Contact: Aja Sae-Kung
NOAA News Releases 2005
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Public Affairs

Grant Supports Undersea Research Program

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced a $787,138 grant to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington to support the NOAA Undersea Research Program. The NURP performs research and analysis in the waters of the Southeastern United States as well as the Gulf of Mexico.

The grant supports the NURP Center at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, which uses scientists from all over the world to complete more than forty projects each year. Projects this year will focus on assessing the status and risk posed by the invasive Indo-Pacific lionfish in North Carolina hardbottom communities, and conducting missions to study bleaching and mortality in barrel sponges. The program will also assess the threats to a species of corals recently proposed to be added to the Endangered Species List. Acropora palmate, found in the Florida Keys, is the first coral species ever to be proposed to the list.

“This grant will give the Undersea Research Program the resources it needs to continue studying the oceans,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “NURP supports NOAA’s mission by providing scientists with the tools and expertise they need to conduct scientific research of regional, national, and global importance.”

The NOAA Underwater Research Center’s mission is to provide service to NOAA as a model extramural science program that provides knowledge required for the wise use of the nation's marine environment and resources. NURC programs aim to provide undersea technology to scientists for studies of the nation's Exclusive Economic Zone, address regional and national science needs by directing research towards the most relevant problems facing the marine environment and enhance public awareness of the problems and solutions facing our coastal oceans and resources.

Each year, NOAA awards approximately $900 million in grants to members of the academic, scientific, education, 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, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, 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.

On the Web: