Noaa Awards Marine Restoration Grants Worth $7.58 Million To Coastal States
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has distributed some $7.58 million to fund restoration projects in coastal states. The grants announced on Thursday, will benefit salmon, groundfish and oyster restoration and fisheries research programs.
The Virginia Institute of Marine Science was awarded the largest single grant – $1.9 million to support an Oyster Restoration Monitoring Program. The grant will finance the restoration effort that is a collaboration between the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and NOAA.
Four programs are to be completed with the funding including habitat restoration, oyster broodstock enhancement, field tests of oyster strains that may be able to better survive, and molecular genetics research in support of the above efforts.
“Funding from this NOAA grant will help return the abundance of oysters to their native habitat in Virginia,” said NOAA administrator Conrad Lautenbacher.
A grant of $1.56 million went to Oregon State University to support West Coast fisheries research on the effects of ocean variability and the physical and biological processes that influence salmon and groundfish, including the causal relationships between ecosystem structure and ocean habitat, climate and human activities, particularly in estuaries and coastal regions of the U.S. Pacific Northwest.
Alaska received two of the grants for a total of $2.1 million. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game received $1.55 million to fund their Groundfish Monitoring Project. The grant continues the cooperative management of the crab, scallop and rockfish fisheries in federal waters. The grant will support 16 projects concentrating on research, administrative support and fishery management activities.
The same department received $583,000 to increase sockeye salmon fry production.
The Bering Sea Fishermen’s Association received $943,360 to fund Western Alaska marine salmon studies.
The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission won $706,380 to create a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for Pacific Coast Groundfish. The grant will be used to develop new information and new tools for assessing future federal and state regulations and policies associated with west coast fisheries, particularly in the areas of protecting essential fish habitat and reducing bycatch, building ecosystem based management decision tools, providing greater access to the public to available data and developing models and information that evaluate the economics of essential fish habitat decisions.
And finally, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services received $545,000 to create a river instream flow management program for the Lamprey and Souhegan Rivers.
Provided by the Environmental News Service.