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September 22, 2018

NY Sea Grant funds Lake Ontario algal bloom research


In August 2010, Sodus Bay, Lake Ontario, suffered from algal bloom (Microcystis sp.). Now, with New York Sea Grant (NYSG) funding, a team led by Dr. Gregory Boyer, from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, and Joseph Atkinson form the University of Buffalo, is developing a model to provide better understanding of the nutrient and algal dynamics of Sodus Bay.

Boyer is a recognized leader in algal blooms research, having worked on red tides along the Atlantic Coast and more recently focusing his efforts on the blue-green algae blooms that occur in the Great Lakes. Boyer has developed an analytical technique for measuring microcystin and other toxins produced by blue-green algae.

NY Sea Grant has awarded funding to SUNY-ESF to study algal blooms on Sodus Bay. Photo: Jay Ross/Save Our Sodus Association

NY Sea Grant has awarded funding to SUNY-ESF to study algal blooms on Sodus Bay. Photo: Jay Ross/Save Our Sodus Association

Water quality managers are among the stakeholders impacted by Boyer’s research. The results of the research work on Sodus Bay will aid decision making by the Bay’s natural resource managers and marina operators.

“New York Sea Grant projects address the critical needs of coastal stakeholders. Dr. Boyer and his team are focused on applying their academic expertise to better understand and control harmful algal blooms. What we learn from this project on Sodus Bay should lead to valuable information for use by shoreline communities throughout the Great Lakes region,” said NYSG Extension Director Dr. Katherine Bunting-Howarth, Ithaca, NY.

The Sodus Bay project has received $192,381 in Sea Grant funding. Monies for these projects come via NYSG’s parent organization, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Sea Grant College Program (NSGCP), Silver Spring, MD.

The Sodus Bay project funds are among the $2.4 million New York Sea Grant has received for projects in 2012-2013.

In addition to addressing important problems and opportunities, NYSG’s 2010-2013 Omnibus funds will support NYSG research, extension and education efforts on important coastal issues related to storm surges and flooding, seafood safety, wetland habitats, fisheries, and harmful algal blooms, among others. The funds will also provide graduate students with financial support through the Sea Grant Scholar Program, and sponsors conferences, seminars and workshops on a variety of coastal issues each year.

New York Sea Grant is a statewide network of integrated research, education, and extension services promoting the coastal economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources. One of 32 university-based programs under the NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program, NYSG is a cooperative program of the State University of New York and Cornell University. Learn more online at www.nyseagrant.org, where you can find the NYSG RSS news feed, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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