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NJ DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION NEWS RELEASE
RELEASE: 3/26/01
01/
CONTACT: Loretta O’Donnell or Kim Kosko (NJMSC)
609-984-1795 or 732-872-1300 x18

BROWN TIDE WORKSHOP APRIL 6
Monmouth University, West Long Branch

The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the NJ Marine Sciences Consortium/New Jersey Sea Grant are sponsoring a brown tide workshop Friday, April 6, at Monmouth University in West Long Branch.

The purpose of the workshop is to bring environmental managers and scientists together to characterize brown tide blooms in the Northeast region, identify states’ priority data, and develop recommendations for monitoring. While there is ongoing research to address the ecology of the brown tide blooms, the workshop will help state and local agencies coordinate the collection of data to better understand the problem on a regional basis.

Brown tide blooms, caused by a rapid growth of a minute alga, Aureococcus anophagefferens, are a recurring phenomena in the northeast coastal areas of Long Island, Little Egg Harbor and Barnegat Bay, and in some coastal bays of Delaware and Maryland. While not harmful to human health, brown tide blooms greatly reduced the scallop population in the Peconic Estuary in Long Island and caused damage to shellfish in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, in 1985. Eelgrasses, which are important habitats for fish and shellfish, were adversely affected by the decreased light penetration partly due to brown tide blooms. In New Jersey, brown tide blooms in 1995, 1999 and 2000 caused the reduction in growth of juvenile hard clams at a commercial aquaculture facility.

The workshop will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the university’s Samuel H. Magill Commons. To register for the workshop and lunch (no cost), e-mail: bkeiffer@njmsc.org. For website directions: www.monmouth.edu.

Other co-sponsors include: the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Monmouth University, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration/ECOHAB, New York Sea Grant Program, Ocean County Health Department, Suffolk County, NY Department of Health Services, USEPA Region 2, and the United States Geological Survey.

For more information, contact Dr. Mary Downes Gastrich of DEP’s Division of Science, Research and Technology at (609) 292-1895.

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