NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) are pleased to announce a total of $4.37 million in funding for 16 new research awards in Fiscal Year 2018, with an additional $7.38 million for 30 continuing awards. The newly funded projects span the ecology and oceanography of harmful algal blooms (announced earlier this month), coastal hypoxia research, ocean acidification thresholds in coastal ecosystems, and coral ecosystem connectivity in the western Gulf of Mexico, and involve over 74 scientists at 39 institutions. All awards went through a rigorous competitive peer review process. Regions of research projects include the Great Lakes, New England, the Gulf of Mexico, coastal California, the Pacific Northwest, Chesapeake Bay, Alaska, and Florida.
NCCOS is funding the latest scientific research to support environmental managers coping with increasing and recurring toxic algae and hypoxia, potential loss of coral reef habitat, and the threats of ocean acidification. Improved understanding of these timely coastal threats will lead to better predictions, mitigation, and possible solutions to support safe and healthy coastal communities and economies.
You can learn about all of the newly funded projects here.
The funded projects are part of the following NCCOS Competitive Research Programs:
The Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB) Program aims to develop quantitative understanding of HABs and, where applicable, their toxins in relation to the surrounding environment with the intent of developing new information and tools, predictive models and forecasts, and prevention strategies to aid managers in coastal environments. Another objective is to fund research to develop understanding leading to models of trophic transfer of toxins, knowledge of biosynthesis and metabolism of toxins, and assessment of impacts of toxins on higher trophic levels.
The Coastal Hypoxia Research Program (CHRP) aims to fund research that promotes a better understanding of the effects of hypoxia on the nation’s oceans, estuaries, coasts, and Great Lakes ecosystems; ecosystem services; and human communities through the support of targeted laboratory and field studies and development of quantitative predictive models or other relevant methods.
The Regional Ecosystem Prediction Program (REPP) seeks to provide resource managers with actionable information, predictive tools, and capabilities to improve their ability to protect, conserve, and restore the nation’s ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems. REPP identifies key regional research needs that are limiting the ability of resource managers to address one or more issues from a regional ecosystem perspective. The 2018 funded research aims to improve the understanding of population connectivity of key coral ecosystem species in the western Gulf of Mexico to provide insight into regional connectivity and support decisions concerning current and future marine protected area (MPA) management and MPA networks for shallow and mesophotic coral ecosystems.
The Ocean Acidification Thresholds in Coastal Ecosystems Program aims to identify ecosystem thresholds related to ocean acidification, predict them, and understand how they interact with social and economic thresholds to drive management actions.
For more information, contact Elizabeth.Turner@noaa.gov.