NOAA fisheries, Connecticut, New York Sea Grant Programs announce research grants: $3.5 million in sound research to address lobster die-offs

WASHINGTON D.C. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and National Sea Grant College Program have announced the awarding of $3.5 million in federal research grants to 14 science research teams in seven states to determine the causes behind the 1999-2000 winter dye-off of the Long Island Sound lobster fishery.

The research is jointly-funded under the Long Island Sound Lobster Initiative, an endeavor of Sea Grant programs in Connecticut and New York along with the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and NMFS's Northeast Fisheries Science Center.

The Long Island Sound Lobster Initiative was formed after a July, 2000 Congressional allocation of $6.6 million in federal funds to NOAA to research the scientific and economic impacts of the die off. Congress directed that approximately $3.5 million of those federal funds be dedicated for research investigating potential causes.

An additional $3.1 million in federal research funds have been allocated to the States of Connecticut and New York for lobster resource monitoring and assessment. NMFS and Connecticut State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) are sponsoring three additional research projects each. The NMFS projects are funded with approximately $900,000 of the federal money, and the DEP's projects are supported by one million dollars from the State of Connecticut's Long Island Sound Research Fund.

Connecticut and New York Sea Grant both received $165,000 each in federal funding to facilitate communication of the research findings to lobster fishers, resource managers, and the public. Additional portions of the federal money will be used to help mitigate the economic impacts on affected lobster fishermen. Other collaborators include representatives of Long Island Sound lobster fishing organizations and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

The awards resulted from a nationa

Contact: Jana Goldman
National Sea Grant College Program

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