Texas Sea Grant Recommends Funding $2.1 Million for Six New Research Grants Pending Final Approval from NOAA

February 14, 2024

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Texas Sea Grant College Program at Texas A&M University has recommended funding for six new research grants, pending final approval from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), totaling $2.1 million over a two-year period of performance. The grants will begin February 1, 2024, and continue through January 31, 2026, to fund research at universities throughout the State of Texas to support sustainable fisheries and aquaculture and healthy coastal and marine ecosystems.

Through partnerships with the State of Texas and NOAA, Texas Sea Grant conducts a competitive research grant program every two years that draws on the expertise of the state’s top scientists. Funded projects are selected using a competitive and rigorous peer-review process that considers the project’s potential to produce substantial and beneficial impacts to society and its ability to integrate research and extension efforts.

Projects must also align with Texas Sea Grant’s 2024-2027 strategic plan and focus area funding priorities as published in the 2024-26 request for proposals, including, Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture, Healthy Coastal Ecosystems, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Education and Workforce Development.

Projects for the 2024-26 period include:

  •  “Evaluation of Shark Deterrents to Reduce Depredation and Bycatch Rates in Texas and Gulf of Mexico Commercial and Recreational Fisheries,” Dr. Daniel Coffey, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMUCC)
  •  “Optimizing Aquaculture of Black Corals for Restoration of Damaged Habitats in the Gulf of Mexico,” Dr. Erin Easton, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
  •  “Determining the Nature and Potential Impact of the Ongoing Disease Outbreak at Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary to Inform Reef Management,” Dr. Laura Mydlarz, University of Texas at Arlington
  •  “Measuring Shell Proteins to Understand Oyster Growth Potential and Improve Site Selection for Oyster Farms in Texas,” Dr. Jennifer Pollack, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMUCC)
  •  “Remote Sensing-Based Mapping, Suitability for Modeling, and Carbon Sequestration Analysis of Potential Oyster Mariculture Sites Along the Texas Coast,” Dr. Abdullah Rahman, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
  •  “Building a Capacity for Commercial Oyster Industry Collaboration in Reef Restoration and Monitoring,” Dr. Lauren Williams, The Nature Conservancy


Texas Sea Grant is a unique partnership that unites the resources of the federal government, the State of Texas and universities across the state to create knowledge, tools, products and services that benefit the economy, the environment and the citizens of Texas. It is administered through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is one of 34 university-based Sea Grant Programs around the country. Texas Sea Grant is a non-academic research center at Texas A&M University. The program’s mission is to improve the understanding, wise use and stewardship of Texas coastal and marine resources.