On Friday April 13, 2012, on the Stony Brook-Southampton campus of Stony Brook University, NCCOS sponsored scientist Dr. Christopher J. Gobler of Stony Brook University hosted the ninth annual Stony Brook -Southampton Coastal and Estuarine Research Program (SCERP) Environmental Symposium entitled ‘Connecting the Dots: Linkages Between Land Use and the Degradation of the Suffolk County Water Bodies’.
The Symposium was an opportunity for Long Island residents, as well as government and non-government agencies, to learn about the most recent information regarding harmful algal blooms and other environmental problems on Long Island. A large focus of Dr. Gobler’s presentation and posters presented by eight graduate students was the linkages between excessive nutrient loading and harmful algal blooms occurring on Long Island caused by differing microalgae including Alexandrium, Dinophysis, Aureococcus, Cochlodinium and Microcystis. Much of this research is supported by current grants supported by NOAA.
Beyond local citizens, prominent government official in attendance included the Southampton Town Supervisor, the President of the Southampton Town Trustees, several Southampton Town Trustees, Environmental Planners from Suffolk County, as well as individuals representing New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the US EPA. Non-governmental organizations in attendance included The Nature Conservancy, New York Sea Grant, Citizen’s Campaign for the Environment, Peconic Baykeeper, Group for the East End, and the Pine Barrens Society.
Following the presentations there was an extended question and answer period, as well as discussions with government officials regarding the approaches that can be taken to lessen nitrogen loading to coastal bays in order to mitigate the annual reoccurrence of harmful algal blooms on Long Island.