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NOAA Awards WHOI $7.5 Million to Extend Harmful Algal Bloom Models & Forecast to New Areas of the Gulf of Maine

NOAA has awarded the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) $1,377,826 for the first year of funding of a $7.5 million, five-year grant, to extend harmful algal bloom observation and modeling programs to new areas of the Gulf of Maine. The research aims to help managers, regulators and the shellfish industry fully utilize and effectively manage both nearshore and offshore shellfish resources.

The grant, from the Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB) program, managed by NOAA Ocean Service’s Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research, will support research, conducted by scientists from WHOI and seven other universities and agencies, to establish a comprehensive regional-scale understanding of red tide (Alexandrium fundyense) dynamics, transport, and associated shellfish toxicity. The new research effort extends past studies in the Gulf of Maine and builds on data collected during the historic 2005 red tide, which led to closure of both nearshore shellfish beds and offshore beds in federal and state waters out to Georges Bank. The toxicity extended for the first time to the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

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