Texas State Aquarium Announces $74,000 to Support Marine Research and Conservation

September 11, 2018

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX –  The Texas State Aquarium today announced the recipients of more than $74,000 in grants from their 2018 Wildlife Care, Conservation and Research (WCCR) Fund, which will be directed to support vital wildlife research and conservation projects.

This year’s fund will support the work of scientists that are tracking green sea turtles, studying harmful diseases in Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, monitoring Texas coastal sport fisheries and following the movements of tagged sharks, among other projects.

The Aquarium’s WCCR Fund was launched in fulfillment of the Aquarium’s mission to support wildlife conservation in 2013. Projects funded through WCCR all focus on species in the Aquarium’s living collection or the habitats that support these species. Through the WCCR Fund, the Aquarium has provided much-needed help to a number of researchers and conservationists who aim to save important species, primarily from the Gulf of Mexico and Western Caribbean Sea. WCCR funds are typically distributed among a variety of different projects to maximize and diversify their impact.

Recipients of the 2018 WCCR Fund include the following:

  • Padre Island National Seashore
    Documentation, Protection, and Tracking of Nesting Adult Green Sea Turtles in Texas to Aid with Management Efforts
    Principal Investigator: Shaver
    Funds Awarded: $18,625
  • Harbor Branch
    Fibropapillomatosis in Kemp’s ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii)
    Principal Investigator: Page-Karjian
    Funds Awarded: $19,522
  • University of Texas Marine Science Institute
    Monitoring the Heart of Texas Coastal Sportfisheries: Using Advanced Technologies to understand environmental drivers of fish abundance and productivity in Channel Passes
    Principal Investigator: Erisman
    Funds Awarded: $17,000
  • Saving our Sharks
    Spatial movements of tagged sharks in the Isla Mujeres fishing areas, Quintana Roo, Mexico
    Principal Investigator: Gonzales
    Funds Awarded: $19,400

“We’re proud to support the work of these scientists as they strive to protect and better understand the wildlife and habitats of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean,” said Leslie Peart, the Aquarium’s Vice President of Education and Conservation. “Over the past five years of WCCR, we’ve awarded more than $500,000 to help species right here in our own ecosystem, and with the addition of Caribbean Journey, we’re pleased to be able to be able to expand our reach to fund both local projects as well as those in the Yucatán Peninsula.”

To learn more about the Texas State Aquarium’s support of conservation in the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, and beyond, visit www.texasstateaquarium.org/conserve.

Pictures from 2018 WCCR Fund Recipients

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