Fulweiler wins grant to study organic matter in Long Island Sound
The Sea Grant programs of Connecticut and New York announced today that they will fund research grants that will aim to illuminate the changing conditions that cause hypoxia (low oxygen conditions) in Long Island Sound. The research is supported by the bi-state Long Island Sound Study with funding from the US Environmental Protection Agency. The three projects, totaling $843,424, involve teams of researchers in two states. Using different techniques and asking different but related questions, the researchers will examine nutrient cycling and the impacts of nitrogen pollution on water quality in Long Island Sound. This research will improve our ability to model future conditions and management actions. Projects began in March 2015 and should be completed in 2017.
“By focusing our research efforts on understanding how the ecosystem is responding to reductions in nitrogen loading, we will be able to more accurately predict how the system might respond to future changes and what steps might be necessary to achieve long term goals for water quality in the Sound,” said Mark Tedesco, director of the EPA Long Island Sound Office.
Robinson “Wally” Fulweiler, Boston University Department of Earth and Environment, will quantify changes in organic matter as it at falls through the water to the sediment in five locations. She will also examine how the movement of nutrients into and out of the sediment may be changing in response to changes in the magnitude of nutrient inputs. Bacterial processes in the sediments can augment or mask changes in the nutrient concentration of the overlying water by storing or releasing nitrogen from the sediments, and these relationships can vary with changes in temperature, sediment type, and nitrogen concentration.