Oregon Sea Grant awards $1.15 million to OSU researchers for marine-related projects

Image of ocean waves rolling in

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon Sea Grant, a marine research, public engagement and education program at Oregon State University, has awarded $1.15 million to five OSU scientists. The researchers will use the funds to study sea urchin farming techniques; electromagnetic fields’ impact on marine life; effect of low oxygen conditions on crabs; prevention of beach erosion; and mud blister worm infestation of oysters.

Oregon Sea Grant receives a share of congressionally appropriated funds every two years that it awards – via a competitive process – to scientists at Oregon universities who are studying ocean and coastal issues important to the region and the nation.

For 2022-24, Oregon Sea Grant is awarding all of that funding to researchers in three colleges at Oregon State. Each project will receive about $230,000.

The lead researchers and their projects are:

  • Ford Evans, College of Agricultural Sciences: Feeding seaweed to sea urchins that are collected from the wild and farmed in tanks to fatten them up and improve their market value.
  • Sarah Henkel, College of Science: Evaluating how electromagnetic fields might impact skates and Dungeness crabs to understand how high-voltage cables from wave and wind energy may affect marine life.
  • Francis Chan, College of Science: Developing a low-cost camera system for crab pots that will help fishermen minimize the amount of crabs in their pots that die from low oxygen in the ocean.
  • Greg Wilson, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences: Studying how waves affect beaches that have a mix of sand and gravel, with the goal of developing guidance on the placement of cobblestones on beaches to prevent erosion.
  • George Waldbusser, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences: Studying how mud blister worms affect oysters and whether the location of the oysters makes them more or less susceptible to infestation.

Full descriptions of the projects are at bit.ly/2I7g1Ro under the tab “Biennial Projects: Oregon Sea Grant Omnibus Grant-Funded Projects (2022-2024).”

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