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Healthy Ecosystems


Current work is featured below


Expanding Citizen Science to Coast and Sea: A recent publication

Expanding Citizen Science to Coast and Sea: A recent publication

At the 2014 International Marine Conservation Congress, a project team including Virginia Sea Grant postgraduate fellow Amy Freitag convened a focus group to consider challenges and opportunities related to expanding citizen science in marine and coastal environments.

DNA Confirms It: Non-Native Catfish Are Eating At-Risk Species

DNA Confirms It: Non-Native Catfish Are Eating At-Risk Species

When it comes to their meals, catfish aren’t picky. And recent research from Virginia Tech confirms that non-native catfish are eating a wide range of fish species—including several species of special concern to conservationists.

Studying Oysters Subjected to Red Tides in York River (SLIDESHOW)

Studying Oysters Subjected to Red Tides in York River (SLIDESHOW)

This summer, there were some big blooms of the rust-colored algae, Alexandrium monilatum, in Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Virginia Sea Grant Graduate Research Fellow Sarah Pease is studying this algae and whether the toxin it produces could affect oyster or human health.

New Tool to Help Managers Weighs Land Use Options Against Nitrogen

New Tool to Help Managers Weighs Land Use Options Against Nitrogen

By Janet Krenn, Staff Writer This August, researchers released a new tool to help land-use managers on the Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia (Delmarva) Peninsula predict how their decisions will affect the environment. The new Delmarva Coastal Bays Nitrogen Loading Model shows how much nitrogen will flow into bays that border the Atlantic, allowing managers to […]

Good News for Chesapeake Bay Seagrass Facing Climate Change?

Good News for Chesapeake Bay Seagrass Facing Climate Change?

This summer, Virginia Sea Grant-funded researchers reported a surprising finding about climate change and seagrass in Chesapeake Bay.

Hampton Roads Adaptation Forum Helps ‘Green Infrastructure’ Team Secure $4.6M Grant

Hampton Roads Adaptation Forum Helps ‘Green Infrastructure’ Team Secure $4.6M Grant

According to a recent survey of Hampton Roads Adaptation Forum attendees, 83% say they have made and followed up on new professional connections they made at the Forum.

Learning More About Toxic Algae: Alexandrium monilatum

Learning More About Toxic Algae: Alexandrium monilatum

A VIMS graduate student is trying to determine when and if the toxic algae Alexandrium monilatum will become a problem in the Chesapeake Bay.

Amy Freitag. ©VASG

VASG Welcomes Ecosystem-Based Management Fellow

This week, Amy Freitag joins VASG as a postgraduate fellow studying science behind ecosystem-based management.

Aquaculture Vulnerability

Mapping the Bay to Plan for Shellfish Aquaculture

Who would suspect that in a bay with as much shallow water as the Chesapeake there would be competition for space in its shallow water habitat?

Lynnhaven River Restoration, Changing with the Times

Lynnhaven River Restoration, Changing with the Times

After several hours in the sun, Emily Egginton Skeehan, Virginia Institute of Marine Science graduate student, plunges into Virginia Beach’s largest waterway. The Virginia Sea Grant Graduate Research Fellow is deploying tilt meters

The stinging sea nettle, Chryosaora quinquecirrha, can be found in summer in Chesapeake Bay. ©NOAA Photo Library

There Will Be an App for That: Tracking Jellyfish in Chesapeake Bay Beaches

Spring and summer blooms of comb jellies and sea nettles—two types of gelatinous zooplankton—are among the most dramatic of all seasonal changes in the Chesapeake Bay. Joshua Stone of Virginia Institute of Marine Science will use historical data to identify long-term trends in comb jelly and sea nettle abundance over the last 20 years. He […]

Is It Toxic? Investigating Whether a Particular Algae Might Harm Oysters

Is It Toxic? Investigating Whether a Particular Algae Might Harm Oysters

Blooms of Alexandrium monilatum have increased in both density and distribution since its first observation in 2007. Now researchers want to know, is it harmful to oyster or human health?

Restoring the Lynnhaven River—and Making It Last

Restoring the Lynnhaven River—and Making It Last

Over the next 50 years the US Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) Lynnhaven River Basin Ecosystem Restoration Plan (LRBERP) aims to construct or restore a combined 163 acres of habitat. Currently, however, the LRBERP does not account for rising global temperatures or sea level rise. Emily Egginton Skeehan of Virginia Institute of Marine Science plans […]

Martin Hall, Head of Dolphin-Tuna.

Collaborating with Fisheries to Reduce By Catch: 30 years of education

VIDEO: Martin Hall (Head of Tuna-Dolphin Program, Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission) shares lessons learned in reducing accidental catch of dolphins, turtles, and other animals.

The Asian Shore Crab is a small invasive animal that kicked out small native crabs all along the East Coast in the 1990s. Now it's on the decline. ©Susan Park/VASG/DESG

VASG Staff Ph.D. Research on Invasive Crabs in DE Bay Gains New Perspective

Delaware’s native mud crabs were on the verge of being completely edged out by invasive Asian shore crabs 10 years ago. Today, new research shows that the tables have unexpectedly turned.

Fellowship Grants Get Science Out of the Lab (Part 1)

Fellowship Grants Get Science Out of the Lab (Part 1)

Billur Celebi is studying how changing CO2 concentrations and temperatures will affect eelgrass in Virginia’s coastal waters. For the outreach portion of her project, she teamed up with Chris Witherspoon and Jovonne Vrechek of the Virginia Aquarium to develop educational programming about seagrass and ecosystem health for Aquarium guests and student programs.

Marine Policy Intern Blina Kruja. ©Stephanie Chavez/VASG

Marine Policy Intern Studies Bay Management

As Virginia Sea Grant’s summer marine policy intern, Blina Kruja will investigate the relationships between different groups involved in ecosystem management in the Chesapeake Bay.

Seagrass. ©Stephanie Chavez

Seagrass Research: Notes From The Field

VASG-funded seagrass researchers on the Eastern Shore are studying the effects of climate change on submerged aquatic vegetation.

Aerial view of the York River near Sarah’s Creek during an algal bloom. Aug. 3, 2012. ©Kimberly Reece/VIMS

Primer Helps Shellfish Industry Navigate Harmful Algal Blooms

You’ve heard of UFOs, but what about HABs? A new publication aims to remove some of the mystery surrounding harmful algal blooms, especially when it comes to their effects on the shellfish industry. VIMS Professor Kim Reece and VIMS/VASG Commercial Shellfish Aquaculture Extension Specialist Karen Hudson prepared the short HAB Primer to help shellfish growers […]

Wendi Quidort and Katie Reece take water samples from an experiment in Sarah's Creek. ©Margaret Pizer/VASG

Graduate Research Fellow Raises the Profile of Viruses in Wastewater

Viruses tend to fly—or float—under the radar when it comes to most water quality standards, but Wendi Quidort’s research may be changing that soon. The Virginia Sea Grant Graduate Research Fellow, who is working towards her Ph.D. at Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), has been making some interesting discoveries about what viruses released from wastewater treatment plants might be doing in Virginia’s creeks and estuaries.

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