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NOAA News Releases 2004
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded $555,000 to the University of South Carolina Research Foundation to support the operation and management of the Inlet-Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The grant supports the programs and projects conducted at the reserve. The Inlet-Winyah Bay reserve covers more than 12,000 acres of salt marshes, intertidal oyster reefs, mud flats, sand bars, tidal creeks, shallow sounds, abandoned rice fields and canals. The reserve also includes Pumpkinseed Island, one of the most important rookeries in the state for white ibis, great and snowy egrets and a variety of herons. Long-term ecological data collections, initiated more than 20 years ago, continue to provide insights into patterns and mechanisms of both natural and human-related change in the estuaries for more than 90 research and environmental monitoring projects involving more than 70 scientists.

“The Inlet-Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve provides a rich and diverse habitat that both researchers and the public can use to explore and learn about their environment,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “This public-private partnership improves our understanding of the environment and supports NOAA and the Bush Administration’s efforts to strengthen regional outreach, cooperative conservation and education initiatives.”

The National Estuarine Research Reserve System is a network of protected areas established for long-term research, education and stewardship. This partnership program between NOAA and the coastal states protects more than one million acres of estuarine land and water, which provides essential habitat for wildlife; offers educational opportunities for students, teachers and the public; and serves as living laboratories for scientists. For additional information, visit the NOAA NERR Web site,

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 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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