New investments in ocean research in Oregon | Local News

The Oregon Ocean Science Trust (OOST) has awarded $1.1 million in public funding to ocean researchers to help Oregon better understand and monitor ocean change. The funding was made available following HB3114, which passed in the 2021 legislative session, and allocated the funds to the Oregon Ocean Science Trust (OOST) to address acidification and hypoxia of the oceans (OAH) and the risks they pose to the state’s economy. and ecosystems. Through competitive grants, the funds were distributed to marine researchers.

“We have completed our bidding process to award all of the funding the 2021 Oregon Legislature has allocated to these important ocean issues, and we are excited to follow and share the results of these important research projects. “said Laura Anderson, chair of the Oregon Ocean Science Trust.

Funding by the 2021 Oregon Legislature focused on priority actions in Oregon’s OAH plan. The grant that has been awarded to date will address OAH in a variety of ways, from developing best management practices that help conserve and restore submerged aquatic vegetation while supporting healthy shellfish populations and aquaculture, to better understanding of ecosystem function in subtidal and intertidal marine reserves. .

“Oregonians will have a better understanding of the science driving change in our ocean and estuaries, which will inform actions everyone can take to ensure we have healthy marine ecosystems for coastal economies and Oregon fisheries.” said Caren Braby, co-chair of the OAH board.

OAH Council Co-Chair Jack Barth added, “Understanding the factors that contribute to ocean acidification and low oxygen levels in water is essential for the conservation and management of oceans and estuaries. . The results of these research projects will improve our understanding of changes in oceans and estuaries and inform conservation and management strategies to mitigate these changes.

In March 2022, OOST awarded grants to:

 Dr. Tarang Khangaonkar and colleagues from the University of Washington along with partners from the South Slough Estuarine National Research Reserve, the University of Oregon, and the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians to assess the interaction of water quality and eelgrass in Coos Bay using a biophysical model. A total of $131,126 will improve Oregon’s ability to inform estuary conservation and management.

 Dr. Melissa Ward and colleagues at San Diego State University and partners at Oregon State University to develop science-based management practices for co-management of submerged aquatic vegetation and seashells from Oregon. A total of $170,520 will support the conservation and restoration of submerged aquatic vegetation in estuaries while supporting shellfish aquaculture and native shellfish populations.

In February 2002, OOST awarded grants to:

 Dr. Francis Chan of Oregon State University to improve monitoring of subtidal and intertidal OHA in Oregon marine reserves. A total of $385,088 will guide future state investments that protect ecologically significant places in Oregon’s Territorial Sea.

 Dr. Robert Cowen of Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center will establish a long-term OHA monitoring station in Yaquina Bay, including a data collection and dissemination system. data. A total of $97,407 will help Oregonians understand the impacts of ocean change in an important economic, research and management center for Oregon.

 Dr. George Waldbusser of Oregon State University to map OHA dynamics in the Yaquina Bay estuary and associated biological responses in native Olympia oysters. A total of $174,989 will expand scientific knowledge about an ecologically and culturally important species that is potentially vulnerable to ocean changes.

 Pathways Collaborative to develop messages that help the public understand the science, impacts and solutions associated with ocean acidification and hypoxia. A total of $63,376 will enable coastal communities to take informed action that contributes to a stronger future using positive, solution-focused messaging.

For more information on each project and to follow the progress of each project over the next two years, visit and the OOST website. The OOST will announce additional competitive grant opportunities and awards for applied research, management, and OAH communications in the coming months as a result of Bill 5202, which provided $1,000,000 in additional funding added to the OOST Research Grant program by the Oregon Legislature 2022. Funds will be used for science and monitoring of key coastal species including sea otters, coastal marine ecosystems, kelp habitat and sea bass. eelgrass and blue carbon sequestration.

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