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NOAA awards $10.44 million in coastal science research funding

Multi-year awards to focus on sea level rise, hypoxia and harmful algal blooms
October 25, 2016 NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science will award $10.44 million over the next five years for 10 projects to address sea level rise, hypoxia and harmful algal blooms (HABs).
A boat cuts a green wake – a harmful algal bloom – in western Lake Erie. Lake Erie has been plagued by a steady increase of HABs and hypoxic low oxygen events over the past decade. These blooms consist of cyanobacteria or blue-green algae, which are capable of producing toxins that pose a risk to human and animal health, foul coastlines and affect communities and businesses that depend on the lake. Many of the funded projects aim to better forecast HABs and hypoxia across the United States, including Lake Erie, which will allow resource managers to prepare when conditions that promote HABs and hypoxia occur.

Among the projects the 10 awards will support are:

  • coastal lowland habitat research in California;

  • understanding and mitigating sea level rise and storm surge impacts on changing coastal landscapes;

  • bloom forecasting in the Pacific Northwest, aiding the management of shellfish fisheries, public clam beaches and human health

  • reducing the effects of nutrient-induced hypoxia on fishery and natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico;

  • development of a hypoxia forecast for Lake Erie, which will warn drinking-water managers when hypoxic water is moving into their vicinity.

“We are aiming, through these awards, to build tools that tell coastal communities if a street, business or favorite beach will be threatened by sea level rise, flooding, HABs, or nutrient pollution,” said Mary Erickson, director of NCCOS. “We will be connecting this work to resource and public health managers to develop strategies to mitigate these impacts.”
 
First-year funding of the 10 new projects, all subject to the availability of funds, totals about $3.2 million with the remainder of recommended funds pending available Congressional appropriations. A full list of projects is available at http://go.usa.gov/xkdzs
The National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science delivers ecosystem science solutions for NOAA’s National Ocean Service and its partners, bringing research, scientific information and tools to help balance the nation’s ecological, social and economic goals. NCCOS is also sponsoring 39 other continuing projects. The overall FY 2016 funding total for the 49 projects is about $9.1 million.

Media contact:
Ben Sherman240-533-0946