NOAA Awards More Than $550K to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts received a $556,352 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to conduct research to determine the sources of red tides in northeast coastal waters. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The grant is from the Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms program, managed by the NOAA Ocean Service, Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research, Coastal Ocean Program. The grant will support research to find the sources of Alexandrium resting cysts in the Gulf of Maine. Alexandrium is the cause of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning in northeast U.S. coastal waters. This potentially fatal neurological disorder is caused by human ingestion of shellfish that accumulate toxins as they feed on Alexandrium dinoflagellates. State and local managers monitor algae levels aggressively to ensure seafood safety. Previous CSCOR projects described Alexandrium growth and the factors that control its transport and toxicity sufficiently and predictive models are being developed to aid resource managers. Critical missing information for developing fully functional predictive models involves the sources of cysts and the ability to quantitatively describe cyst behavior.