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Four Fisheries Research Projects to Connect Chesapeake Bay Fish, Changing Habitat

July 19, 2021

Research projects will give resource managers science they need as they look to the future.

Three scientists examine and document the contents of a net on the shores of a river. Research can help resource managers better understand how changing habitat can affect fish and other species.

NOAA Fisheries is pleased to announce that four projects have been recommended for a total of more than $850,000 in funding as part of the Chesapeake Bay Fisheries Research program.

The projects will support research into how key Chesapeake Bay fisheries species change their behavior to deal with changing habitat and climate. Funded projects will also improve understanding of how nearshore habitat supports local communities and fisheries in the Middle Peninsula area of Virginia. There are many habitat conservation and shoreline restoration efforts under way there. These projects support NOAA’s priority to advance ecosystem based fishery management.

The projects recommended for funding are:

  • The Virginia Institute of Marine Science’s project, “Valuation of Ecological and Social Benefits Provided by Natural and Restored Nearshore Habitat for Communities and Fisheries,” addresses improving social science for fisheries and habitat, including focusing on ecological services provided to the Middle Peninsula of Virginia from natural and restored shorelines. This project is recommended to receive a two-year total of $248,476.
  • The University of New Hampshire’s project, “Leveraging Multispecies and Multiyear Telemetry Datasets to Identify Seasonal, Ontogenetic, and Interannual Shifts in Habitat Use and Phenology of Chesapeake Bay Fishes,” addresses synthesis and analysis of existing information that connects living resource responses to changing habitat, climate, and other environmental conditions. This project is recommended to receive a two-year total of $249,017.
  • The Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University’s project, “Striped Bass and Summer Flounder Abundance Trends and Influencing Factors in the Chesapeake Bay: An Ecosystem-based Evaluation,” will quantitatively assess the environmental, habitat variability, and fishing intensity impacts on summer flounder and striped bass species abundance, distribution, and productivity in the Chesapeake Bay. This project is recommended to receive a two-year total of $116,036.
  • Morgan State University’s project, “The Economic Impacts of Oyster Restoration and Seagrass Habitats of the Middle Peninsula, Virginia,” will develop new ecological models for the York and Piankatank River systems, and couple the new models to regional economic impact analyses to project both ecological and socioeconomic metrics for a range of potential habitat scenarios. This project is recommended to receive a two-year total of $250,000.

The grant process encouraged research projects that employ and educate undergraduate or graduate students from groups underrepresented in marine science careers, including minorities. An overview of previously funded projects is available on the NOAA Fisheries website.

Last updated by NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office on August 31, 2023