The U.S Army Corps in partnership with NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, and NOAA’s Southeast Fisheries Science Center are testing a new ecological forecasting tool known as the ‘Environmental Information Synthesizer for Expert Systems’ (EISES). This new tool is being tested for the first time in a maintenance dredging project in Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale, Florida in a multi-agency collaborative effort to help capture water quality effects which may be associated with dredging operations.
An analysis of 20 years of water quality data shows that Biscayne Bay, a NOAA Habitat Focus Area off southeast Florida, is degrading, as scientists have identified early warning signs that could help inform managers to prevent a regime shift of the bay’s ecosystem.In a recent study published in Estuaries and Coasts, scientists from NOAA and partner organizations detected an increasing trend in chlorophyll and nutrient levels from 48 monitoring stations throughout Biscayne Bay.
Few accessible places represent Earth’s natural beauty quite like our beaches, but looks can be deceiving if there is a bacterial outbreak or contamination from offshore activities. Not being able to see these contaminants puts families at risk of exposure if they aren’t properly warned. The BEACHES project (Beach Exposure And Child Health Study), a collaboration between the University of Miami’s College of Engineering and the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies and AOML, along with the Universities of Arkansas and Texas, aims to pair child behavioral science with microbiology to address exposure risk of beachgoers.
AOML’s ecosystem assessment and modeling group is collaborating with the protected species and biodiversity lab at NOAA’s SEFSC to begin a water quality monitoring survey of South Florida’s Biscayne Bay watershed. Biscayne Bay is a designated Habitat Focus Area under NOAA’s Habitat Blueprint, a program which offers opportunities for NOAA to partner with organizations to address coastal and marine habitat loss and degradation issues. Scientists will collect continuous temperature, salinity, turbidity, dissolved organic matter, and fluorescence measurements, as well as discrete samples for Chlorophyll a, nutrients, and phytoplankton. The surveys will occur quarterly and will examine the sources of potential contaminants from canals and waterways, and the subsequent effects these contaminants will have on the Bay.
Photos of AOML microbiologists, interns and citizen scientists collecting samples on Ocean Sampling Day at sites in the Florida Keys, Miami, and La Jolla.
Researchers with AOML’s Environmental Microbiology Lab joined a global effort to sample the smallest members of the ocean ecosystem on June 21 during International Ocean Sampling Day. Organized and led by the European Union’s MicroB3 organization and the Ocean Sampling Day Consortium, Ocean Sampling Day (OSD) is a simultaneous sampling campaign of the world’s oceans and coastal waters. These cumulative samples, related in time, space and environmental parameters, contribute to determine a baseline of global marine biodiversity and functions on the molecular level.
AOML scientists conducted a Numeric Nutrient Criteria Study cruise Wednesday and Thursday, March 18-19th in Biscayne Bay off of Broward and Miami-Dade Counties aboard the NOAA R/V Hildebrand. The study provides concurrent water column and coral reef status data for four coral assemblies off of Miami-Dade and Broward County. These results will be employed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to determine numeric nutrient criteria for the coastal waters of Southeast Florida.
On October 9th, researchers from AOML’s Environmental Microbiology Lab monitored and collected water samples in Maurice Gibb Memorial Park during the King Tide, the highest astronomical tide of the year.