Melissa Baustian, coastal ecologist at The Water Institute of the Gulf, honored with 2018 Coastal Stewardship Award

The Water Institute of the Gulf’s Melissa Baustian was one of six recipients of Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana’s 2018 Coastal Stewardship Award during the 2018 State of the Coast on Thursday.

“As a coastal ecologist at The Water Institute of the Gulf and deputy director of Louisiana’s RESTORE Act Center of Excellence program, Melissa’s leadership and scientific integrity shines. We’re so proud of her accomplishments and the recognition she’s received,” said Justin Ehrenwerth, the Institute’s President, and CEO.

Dr. Baustian has more than 10 years of experience in researching the ecological responses of aquatic ecosystems to nutrient enrichment, eutrophication, and hypoxia. She has extensive research experience studying the benthic ecology of the low-oxygen area, known as the “Dead Zone” in the northern Gulf of Mexico. In addition to her responsibilities at the Institute, Dr. Baustian is dedicated to educating others from her enthusiasm for teaching students at Louisiana Sea Grant’s Ocean Commotion to her work with students in Indiana on their video documenting the threat of Gulf of Mexico hypoxia.

In addition to being a researcher at the Institute, Dr. Baustian is the Deputy Director for the RESTORE Act Center of Excellence for Louisiana where she helps administer a competitive coastal research grants program. She is also adjunct faculty in the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

About The Water Institute of the Gulf. The Water Institute is a not-for-profit, independent applied research and technical services institution with a mission to help coastal and deltaic communities thoughtfully prepare for an uncertain future. Through an integrated and interdisciplinary approach, our work helps to create more resilient communities, thriving economies, and a healthy environment. For more information, visit