NOAA funds SeaGrant research

HONOLULU — The University of Hawaii’s Sea Grant College Program will be getting $1.7 million in federal funding thanks to a grant announced Tuesday from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Just over one million dollars of the money will go toward the program and its management of the Heeia National Estuarine Research Reserve in Kaneohe, and for programs that promote understanding, conservation and use of coastal resources statewide.

This funding will be directed to projects that address needs from the upland watersheds to the waters and reefs offshore. The program also integrates innovative social research to help Hawaii more sustainably support tourism, which is a major economic engine in the state.

“These programs are part of the statewide momentum to preserve and restore our natural resources,” said U.S. Senator Schatz, who sent out a statement on the funding Tuesday. “I’m glad they will have the funding they need for research, field projects, and community engagement.”

The rest — about $690,000 — will be directed toward Heeia National Estuarine Research Reserve. Located in Kaneohe, the Heeia National Estuarine Research Reserve is part of NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve System and encompasses 1,385 acres of upland forests and grasslands, wetlands, reefs and seagrass beds, as well as the Heeia Fishpond.

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