Dr. Christopher Gobler, Professor within Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences whose laboratory generated the brown tide data, indicated that the distribution of this year’s brown tide comes as good news to some and bad news to others: “The absence of a brown tide in Great South Bay may be a ‘Gift from Sandy’. Since the new inlet was created following the Hurricane Sandy, we’ve seen higher salinity, lower chlorophyll, lower nitrogen, and stronger flushing in eastern Great South Bay. The inability of the brown tide organism to form a bloom in this region is consistent with these conditions and should help promote the growth of hard clams and eelgrass in this bay,” Gobler said.
The news for the eastern regions of the Long Island’s south shore was not as good. “The combination of poor flushing and intensive nitrogen loading into the eastern Moriches-western Shinnecock Bay region makes it highly vulnerable to algal blooms. We had hoped that the cooler spring and the efforts of the Shinnecock Bay Restoration Program to restock filter feeding shellfish in the Bay might restrict this year’s bloom. We are still hopeful that these filter feeders may make this year’s bloom will be less intense in this region than is has been in recent years”, said Gobler noting that in 2011 and 2012, cell densities of the brown tide were more than twice as dense as the current bloom at two million cells per milliliter.
From SCERP –The Stony Brook Southampton Coastal and Estuarine Research Program — on Facebook here.