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Dolphin Multiple Stressor Assessments

Co-producing a conceptual model to support assessments of cumulative effects from multiple stressors on Houston area dolphins under CERCLA and OPA Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) decision makers will evaluate whether or not to pursue NRDA claims that include restoration of Houston area bottlenose dolphins potentially injured by releases of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins, … Continue reading

Red Tide and Reef Fish Modeling

Operationalizing the West Florida Shelf ecosystem model and application to red tides, stock assessment, and catch advice for Gulf of Mexico reef fish The project team will update and improve upon an ecosystem model of the West Florida Shelf to account for red tide mortality when assessing Gulf of Mexico reef fish. The project will … Continue reading

Optimizing Coastal Bird Stewardship

Evaluating efficacy of stewardship actions for vulnerable Gulf of Mexico coastal birds through co-production between scientists and resource managers Since 1970, coastal-breeding bird populations have declined significantly due to anthropogenic and environmental threats, such as human disturbance. The project team will develop science-based guidance on stewardship and outreach techniques for the Gulf of Mexico, which … Continue reading

Rehabilitation of Waterbird Nesting Islands

Colony Island Network Design and Implementation (CINDI): a prioritization tool to rehabilitate colony islands along the Texas coast Every four years, Texas creates a list of high priority colonial waterbird nesting islands in need of rehabilitation and decides which projects to implement. Given limited funds and little understanding of an island’s contribution to regional bird … Continue reading

Drone Surveys and Oil Spill Response

Protecting Texas coastlines from potential oil spills in Galveston Bay using drone surveys and maps of a new response effectiveness index Galveston Bay and the surrounding Texas coast are vulnerable to marine oil spills, from both the high volume of marine commerce through the Galveston Bay ship channel and from offshore oil exploration. The project … Continue reading

Recreational Fishery Habitat Conservation

Implementation of a research plan to guide decisions on place-based recreational fishery conservation in Charlotte Harbor, FL In Charlotte Harbor, the essential nursery habitats of snook and tarpon are vulnerable to urban development and have no explicit habitat protections. The project team seeks to better inform county and state governments’ decisions by creating decision-making support … Continue reading

Seagrass Resilience at the Chandeleur Islands

Informing project design and long-term monitoring and adaptive management of large-scale ecosystem restoration to maximize natural resource benefits through the protection and enhancement of seagrass habitat at the Chandeleur Islands, LA In their efforts to restore the Chandeleur Islands off coastal Louisiana, natural resource agencies must use the best available science and develop a long-term … Continue reading

An Ecosystem-Based Conservation Framework for Oyster Reefs

DECORATE: Developing an ecosystem-based conservation framework for oyster reefs across Texas estuaries Previous management of oyster reefs in Texas has included closing oyster reefs to harvest, however the explicit effects of closures on the ecosystem functions of those reefs has not been well documented. The project team will quantify the effects of closures alongside other … Continue reading

Building Next-Generation Fishery Forecasting Capacity

Building next-generation diagnostic and forecasting capacity to achieve management objectives by increasing stock assessment accuracy and throughput Management decisions about overfishing limits and acceptable biological catch estimates must be made for all harvested species subject to a fisheries management plan and are typically informed by stock assessments that model fishery dynamics and forecast stock trends. … Continue reading

Seagrass Conservation on Florida’s Nature Coast

Seagrass conservation through actionable research: Management areas for prevention of scarring (SCAR MAPS) Damage to seagrasses by propeller scarring in aquatic preserves of Florida’s Nature Coast is a growing issue that is of increasing concern to managers and stakeholders. The project team will collect geographic, biological, logistical, and socioeconomic data to pair with stakeholder guidance … Continue reading