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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded a $2,351,896 grant to the North Pacific Marine Science Foundation of Seattle, Wash. research into the causes of population decline among Steller sea lions. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Funding from the grant supports studies conducted by the foundation that provide comprehensive data to NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service and members of the academic community. The studies include: research of the nutritional physiology of Steller sea lions in captivity; development of the Steller sea lion Open Water Research project; dietary analysis of Steller sea lions; assessment of the effects of human disturbance on Steller sea lions; comparative analysis of trends in other pinneped populations of the Eastern North Pacific; assessment of changes in populations of northern fur seals; and seven additional technical studies of Steller sea lion populations.
“The studies funded by this NOAA grant allow the foundation to enhance and increase our knowledge of Steller sea lion population trends, which aids NOAA in the creation of policies to manage and protect marine mammal populations,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “NOAA and the Bush Administration are working to improve the understanding of our environment and to strengthen initiatives like Steller sea lion research in the North Pacific.”
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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