NOAA RESTORE Science Program Awards $2.3 million for Planning Actionable Science

A man holds up a half-eaten red snapper as an example of depredation.
Photo by David Hay Jones
A marsh creation project in the Chenier Plain
Photo by Katherine Abbott
A group of children participate in a stewardship program hosted by Audubon
Photo provided by Nicole Michel

The NOAA RESTORE Science Program has awarded $2.3 million to 20 project teams in the Gulf of Mexico to collaboratively scope and design research that will inform future decisions on how to manage natural resources in the region including marine mammals, shorebirds, barrier islands, and fisheries. Each project, slated to begin this month, is designed to be an investment in the future of applied science, and ultimately, the sustainability of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem. 

A total of 56 organizations will participate across the 20 projects, with representatives from universities, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. Each team includes at least one natural resource manager who will work side-by-side with researchers throughout the project as they plan research to inform a specific future decision.

These awards continue the Science Program’s commitment to producing timely and high-quality scientific findings and products to support the management and sustainability of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem, including its fisheries.

A short summary of each project and links to more information is below.

List of Awardees

Title: Characterizing cryptic mortality in Gulf of Mexico reef fish: Evaluating the nature and extent of depredation
Lead Investigator: Marcus Drymon
Lead Institution: Mississippi State University and Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant
Award Amount: $118,023
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Title: Integrating socioeconomic impacts into fisheries restoration decisions
Lead Investigator: Lydia Olander
Lead Institution: Duke University
Award Amount: $121,735
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Title: Knowledge co-production for place-based recreational fishery conservation in Charlotte Harbor, Florida
Lead Investigator: Corey Anderson
Lead Institution: Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida, Inc.
Award Amount: $114,058
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Title: Is the Bahia Grande currently functioning as a fishes nursery, and what are the associated resource management implications?
Lead Investigator: Carlos E. Cintra Buenrostro
Lead Institution: The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Award Amount: $126,663
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Title: Planning a next-generation forecasting platform to achieve stock assessment and management objectives
Lead Investigator: Nathan Ronald Vaughan
Lead Institution: Vaughan Analytics
Award Amount: $81,047
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Title: A decision-driven integrated ecosystem approach to maximize benefits of barrier island restoration and management of the Chandeleur Islands for seagrass and associated communities
Lead Investigator: Kelly Darnell
Lead Institution: University of Southern Mississippi
Award Amount: $127,065
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Title: Restoration of Gulf of Mexico islands and beaches for wildlife: Reducing the uncertainty
Lead Investigator: James Nelson
Lead Institution: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Award Amount: $102,694
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Title: Decision support for multi-species coastal habitat management on properties with multi-use objectives
Lead Investigator: Sara Zeigler
Lead Institution: United States Geological Survey
Award Amount: $97,200
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Title: Structured decision making to co-produce an actionable science plan in support of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama Coastal System water quality management
Lead Investigator: George Ramseur
Lead Institution: Mississippi Department of Marine Resources
Award Amount: $126,646
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Title: Co-production of a water flow decision tool to support resource management
Lead Investigator: David Yoskowitz
Lead Institution: Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi
Award Amount: $124,998
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Title: From planning to adaptive management: Natural resources decision making in response to the allocation of riverine inflows in the Northern Gulf of Mexico
Lead Investigator: Ehab Meselhe
Lead Institution: Tulane University
Award Amount: $124,926
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Title: Incorporating co-benefits and costs to coastal hazard mitigation decision making
Lead Investigator: Rachelle Sanderson
Lead Institution: Capital Region Planning Commission
Award Amount: $115,482
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Title: Restoring coastal wetlands for shorebirds: Leveraging lessons learned to identify research priorities and strategies to maximize future success
Lead Investigator: Anna R. Armitage
Lead Institution: Texas A&M University - Galveston
Award Amount: $122,346
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Title: Designing effective stewardship and post-restoration management plans through co-production to protect vulnerable Gulf of Mexico coastal birds
Lead Investigator: Nicole Michel
Lead Institution: National Audubon Society
Award Amount: $99,758
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Title: Creating secure warm-water habitat networks for manatees along Florida’s Gulf Coast: Developing a vision, identifying gaps, and prioritizing restoration sites
Lead Investigator: Charles J. Deutsch
Lead Institution: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Award Amount: $124,996
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Title: Developing a research framework to support assessments of cumulative effects from multiple stressors on dolphins in the Houston area under CERCLA and OPA
Lead Investigator: Ryan Takeshita
Lead Institution: National Marine Mammal Foundation, Inc.
Award Amount: $65,113
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Title: The potential for conservation grazing in coastal uplands
Lead Investigator: Eric Sparks
Lead Institution: Mississippi State University
Award Amount: $130,200
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Title: Building resilience into seagrass bed restoration: The role of genetic variation
Lead Investigator: T. Erin Cox
Lead Institution: University of New Orleans
Award Amount: $121,081
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Title: Tampa Bay restoration and Pyrodinium bahamense blooms dynamics: Filling knowledge gaps to enhance recovery
Lead Investigators: Cary Lopez and Sugandha Shankar
Lead Institution: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
Award Amount: $103,503
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Title: Planning for a future of marsh creation: Evaluating the decision to continue to create high elevation confined marshes
Lead Investigator: Tracy Quirk
Lead Institution: Louisiana State University
Award Amount: $78,260
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