Contact: David Miller
NOAA News Releases 2003
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Funds Will Assist Blue Crab Harvesters and Collect Valuable Estuarine Data

The Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has awarded a $1.2 million grant to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for an innovative program to help the state’s blue crab industry. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department.

Maryland DNR presented a proposal to NOAA that will provide direct assistance to blue crab harvesters and establish a work-relief program enlisting the assistance from watermen to collect valuable data on important estuarine species, while being reimbursed for their efforts. DNR will also develop a crab industry product and process improvement program.

"NOAA and the Bush Administration are constantly working to improve the understanding of our environment to strengthen regional initiatives, such as the programs proposed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources," said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. "This grant will help the watermen and advance knowledge critical to those efforts in the Chesapeake Bay area."

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 (NOAA) 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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