June 24, 2008 — With major support from the National Science Foundation and other granting agencies and from private donations, University of Virginia environmental scientists conduct long-term ecological research and public outreach on Virginia's Eastern Shore from the U.Va. Anheuser-Busch Coastal Research Center in the town of Oyster.
The work is part of NSF's Long-Term Ecological Research program, which includes a network of environmental projects at 26 sites across the North American continent.
The Anheuser-Busch Coastal Research Center serves as a magnet for U.Va. researchers, students and volunteers, as well as faculty and students from other universities and research institutes. They study the ecology of the barrier islands, lagoons, tidal marshes and watersheds of the 45,000-acre Virginia Coast Reserve, owned and managed by the Nature Conservancy.
The scientists are working to restore seagrass to the coastal bays, and are monitoring and studying sea level rise, storms, groundwater flow rates, marsh growth and erosion, water chemistry, finned fish and shellfish populations, vegetation, and bird and mammal populations.
Art Schwarzschild, research assistant professor and site director at the Anheuser-Busch Coastal Research Center, describes the center's work in this U.Va. audio slideshow.