May 19, 2008
NOAA has established a special Web site to help New Englanders and the media understand the significant red tides that are predicted to form later this spring. The site will update when New England red tides occur and change.
On April 24, scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, using forecast models developed with NOAA funding support, predicted "that excess winter precipitation has set the stage for a harmful algal bloom similar to the historic “red tide” of 2005." The 2005 bloom shut down shellfish beds from the Bay of Fundy to Martha’s Vineyard for several months and caused an estimated $18 million in losses to the Massachusetts shellfish industry alone.
"Harmful Algal Blooms are a steadily increasing threat to our coasts," notes John H. Dunnigan, NOAA assistant administrator of the National Ocean Service. "Our goal as an agency is to ensure healthy and safe coasts. Through research and public outreach such as through this Web site, we hope to mitigate the impacts of these events as we seek to better understand why they occur."
Called the NOAA New England Red Tide Information Center, http://www.oceanservice.noaa.gov/redtide, the site will provide a capsule summary of the current red tide situation and its potential harmful impacts on humans and animals, and serve as a central repository of information.
Direct links are provided to news releases; changes to federal fishing regulations that apply, links to closures of federal and state shellfish waters, and state agency Web sites that provide localized information.
Additionally, the site will provide information about NOAA’s scientific response effort, seafood safety information, and tell where to report marine mammal strandings or deaths.
The site provides scientific information from NOAA’s major response partner, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and several other sources.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 70 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.