Water Sampling in Biscayne Bay with RSMAS
DISCOVERY Vessel Bay Ripper
May 28, 2021
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 fueling 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 May 28th, 2021, The International SeaKeepers Society assisted the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences in conducting field research in the waters of Biscayne Bay, FL aboard DISCOVERY Vessel Bay Ripper, a 13' Boston Whaler. 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. The ultimate hope is that this data and trends seen from week to week will help predict another hypoxia event. If so, preventative measures can be taken to aerate the water so that we don’t see yet another massive loss of life in the Bay. This was the second outing of the season; updates coming soon on what the data has been showing.
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 outing 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.