The NOAA RESTORE Science Program has completed its third funding competition and awarded approximately $15.6M to four teams of researchers and resource managers to support work on trends in living coastal and marine resources and the processes driving them in the Gulf of Mexico region. These projects will increase our understanding of how shellfish, fish, birds, and marine mammals use the Gulf of Mexico and will provide valuable information to Gulf of Mexico resource managers.
The project teams will be investigating fire effects in Gulf of Mexico marshes; exploring how oyster, blue crab, and spotted seatrout populations respond to environmental change; linking historic data with new data to detect trends in pelagic and deep sea fauna; and characterizing variability in reef fish communities and their habitats. These projects will run for five years with high performing projects eligible for a five year, non-competitive renewal.
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.
Title: Fire effects in Gulf of Mexico marshes: Historical perspectives, management, and monitoring of mottled ducks and black and yellow rails
Lead Investigator: Auriel M.V. Fournier
Lead Institution: Mississippi State University
Award Amount: $3,922,699
Title: Building resilience for oysters, blue crabs, and spotted seatrout to environmental trends and variability in the Gulf of Mexico
Lead Investigator: John C. Lehrter
Lead Institution: University of South Alabama
Award Amount: $2,887,250
Title: Trends and drivers of faunal abundance of the offshore Gulf of Mexico: Narrowing the data gap in the Gulf’s largest ecosystem component
Lead Investigator: Tracey T. Sutton
Lead Institution: Nova Southeastern University
Award Amount: $2,794,147
Title: Optimization and expansion of Gulf-wide video survey efforts to better characterize temporal and spatial variability in reef fish assemblages in response to drivers at multiple scales: The G-FISHER (Gulf Fishery Independent Survey of Habitat and Ecosystem Resources) program
Lead Investigator: Theodore Switzer
Lead Institution: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
Award Amount: $6,018,538