Public Lab Research note

Public Lab receives Gulf Coast support from the National Academies

by Shannon | May 11, 2017 17:46 11 May 17:46 | #14178 | #14178

This press release is cross-posted from the National Academies' Gulf Research Program website.

May 11, 2017


National Academies' Gulf Research Program Awards $3.2 Million in Capacity-Building Grants to Benefit Coastal Communities

WASHINGTON -- The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine announced today the recipients of 12 capacity-building grants, totaling almost $3.2 million. These competitive grants support community organizations as they conduct science-based projects designed to benefit their coastal communities from the Gulf of Mexico to Maine to Alaska.

The projects will use a variety of different approaches to address challenges faced by coastal communities. Some of the projects will focus on training residents in coastal communities to participate in citizen science and environmental monitoring projects in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas. Others will create and deliver educational programming, resources, and tools designed to help communities build resilience in the face of disasters, coastal flooding, and climate change.

Approaches range from building capacity for more disaster-related trauma and mental health services in southwestern Alabama to working with communities to build their resilience to the environmental and economic effects of disasters and environmental change along the Gulf, East, and Alaskan Coasts.

The projects pair scientists and other experts with community leaders to encourage information-sharing and foster community sustainability. In many cases, awardees plan to share the tools and approaches they develop to benefit others locally, regionally, and nationally.

"The Gulf Research Program is committed to investing in community-based organizations that have strong ties to the people they serve," said Maggie Walser, director of education and capacity building. "One of the program's priorities is supporting science that benefits coastal communities and helps them prepare for future health and environmental challenges. This broad suite of new projects aims to do just that -- while also strengthening organizations that play a central role in connecting people with the services, resources, and science-based information they need."

The capacity-building projects were selected after an external peer-review process. More information about the award recipients and their projects can be found at These awards are part of the portfolio of Gulf Research Program funding opportunities outlined at

Listed in alphabetical order, the grant recipients and their project titles are:

Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organizing -- Thibodaux, La.

Building organizational capacity through a community-based citizen science program for monitoring environmental contamination in Louisiana coastal parishes -- $202,000

Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies -- Homer, Alaska

CoastWatch for action: Engaging Alaska teachers, youth, and community in preparedness and response to coastal hazards and climate change -- $204,000

Franklin's Promise Coalition Inc. -- Apalachicola, Fla.

Strengthening Gulf Coast resilience by engaging, educating, and empowering vulnerable populations -- $377,000

The Galveston Bay Foundation -- Houston

Making monitoring matter: Breaking down barriers to interdisciplinary collaboration in the Houston-Galveston area -- $182,000

Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) -- Ocean Springs, Miss.

Building industry engagement within GOMA to increase impacts to regional efforts -- $150,000; and

Expanding coastal community capacity for climate change adaptation -- $359,000

Island Institute -- Rockland, Maine

Using Island Institute cross-boundary connections to build disaster preparedness in Maine and beyond -- $240,000

Lifelines Counseling Services -- Mobile, Ala.

Sustainable solutions during disaster: Providing disaster-related trauma and mental health training for community members, mental health professionals, and social service providers and partnering with the University of South Alabama to develop mental health trauma training courses in existing undergraduate and graduate programs -- $414,000

Lowlander Center -- Gray, La.

Supporting the Isle de Jean Charles community resettlement through cross-boundary networks and knowledge synthesis -- $200,000

Mississippi Coalition for Vietnamese-American Fisher Folks and Families -- Biloxi, Miss.

Building bridges to understand fishing communities and fisheries -- $433,000

The Nature Conservancy -- Punta Gorda, Fla.

Enhancing community resilience by linking conservation and restoration with coastal hazards risk reduction via the Federal Emergency Management Agency community-rating system -- $244,000

Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science -- New Orleans, La.

Building scientific literacy and resilience through community citizen science in the Gulf of Mexico -- $158,000

The National Academies' Gulf Research Program was established in 2013 as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. It seeks to improve understanding of the interconnected human, environmental, and energy systems of the Gulf of Mexico and other U.S. coastal areas. The program funds studies, projects, and other activities using three broad approaches: research and development, education and training, and environmental monitoring. To learn more about the Gulf Research Program, including grants and other funding opportunities, visit

The National Academies are private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine. They operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln. For more information, visit


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