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NOAA AWARDS $1.9 MILLION TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND BIOTECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE FOR BLUE CRAB RESEARCH
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration granted $1.9 million to the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute to support UMBI’s Center of Marine Biotechnology. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The grant will help fund a project that provides a basic understanding of blue crab biology and ecology, and assesses the potential for restoring or enhancing the abundance and harvest of the blue crab in the Chesapeake Bay. In a joint project with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, University of Southern Mississippi and North Carolina State University, over 25,000 of the crabs were individually tagged and released to the Chesapeake Bay in 2003, where they are monitored for survival, growth, habitat use and movement patterns. This work is part of a multidisciplinary research program aimed at better understanding the basic biology of the blue crab and examining the potential of replenishing its declining fishery.
“Funding from this NOAA grant will address information gaps and provide an insight into our ability to enhance the blue crab population in the Chesapeake Bay,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “This is another example of NOAA’s and the Bush Administration’s strong commitment to species conservation and environmental stewardship.”
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’s goals and programs reflect a commitment to these basic responsibilities of science and service to the nation for the past 34 years.
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