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News and Features by Region Massachusetts Archives - News and Features

NCCOS Helps New England Respond to Unprecedented Harmful Algal Bloom

For the first time in New England’s coastal waters, shellfish have exceeded the regulatory limit for domoic acid—a potent neurotoxin produced by the diatom Pseudo-nitzschia. Domoic acid accumulates in shellfish that feed on Pseudo-nitzschia, and can lead to amnesic shellfish poisoning in people who consume tainted shellfish. The NCCOS Harmful Algal Bloom Event Response Program […]

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Producing a new Reference Material for Paralytic Shellfish Toxin Monitoring

Saxitoxins, produced by species of harmful algal blooms (HABs), cause paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) when contaminated seafood is consumed. For nearly 50 years the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has provided a saxitoxin dihydrochloride standard to state shellfish laboratories and others who monitor seafood safety, and has distributed it as a National Institutes of Standards […]

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NCCOS Sponsors 20 New Research Projects

NCCOS awarded nearly $4.5 million in new research grants while maintaining sponsorship of 42 continuing projects during 2015 for a total of $8.2 million in funding for innovative research. All of the endeavors address significant and complex coastal issues. The projects were selected using a rigorous, competitive, and peer-review process. The cutting-edge research will provide critical […]

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The Future of Algae Bloom Monitoring Technology

Technology developed with NCCOS funding is rapidly advancing harmful algal bloom (HAB) monitoring capabilities nationwide. These cutting edge detection tools are now commercially available and transitioning them to sustained management operations is the new norm. Recently a U. S. National Park Service (NPS) funded study benefited from the use of the NCCOS-developed “underwater microscope” Imaging […]

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NCCOS Prepares Toxin Sensor for Gulf of Maine Red Tide Forecasting

An NCCOS technical expert completed critical calibrations of the paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxin sensor for an Environmental Sample Processor (ESP) platform stationed at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Laboratory for Ocean Sensors and Observing Systems (LOSOS). Beginning in early May, this ESP will perform autonomous, near real-time monitoring of toxins associated with cells of the red […]

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Marsh Hydrology Model Supports Hurricane Sandy Restoration

In support of restoration and resilience of marshes impacted by Hurricane Sandy, the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) chose an NCCOS-supported forecast model to predict marsh ecology and hydrology related to combined effects from storm surge and sea level rise. The model selected was developed as part of the NCCOS sponsored Ecological Effects of Sea […]

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Tenacity of Brown Tides Linked to Genetic Flexibility

The genetic flexibility of Aureococcus anophagefferens, the harmful alga responsible for “brown tides” off Long Island, allows it to thrive in conditions other algae cannot tolerate. NCCOS-sponsored scientists assessed this alga’s response to environmental stressors, such as low nutrients and low light, by looking at pieces of its RNA, which tell Aureococcus which proteins to […]

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Gulf of Maine Red Tide Forecast Suggests Modest Bloom: Robotic Sensors Deployed to Confirm and Improve Future Predictions

A team of NOAA and academic researchers led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has issued a seasonal red tide forecast for the Gulf of Maine as part of a pilot program that expands NOAA harmful algal bloom (HAB) forecasting to this region. The forecast suggests a modest bloom for the upcoming 2014 season. […]

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