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NOAA News Releases 2004
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The Louisiana State University Coastal Ecology Institute will lead a study of the impacts of natural and human stressors on the ecology of the Barataria estuary in the Gulf of Mexico under a $977,342 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The grant is part of the multiple stressors program managed by the NOAA Ocean Service’s, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“Land use, habitat change, and over-enrichment of nutrients in coastal waters are serious economic and ecological concerns all over the world, so it is imperative that we understand the impacts of natural and human activities on these important ecosystems,” 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 working to improve the understanding of our environment and to strengthen local initiatives like those conducted by Louisiana State University.”

The grant will support the third year of a five-year study into cumulative coastal stressors, such as nutrient enrichment, land use, habitat change, toxins and other natural and manmade stressors on phytoplankton, estuarine food webs, emergent marsh and economic resources. Scientists will examine specific indicators of ecological stress and evaluate various mitigation strategies. Results of this research will provide an improved scientific basis for resource management in Barataria and other estuaries in the region.

This research is a collaboration of scientists from Louisiana State University, the Louisiana University Marine Consortium and the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.

Each year, the NOAA Coastal Ocean Program awards approximately $30 million in grants to members of the academic, state and scientific communities to assist NOAA in fulfilling its mission to study our coastal oceans in order to predict environmental change, manage ocean resources, protect life and property, and provide decision makers with reliable and timely scientific information. NOAA-sponsored competitive research programs such as multiple stressors demonstrate NOAA's commitment to these basic responsibilities of science and service to the nation for the past 34 years.

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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