FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ben Sherman
News Releases 2005
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NOAA has awarded the Virginia Institute of Marine Science more than $43,000 to study the impact of low oxygen levels on fish habitat quality in the coastal bays of Delaware. This award is the first installment of a three-year, approximately $135,314 grant.
This project will support research to study how diel-cycling hypoxia—short term hypoxia that lasts only for hours—affects fish populations such as juvenile summer flounder and weakfish, which use these coastal bays for vital estuarine nursery habitat. Researchers plan to collect data and calibrate and integrate models in order to assess how continued water quality decline affects habitat quality and fish behavior, feeding, and distribution. The project will provide vital information to living resources managers by providing a direct link between nutrient and other constituents discharged to a water body and impacts to fish production and health. This research will be done in collaboration with scientists from the University of Delaware.
“Hypoxia is well studied in deep water estuaries but relatively little is known about hypoxia in shallow systems like the Delaware coastal bays,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “NOAA’s partnership with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science will enable the research to enhance our understanding of the affect of water quality on juvenile fish behavior, distribution, and production in shallow coastal estuaries, which account for 13 percent of the global coastline habitat.”
Each year, the NOAA Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research awards approximately $25 million in grants to institutions of higher education, state, local, and tribal governments, and other non-profit research institutions to assist NOAA in fulfilling its mission to study our coastal oceans. NOAA-sponsored competitive research programs such as CHRP demonstrate NOAA's commitment to its historic responsibilities of science and service to the nation for the past 35 years.
NOAA’s National Ocean Service is dedicated to exploring, understanding, conserving and restoring the nation’s coasts and oceans. It balances environmental protection with economic prosperity in fulfilling its mission of promoting safe navigation, supporting coastal communities, sustaining coastal habitats and mitigating coastal hazards.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, 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. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners and nearly 60 countries to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes.
On the Web:
NOAA’s National Ocean Service: http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/
Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research: http://www.cop.noaa.gov/