Issues related to healthy coastal ecosystems on the coast of Massachusetts and in Northeastern U.S. are similar to those issues experienced in other areas of the U.S. coastline. Decline in water quality, loss of habitat, invasive species, and increasing pressure on coastal resources are just some of the items of concern. A significant portion of the research portfolio of the Woods Hole Sea Grant program during the past few years has focused on gaining a better understanding of nutrient enrichment in coastal watersheds, characterization of habitats for resource species and threats to those habitats, and ocean acidification.
Extension and outreach activities that complement the Healthy Coastal Ecosystems focus area are:
- collaborative workshops with the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management and the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve on waste water management and coastal water quality issues through the Coastal Training Program;
- teacher workshops on topics such as the effects of ocean acidification on coastal ecosystems; and
establishing a water quality monitoring system using remotely accessed YSI devices. New techniques and approaches will be added to this portfolio as reciprocal relationships between resource users/ managers and scientists, social scientists and engineers identify new problems, develop or facilitate solutions to existing problems, and transfer technical information that can be used in management decisions.
2016-2018 Funded Projects
- Robert Howarth and Roxanne Marino, Cornell University: Nitrogen pollution and recovery from nitrogen pollution in a seagrass-dominated estuary: A whole ecosystem experiment
- Jesús Pineda, Karl Helfrich, Victoria Starczak and Annette Govindarajan, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution: Hydraulic jumps at an ecological hotspot
- Ivan Valiela, Marine Biological Laboratory: Is the recent decreased atmospheric nitrogen deposition improving water and vegetation quality in Waquoit Bay estuaries
- Jarrett Byrnes, UMass-Boston: Evaluating the relationship between kelp forest ecosystems and water temperature in the Southern Gulf of Maine
2014-2016 Funded Projects
- Robinson W. Fulweiler, Boston University: Examining significant changes to the nitrogen cycle in Waquoit Bay
- Anne Giblin, Joe Vallino, Marine Biological Laboratory, and Gary Banta, University of Roskilde: The impacts of increased nitrogen loadings on decomposition in salt marshes: Does eutrophication enhance marsh accretion or erosion?
- Robert Howarth and Roxanne Marino, Cornell University: Nitrogen pollution and recovery from nitrogen pollution in a seagrass-dominated estuary: A whole ecosystem experiment.
- Laela Sayigh, Mark Baumgartner, James Partan, and Michael Moore, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution: Development of an automatic mass stranding alert system
- Jesús Pineda, Karl Helfrich, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Jose da Silva, University of Porto: Reconciling distributional patterns with foraging processes in an ecological hotspot: Aggregation of humpback whales, prey abundance and distribution, and the shoaling of non-linear internal waves
- Jefferson Turner and Brian Howes, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth: “Rust Tides” of the toxic dinoflagellate Cochlodinium polykrikoides in Buzzards Bay
- Sibel Karchner and M. Hahn, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution: Molecular risk assessment in wildlife using a non-destructive assay
- Carl Lamborg, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, J. Logan, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, & R. Carmichael, Dauphin Island Sea Lab: A history of mercury impacts to Waquoit Bay clams
2012-2014 Funded Projects
- Rebecca Gast and Michael Moore, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution: Giardia and Cryptosporidium in Cape Cod Seals and Their Flounder Prey: Issues of Fish, Seal, Fisherman and Consumer Health
- Matthew Bracken, Northeastern University, and Carol Thornber, University of Rhode Island: Mechanisms for Success and Potential Impacts of an Invasive Seaweed Heterosiphonia japonica in New England Coastal Waters
- Robinson W. Fulweiler, Boston University: Quantifying the Impact of Low Oxygen Conditions on Sediment Methane Fluxes in Waquoit Bay
- Aran Mooney, Laela Sayigh, Peter L. Tyack, and Alessandro Bocconcelli, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Douglas Nowacek, Duke University Marine Laboratory: Passive Acoustic Monitoring of Biological Sounds and Ambient Noise Levels at the Proposed Cape Wind Site
- Serena Moseman-Valtierra and John D. Kirby, University of Rhode Island, Jianwu Tang, Marine Biological Laboratory, and Kevin D. Kroeger, USGS Coastal and Marine Science Center: Shifts in Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Productivity of Coastal Wetlands in Response to Anthropogenic N Loading and Rising Sea Level
- Jesús Pineda, Karl Helfrich and Victoria Starczak, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, José da Silva, University of Porto, Portugal, and David Wiley, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary: Reconciling Distributional Patterns with Foraging Processes in an Ecological Hotspot: Aggregation of Humpback Whales, Prey Abundance and Distribution, and the Shoaling of Non-Linear Internal Waves