FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Aja Sae-Kung
News Releases 2005
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services $1,700,000 to restore oyster reefs in several bays that were 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 Florida’s natural oyster reefs that were damaged during Hurricane Ivan. Oyster reefs will be identified for restoration in Escambia Bay, East Bay (Santa Rosa County), Choctawhatchee Bay, West Bay, North Bay, East Bay (Bay County) and Apalachicola Bay. Oyster clutch material will be placed on the identified reefs and monitored to assess oyster populations, settlement growth, survival rates and the stability of the restored reefs.
“Hurricane Ivan caused significant damage to oyster populations in our southern states. With funds from the grants, scientists will be able to study the damages and help restore the populations of this important food source,” said Dr. Bill Hogarth, assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries. “The combined efforts of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, 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 Florida.”
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.
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