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NOAA News Releases 2004
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded $1,097,652 to the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium to fund research on the effects of development on marine ecosystems in the coastal regions of the southeastern United States. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The project, known as Urbanization in Southeastern Estuarine Systems research, will define, measure and model the impacts of urbanization on small, high-salinity estuaries primarily focused in the area adjoining South Carolina and Georgia along the Okatee River watershed. The project will characterize the impacts of multiple chemical and biological stresses from urbanization on estuaries and to develop scientifically valid models to assist in coastal land-management decisions.

“This grant will enable the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium to research and compile information that will aid in the wise use of coastal resources,” 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 protect our resources through local and regional initiatives like that of the South Carolina Department Sea Grant Consortium.”

Goals for this year’s funding are to expand and apply approaches to evaluate impacts from increasing resort and residential development, quantify best management practices to decrease biological and chemical contaminants associated with land use, and develop a land-use and precipitation model for predicting shellfish harvesting closures. Results from the five components of the project – physical attributes and hydrology, geochemistry and nutrients, toxic chemicals and ecological effects, land usage and data storage – will be integrated to produce a comprehensive report that will provide resource managers with the tools to predict and minimize impacts.

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’s goals and programs reflect a 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. To learn more about NOAA, please visit

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