Texas State Aquarium Wildlife Care, Conservation, and Research Fund
CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – In 2013, the Texas State Aquarium established the Wildlife Care, Conservation, and Research Fund (WCCR) to further the Aquarium’s mission of inspiring conservation of the Gulf of Mexico. Each year, the Aquarium will award funding to programs that focus on habitat restoration, wildlife management, conservation, and wildlife rehabilitation in the Gulf. Projects must focus on species in the Aquarium’s living collection or habitats that support those species.
Aquarium President & CEO Tom Schmid says, “We are very excited to continue to offer this program and help further research and conservation projects of that can make a difference to the species and ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico. As a not-for-profit entity, we are acutely aware of how important grant funding is to projects, so we are thrilled to be able to offer this opportunity to others.”
The Texas State Aquarium is pleased to announce the following 2014 WCCR Fund recipients:
Sharks with Spectators II – Real-time, global tracking of Texas’ marine apex predators for science, education, and research
Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi – Harte Research Institute / Greg Stunz and Matt Ajemian
This project is awarded $15,000 and will build upon the work Dr. Stunz’s team completed with WCCR funds in 2013. Project scientists will tag and track large sharks. Information concerning the animals’ current location and past movements will be sent to the Coastal Bend and global community allowing for outreach and education opportunities and better understanding of declining shark populations.
Citizen Science – Larval blue crab monitoring project
Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve / Ed Buskey and Colleen McCue
This project is awarded $15,000 and will continue the work of an existing collaboration of researchers and citizens with the goal of obtaining long term information about the recruitment of larval blue crabs to the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve. The importance of freshwater inflows and passes between the Gulf of Mexico and coastal estuaries in times of drought to blue crab larval recruitment will be investigated.
Identifying nesting habitat for Texas diamondback terrapins in the Nueces Estuary with implications for other Texas estuaries
Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi – Center for Coastal Studies / Aaron Baxter
This project is awarded is $14,500 and will attempt to identify nest sites for Texas diamondback terrapins in the Nueces Estuary. Texas diamondback terrapins are a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Texas and it is necessary to identify and preserve functional nesting habitat.
Texas Stream Team monofilament finders
Texas State University – Meadows Center / Meredith Miller
This project is awarded $14,000 and will engage a well-established statewide citizen science network with partner organizations in monofilament education, collection, and recycling.
Biomarkers to assess risks of infectious disease in corals
University of Texas at Austin / Mikhail Matz
This project is awarded $11,900 and will develop biological indicators that could be used to evaluate the risk of infectious outbreak at the Flower Garden Banks as well as other Caribbean reefs.
Validating Atlantic tarpon scale chemistry to track migration in Texas waters
University of Texas Marine Science Institute / Benjamin Walther
This project is awarded $3,000 and will test the use of chemical compositions of Atlantic tarpon scales to reconstruct migration patterns.
2014 Grant Application Materials & Information
The Texas State Aquarium is accepting applications for grants up to $15,000 for research/conservation projects that focus on important conservation issues of species and/or habitats interpreted at the Aquarium.
The Texas State Aquarium’s mission is to connect people with nature and inspire conservation of the Gulf of Mexico. The Texas State Aquarium established the Wildlife Care, Conservation, and Research Fund (WCCR) to further the Aquarium’s dedication to natural resources conservation. The WCCR was created to support conservation and research projects involving species and habitats interpreted at the Aquarium.
- Projects must focus on species in the Aquarium’s living collection or habitats that support those species.
- Projects must fall under one of five categories; Conservation Management, Fisheries Management, Habitat Restoration, Species Culturing/Culturing Techniques, or Wildlife Management.
- Grant funds may not be used for indirect/overhead costs.
Grant applications should include program narratives on how the proposed project addresses project the guidelines referenced above. In addition, a program budget must be included that identifies the key cost categories where grant funds will be expended.
WCCR funding is intended as seed money, and applicants should include a summary of additional funds anticipated.
Grant applications are due to the Aquarium by August 12, 2014 at 17:00 CST. The 2014 funding cycle is twelve (12) months beginning September 10, 2014, and the grant report is due to the Aquarium by December 31, 2015.
Please submit all application questions and application materials electronically to: