$15.5M to 4 groups for Gulf of Mexico research

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Officials say four teams of scientists are getting $15.6 million from BP oil spill fines to study fish, other sea life and birds in the Gulf of Mexico.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says two teams are based in Florida and one each in Mississippi and Alabama. They involve scientists from every Gulf state and beyond.

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The largest 5-year grant is $6 million for a team led by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. That group will combine habitat and water quality information with three reef fish surveys into a comprehensive database to improve stock assessments.

Mississippi State University is getting $3.9 million, The University of South Alabama nearly $2.9 million and Nova Southeastern University in Florida nearly $2.8 million.