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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) awarded more than $1.4 million to the University of Southern Mississippi to support programs and research conducted by Mississppi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium (MASGC), a cooperative effort of nine universities and laboratories. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department.
The award funds projects in seafood production, coastal ecosystem health, education and outreach, human resources and administrative support. The MASGC is comprised of Auburn University, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Jackson State University, Mississippi State University, The University of Alabama, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, The University of Mississippi, The University of Southern Mississippi, and the University of South Alabama. The MASGC is one of 30 Sea Grant college programs located in coastal and Great Lake states supported by NOAA.
“This NOAA grant provides funding necessary to support research, education and extension, while providing decision makers and the public with the necessary science to better manage the marine issues of the Mississippi and Alabama coastline,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “NOAA and the Bush Administration are committed to working with the academic community to improve our understanding of the environment.”
The area covered by the MASGC includes nearly 3,200 square miles of inland water and 966 miles of estuarine shoreline. It support more than seven million residents who own 557,000 registered boats and use the states' 691 boat launch ramps. The bi-state region is also home to America's longest unencumbered river (Pascagoula River), two National Estuarine Research Reserves, and one of the largest concentrations of seafood producers in the country.
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 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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