In Media: Two SBU Teams Awarded Ocean Research Grants to Study Waters off NY
NY Ocean Action Plan - Press Release

New York Bight Whale Monitoring Program.

Published for Stony Brook University's E-news Site, Happenings

Stony Brook, NY, February 6, 2019 - Nearly $570,000 in ocean research grants have been awarded to three investigative teams, two of which are from Stony Brook University. Through New York State’s 10-year Ocean Action Plan (OAP) — supported by the Environmental Protection Fund’s Ocean and Grant Lakes funding — the state has prioritized dedicated research to inform long-term monitoring programs and to improve science-based understanding of how interrelated components of the ocean ecosystem function off New York’s coast.

The SBU teams, along with a third team from CUNY York College and the Wildlife Conservation Society, will work to identify the biodiversity of the offshore ecosystem of the New York Bight (the area of ocean from the south shore of Long Island to the continental shelf break) and investigate the species and uses of New York’s ocean environment.

As a partner with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in the OAP Research Program, New York Sea Grant (NYSG), which is based at Stony Brook, will help New York’s diverse coastal communities respond to rapid economic and environmental changes. NYSG has been funding research for nearly 50 years on issues of critical importance to New York’s coastal communities and stakeholders. Sea Grant is partnering with DEC in administering theses research awards.

“The investment in cutting-edge research for preserving and protecting our oceans for future generations is incredibly important,” said New York State Senator Todd Kaminsky, Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee. “I applaud the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Governor’s Office for their efforts on this initiative.”

“I have long been a supporter of the great work that New York Sea Grant does to study and understand our diverse marine ecosystems,” said Assemblyman Steve Englebright, Chair of the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee. “I am pleased to see the Stony Brook University School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, DEC, and others partnering to fund important projects that will tackle the issues of ocean acidification, marine biodiversity, and the overall effect that climate change will have on shellfish and other marine species.”

The Stony Brook projects are as follows:

Ocean acidification in the New York Bight: Associations with eutrophication processes and implications for shellfish populations — $195,000

Researchers Chris Gobler, Michael Frisk and Lesley Thorne, from the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS), will investigate the impacts of ocean acidification on shellfish, crustaceans, fish, and zooplankton in the New York Bight and possible connections to oceanic eutrophication. Ocean eutrophication begins with the increased load of nutrients to coastal waters and can stimulate an explosive growth of algae (algal blooms) that depletes the water of oxygen when the algae die and are eaten by bacteria.

Effects of current and projected climate conditions on Atlantic Surfclam (Spisula solidissima) — $200,000

Investigators Bassem Allam, Robert Cerrato, Emmanuelle Pales-Espinosa, Kamazima Lwiza from SoMAS will study environmental impacts to this shellfish fishery as well as the implication for other marine life species regime shifts occurring in the New York Bight with an increase in global temperatures and potential ocean acidification.

Read more about the research grants, New York’s OAP and OAP’s Ocean Monitoring Project.

More Info: New York Sea Grant

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York (SUNY), is one of 33 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, NYSG has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting coastal community economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness and understanding about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

Through NYSG’s efforts, the combined talents of university scientists and extension specialists help develop and transfer science-based information to many coastal user groups—businesses and industries, federal, state and local government decision-makers and agency managers, educators, the media and the interested public.

The program maintains Great Lakes offices at Cornell University, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Oswego and the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University in Long Island, Brooklyn College and Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly. Our program also produces an occasional e-newsletter,"NOAA Sea Grant's Social Media Review," via its blog,

New York Sea Grant Home *  NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Home

This website is supported through a partnership between New York Sea Grant and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

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