Effort to Resume Oyster Research On Way to Senate

A state ban on the cultivation of oyster beds in the Keyport Harbor would be lifted under a bill working its way through the state Legislature. The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Gerald Cardinale (R-Passaic/Bergen), would permit the NY/NJ Baykeeper’s Eastern Oyster Reintroduction Feasibility Study to return to Keyport Harbor. The project was halted in 2010 when the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) banned the cultivation of commercial shellfish in contaminated waters… According to Dr. Beth Ravit, co-director of Rutgers University’s Center for Urban Environmental Sustainability and a researcher working on the oyster study, the goal of the project is to better understand the conditions in which oysters could flourish and then promote population growth in areas exhibiting those conditions. Ravit said the Eastern oyster provides several ecological benefits, including the ability to individually filter up to 50 gallons of water per day, as well as their propensity to fuse their shells together to create an "oyster reef."

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Climate Change Captured Through Documentary

Director Dena Seidel is an award winning documentary filmmaker, published short story author, as well as the creator and designer of the first film major at Rutgers University. Here, she talks about her feature-length documentary film, Antarctic Edge: 70 South… There is urgent need to improve science communication to the general public. Too often research narratives fail to illustrate the excitement, challenges and passion required to explore the planet. As such, the Rutgers Film Bureau has partnered with the Rutgers Institute for Marine and Coastal Sciences to create a multi-tiered documentary film project featuring the transformative science of the National Science Foundation’s LTER project at Palmer Station… Antarctic Edge: 70 South screens on Sunday May 17 at 3 pm in the Tradewinds Auditorium of the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute. Reserve tickets by calling 294-0204.

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Ocean Bacteria Get “Pumped Up”

The ocean has been sucking up heat-trapping carbon dioxide (CO2) building up in our atmosphere–with a little help from tiny plankton. Like plants on land, these plankton convert CO2 into organic carbon via photosynthesis. But unlike land plants that are held fast to terra firma, plankton can sink into the deep ocean, carrying carbon with them. Along the way they decompose when bacteria convert their remains back into CO2… Edwards, her advisor, WHOI scientist Ben Van Mooy, and co-author Kay Bidle from Rutgers University went to sea to collect and analyze particle samples from several locations across the North Atlantic, including the Sargasso Sea, the subarctic North Atlantic near Iceland, and the western North Atlantic near Massachusetts. The spatial coverage was important, Van Mooy said… "We typically think of temperature and other physiochemical factors as being critically important in determining the bacterial processing of diatom detritus and how deep it sinks in the ocean, but this work shows that the molecular composition of ‘infochemicals’ really matters," said Bidle.

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New Jersey Aquaculture Innovation Center Plays Important Role in Oyster Industry [VIDEO]

Oysters are a popular dinner choice near the shore. But before they end up on your plate, and in your stomach, they’re spawned at the New Jersey Aquaculture Innovation Center in Cape May… "Most of the oysters, local oysters that you would buy at a restaurant at any of the Delaware Bay counties, primarily were spawned and started in this facility," said Sean Towers, of Rutgers NJ Aquaculture Innovation Center… The Center, powered by Rutgers University, does more than selling oysters to local farmers. They’re putting an oyster blueprint together, so others can follow… Right now, the emphasis, is oysters. And algae, the oysters’ diet. But once the oyster blueprint is complete, the focus can shift elsewhere.

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Ocean Bacteria Get ‘Pumped Up’ by Dying Phytoplankton

The ocean has been sucking up heat-trapping carbon dioxide (CO2) building up in our atmosphere–with a little help from tiny plankton. Like plants on land, these plankton convert CO2 into organic carbon via photosynthesis. But unlike land plants that are held fast to terra firma, plankton can sink into the deep ocean, carrying carbon with them. Along the way they decompose when bacteria convert their remains back into CO2… In a new study published April 27 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and their colleague from Rutgers University discovered a surprising new short-circuit to the biological pump. They found that sinking particles of stressed and dying phytoplankton release chemicals that have a jolting, steroid-like effect on marine bacteria feeding on the particles… Edwards, her advisor, WHOI scientist Ben Van Mooy, and co-author Kay Bidle from Rutgers University went to sea to collect and analyze particle samples from several locations across the North Atlantic, including the Sargasso Sea, the subarctic North Atlantic near Iceland, and the western North Atlantic near Massachusetts. The spatial coverage was important, Van Mooy said.

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