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NOAA Awards First Installment of $2.5 Million Grant to University of Rhode Island to Study Hypoxia in Estuarine Ecosystems

NOAA has awarded the University of Rhode Island $1.5 million to develop modeling tools to predict low oxygen levels in upper Narragansett Bay, R.I. This award is the first installment of a five-year, approximately $2.5 million grant.

This ecosystem-scale project aims to characterize and predict the oxygen dynamics within Narragansett Bay through coordinated, multidisciplinary studies involving monitoring studies, development of linked physical and biological models, and the examination of historical oxygen conditions.

In 2003, severe hypoxia in Narragansett Bay resulted in a large fish kill, prompting a new state law to impose limits on nitrogen discharged into the bay. These efforts will help decision-makers better predict ecosystem responses related to hypoxia generation for present nutrient conditions and future conditions as a result of the recently enacted nutrient control strategies. This research is done in collaboration with scientists from the University of Connecticut – Avery Point and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

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