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Funds Will Aid Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve

The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has awarded a $555,000 grant to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for operation and management of the Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve (SINERR). Located seven and half miles northeast of Darien, Ga., the reserve is one of 26 areas representing different biogeographic regions of the nation that are protected for long-term research, water-quality monitoring, education and coastal stewardship. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department.

Working closely with NOAA, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources will utilize the grant to aid in the operation of SINERR. Two key components of the reserve program, education and research will also be supported by the grant.

  • The education component will include the development of the Georgia Coastal Training Program. SINERR will provide up-to-date scientific information so that elected officials, land-use planners, regulators, natural resource managers and private citizens can make informed decisions about the Georgia coast and its resources.
  • The system wide monitoring program will track reserve water quality and weather parameters identifying short-term and long-term changes in the ecosystem.

"NOAA and the Bush Administration are working to improve the understanding of our environment to strengthen regional initiatives, such as the programs proposed by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources," said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. "This grant will help this vital research reserve and advance knowledge critical to those efforts in the coastal Georgia area."

“We are extremely pleased by the continued high level of cooperation and interaction demonstrated in our long and fruitful partnership with NOAA," said Buddy Sullivan, director, Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve. "The funds provided through this grant each year enables us to continue our diversified programs in broad-based biological and ecological research, educational outreach to a variety of public audiences and the responsible stewardship of our coast's natural resources.”

Each year, NOAA awards approximately $900 million in grants to members of the academic, scientific and business communities to assist the agency in fulfilling its mission to study the Earth’s natural systems in order to predict environmental change, manage ocean resources, protect life and property, and provide decision makers with reliable scientific information. NOAA goals and programs reflect a commitment to these basic responsibilities of science and service to the nation for the past 33 years.

The Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

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