Northeast
A harmful reddish-brown algae bloom appeared near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel on Aug. 26, 2021. (Chesapeake Bay Foundation and American Multimedia Solutions)

MD - New tech 'incubator' aims to control algal blooms

The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science is partnering with the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium in Florida to create a center that will seek, fund and assist projects using technology to reduce harmful algal blooms.

The UMCES Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology in Baltimore and Mote’s Red Tide Mitigation & Technology Development in Sarasota will manage the initiative, dubbed the U.S. Harmful Algal Bloom Control Technology Incubator.

The partnership recently received a $7.5 million grant from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration to provide selected projects with funding, testing resources and guidance on the licensing and permitting processes.

Harmful algal blooms cause a variety of environmental, economic and human health problems. They occur when algae grow out of control and produce toxic or harmful effects on people, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, and birds. Blooms are growing in size and frequency.

IMET has the capability to perform lab-based experiments with freshwater blooms, and Mote has extensive field experience with “red tide” blooms in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Field demonstration of harmful algal bloom control techniques is needed to fill the gap between laboratory research and larger scale implementation,” said UMCES President Peter Goodwin. “This is an ideal partnership to address a concerning global issue.”

Annual solicitations for projects will be announced beginning in spring 2023.

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