2016 NERRS Science Collaborative Transfer Awards Announced

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve System Science Collaborative, managed by the University of Michigan Water Center, is pleased to announce the outcome of this year’s competition for Science Transfer projects. 

Science Transfer awards provide reserves and their partners with resources to find new ways to use reserve-based or external research, educational, and training information and tools to address critical coastal management issues and improve the long-term stewardship of the nation’s valuable estuaries. Awards totaling more than $265,000 were made to 6 projects, involving 19 reserves.

This year’s projects will synthesize marsh data making it available to the NERRS and national partners, develop climate planning scenarios, identify blue carbon opportunities and information needs, apply a tourism resilience index to inform climate adaptation planning, develop curricula in support of K-12 climate science programming, and develop interactive, free choice learning opportunities for reserve visitors. 

Decreasing vulnerability in Maine’s beaches business community using the tourism resilience index
Annie Cox - Wells (ME)

Project leaders are engaging the business community in Southern Maine in a vulnerability assessment process to help them identify community risks and priority goals for addressing the impacts of climate change, such as sea-level rise and extreme weather events, on businesses along the Maine shoreline. This project will adapt the Tourism Resilience Index created by the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant for the Gulf of Mexico to the Gulf of Maine region.

Climate education for a changing Bay expansion
Sarah Nuss - Chesapeake Bay (VA)

Project leaders will make data and information compiled via the Chesapeake Bay Sentinel Site Cooperative readily available to ninth grade teachers to use in their classrooms and increase climate literacy. The project builds on a previous NOAA Bay Watershed Education and Training (BWET) project which provided watershed educational experiences integrated into classroom curriculum for ninth grade students in Virginia. The current project builds on the previous years of the program to extend its reach and develop an alumni program.

Creating a shared understanding of the specific vulnerabilities of the southeastern coastal habitats to climate change impacts
Jennifer Plunket - North Inlet-Winyah Bay (SC), North Carolina (NC)

Project leaders will apply the Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment Tool for Coastal Habitats (CCVATCH) to emergent marsh areas at the North Inlet-Winyah Bay and North Carolina NERR. The vulnerability assessment will help each of these reserves better cope with climate change impacts on their marsh communities.

Creating workforce-ready students that develop transferable, interactive software designed to encourage free-choice learning to National Estuarine Research Reserves
Kenneth Rainer - Guana Tolomato Matanzas (FL), Delaware (DE), Mission-Aransas (TX)

Educational leaders from three NERRs will work with the University of Delaware to install experiential games on interactive screens at their reserve for visitors to learn about the dynamic and interconnected nature of the estuary’s plants, animals, and people.

Bringing wetlands to market on the Gulf Coast: An extension of bringing wetlands to market in Waquoit Bay
Dana Sjostrom - Mission-Aransas (TX), Waquoit Bay (MA)

Project leaders will transfer approaches and lessons learned from the Waquoit Bay NERR's Bringing Wetlands to Markets Science Collaborative project to the Mission-Aransas NERR. Through outreach, communications, and the transfer of blue carbon scientific information, the project seeks to encourage the development of blue carbon projects in the region.

Communicating results from the tidal marsh resilience synthesis to the NERRS, national partners, and coastal managers
Kerstin Wasson - Great Bay (NH), Waquoit Bay (MA), Narragansett Bay (RI), Hudson River (NY), Delaware (DE), Chesapeake Bay (MD), Chesapeake Bay (VA), North Carolina (NC), North Inlet-Winyah Bay (SC), ACE Basin (SC), Grand Bay (MS), Padilla Bay (WA), South Slough (OR), San Francisco Bay (CA), Elkhorn Slough (CA), Tijuana River (CA)

Communication experts will develop and disseminate communications products based on a recently conducted synthesis of NERR Sentinel Site data which applied indices of resilience to sea level rise to marshes in 16 National Estuarine Research Reserves across the United States to assess regional and national patterns in resilience. Among the products will be a "do it yourself" tool so others can apply the novel marsh assessment approach to additional marshes.

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’s 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 www.graham.umich.edu/water/nerrs or www.nerrs.noaa.gov