NYSG-Funded Projects: 2011

Nearly $2.5 Million for New York Sea Grant in 2011

Stony Brook, NY - The New York Sea Grant (NYSG) program is receiving a grant totaling $2.449 million in fiscal year 2011 to fund its research, extension and education efforts on important coastal issues in fisheries, coastal marine habitats, coastal flooding, among others.

Monies come via the program’s parent organization, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Sea Grant College Program (NSGCP), located in Silver Springs, MD.

“New York Sea Grant’s NOAA funding enables us to address the important economic and environmental issues confronting New York marine and Great Lakes coastal communities,” said New York Sea Grant director Dr. Jim Ammerman.  “Important problems like water quality, hazard resilience, and sustainable fisheries and coastal development will all benefit from New York Sea Grant's research, education, and outreach efforts.”

In addition to addressing important problems and opportunities, NYSG's 2010-2013 Omnibus funds also provide graduate students with financial support through the Sea Grant Scholar Program, and sponsors conferences, seminars and workshops on a variety of coastal issues each year.

New York Sea Grant, now in its 40th year, is a statewide network of integrated research, education, and extension services promoting the coastal economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness about the State's marine and Great Lakes resources. One of 32 university-based programs under the NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program, NYSG is a cooperative program of the State University of New York and Cornell University.

Current Projects under NYSG’s 2010-2013 Omnibus

Development of mitigation strategies to reduce the impact of QPX disease on hard clam transplant fishery
SG11012 Allam / Barnes / Pales Espinosa
Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences
$ 216,536 for 2 years

The Raritan Bay hard clam transplant fishery is a multi-million dollar industry that supported nearly 200 direct jobs up until 2002. The fishery was suspended in 2002 in response to the first QPX disease epizootic in New York State. It currently operates on a limited scale in the least impacted areas of the bay because of ongoing disease activity in most productive areas of the source population, causing continuous and considerable economical losses to the State. The research team's previous studies demonstrated the significant impact of prevailing environmental factors on parasite survival, disease development and clam mortality. Specifically, they identified temperature conditions that significantly enhance clam resistance to the infection and facilitate parasite killing and clam healing. Temperature conditions in receiving waters in the Peconic estuary during the transplant season are within a range that was shown to limit disease development and favor healing. Prior anecdotal findings showed high levels of healing in transplanted clams suggesting that transplant operations are beneficial allowing clams to better fight the infection and heal. This project will combine field data and laboratory studies to develop new protocols to optimize transplant operations, promote the healing process and limit the impact of the disease on the fishery.

An evaluation of habitat classification schemes for coastal marine systems
SG11014 Cerrato / Flood
Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences
$ 214,983 for 2 years

There is a need for accurate information about the structure and extent of benthic marine habitats for effective ecological management. The objective of this study is to quantitatively evaluate the habitat classification schemes being implemented in New York waters. The research will provide insights about benthic habitats that can also be used to increase the accuracy, efficiency, and cost effectiveness of management efforts addressing a variety of coastal management issues.

Future changes in east coast storms and their impact on coastal inundation and Long Island Sound mixing
SG11015 Colle / Liu / Flagg / Bowman / Chang
Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences
$ 157,702 for 2 years

Coastal areas of Long Island and New York City are vulnerable to flooding from storm surges. This situation is likely to become worse as sea levels rise over the next century. This study will examine mid-latitude cyclones using regional climate models to better understand how coastal storms will change in future decades. Information from this work is intended to demonstrate how storm surge frequency and intensity might change.

Stock identification of summer flounder using microsatellite analysis
SG11010 Wirgin
New York University’s School of Medicine, Environmental Medicine
$ 85,250 for 1 year

Fluke support one of the most economically important recreational and commercial fisheries in New York's marine waters. The allocation of the resource among states and users groups has proven to be the most contentious of any finfish species in the NW Atlantic. Fluke is managed as a single stock coast wide but data supporting that strategy has often proven contradictory and certainly not definitive. This project will use a sensitive genetic approach, microsatellite analysis of nuclear DNA, to determine the stock structure of fluke. If the project determines that there is more than one genetic stock north of Cape Hatteras, managers may choose to reconsider how the resource is allocated among states to the benefit of New York's fishers.

Management of risk from VHSV in bait minnows
SG11001 Bowser / Casey / Getchell
Cornell University, Microbiology and Immunology
$ 207,974 for 2 years 

The emergence of Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus (VHSV) in the Great Lakes Basin is considered to be one of the most serious fish health events to have occurred in North America. The primary means to minimize the impact of VHSV is by preventing its spread to new bodies of water. It has been hypothesized that one of highest risks for the spread of VHSV is by the movement of infected fish. The goal of the proposed research will be to document the risk posed by bait minnows in the spread of the virus. The team will determine if minnows can act as a reservoir from which VHSV can be spread and document the effect of an environmental parameter, temperature, on that reservoir.   The team will also determine if predatory fish can be infected with VHSV by eating a prey species that is carrying the virus. The information developed will be used to formulate Best Management Programs and Practices to support outreach efforts targeted at bait dealers, the sport fishing community and the public in general.

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