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Funded Projects

North Carolina Sea Grant’s core funding cycles provide two years of funding for research that covers a breadth of coastal issues and needs related to focus areas outlined in our Strategic Plan. Recent examples have included shellfish and finfish aquaculture, water quality, storm surge, environmental education, coastal communities and public health.

Here are listings for recent projects, with the lead researcher, also known as the principal investigator. For more information on specific projects, contact John Fear, NC Sea Grant deputy director, via email at:

TitleResearcherFunding CycleKey TermsIn The News
Understanding the Effects of a Newly-Discovered Trematode Parasite on Wild and Cultured Bay Scallop ProductionJulia Buck, University of North Carolina Wilmington2022-2024seafood, scallop, parasite
Assessing Long-Term Water Temperature Patterns in North Carolina Estuaries: A Key for Gauging and Predicting Ecosystem Health in an Era of Global ChangeJoel Fodrie, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill2022-2024estuary, climate change, ecosystem health
Trickle-Down Effects of Increasing Coastal Sediment Loads on Tidal-Creek Levee Morphology, Salt-Marsh Platform Accretion, and Resilience to Sea-Level Rise Since AD 1900Antonio Rodriguez, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill2022-2024salt marsh, climate change, sea level rise
Identifying the Drivers of Chronic Coastal Flooding: A Community-Centric ApproachKatherine Anarde, North Carolina State University2022-2024flooding, coastal communities, stormwater managementfrom NC State University
JustWater: Policy Leadership and Environmental Justice During Disaster RecoveryBethany Cutts, North Carolina State University2022-2024environmental justice, disaster recovery
Assessing Spatial and Temporal Controls on Sediment Transport in Currituck Sound
David Lagomasino, East Carolina University2022-2024coastal resilience, marsh
Developing a Model for Supporting Coastal Resilience through Youth-led CoproductionKathryn Stevenson, North Carolina State University2022-2024coastal resilience, coastal communities
Potential Impacts of Marine Dredging on Key Commercial and Recreational Fish and Shellfish: Informing Decisions Regarding Mitigation and Seasonal Closures of Dredging to Maintain North Carolina’s State PortsDavid Eggleston, North Carolina State University2022-2024fish, shellfish, habitat degradation
Assessing Influence of Sea-Level Rise Induced Salt Intrusion and Associated Circulation Change on Southern Flounder Recruitment Processes in Albemarle-Pamlico SoundLiu Qianqian, University of North Carolina Wilmington2022-2024sea level rise, climate change, fish
Multi-Trophic Waste Management for Finfish Mariculture in Land-Based Recirculating Aquaculture Systems Using the Salt-Tolerant Halophyte Salicornia virginicaMd Shah Alam, University of North Carolina Wilmington2022-2024aquaculture, fish, aquaponics, glasswort, pickleweed
Can Strategic Riparian Buffers Improve Coastal Resilience to Changing Conditions in the Cape Fear River Watershed?Katherine Martin, North Carolina State University2020-2022coastal resilience, pollution, water qualityfrom Autumn 2022 Coastwatch
Changing SAV Communities and Impacts on Blue Crabs: Potential Ecosystem and Fisheries Impacts of Climate ChangeJessie Jarvis, University of North Carolina Wilmington2020-2022climate change, blue crabs, fisheries
A Process-Based Model of Wind-Wave and Boat-Wake Attenuation to Aid Evaluation and Design of Living ShorelinesJohanna Rosman, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill2020-2022living shorelines, erosion, seawalls
Improving Predictions of Estuarine Flooding and Circulation During StormsJ. Casey Dietrich, North Carolina State University2020-2022flooding, hurricanes
Mitigating the Effects of Storm Water Flooding in Coastal Regions Using Machine Learning TechniquesAlex Manda, East Carolina University2020-2022flooding, stormwater, AIfrom Summer 2021 Coastwatch
Evaluating the Reproductive Cycle and Development of Spawning Methods for Native North Carolina Sunray Venus Clams — A Candidate Species for Crop DiversificationDavid Cerino, Carteret Community College2020-2022aquaculture, mariculture, clams, shellfish
Increased Commercial Aquaculture Production of U.S. Bay Scallops Argopecten irradians in North CarolinaAmi Wilbur, University of North Carolina Wilmington2020-2022aquaculture, mariculture, scallops, shellfishfrom Autumn 2015 Coastwatch
Impacts of Culture Technique and Position in the Estuary on the Nutrient Removal Potential of Oyster AquacultureMichael Piehler, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill2020-2022aquaculture, mariculture, oysters, shellfish, water quality
Development of a Tool to Forecast Closure of Shellfish Aquaculture Harvest AreasNatalie Nelson, North Carolina State University2020-2022shellfish, aquaculture, mariculturefrom NC Sea Grant 2022
Strengthening Community Networks for Environmental Learning and Resilience through ChildrenKathryn Stevenson, North Carolina State University2020-2022community, environmental literacy, educationfrom Autumn 2023 Coastwatch
Improving Environmental Decision Making in Coastal Communities through Giving Children a Voice: Building Science Literacy, Civic Engagement, and Coastal Resilience through K-12 Citizen ScienceKathryn Stevenson, North Carolina State University2018-2020community, environmental literacy, educationFrom Currents
The Missing Link? The Role Dissolved Organic Nitrogen Plays in Controlling Phytoplankton and Eutrophication Dynamics in the Neuse River Estuary, NCHans Paerl, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill2018-2020algal blooms, HABs, water quality
Evaluating Cultch Oyster Reefs as Essential Fish HabitatDavid Eggleston, North Carolina State University2018-2020aquaculture, mariculture, oysters, shellfish, fisheriesFrom Currents
Improving Saltmarsh Conservation by Examining Transgression Across a Range of Upland Gradients and Saltmarsh Widths at Decadal to Millennial Time ScalesAntonio Rodriguez, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill2018-2020salt marsh, sea level rise, climate change, habitatFrom Currents
The Value of Fishing, Farming and Eating: New Approaches to Understanding Coastal Community Well-Being in a Changing WorldGrant Murray, Duke University2018-2020mariculture, fisheries, economics
Quantifying the Geomorphic, Ecological, and Socioeconomic Impacts of Shoreline Management Strategies: A Multi-Disciplinary ApproachDevon Eulie, University of North Carolina Wilmington2018-2020economics, management, coastal resilienceFrom Currents
Building Resilience by Innovating through Diverse Group Engagement (BRIDGE): Long-Term Recovery from Hurricane MatthewBethany Cutts, North Carolina State University2018-2020disaster recovery, hurricanes, flooding, community From Winter 2022 Coastwatch
Habitat Value of Oyster Leases within Estuarine Landscapes for Finfish and CrustaceansJoel Fodrie, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill2018-2020aquaculture, mariculture, oysters, shellfish, fisheries, crabsFrom Currents
Characterizing and Manipulating Oyster Microbiology for Aquaculture ApplicationsRachel Noble, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill2018-2020aquaculture, mariculture, oysters, shellfishFrom Summer 2019 Coastwatch
Quantifying Spawning Populations of River Herring Using Environmental DNAErin Field, Eastern Carolina University2018-2020fisheries
Hypoxia and Algal Bloom Forecasting for the Neuse River EstuaryDaniel Obenhour, North Carolina State University2016-2018
algal blooms, HABs, managementFrom Currents
Going with the Flow: New Approaches for Determining Drivers of Toxic Cyanobacteria Blooms in the Cape Fear River, NCHans Paerl, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill2016-2018
algal blooms, HABs, managementFrom Currents
Effects of Oyster Grow-Out Cages on the Condition and Ecosystem-Services of Seagrass CommunitiesJoel Fodrie, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill2016-2018
aquaculture, mariculture, oysters, shellfish, seagrassFrom Winter 2015 Coastwatch
Interactions between Waves, Flooding and Beach Morphology During Storm EventsJ. Casey Dietrich, North Carolina State University2016-2018
storms, hurricanes, storm surge, coastal resilience
“Next Generation” Coastal Communities: Leveraging Social Capital to Build Local Leadership CapacityDavid Griffith. East Carolina University2016-2018
coastal communities, leadership, local knowledge, policyFrom Spring 2018 Coastwatch
Overcoming Technical Barriers to Cost-Effective Production of Marine Finfish Fingerlings and Expanded Growout Production: Optimizing Nursery Stocking, Feeding and Harvesting StrategiesWade Watanabe, University of North Carolina Wilmington2016-2018
aquaculture, maricultureFrom Hook, Line, and Science
Fishery Management Implications of Environmentally Determined Sex and Biased Juvenile Sex Ratios in Southern FlounderRussell Borski, North Carolina State University2016-2018
fisheries management, flounder From EurekAlert!
Understanding the Public Health Risk Associated with Under Dock Oyster Culture and Aquaculture Activities in the Estuarine Waters of North CarolinaRachel Noble, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill2016-2018
aquaculture, mariculture, oysters, shellfish, public healthFrom the Holiday 2016 Issue of Coastwatch
Building Climate Literacy and Coastal Hazard Resilience through Intergenerational TransferMarkus Nils Peterson and Kathryn Stevenson, North Carolina State University2016-2018
storms, climate change, environmental literacy