NOAA 2005-R901
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Aja Sae-Kung
2/7/05
NOAA News Releases 2005
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NOAA AWARDS $4.3 MILLION TO RESTORE OYSTER RESOURCES IN ALABAMA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources $4,321,000 to restore oyster populations in lower Mobile Bay and eastern Mississippi Sound damaged by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The NOAA grant will fund the restoration and enhancement of Alabama’s natural oyster reefs that were damaged by strong tides and currents during Hurricane Ivan. The program will provide both immediate and long-term benefits by restoring oyster population levels to pre-Ivan conditions and enhancing the continuing productivity of oyster reef dependent finfish and crustacean species.

“It’s very important that we take a good look at the damages done by Hurricane Ivan to the oyster populations. This grant money will help scientists study the effects of the hurricane and will allow us to work toward restoring this important food source to the American people,” said Dr. Bill Hogarth, assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries. “The combined efforts of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, NOAA, and academic and scientific communities are integral components of cooperative conservation activities. NOAA and the Bush administration are committed to improving our understanding of the environment and supporting oyster recovery efforts in Alabama.”

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 35 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 http://www.noaa.gov.