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Smithsonian launches global marine biodiversity project with $10 million donation
Date:10/25/2012

The Smithsonian announced today that it will launch a major long-term project to study coastal marine biodiversity and ecosystems around the globe. The project is made possible by a $10 million donation from Suzanne and Michael Tennenbaum, senior managing partner of Los Angeles-based Tennenbaum Capital Partners and philanthropist. The goal of the projectSmithsonian's Tennenbaum Marine Observatoriesis to monitor the ocean's coastal ecosystems over a long period of time.

The Tennenbaum Marine Observatories will be the first worldwide network of coastal ecological field sites, standardizing measurements of biological change. By studying sites with Smithsonian experts in biology, ecology and anthropology, and using technologies like DNA sequencing, the project will provide an unprecedented understanding of how marine biodiversity is affected by local human activities and global change, such as ocean warming, acidification and rising sea levels.

"As our coasts undergo accelerating change due to human activity and the effects of climate change, it is more important than ever to monitor and understand the ocean's biodiversity," said Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough. "We are grateful to Michael and Suzanne for this donation, which allows the Smithsonian to focus its unique expertise and strength in long-term research."

The project will have five field sites: the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Md., on the Chesapeake Bay, the Institution's marine station at Fort Pierce, Fla., Carrie Bow Cay in Belize and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute's two locations in PanamaBocas Del Toro on the Caribbean and Naos station on the Pacific. As the project grows, the Smithsonian will establish additional research sites with collaborators around the globe to monitor coastal ocean health, with the goal of at least 10 new sites within the next decade.

As part of the project, scientists will create plots at each site w
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Contact: Linda St.Thomas
stthomasl@si.edu
202-633-5188
Smithsonian
Source:Eurekalert  

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