Core Research‚ Meeting the Needs of North Carolina's Coastal Resources
Core Research includes diverse coastal topics that typically are funded by a combination of both federal and state dollars with an emphasis on applied research initiatives. Core research must show how a project meets the identified needs of North Carolina and how that research will ultimately benefit our coast, often having an impact on a regional, national or international level.
Sea Grant supports major projects for one or two years with portions of our Core Funding. These projects require matching funds identified by the researcher and his or her home university.
Core Research Impacts
The impacts of Sea Grant's core research projects are felt in communities and businesses across all along our coast. Two areas where core funded projects have made great strides are aquaculture and oyster restoration.
Hybrid striped bass aquaculture is a $7 million industry in North Carolina, based in large part on Sea Grant research. Current projects are demonstrating more effective breeding and grow-out practices. Now, southern flounder aquaculture is the focus of a commercial-scale demonstration project. To be economically feasible, growers must focus on the faster-growing female flounder. Sea Grant's demonstration of the first all-female crop of fingerlings has great promise.
Oyster restoration and disease prevention efforts among state agencies and other organizations regularly use Sea Grant research results. Oyster larval dispersal studies offered recommendations for the state and the N.C. Coastal Federation to establish a chain of oyster sanctuaries along the western shore of Pamlico Sound. Also, Sea Grant researchers identified optimal designs and materials for oyster reef restoration projects. In addition to encouraging new oysters to grow, these designs provide habitat for commercial and recreational fish species. Other Sea Grant research has looked at disease resistance and the role of naturally occurring antibiotics in oysters.
Photos: Scott Taylor
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