Tag Archives: red tide

New Sensor Array to Monitor Impacts of Changing Gulf of Maine Conditions on New England Red Tide

Scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) are kicking off an innovative NOAA-funded pilot program using robotic instruments and computer modeling analysis to shed light on changing ocean conditions in the Gulf of Maine as they relate to the harmful algal bloom (HAB) phenomenon commonly known as the New England red tide.

The red tide is caused by the germination of dormant cysts of alga called Alexandrium fundyense, which produces a toxin that can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). These cysts are found in bottom sediments and near-bottom waters, accumulating in “seedbeds” that serve as the source of swimming, rapidly dividing cells that form the blooms each spring. (more…)

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New Robotic Instruments to Provide Real-Time Data on Gulf of Maine Red Tide

Deployment could lead transformation of toxic HAB monitoring

A new robotic sensor deployed by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Gulf of Maine coastal waters may transform the way red tides or harmful algal blooms (HABs) are monitored and managed in New England. The instrument was launched at the end of last month, and a second such system will be deployed later this spring.

The results will add critical data to weekly real-time forecasts of New England red tide this year distributed to more than 150 coastal resource and fisheries managers in six states as well as federal agencies such as NOAA, the FDA and the EPA. Researchers also plan to add data from the sensor to regular updates  provided on the “Current Status” page of the Northeast PSP website. (more…)

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Researchers Issue Forecast for ‘Moderate’ New England Red Tide in 2013

New England is expected to experience a “moderate” red tide this spring and summer, report NOAA-funded scientists studying the toxic algae that cause blooms in the Gulf of Maine. The “red tide” is caused by an alga Alexandrium fundyense, which produces a toxin that can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP).  Red tide typically occurs annually along some portions of the Gulf of Maine coast.  This year’s outlook is similar to the 2012 red tide which was also classified as “moderate.”

As with the past five forecasts for this region, the 2013 outlook is based on the quantities of the A. fundyense in its cyst (dormant) state detected in Gulf of Maine sediments last fall. These data are combined with a computer model to produce a range of bloom scenarios based on previous years’ conditions. This year, the team also used a forecast of toxicity impact developed from 34 years of historical data as part of the 2013 outlook.  The 2013 bloom is expected to fall somewhere in the middle in terms of toxicity impact, justifying a “moderate” forecast done by the established method.  (more…)

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Researchers Report Potential for a “Moderate” New England “Red Tide” in 2012

New England is expected to experience a “moderate” regional “red tide” this spring and summer, report NOAA-funded scientists working in the Gulf of Maine to study the toxic algae that causes the bloom. The algae in the water pose no direct threat to human beings, however the toxins they produce can accumulate in filter-feeding organisms such as mussels and clams— which can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) in humans who consume them.

Under a newly developed rating system, a moderate bloom could cause the closure of shellfish beds along an estimated 126 – 250 miles of coastline. (more…)

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Psychological Effects of BP Oil Spill Go Beyond Residents of Impacted Shorelines

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The psychological effects of the BP oil spill, the largest recorded environmental disaster in human history, extend far beyond people living around the areas of the Gulf of Mexico that were directly impacted by the spill, a new study finds.

Writing in the online edition of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, a publication of the National Institutes of Health, the researchers reported that even in areas that did not have oil exposure, people still experienced elevated levels of anxiety and depression and reduced ability to show resilience in difficult emotional and financial situations because of the disaster. (more…)

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