Up to $250,000 in total fiscal year 2021 grant funds is available to support research into how key Chesapeake Bay fisheries species change their behavior to deal with changing habitat and climate. The NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office’s Fisheries Research Program invites applications through April 26, 2021.
Climate change is already affecting the Chesapeake Bay—and the wildlife that lives there. Between 1901 and 2017, the average air temperature in the Chesapeake Bay watershed rose (depending on location in the watershed) between 0.4 and 2.5 degrees F. Increases in water temperature can affect fish spawning areas and migratory patterns. We also expect a shift to more frequent high-precipitation storms, which will affect salinity levels. That in turn will affect fish species distribution and diversity.
We want to better understand how key Chesapeake Bay fisheries species will be affected as conditions change. Resource managers can include that science in their decision-making process. Projects funded through this grant will help us gain that knowledge.
The grants will also provide funding to improve social science around fisheries and habitat. We hope to quantify the role of nearshore habitat for local communities and fisheries in the Middle Peninsula area of Virginia. There are many habitat conservation and shoreline restoration efforts under way there.
We want to help develop the next generation of scientists in NOAA’s mission areas. We are interested in supporting research projects that employ and educate undergraduate or graduate students from groups underrepresented in marine science careers, including minorities.