Science Collaborative Research and Integrated Assessment Competition Results

News Resource
September 2015

The University of Michigan (U-M) Water Center is pleased to announce the outcome of this year’s competition for research and integrated assessment projects under NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) Science Collaborative. Upon environmental compliance review and approval from NOAA, grants totaling over $3.2 million will be made to 6 projects, involving 7 estuarine reserves around the country.

Science Collaborative research awards fund innovative, collaborative research that directly addresses priority coastal management needs. Integrated assessments review and evaluate critical science and policy information to inform decisions surrounding a particular coastal issue. According to Dr. Jennifer Read, U-M Water Center Director, “This is a unique grant program that is designed to support applied research and direct collaboration between researchers and users of the science that will result in highly usable products. The projects that the Water Center has identified for funding will help answer specific questions and develop products that meet the needs of coastal managers and policy makers.”

The projects recommended to NOAA for funding will examine the effectiveness of coastal restoration designs, help state agencies identify and support appropriate shoreline management strategies, and examine the extent to which coastal wetlands store carbon. See details on each of these projects below or view/download a PDF.

The NERRS Science Collaborative received 41 pre-proposals for research projects and integrated assessments as part of this year’s competition. Proposals underwent a rigorous review process that helped select projects with both a robust research approach and a thoughtful plan for engaging users of the research. The next Request for Research and Integrated Assessment Proposals will be announced in December 2015.

These projects represent a unique opportunity to both the NERRS and U-M researchers. Over the course of the project period, teams will have access to support and resources available from the U-M Water Center, including its unique expertise in collaborative research design and implementation. Likewise, U-M researchers will have the opportunity to observe and engage with cutting edge collaborative science efforts, as they seek to better understand how science can produce more useful and usable products and result in more effective policy or behavior change.

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

2015 NERRS Science Collaborative Research and Integrated Assessment Projects*

Project Lead and Affiliation Project Title Participating  National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERRs)
Dr. Christine Angelini,
University of Florida
Re-engineering living shorelines to halt erosion and restore coastal habitat functioning in high-energy environments Guana Tolomato Matanzas NERR (FL)
Dr. Stuart Findlay,
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Assessing ecological and physical performance of sustainable shoreline structures

Hudson River NERR (NY)

James Rassman,
Waquoit Bay NERR
Expanding blue carbon implementation: Increasing GHG model application in tidally restricted and restored New England salt marshes Waquoit Bay NERR (MA)
Cory Riley,
Great Bay NERR
Exploring the trends, the science, and the options of buffer management in the Great Bay Watershed Great Bay NERR (NH)
Dr. Denise Sanger,
Marine Resources Research Institute (SC DNR) and ACE Basin NERR
Evaluating living shorelines to inform regulatory decision-making in South Carolina
ACE Basin NERR (SC) and
North Inlet Winyah Bay NERR (SC)
Dr. Eric Sparks,
Mississippi State University
Maximizing the effectiveness and sustainability of coastal restoration Weeks Bay NERR (AL)

September 8, 2015, View/Download PDF

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