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 […]
Category for Healthy Ecosystems
What We Do
Virginia Sea Grant supports research and extension efforts to enhance ecosystem health, resilience, and sustainability.
Current work is featured below
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?
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 […]
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.
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.
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.
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.
VASG-funded seagrass researchers on the Eastern Shore are studying the effects of climate change on submerged aquatic vegetation.
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 […]
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.
University of Virginia graduate student and Virginia Sea Grant Fellow Alia Al-Haj researches how environmental change will affect seagrass restoration efforts.
Diamondback terrapins face a variety of threats—from coastal development to crab fishing. A team of VASG-funded researchers are mapping terrapin habitat and threats to aid in the development of effective management strategies.
Virginia’s hard clam industry produces between $20 and $30 million of clams annually, and individual clam farms cover areas ranging from 10’s to 100’s of acres. A Virginia Sea Grant-funded research team led by VIMS faculty members Iris Anderson, Mark Luckenbach, and Mark Brush is investigating the effects of these large-scale aquaculture operations on the flow of nutrients in Bay ecosystems. The results will help managers and clam farmers make sure the industry can function sustainably for years to come.
15 of Virginia’s federal and state organizations gathered on May 24 to tour the Okeanos Explorer and hear about one new success story: a collaboration that is putting deep-sea data that is usually difficult and expensive to obtain into the hands of Virginia’s management agencies.
When scientists and environmental regulators talk about nutrient pollution, they are primarily talking about additional nitrogen and phosphorus that enters the water from wastewater treatment plants, runoff, and other sources. These extra nutrients can allow algae to grow out of control, creating a phenomenon know as harmful algal blooms (HABs). However little is known about […]
The seaweed Gracilaria vermiculophylla is an invasive species that has been recognized along the East Coast of the US in the last 10 years and is widespread on the eastern shore of Virginia. G. vermiculophylla can survive hot and dry conditions better than native algae, and can thus live in marsh and mudflat habitats where […]
On a warm morning last August, Ryan Schloesser and his labmate, student Lauren Nys, trawled off Oyster, VA. After a summer filled with collecting fish, they worked with experienced ease, throwing around jokes as smoothly as they tossed their nets behind the boat. What they pull up in their nets should help fisheries managers better predict the size of fish populations.
These videos show our friends at the Tidewater Oyster Gardeners Association (TOGA) assembling containers typically used in oyster gardening. Virginia Sea Grant is a proud partner with VIMS and TOGA. Together we train residents of coastal Virginia in the benefits, practice, and science of oyster gardening.
Old Dominion University professor Dick Zimmerman and his lab are developing a new model to predict where seagrass can grow in the Bay. This article features the work of communications intern Kate Schimel and photography intern Carly Rose.
On a mid-October evening, Gene Burreson, who colleagues consider “one of maybe two of the most important figures in the field” of fish and shellfish pathology, stood before a room of resource managers, industry members, scientists, and family and humbly stated, “Although this award is only given to one person, science is not done alone. I’ve been lucky that I’ve always hired good people to work with me.”