The Georgia Sea Grant College Program at the University of Georgia has announced funding for seven new projects that will advance coastal science in Georgia. The diverse projects include investigations into policy barriers related to oyster aquaculture, tidal river flooding in upland communities, the development of artificial bait for the commercial blue crab fishery, impacts of black gill on shrimp, oyster pathogens, and the function of salt marsh ecosystems.
The projects are part of Georgia Sea Grant’s request for proposals process, which occurs every two years to address research priorities identified by coastal stakeholders.
This year, Georgia Sea Grant is partnering with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Ocean Acidification to fund a project looking at whether sediments increase or decrease the susceptibility of Georgia’s coastal waters to ocean acidification.
“By leveraging our federal partnerships, we can expand coastal research that addresses Georgia stakeholder concerns,” said Mark Risse, director of Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant. “These projects will help coastal communities, allow resource managers to plan and implement better policies, and engage scientists throughout Georgia in applied research and outreach.
The two-year projects include researchers from five universities in the state, including: The University of Georgia, Savannah State University, Georgia College, the Georgia Institute of Technology and Georgia Southern University.
The 2020-2022 research projects and the lead investigators are:
- Optimizing Georgia’s Shrimp Fishery in the Age of Black Gill – Marc Frischer, University of Georgia
- Addressing Policy Barriers and Promoting Opportunities for the Success of Oyster Aquaculture in Georgia – Scott Pippin, University of Georgia
- Tidal Channel Network Dynamics and Salt Marsh Ecosystem Functioning along the Georgia Coast – Amanda Spivak, University of Georgia
- Expanded Head of Tide Determination of Georgia’s Coastal Rivers: Influences of Upland Riverine Flooding, Tidal Inundation, and Stochastic/Storm-surge Events – Christopher Hintz, Savannah State University
- Field Testing a New Synthetic Sustainable Bait for Georgia’s Blue Crab Fishing Industry – Charles Derby, Georgia College
- Role of Sediments in the Susceptibility to Ocean Acidification in Coastal Habitats – Martial Taillefert, Georgia Institute of Technology
- How do Environmental Conditions and Oyster Population Genetics Influence Pathogen Prevalence and Intensity? – John Carroll, Georgia Southern University
Information about Georgia Sea Grant research topics, funding and current opportunities can be found at https://gacoast.uga.edu/research/funding/current-projects/