Gulf-wide assessment of habitat use and habitat-specific production estimates of nekton in turtlegrass


Project Overview

Implementing Organization
University of Southern Mississippi

DWH Project Funding

0

Known Leveraged Funding

0

Funding Organization

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Funding Program

The RESTORE Act Funds Bucket 4: NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program

Project Location: Mississippi

Funding Source: Transocean
Controlling Document: The RESTORE Act
Year Awarded: 2017

Project Details

Project Category

Project Actions

Monitoring and Observations

Targeted Resources

Wetlands / Marshes / Estuaries

Project Description

Seagrass beds serve as habitat for many commercially and recreationally important finfish and shellfish during some stage of their life. In the northern Gulf of Mexico, turtlegrass, a type of seagrass, is a critical foundation species that provides energy for food webs and shelter and foraging grounds for many species. The more that is known about how turtlegrass supports finfish and shellfish species and if or how that changes in different parts of the Gulf of Mexico, the more fisheries managers will be able to consider how changing seagrass abundance is impacting certain fisheries. This project is a management-driven, three year Gulf of Mexico-wide assessment of turtlegrass habitat use by finfish and shellfish and an evaluation of the specific ways it supports blue crabs, a commercially important species which has seen recent declines in harvest in many Gulf states. The researchers will determine the abundance, diversity, age, and mix of juvenile and adult animals that use turtlegrass as habitat in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. Additionally, they will measure the relationships in these three states between blue crab growth and mortality and characteristics of the turtlegrass such as plant density and height. Finally, they will develop separate statistical models for Florida, Louisiana, and Texas that will estimate blue crab production in turtlegrass based on crab abundance, growth, and mortality data. The data collected by this study and the models developed will provide critical information for resource management across the Gulf of Mexico.

Project Contact

Project Partners

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Affiliated Institutions

Texas A&M University, University of Florida


Project ID: 635
Project Name: Gulf-wide assessment of habitat use and habitat-specific production estimates of nekton in turtlegrass
SourceUID: 0
Latitude: 31.32786426
Longitude: -89.33155453
Country: United States of America
State or Province: Mississippi
County: Hattiesburg
Project Category: Science
Project Action: Monitoring and Observations
Additional Project Action(s):
Additional Project Action(s):
Targeted Resource(s): Wetlands / Marshes / Estuaries
Targeted Resource(s):
Targeted Resource(s):
Anticipated Project Completion Year: 2020
Implementing Organization: University of Southern Mississippi
Implementing Organization Type: Academic
Point of Contact – Name: Kelly M. Darnell
Point of Contact – Phone: kelly.darnell@usm.edu
Point of Contact – Email: 228-872-4278
Other Partners: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Affiliated Institutions: Texas A&M University, University of Florida
Link: https://restoreactscienceprogram.noaa.gov/funded-projects/turtlegrass
Project Comments: None
Acres Acquired: 0
Close Year: 0
Close Month: 0
Close day: 0
Purchase Type: None
Landowner: None
Landowner Type: None
Purpose: None
Public Access: None
Easement Holder Name : None
Easement Holder Type: None
Secondary Easement Holder 1: None
Secondary Easement Holder 2: None
Duration: None
Term: 0
Land Restoration Acreage: 0
Aquatic Restoration Acreage: 0
Restoration Mileage: 0
Restoration Feet: 0
Additional Acreage: None
Total Dollar Amount (from all funders): 992136
DWH Funder: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
DWH Funder Type: Federal
DWH Funding Program: The RESTORE Act Funds Bucket 4: NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program
DWH Dollar Amount : 992136
DWH Source: Transocean
Fund Origin: Civil Settlement
Controlling Documents: The RESTORE Act
Award Year: 2017
Award Month: 6
Total Amount Leveraged: 0