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Coastal Ocean Acidification: The Other Eutrophication Problem

Eutrophication, or increased nutrient loading to estuaries, causes algae to bloom and consequently coastal hypoxia (low oxygen waters) when the algal biomass decomposes. Often overlooked, eutrophication can also produce carbon dioxide, which leads to a lowering of seawater pH (or increasing acidity). A recent invited paper by scientists supported by NCCOS and the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program shows low […]

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Average 2014 Gulf of Mexico ‘Dead Zone’ Confirms NOAA-supported Forecast

National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science supported scientists documented that the 2014 “dead zone” (area of hypoxia, or low oxygen) in the northern Gulf of Mexico west of the Mississippi River delta now covers 5,052 square miles of sea floor, or about the size of the state of Connecticut. Though average in size and smaller than last year, […]

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Declining Oxygen Levels Threaten Oysters in Chesapeake Bay

NCCOS-sponsored research by the Smithsonian Institution Environmental Research Center (SERC) reveals low dissolved oxygen (hypoxia) hampers oysters’ ability to fight Dermo, a disease that has ravaged oysters throughout the Chesapeake Bay, resulting in up to two to three times more infected oysters than in waters with normal oxygen levels. Hypoxia is commonly studied on large geographic […]

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NOAA, Partners Issue Dead Zone Predictions for Gulf of Mexico and Chesapeake Bay

Scientists are expecting an average, but still large, hypoxic or “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico this year, and a slightly above-average hypoxic zone in the Chesapeake Bay. NOAA-supported modeling is forecasting this year’s Gulf of Mexico hypoxic (very low oxygen) zone to cover an area ranging from 4,633 to 5,708 square miles (12,000 […]

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Gliders Map Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone

This summer, NCCOS-sponsored scientists from Texas A&M University will test the use of gliders to monitor and map hypoxia in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The team will deploy five autonomous underwater vehicle gliders and one autonomous surface vehicle over the Louisiana coastal shelf and associated offshore region, while also taking shipboard hypoxia (low dissolved […]

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Congress Reauthorizes National Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Legislation

On June 17, 2014, Congress passed a reauthorization of the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act (HABHRCA)—legislation last reauthorized in 2004. HABHRCA is critical for protecting the public from these environmental events, as well as furthering NOAA’s goals to maintain healthy oceans and build resilient coastal communities and economies. In a roll call […]

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Study Describes Social-ecological System of La Parguera, Puerto Rico

A new study describes the social-ecological system of La Parguera, Puerto Rico, and identifies the different pressures that have changed this system over the last 40 years. According to the report, multiple pressures have changed this ecosystem, including: sedimentation, nutrient enrichment, elevated seawater temperatures, and overfishing. La Parguera is a small fishing village on the […]

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Study Informs Restoration of Michigan’s Saginaw Bay

A 2014 special issue of the Journal of Great Lakes Research details the findings of a five-year, NCCOS-funded project in Michigan’s Saginaw Bay designed to better inform bay restoration efforts. The special issue highlights research results from studies that address the bay’s various environmental stressors. Saginaw Bay in Lake Huron and its surrounding watershed support a […]

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