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2016 Science Collaborative Research and Integrated Assessment Competition Results

The National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) Science Collaborative is pleased to announce the results of the 2016 competition for research and integrated assessment projects. Upon environmental compliance review and approval from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), grants totaling over $5.25 million will be made to 8 projects, involving 5 reserves.

The projects recommended to NOAA for funding this year will support research teams to quantify carbon stocks in Pacific Northwest wetlands, improve understanding of how wetlands enhance coastal community resilience, evaluate ecosystem services associated with shellfish aquaculture, inform marsh and mosquito management in the face of climate change, and increase understanding of the impacts of dam removals on downstream wetlands. See the full list of projects below or view/download a PDF.

“We received many high quality proposals from impressive teams across the country involving reserves and their academic, government, and nonprofit partners, ” said Dr. Jennifer Read, Director of the University of Michigan (U-M) Water Center and coordinator of the Science Collaborative. “In addition to being technically strong, proposals that rose to the top clearly demonstrated how the work will help answer specific management questions and develop products that meet the needs of coastal managers and policy makers. ”

Over the course of the project period, teams will have access to support and resources available from the Science Collaborative, including its unique expertise in collaborative research design and implementation and data management. Experts include Maria Carmen Lemos and Julia Wondelleck (U-M), Dwayne Porter (University of South Carolina), and the NERRS Centralized Data Management Office.

The U-M Water Center manages the Science Collaborative through a cooperative agreement with NOAA. The reserves and this program are supported by NOAA. The Science Collaborative program supports research that addresses coastal management problems important to the reserves, and integrates decision-makers and other end users directly into each project. Research projects are defined by innovative, collaborative science that addresses priority coastal management needs. Integrated assessment projects review and evaluate science and policy information to inform decisions related to a critical coastal issue. Learn more about the Science Collaborative:

  • The next Science Collaborative Request for Research and Integrated Assessment Proposals will be announced in December 2016.
  • Since 2015, awards totaling $8.5 million have been awarded through this program supporting projects in 12 reserves around the country.

2016 NERRS Science Collaborative Research and Integrated Assessment Projects*

Project Lead and Affiliation Project Title Participating Reserve(s)
Craig Cornu, Institute for Applied Ecology (Estuary Technical Group)
Enhancing coastal zone policy, management, and research through end user-driven quantification and public dissemination of carbon stocks data for Pacific Northwest tidal wetlands South Slough (OR),
Padilla Bay (WA)
Elizabeth Darrow, University of North Carolina (Wilmington)
Evaluation of ecosystem services associated with shellfish culture operations in coastal regions served by the National Estuarine Research Reserve

North Carolina (NC)

Richard Lathrop, Rutgers University
Investigating the interconnectedness of climate change, nuisance mosquito populations, and long-term resilience of coastal salt marsh systems Jacques Cousteau (NJ)
Rachel Noble, University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill)
A multi-faceted collaborative approach toward managing stormwater impacts on North Carolina reserves North Carolina (NC)
David Ralston, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Quantifying effects of dam removal on sediment transport and wetland sustainability in the Hudson River estuary
Hudson River (NY)
Jenni Schmitt, South Slough NERR
An estuarine and shoreland use and zoning integrated assessment for the Coos Estuary South Slough (OR)
Peter Sheng, University of Florida
Assessing and enhancing the value of coastal marshes for protecting coastal communities from storm surge and flooding in a changing climate Hudson River (NY)
David Sutherland, University of Oregon
Improved understanding of sediment dynamics and direct management applications for the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve and the greater Coos Bay Estuary South Slough (OR)
View/Download as a PDF

* These projects have been recommended to NOAA for funding; grant awards are contingent upon the findings of NOAA environmental compliance reviews.

The National Estuarine Research Reserve System ’s Science Collaborative supports collaborative research that addresses coastal management problems important to the reserves. The Science Collaborative is managed by the University of Michigan Water Center through a cooperative agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Funding for the research reserves and this program comes from NOAA. Learn more at: or