SMAST wins NASA ocean CO2 study grant

NEW BEDFORD — NASA has awarded the UMass Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology a $228,000 grant to continue a collaborative research project looking at how coastal waters store and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

SMAST Dean Dr. Steven E. Lohrenz will lead the research team, which includes partners from Auburn University, the University of Delaware, and North Carolina State University. The total budget for the project is $1.2 million over three years.

Rising levels of CO2 have raised concerns about ocean acidification and its effects on marine life. The research will attempt to learn how coastal waters affect the absorption of CO2 from the atmosphere and why.

The team will be examining the effects of coastal activity along the Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic Bight, which is the coast from North Carolina to Florida.

Lohrenz said he agreed with scientists who say the Atlantic Bight is under-researched even though it has the fastest rate of development on the Atlantic coast. The project was one of only 15 selected by NASA among 71 that applied for the grant money, said Lohrenz.

Steve Urbon, South Coast Today, 07 August 2014. Article.

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