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Post Archives
Category: Healthy Coastal Ecosystems

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Image of plastic debris on Oregon’s Clatsop Beach by Tiffany Woods | Oregon Sea Grant.
Extension

Sea Grant announces funding opportunities to support community-engaged marine debris removal and prevention

Sea Grant announces $19 million in federal funding opportunities to address the prevention and removal of marine debris. These opportunities are a component of nearly $3 billion in targeted investments for NOAA in the areas of habitat restoration, coastal resilience and weather forecasting infrastructure through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
 

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Environmental Literacy and Workforce Development

Biden-Harris Administration announces $60 million funding opportunity to help create a Climate-Ready workforce as part of the Inflation Reduction Act

Today, the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) opened a competitive funding opportunity for the Climate Ready Workforce for Coastal States, Tribes, and Territories Initiative to connect people across the country to good-paying jobs, such as landscape technicians, heat health outreach specialists and climate equity officers, that tackle the climate crisis and boost local resilience. NOAA will invest $60 million total from the Inflation Reduction Act for the initiative — a $50 million competitive funding opportunity and $10 million for technical assistance to support applicants and grantees.

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Education

NOAA Sea Grant announces $27M to further community-engaged marine debris removal and prevention

NOAA Sea Grant is pleased to announce $27 million in projects that will address the prevention and removal of debris in marine and Great Lakes environments throughout the U.S. Using Sea Grant’s partnered approach to bring science together with communities for solutions that work, the projects will support transformational research and the creation of local coalitions to address urgent marine debris prevention and removal needs.
 

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Great Lakes

Sea Grant advances investigation of contaminants of emerging concern

Contaminants of emerging concern, like pharmaceuticals, cleaning products and microfibers, pose risks to the Nation’s drinking waters and aquatic life, but they are often excluded from monitoring programs and published water quality standards. Two new projects recently funded by Sea Grant aim to enhance research and monitoring efforts for this class of chemicals and materials while strengthening strategies to reduce their presence in aquatic environments.
 

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Healthy Coastal Ecosystems

Downriver and Out to Sea

Sea run fish – fish that migrate between fresh and saltwater – hold meaning to many New England communities as food, as income, as history and as a key part of a functioning ecosystem. But many unknowns about these fish remain. Across New England, Sea Grant researchers are working to understand how these populations are changing, what habitats are most important to them and how to restore once vibrant runs of sea run fish. 

 

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Great Lakes

Wisconsin Sea Grant-supported research finds Great Lakes tributary rivers play important role in bringing PFAS to the drinking water source of millions

The world’s largest source of fresh water, the Great Lakes, provides drinking water to more than 40 million people in the U.S. and Canada. In the first study of its kind, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering, funded by Wisconsin Sea Grant, have demonstrated that tributary rivers feeding Lake Michigan play an important role in bringing the human-made group of chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to the Great Lakes system.

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Healthy Coastal Ecosystems

To Reef or Not Reef? Newly Funded Research Will Inform Decisions on the Fate of Gulf Oil Rigs

The National Sea Grant College Program and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement have awarded over $795 thousand to Texas Sea Grant and a team of researchers from Texas A&M University and LGL Ecological Research Services to produce information that could lead to the development of a decision-support tool modeling the ecological and economic effects of changing the composition of oil rigs in the gulf. 

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Alabama

Bareford named national Sea Grant Water Resources Lead

The Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium has announced a new two-year project that will develop a roadmap for Sea Grant water resources initiatives and improve communication and coordination on water resources efforts within the network and among key partners. Karen Bareford, of the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium and The University of Alabama’s Alabama Water Institute, will serve as the Sea Grant Water Resources Lead.

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Environmental Literacy and Workforce Development

NOAA Sea Grant Liaisons address critical research areas across federal agencies

NOAA Sea Grant, in collaboration with U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Geological Survey, announces six new partnership positions. The Sea Grant Federal Partnership Liaisons will integrate Sea Grant extension expertise with science, products and services from NOAA labs and other publicly supported scientific research programs. These jointly-funded positions expand on a key component of Sea Grant’s work, extending science to end users and doing so through collaborative partnerships.
 

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Climate

Minnesota Sea Grant Study Shows Protecting Local Water has Global Benefits

New research, led by Minnesota Sea Grant Director John A. Downing, demonstrates why keeping local lakes and other waterbodies clean produces cost-effective benefits locally and globally. The authors found that adding up global financial benefits of clean water shows that keeping water clean can help slow climate change, saving trillions of dollars.

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Extension

Sea Grant Recognizes Best in Program

As 2020 draws to a close, Sea Grant is reflecting on its best moments of what has been an especially challenging year. Several Sea Grant projects and people were recently recognized by the Sea Grant Association (SGA) for their exceptional work. 

 

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California

California Sea Grant-funded research finds warmer waters threaten red abalone recovery

While red abalone were once abundant throughout California, they have long been in decline due to overfishing and environmental changes. California Sea Grant-funded researchers identified conditions that promote consistent recruitment, but also found that prolonged heat stress can cause red abalone recruitment to fail, in a new study published in the Journal of Shellfish Research last month.

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Focus Area

Wade into CERF with Sea Grant at the upcoming 25th biennial conference

Some 1700 people are expected to descend upon Mobile, Alabama on November 3rd-7th for the 25th Biennial Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) Conference. In addition to the Sea Grant scholarship that will be on display through presentations and posters, here is a quick guide to ways in which the National Sea Grant College Program will be present and advancing the conference theme, Responsive | Relevant | Ready.

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Great Lakes

Great Lakes Resurgence

Revitalization breaks through in this photo essay from National Geographic photographer Peter Essick, in collaboration with the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network, demonstrating the renewed majesty of the Great Lakes.

 Take a visual tour of the restoration and resurgence of Great Lakes tributaries that were designated as Areas of Concern under the 1987 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. These tributaries were pinpointed due to significant pollution and habitat problems, but with funding from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Areas of Concern are getting cleaned up and habitat is being restored.

An ecological investment is bringing life back to the aquatic environment. Tourism, recreation, and development are returning to the basin’s rivers, harbors, and lakes.

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Healthy Coastal Ecosystems

NOAA, partners release harmful algal bloom forecast for western Lake Erie

The Lake Erie Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Seasonal Forecast, produced by NOAA and released with Ohio Sea Grant, gives coastal managers, lake users, and drinking water facility operators a general sense of the potential severity of the upcoming bloom season. NOAA is forecasting a large bloom for 2019, with a severity index greater than 7. The index is based on the bloom’s biomass – the amount of harmful or toxic algae – over a sustained period.  Last year’s bloom had a severity of 3.6 and the 2017 bloom had a severity of 8.

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Alaska Sea Grant celebrates 10-year anniversary of popular Alaska Seafood Processing Leadership Institute
2014-2017 Focus Areas

A Year in Review – 2018

From a new designation of a Sea Grant program, to policy-influencing reports, the Sea Grant network kept busy this year!

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Environmental Literacy and Workforce Development

Sea Grant Highlights: November 2018

With so much awesome work happening within Sea Grant, it can be hard to keep up! Here’s a look back at some of Sea Grant highlights you may have missed from this month.

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Great Lakes

Sea Grant, EPA, others partner to clean up Great Lakes

Sea Grant programs in the Great Lakes and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are teaming up to raise awareness about cost-sharing programs available through the Great Lakes Legacy Act for sediment cleanup efforts. A new video and social media campaign explain. 

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Healthy Coastal Ecosystems

All Eyes on the Water

USC Sea Grant is building capacity for a community network to monitor harmful algal blooms in Southern California. HABwatch trains citizen scientists, contributes valuable data to research, and connects scientists with the community. 

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Blue Carbon

Research Informs Management of Phragmites in Marshes

Maryland’s coastal wetlands provide diverse ecosystem services for the Chesapeake Bay region, reduce flooding risks, and help to improve local water quality. These natural communities, however, also face threats from rising sea levels and invasive species. Of particular concern is the non-native reed Phragmites australis, which has displaced native marsh grasses in many Mid-Atlantic wetlands in recent decades. To inform the management of this invasive reed, Maryland Sea Grant funded research to better understand how climate change might affect the growth of Phragmites populations around Chesapeake Bay.

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Education

Managing Live Bait Trade to Reduce Invasive Species

The introduction of aquatic invasive species to Chesapeake Bay, transported through the ballast water of cargo ships or by live animal and plant trades, can bring ecologically harmful consequences. To safeguard local ecosystems, Maryland Sea Grant supports programs that seek to prevent the establishment of new invasive species in the region.

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Education

Training Volunteers to Assist Chesapeake Bay Cleanup

Maryland and other states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed are currently engaged in a multi-billion dollar effort to improve water quality by meeting Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) targets for nutrients and sediments. To accomplish this, municipalities around the region need help from trained and dedicated volunteers who can implement watershed restoration practices. Such practices include stormwater management tools like rain gardens and barrels.

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Climate and Hazard Adaptation

Tracking Harmful Algal Blooms Using Satellites

In May 2014, Maryland Sea Grant, in partnership with the NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), held a workshop to explore the use of remote sensing for detecting harmful algal blooms in the Chesapeake Bay region.

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Great Lakes

Hopes for Habitats

Working with Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and local anglers, Pennsylvania Sea Grant involves high school students from Central Career and Technical School in building structures to improve fish habitat in Lake Erie. 

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Healthy Coastal Ecosystems

Coastal Ocean Hypoxia Model

A large percentage of South Carolina’s economy is driven by the popularity of beaches as tourist destinations.  Hypoxic (low-oxygen) conditions have been documented in the nearshore coastal waters of Long Bay, South Carolina, during summer months over the past several years.  To maintain a healthy environment for recreation it is necessary to assess the impacts of land use on groundwater discharge to the area.  Researchers measured radon activities of shallow beachface groundwater and nearshore bottom waters to estimate mixing rates and submarine groundwater discharge in Long Bay.  They successfully developed a mixing model based on these measurements, which helped determine that natural phenomena such as limited mixing and submarine groundwater discharge (both previously overlooked) can significantly influence nearshore water quality and lead to hypoxic conditions.  This model can be applied to other types of marine environments to help determine the causes of hypoxia, and as such could be a valuable tool in maintaining coastal water quality, especially in highly developed (urban) areas. 

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Education

Low Impact Development in Coastal South Carolina: A Planning and Design Guide

Many coastal decision-makers lack the expertise, guidance, and resources to implement low impact development (LID) techniques for mitigating stormwater impacts. The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium assisted with the development of an LID manual specific to coastal South Carolina that provides guidance on overcoming barriers to implementing best management practices. The project team organized stakeholder workshops, research roundtables, and provided technical assistance with the development of the guide.

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California

Video cameras paint a clearer picture of rockfish recovery

Rockfish were overfished in the 1970s and 1990s, and Rockfish Conservation Areas were put in place. Little is known about the species distribution within the conservation areas now. A team put together by California Sea Grant and The Nature Conservancy hopes to better understand the distribution so that resource managers may allow for more fishing opportunities.

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Great Lakes

Plastic fibers emerge as Lake Michigan pollutant

Microbeads have drawn a lot of public and political attention since 2012, when researchers from New York and Wisconsin discovered millions of the tiny particles in several Great Lakes. But this new study suggests microfibers may be an even larger concern in at least a few areas.

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Aquaculture

New Legal Research Report Provides Overview of State Oyster Restoration Policies

The permitting processes for oyster restoration projects can be challenging to navigate, as a maze of state and federal programs may apply. A new legal research report, released by the National Sea Grant Law Center and the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program, hopes to make these processes a little more easy to navigate by providing an overview of the permitting programs in 21 states.

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Shoreline Monitoring Toolbox
Decision Support Tools

Puget Sound Shoreline Monitoring Toolbox

Washington Sea Grant, working with the Puget Sound Partnership and Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program Nearshore Work Group, has standardized approaches for monitoring and a “toolbox” of protocols and information. The toolbox emphasizes methods that are simple and affordable, and that can be used for monitoring restoration sites and evaluating status and trends. 

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