Friday, July 13, 2012

NJ Coastal Water Health Investigation Using Glider

This week a submerisible vehicle, an autonomous Slocum glider, was released off the New Jersey coast to collect important data on the health of the water. EPA, DEP and Rutgers have teamed up to conduct these high-tech monitoring efforts.  Clean Ocean Action called for and has supported more data collection along the coast and is glad to see that these efforts that continue to evaluate marine life health by documenting dissolved oxygen conditions.

The glider, resembling a yellow torpedo with swept-back wings, will zigzag as it makes its way south to Cape May, taking rapid-fire readings of dissolved oxygen, salinity and temperature at various depths. The data will be analyzed by DEP scientists, as the agency works to better understand why the ocean off New Jersey tends to have low levels of oxygen, particularly in the summer.”

Last year, the glider observed stratification of the water column, with warmer waters overlying cold waters below.  Coastal upwelling and a massive algal bloom also occurred that was eventually broken up after the passage of Hurricane Irene which mixed the water layers.

This year gliders have documented more mixed waters in June than seen last year, and unusually warm waters earlier this spring. For the full story, click here.

Check on the main page too for science updates on the New York/New Jersey Bight. There is real-time data for the Mid-Atlantic Bight, research updates, and a blog that explains some of the research and events that occur.  Plus a new app for rip tides along parts of the Jersey Shore has been posted by Stevens Institute, so you can enjoy the waters and stay safe!

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