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New Funding to Protect Chesapeake Bay Oyster Aquaculture from Harmful Algal Blooms

Published on: 08/17/2016
Primary Contact(s): marc.suddleson@noaa.gov

Last week, NCCOS approved funding for theVirginia Institute of Marine Scienceand a Virginia commercial oyster grower to examine the impacts of harmful algal blooms on oyster aquaculture during active blooms of the toxic dinoflagellate algae Cochlodinium polykrikoides and Alexandrium monilatum.

VIMS York River bloom

Cochlodinium polykrikoides bloom in Virginia’s York River on August 5, 2016 along the shore of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Credit: Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

In late July 2016, a bloom of the two harmful algal species expanded, intensified, and covered nearly the entire York River and nearby Mobjack Bay, north of the river mouth. The project team will identify effective strategies oyster growers can use to minimize oyster mortality during future harmful algal bloom events.

Dense blooms of C. polykrikoideshave occurred regularly in Virginia’s York River and the lower Chesapeake Bay during late summer for several decades. A. monilatum has bloomed in this region since 2007. Growers are primarily concerned with how these algae are affecting oyster health and survival in the region. The Virginia Institute of Marine Science will share project results with members of the shellfish industry.

The project is funded by the NCCOS Harmful Algal Bloom Event Response Program. These efforts complement remote sensing research conducted by NCCOS’s Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment.

For more information, contact Marc.Suddleson@noaa.gov.

 

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