OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. — A federal grant will help pay for scientists at the University of Southern Mississippi do research on the uses of seaweed.

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded the school two grants totaling $1 million.

One will pay for research on using seaweed as fuel. The other is to develop a ranching paddock for Sargassum seaweed to help improve ocean health.

The grants were announced by the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Republican Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi.

He says he commends the university for promoting research that could help the economy and the environment.