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Tiny yet Toxic: Dinoflagellate Karlodinium veneficum

Relatively unknown and taxonomically confusing until the last few decades, the tiny but toxic dinoflagellate, Karlodinium veneficum, can produce dense blooms and fish-killing toxins. K. veneficum is a small chlorophyll-containing dinoflagellate that produces a suite of potent toxic compounds known as karlotoxins which kill fish as well as other organisms. K. veneficum has a mixed nutritional mode […]

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Shellfish Larvae Struggle in Fluctuating Oxygen and Acidity in Estuaries

A study supported by NCCOS and the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program found that interacting effects of acidified and low oxygen (hypoxic) waters reduced the survival, growth, and development of larval stages of three important shellfish species: bay scallops, hard clams and eastern oysters. Shellfish larvae were exposed to ideal, acidified and low oxygen conditions both individually and in […]

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Living Shorelines Provide Better Fish Habitats

In many places, estuarine shorelines are protected from erosion by riprap–a jumble of rock and other hard materials piled along the shore. More recently, living shorelines¯ have become the focus of study as an alternative approach that preserves ecological function as well as providing shoreline protection. For example, riprap-sill structures are a type of living shoreline¯ combining a rock […]

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NCCOS Studies Shoreline Cleaner Effects on Crude Oil

NCCOS scientists recently used tidal estuarine simulation units (mesocosms) to study the crude oil-removal efficiency of shoreline cleaners and the potential impacts of removed oil on an estuary. Oil spills that occur in estuaries, bays, or enclosed harbors have the potential to contaminate docks, bulkheads, ship hulls, and sensitive estuarine habitat. Depending on the situation […]

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Keeping Up With Rising Seas

Scientists predicted wetland soil accretion (or growth) rates in relation to predicted sea level rise using a model and data from numerous tidal salt and freshwater wetlands around the United States. The model results, published in Earth’s Future, suggested that, on average, softer organic components of East Coast marsh sediments do not accrete  fast enough in volume and height […]

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Students Learn the Value of Cetacean Strandings in Detecting Coastal Change

More than 20 students and faculty from the University of Georgia’s Maymester program visited NCCOS in Charleston, SC to learn how cetacean strandings can be used for coastal change detection. The lecture, discussion, and tour of the facility included information on recent unusual mortality events, weather anomalies, microplastic ingestion, coastal development, and shared spatial use for resources […]

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NCCOS Investigates Natural Control of HABs

NCCOS sponsored research at the University of Delaware is testing the capability of a naturally occurring bacteria Shewanella to chemically control or mitigate harmful algal blooms (HABs). Bacteria are thought to regulate algal abundance in the environment, and several species of algicidal (algae-killing) bacteria were evaluated in laboratory experiments. However, few algicidal compounds produced by bacteria have […]

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NCCOS Delivers Hard Truths on Hardened Shorelines in the Mid-Atlantic

NCCOS-sponsored researchers have found that hardened shorelines have negative effects on fish; invertebrates, such as oysters and crabs; and submerged aquatic vegetation. Shoreline hardening is an attempt to stabilize coastal land and protect residential and commercial infrastructure along the coast by building structures, like seawalls, to hold back the sea and prevent the loss of sediment. […]

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