On YouTube: Tests Show Brown Tide Cell Count in Patchogue at Highest Level Since 2017
Harmful Algal Blooms - News

Filed by News 12 Long Island

Patchogue, NY, Jun 25, 2021 — Recent tests show that an intense, damaging brown tide has erupted in the Great South Bay and is spreading fast.

Stony Brook University's Dr. Chris Gobler says brown tide has rapidly intensified to more than 300,000 cells per milliliter in Patchogue Bay as of Wednesday — the highest brown tide cell count on Long Island since 2017.

"Brown tide has been around for decades but when it shows up, they can kill off hard clams and that's one of the most important fisheries on Long Island," says Gobler. "It contributed to the collapse of that fishery in the '80s and continually, whenever it comes up, it's associated with the loss particularly if what we call early life stage clams. Those clams spawn now."

George Remmer, a fisherman for more than 50 years, says the bay used to be teeming with scallops, clams and fish. He says the resurgence of brown tide over the years has taken its toll.

"When I was a kid, we caught flounder in this canal," says Remmer. "I'd get in a 12-foot aluminum boat and catch half a bushel of flounder and my father said, 'You can't even use all the flounder you're catching.' I was just a little kid. Now, it's hard to catch one."

South Shore boat yard owner Bill Tunney says the brown tide is also raising concerns among boaters and people using personal watercrafts. He says he gets a lot of questions about why the water is brown.

Scientists say brown tide is caused by high nitrogen pollution, which can come from old cesspools and fertilizer runoff. Some solutions include avoiding fertilizer use and upgrading septic systems.

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 34 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: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/nycoastlines for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly.

Home *  What is NYSG? *  Research *  Extension *  Education *  News & Events *  Publications
  Grants & Policies * Staff * NYSG Sites *  Related Sites 

nyseagrant@stonybrook.edu * (631) 632-6905

Problems viewing our Site? Questions About our Site's Social Media / Other Features? - See Our Web Guidelines

For NYSG Staff ... Site Administration