NCCOS’s Phytoplankton Monitoring Network and the Resilience, Education, Training, and Innovation (RETI) Center have partnered to provide education on harmful algal blooms and their effects on shellfish and macroalgae aquaculture.
The RETI Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening coastal communities through resiliency focused on economic development. The Center works with young people from disadvantaged populations in New York City from kindergarten through graduate school to cultivate a mindset of environmental stewardship and adaptation to climate change.
The Center is developing BlueBlocks Gardens, floating ecosystems and platforms to explore how plants and biophilic structures can support marine life within the waterways of Upper New York Harbor.
The floating gardens will incorporate mussel, oyster, and kelp aquaculture systems, which local students from high school through graduate school will construct and monitor for harmful algal blooms. NCCOS environmental scientist Nia Rene is coordinating the citizen science effort to monitor water quality and phytoplankton species in and around the gardens.