Water Sampling in Biscayne Bay with RSMAS
DISCOVERY Vessel M'Powered
September 24, 2021
Giovana Vasquez-Anderson M.P.S., Charles Groppe, M.S. Candidate
Purpose of Research
The purpose of this study is to monitor the quality of Biscayne Bay as it relates to harmful algal blooms. Due to factors like nutrient levels and dissolved oxygen concentrations being affected by high temperatures, and fuel intense toxic algae growth, it is important to keep an eye out for abnormal values and changes over time.
Duration of Project
May 2021 - September 2021
On September 24th, 2021, The International SeaKeepers Society assisted the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (RSMAS) in conducting field research in the waters of Biscayne Bay, FL aboard DISCOVERY Vessel M'Powered, a 24' Sailfish center console, owned and operated by SeaKeepers DISCOVERY member, Aaron Goldstein.
Last year, SeaKeepers helped Professor Chris Langdon collect various data such as temperature, pH, salinity, nutrients, chlorophyll and dissolved oxygen in response to the fish kill and toxic algal blooms in the Bay. The goal of returning to the Bay this year in May, June, and July was to establish a baseline before August and September when conditions would be the most likely to cause a repeat of the events in 2020. As predicted, a hypoxic fish kill did occur and recording data after the fact is important as well.
What made this outing special was the fact that the first deaf student to be part of the MPS (Masters of Professional Science) program, Giovanna Vasquez-Anderson, came out and assisted fellow MPS student, Charles Groppe. This was groundbreaking as it served to prove that deaf people are just as capable in the field as hearing people. This will no doubt inspire others in the deaf community to pursue careers in marine science.
This research can provide baseline data for the environment and conditions surrounding toxic algal blooms so that they can be anticipated, planned for, and ultimately prevented.
Additionally, Dr. Langdon shares the results of this research with the Intro to Marine Biology class he teaches as well as with high school students in the Summer Scholars Program each summer adding an educational element to this project.
The goal of this expedition was to collect water quality information from various sites around Biscayne Bay to create a full picture of the current state of the Bay's health.