NOAA announces $4.9 million for collaborative research projects to help coastal communities manage effects of climate change

October 19, 2012

NOAA and the University of New Hampshire have announced more than $4.9 million to fund nine collaborative research projects aimed at making coastal communities and environments more resilient to rising sea levels, changing weather patterns, extreme storms, and ocean warming and acidification.

The grants, made by NOAA's National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) Science Collaborative through its partnership with the university, will fund projects in South Carolina, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Alabama, Oregon and California.

Over the next two years, NERRS-led project teams will bring community stakeholders together with scientists, using the best science to make important resource management and public safety decisions. Projects will address community adaptation to sea level rise, implementation of low-impact development land use practices, oyster and wetland restoration, and river and watershed management.

"Few coastal resource management problems are purely environmental in nature," said Dwight D. Trueblood, Ph.D., NOAA's NERRS Science Collaborative program manager. "They affect economies and business, infrastructure and property, human health and well-being. The NERRS Science Collaborative is a prime example of how science in partnership with the community can make a big difference in people’s lives."

The peer-reviewed grants were competitively awarded and include funding of $4.2 million in current fiscal year funds and an additional $741,509 from a prior NOAA grant. The grants will go to:

NOAA's Estuarine Reserves Division established the NERRS Science Collaborative through a cooperative, agreement with the University of New Hampshire in 2009 to put science to work for coastal communities. The Science Collaborative also sponsors fellowships in the university's Integrated Coastal Ecosystem Science, Policy, and Management Program, a master's degree program that provides the knowledge and skills needed to bring science to coastal decision making.

NERRS is a network of 28 protected areas representing different biogeographic regions of the United States, from Wells, Maine to Katchemak Bay in Alaska. NOAA administers this program, through the Coastal Zone Management Act, in partnership with coastal states and territories. Through integrated research, education, and resource stewardship, the reserves help communities better understand these vital habitats and develop strategies to manage ongoing coastal resource challenges.

NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels at