Innovative partnership to strengthen local communities against storms, floods

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(MOBILE, Ala.) – The Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium and Smart Home America are pleased to announce a new, first-of-its-kind partnership to increase wind and flood resilience across coastal Alabama and Mississippi. This agreement aligns the common missions of both organizations through a shared staff position

Both organizations agreed to hire Henry (Hank) Hodde, a certified floodplain manager, as the planning and policy manager at Smart Home America. In this role, Hodde is supporting and leading community and policy planning for Smart Home America while he serves as the liaison for Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium focused on building resilient coastal communities and economies.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to take on this unique role and apply my experience to build bridges between the public and private sectors,” he said. “It’s really a win-win. I get to work with two successful organizations making a difference in the lives of people along the Mississippi and Alabama coasts.” Read more

Louisiana Sea Grant techniques, equipment to improve Alabama hatchery’s production of oyster larvae

High-density oyster larval culture equipment at the Louisiana Sea Grant Oyster Research Laboratory, which serves as a model for the techniques being adopted by the Auburn University Shellfish Lab. Photo credit: John Supan

(DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala.) — In an effort to improve survival of oyster larvae grown at the Auburn University Shellfish Laboratory, scientists are adopting innovative techniques developed by John Supan of the Louisiana Sea Grant Oyster Research Laboratory. These high-density larval culture techniques will allow for tighter control of production conditions.

This effort to help the new off-bottom oyster farming industry in the northern Gulf of Mexico is being funded by the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission with support from the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium and Louisiana Sea Grant.

Currently, Auburn University Shellfish Laboratory is one of only a handful of hatcheries producing oyster larvae and seed in the Gulf of Mexico. It is the primary provider of seed for the off-bottom oyster aquaculture industry in Alabama. In addition, it provides seed and eyed larvae to growers and researchers in the region. In 2014, for example, the shellfish lab produced over 188 million eyed larvae and over 12 million oyster seed. Read more

Turtles and Oil Spills Workshops Held

Experts united at Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas to talk about sea turtles and oil spills. Check this link for a local news report on the event, led by oil spill science specialist Chris Hale.

Source: Turtles and Oil Spills Workshops Held

Planning for sustainable coastal economies

Tools, resources can help fisheries businesses create business plans and plan for resilience. Read more in Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant’s staff blog by Rusty Grice, oyster aquaculture business specialist.

“Recently, I attended a seminar that was presented by agents from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System called F.A.R.M Outlook 2017 which stands for Farm Agribusiness Resource Management. The goal was to introduce a recently formed team of specialists to our farmers and make them aware of business management resources and tools through Outreach. The areas of expertise represented included economics, accounting, tax law and crop management among others…” Read more

Red snapper research funding opportunity

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The Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium is accepting proposal submissions to estimate the abundance of red snapper in the U.S. waters in the Gulf of Mexico. MASGC anticipates funding one proposal at a level of $9.5 million plus a non-federal match requirement of $2.5 million. Proposals from institutions of higher education are welcome.

This funding opportunity is to develop an independent abundance estimate of Age-2 and older red snapper. The successful applicant will determine the absolute abundance of the red snapper population by habitat type, including artificial reefs, natural reefs and unclassified habitats. The design must include mark-recapture tagging and advanced technology methods.

A letter of intent is required to submit a full proposal and is due by 5 p.m. CDT on Friday, April 7, 2017. The proposal submission deadline is 5 p.m. CDT on Friday, June 9, 2017.

A webinar will be held to discuss this funding opportunity on March 31 from 1-2:30 p.m. CDT. Please visit the MASGC red snapper RFP webpage for instructions on how to participate in the webinar.

New oil spill science workshop

Save the date for Sea turtles & oil spills, Thursday, March 23rd, 2017 at Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas. It will explore how sea turtles fared during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and discuss ongoing conservation and restoration efforts. Not near Texas? Never fear! This workshop is also available as a webinar the day of the event. Click here for more information.

other_Plotkin green turtle photo

Now hiring: National water extension liaison

As part of a growing effort for collaboration between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service and NOAA Sea Grant, The University of Alabama is seeking qualified applicants for the position of National Extension Liaison. The liaison will be located at the National Water Center (NWC) on the campus of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Funding for this position is for five years. continuation to and beyond the initial five years will be contingent upon a favorable program evaluation, need and availability of funds. Read more

Administrator needed for Mississippi oyster gardening program

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We’re looking for someone to establish and maintain a new oyster restoration/public education project in Mississippi. Duties will include, but not be limited to, recruiting, and maintaining a volunteer base of oyster gardeners and assisting in grant writing for project continuation.

The selected candidate will have a strong background in biology, fisheries, environmental science or related field with excellent written, communication, involving public speaking and computer skills. Read more