The national Sea Grant Program is administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as a federal/state partnership that matches NOAA Sea Grant expertise and resources with state academic institutions. The …
The national Sea Grant Program is administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as a federal/state partnership that matches NOAA Sea Grant expertise and resources with state academic institutions. The Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium (MASGC) was created in 1972. MASCG is one of 33 Sea Grant programs throughout the U.S..
The bi-state resources include nearly 3,200 square miles of inland water and 966 miles of estuarine shoreline, and support more than 7 million residents.
In Alabama and Mississippi, Perdido Bay, Mobile Bay and the Mississippi Sound are important estuaries representing a total surface area of 2,309 square miles. Mobile Bay and the Pascagoula River drainage basin in the Mississippi Sound are of special concern to MASGC. The 480-square-mile Mobile Bay estuary contains a documented 337 species of fish, more species per area than any other region of North America.
The mission of MASGC is to enhance the sustainable use and conservation of ocean and coastal resources to benefit the economy and environment in Alabama and Mississippi. To fulfill this mission, MASGC commits to interdisciplinary environmental scholarship and community-based natural-resource management. The tools available in support of the MASGC mission are applied interdisciplinary research, communications, education, extension and legal services using both targeted and cross-cutting approaches. These tools are utilized at local, state, regional, national and international arenas.
Safe, Sustainable Seafood Supply
Most of the Gulf of Mexico’s economically important marine fish and invertebrate species are heavily exploited. The continued presence of normal and healthy population numbers of living marine resources relies upon healthy and sufficient estuarine and nearshore coastal habitats and ecosystems. The United States has witnessed the decline of many of its major fisheries while seafood consumption is on the rise, resulting in a seafood trade deficit of $8 billion per year.
The seafood industry faces many challenges and opportunities. The global marketplace, trade policies, safety regulations, energy costs, food security concerns, waste handling and limited seafood supplies are issues that require evaluation and the development of solutions, where needed. MASGC will help commercial and recreational fishermen overcome these challenges. MASGC also will help the public make seafood decisions based on nutritional benefits, product quality and management practices, by using its research, extension and education capabilities to improve the safety of seafood . . . as well as educate consumers on choosing nutritious and sustainable products, and expand sustainable practices for seafood harvest and aquaculture production.
Sea Grant also funds the position for the region's nature tourism specialist. She is Chandra Wright, working out of the Alabama Gulf Coast Convention & Tourism Bureau's headquarters in Gulf Shores (AL).
Chandra can be reached at 251.974.4634
The MASGC website is found here: www.MASGC.org
MASGC members include Auburn University, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Jackson State University, Mississippi State University, The University of Alabama, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, The University of Mississippi, The University of Southern Mississippi and the University of South Alabama.