NOAA is recommending $1.5 million to support six new projects that will explore the connections among climate change, habitat, and fisheries. Some of the funded projects will quantify how climate change is affecting the habitats different Chesapeake Bay species need. Other projects will develop ways to evaluate how successful nearshore habitat restoration supports fish species and communities in the face of climate change.
New 2023 Projects
We’re recommending funding for six new research projects:
- The Virginia Institute of Marine Science will forecast the effects of climate change on Chesapeake Bay fisheries using physiologically informed habitat models.
- The Virginia Institute of Marine Science will estimate fish density and production enhancement that happen due to restored salt marsh edge habitats.
- The Smithsonian Institution will research the migration ecology of river herring in a changing climate.
- The University of Maryland–Eastern Shore will explore the trophic role, energy densities, and fatty acids composition of forage fish—and their prey.
- The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science will research how climate change affects striped bass recruitment in the Choptank and Patuxent rivers.
- The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science will use time series analysis of rare events to quantify the effects of climate change on fish and shellfish.
Over the past 30 years, the average water temperature in the Chesapeake Bay has increased by 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit). Water temperature changes are expected to affect fish abundance, distributions, spawning areas, and migratory patterns.
Changes in precipitation patterns, including more frequent intense storms, will affect salinity levels. That will affect fish species distribution and diversity. NOAA buoys and satellites provide important data to help researchers track trends, but the effects of these trends are not yet well understood. That’s why we need more research on these topics.
Projects receiving these NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office Fisheries Research Program grants were selected through a competitive process. The results of this research will help inform science-based management decisions that are part of protecting and restoring important habitat.
This research will also support our efforts to advance ecosystem-based fishery management. We used recommendations from fishery and resource managers to develop the request for proposals for these grants. We work to deliver the most up-to-date and relevant science to resource managers and decision makers.
At this point in the selection process, the application approval and obligation of funds is not final. Applications are being “recommended” for funding. This is not an authorization to start the project and is not a guarantee of funding.