polystyrene-covered silicon and gold. The physicochemical properties of the coating were characterized by infrared spectroscopy, ellipsometry, and contact angle measurements. In particular, the chemical stability of the coating in artificial seawater was evaluated over a six-month period. These measurements indicated that the degradation process was slow under the test conditions chosen, with the coating thickness and composition changing only marginally over the period. The settlement behavior of a broad and diverse group of marine and freshwater fouling organisms was evaluated. The tested organisms were barnacle larvae (Balanus amphitrite), algal zoospores (Ulva linza), diatoms (Navicula perminuta), and three bacteria species (Cobetia marina, Marinobacter hydrocarbonoclasticus, and Pseudomonas fluorescens). The biological results showed that the hydrogel coating exhibited excellent antifouling properties with respect to settlement and removal. © 2008 American Chemical Society.