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NERRS Science Collaborative Awards Over $3 Million for 11 New Projects

Eleven projects involving 17 reserve sites across the nation and totaling more than $3 million have been recommended for support by NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) Science Collaborative, managed by the University of Michigan Water Center.

This funding cycle’s projects fall into two categories: collaborative research and science transfer. Collaborative research projects conduct new applied science through a user-driven, collaborative process that results in research, data, tools, or other products that will inform decision-making related to a reserve management need. Science transfer grants support the transfer of existing information, approaches, and techniques to support reserve activities and programs across all reserve sectors.

The projects recommended for funding will tackle a variety of active and emerging coastal issues, many directly related to climate change. Topics include furthering our understanding of coastal ecosystem services; planning for flood resilience; monitoring oyster reef conditions; incorporating Indigenous knowledge into watershed management; enhancing science literacy; and addressing marine debris.

“These projects demonstrate the power of these place-based reserves whose strong relationships with their communities help them identify and pursue this highly impactful work,” said Dr. Jennifer Read, Director of the University of Michigan Water Center and the NERRS Science Collaborative. “We are delighted to support the researchers, practitioners, and partners across the reserve system working together to undertake this important, local but highly transferable work.”

All Science Collaborative projects integrate decision-makers and other end users to ensure that products address current coastal management issues. Over the course of the project period, teams have access to Science Collaborative support and resources, including experts in collaborative research design and implementation, and data management.

This is the third year of a $20 million, five-year cooperative agreement with the University of Michigan, which administers the program. New for this year: guidance for the review panels on how to recognize traditional ecological and Indigenous knowledge in proposals.

2022 Science Collaborative Funded Projects

Project Lead and AffiliationProject TitleParticipating Reserve(s)
Celso Castro-Bolinaga,        
North Carolina State University
Improved Understanding of Sediment Dynamics for the Rachel Carson Reserve, North CarolinaNorth Carolina (NC)
Christopher Janousek,        
Oregon State University
A Long-Term Perspective on Tidal Wetland Restoration: Vegetation Development, Elevation Capital, and Carbon Sequestration in the Oldest Projects along the West CoastSouth Slough (OR); Tijuana River (CA); Elkhorn Slough (CA); San Francisco (CA)
Jessie Jarvis,        
University of North Carolina Wilmington
Evaluating and Enhancing Eelgrass Resiliency and Restoration Potential in a Changing ClimateChesapeake Bay (VA)
Peter Kingsley-Smith,        
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
Collaborative Development of Novel Remote Sensing Workflows for Assessing Oyster Reef Condition to Inform Management and RestorationACE Basin (SC); North Inlet-Winyah Bay (SC); North Carolina (NC); Sapelo Island (GA); Guana Tolomato Matanzas (FL)
Hannah Ramage,        
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Building a Collaborative Water Quality Monitoring Strategy for a Changing St. Louis River EstuaryLake Superior (WI)
Aaron Rice,        
Cornell University
Leveraging Conservation Technology to Improve Protected Species Management Efforts and Enhancing Ecosystem Services within the Hudson River National Estuarine ReserveHudson River (NY)
Yoshimi Rii,        
Heʻeia National Estuarine Research Reserve
Wetland Water and ʻIke (WAI): Improving Understanding of Hydrology to Inform Management DecisionsHeʻeia (HI)
Kristen Goodrich,        
Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve
Transferring Knowledge to Understand the NERRS’s Niche in Addressing Aquatic-Bound DebrisTijuana River (CA); Heʻeia (HI); Padilla Bay (WA)
Geraldine Klarenberg,        
University of Florida
Using Collaborative Open Science Tools to Improve Engagement with the Ecology of the Guana River EstuaryGuana Tolomato Matanzas (FL)
Sarah Nuss,        
Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Virginia Scientists and Educators Alliance (VA SEA) & PartnersChesapeake Bay (VA); Jacques Cousteau (NJ)
Eleanor Sterling,        
Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology
Reciprocal Relationships in Reserves: Establishing a Community of Practitioners for Identifying and Using Cultural Ecosystem Services ApproachesHeʻeia (HI); Kachemak Bay (AK); Wells (ME); Tijuana River (CA)
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