Saturday, August 20, 2011

Massive algae bloom off New Jersey coast not expected to move in near future - 19th Aug 2011

A massive algae bloom is sitting off the coast of New Jersey and isn’t expected to move off any time soon.

The bloom, which is not considered harmful, was first detected by satellites in mid-July but has grown almost 50 percent larger since then, according to scientists at Rutgers University’s Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences.

Algae blooms in the ocean are not uncommon in late summer, but it’s the size of this bloom, which extends some 70 miles from Barnegat in Ocean County to the tip of Cape May County, that has scientists calling this unusual.

"The size and the concentration is on the upward end of what we usually see,’’ said Josh Kohut, associate professor at the institute. "This is a big bloom.’’

The bloom, about 30 miles offshore, is being fueled by upwelling in the ocean — where the south/southwesterly winds blow off the warmer surface of the ocean to expose the cooler water, Kohut said. Read More