Surge, wave gauges deployed for Hurricane Isaac research

Wave gauge

As part of an ongoing storm surge and wave monitoring project for Dauphin Island, Ala., scientists recently deployed five surge/wave gauges and an atmospheric pressure gauge to record the effects of Hurricane Isaac as it passes through the area.

The gauges were deployed early Monday morning (8/27/2012) with the help of University of South Alabama Assistant Professor Bret Webb and civil engineering graduate students Richard Allen and Chris Marr. Read more about this Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant research project.

Online Hurricane Resources

The Louisiana Hurricane Resources website, hosted by the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program, provides visitors with access to a wealth of data concerning storm preparedness and recovery, as well as archived information about Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30.

Oil Spill Dispersant Research

Three Louisiana State University scientists received a $500,000, three-year grant from the U.S Environmental Protection Agency to study the feasibility of producing “green” dispersants for future oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico. LSU AgCenter faculty  Andrew Nyman and Chris Green and AgCenter and Louisiana Sea Grant faculty member Brian LeBlanc will begin their research this year.

Delcambre Direct Seafood Pilots Local Frozen Shrimp Brand

The Delcambre Direct Seafood program is unveiling a pilot frozen seafood product at the Delcambre Shrimp Festival, August 15 – 19.  For the first time, local shrimpers will sell  fresh-frozen shrimp to festivalgoers, Chef Patrick Mould will demonstrate  recipes and offer samples, and fishermen will give talking tours at the dock.

What in the world is a weir?

A weir is a small dam that is used to collect water runoff from agricultural fields. They have been proven effective in reducing contaminants from water effectively. Here, Robbie Kroger, back, and Chris Boyd put one together. A weir made of rocks was installed yesterday and today at the Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi, Miss.

Marine mammal grants awarded

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service in partnership with the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium has awarded two grants in support of bottlenose dolphin conservation and marine mammal stranding response in the Gulf of Mexico and Southern Atlantic regions.

Geo-Marine, Inc. in Plano, Texas, partnered with Applied Research Associates in Vicksburg, Miss., and Chicago Zoological Society in Chicago were awarded the competitive grants.

Geo-Marine, Inc. and Applied Research Associates received a $53,000 grant, which includes $13,000 in matching funds, to raise awareness of the importance of protecting marine mammals in the Southeast United States through the creation and distribution of smartphone applications (apps).

The apps will identify species of mammals or turtles by asking a series of questions, and according to the answers, it will give directions on how to assist the stranded animal.

Katherine McHugh, Randall Wells and Brian Balmer, all of the Chicago Zoological Society, along with Lars Bejder of Murdoch University in Australia and David Lusseau of the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom, received a grant for dolphin conservation research in Sarasota Bay, Fla.

The $111,000 grant, along with more than $250,000 in matching funds from the Chicago Zoological Society, will support a two-year project that aims to find out if and how human interactions with bottlenose dolphins contribute to the dolphins searching for food in an unnatural manner. The project will also describe and classify potential sources of food that humans directly or indirectly provide to dolphins and bring public attention to the harmful effects of interacting with dolphins.

Human contact with dolphins can be harmful in more ways than creating unnatural feeding habits. The dolphins can become tangled in or ingest fishing gear and can be seriously hurt or killed by boating accidents. The more dolphins are exposed to humans and boats, especially when they are rewarded with food from the humans, the more likely they are to approach again.