WATER SAMPLES CONFIRM NONTOXIC PHYTOPLANKTON BLOOM IN
NEW YORK HARBOR AND RARITAN BAY
(10/P89) TRENTON - The reddish water stretching from the Statue of Liberty into Raritan Bay is being caused by a nontoxic species of phytoplankton, samples collected today by the Department of Environmental Protection determined.
Two samples collected from around the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, and single samples collected in Raritan Bay off Keansburg and Keyport Harbor found Mesodinium rubrum, a nontoxic phytoplankton species.
The DEP conducted the water samples in addition to aerial surveys to investigate reports of extensive patches of reddish water in the harbor complex. The blooms were not toxic red tides. Red tide is a term frequently used to refer to toxic phytoplankton blooms that have a reddish hue. However, most algae blooms with a reddish hue are not toxic.
Extensive phytoplankton blooms can be caused by elevated levels of nutrients entering waterways during periods when rainfall is low and sunshine is plentiful. This bloom should not affect the public's enjoyment of the water and is expected to dissipate.