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NOAA News Releases 2004
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded Yale University a new NOAA grant of $90,878 to develop a model to predict distribution and abundance of small jellyfish in the Chesapeake Bay that will lead to better understanding of the energy flow among organisms within the bay. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The grant, part of the Ecological Forecasting program, managed by NOAA’s Ocean Service funds research based on a model combining water circulation features with temperature and salinity distributions to predict the occurrence of jellyfish. The research will incorporate jellyfish abundance into Chesapeake Bay ecosystem models to help resource managers gain a better understanding of the organism’s impact. Model results will synthesize information on factors that influence the distribution and abundance of jellyfish and help understand how this predator affects the food web of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.

“Each research project moves us closer to having a more complete picture of our oceans and near-shore ecosystems,” said retired Navy vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “NOAA recognizes the importance of these near-shore ecosystems and realizes that a first step in the protection and wise use of these environments is to understand their functioning. NOAA and the Bush Administration are working to improve the understanding of our environment.”

This research grant supports the first year of a five-year study involving investigators at Yale University, Western Washington University and the Chesapeake Bay Research Consortium. Also collaborating is the Cooperative Institute of Climate Studies, a joint program of NOAA and the University of Maryland.

The Coastal Ocean Program’s Ecological Forecasting program was designed to develop a capability to forecast the responses of marine and coastal ecosystems to changes such as pollution, climate change, population growth and invasive species. In much the same way that a weather forecast or economic forecast can help society plan for the future, an ecological forecast could allow managers to consider future possibilities and challenges in environmental arenas.

NOAA has awarded up to $30 million annually to academic, state, tribal and federal partners to assist in the study of our coastal oceans. These research programs are critical to the NOAA mission of predicting environmental change, managing ocean resources and protecting life and property. NOAA is dedicated to enhancing public health and safety, and sound economic interests by researching and predicting weather and climate-related events and protecting our nation’s coastal and marine resources. To learn more about NOAA, please visit

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