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NOAA funds study to explore impact of oil spills on blue crab development

A new study by scientists from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science will help determine the potential impact of an oil spill on the development of the blue crab. NOAA and the Coastal Response Research Center at the University of New Hampshire has awarded a $150,000 grant for a one-year study of the effects of chemical dispersants and dispersed oil on larvae of the commercially important blue crab, a keystone species of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coast, and its larvae.

New study finds that bacteria on marine sponges can develop capacity to move and inhibit biofilm formation

A new study shows that when enough bacteria get together in one place, they can make a collective decision to grow an appendage and swim away. This type of behavior has been seen for the first time in marine sponges, and could lead to an understanding of how to break up harmful bacterial biofilms, such as plaque on teeth or those found on internal medical devices like artificial heart valves.

Environmental leaders gather to discuss Chesapeake Bay and human health

"Stop acting like we're bulletproof" urged Congressman Elijah Cummings at the kick off of a two-day conference on the Chesapeake Bay and human health at the Institute for Marine and Environmental Science at Baltimore's Inner Harbor, May 14-15.

Unique Barge Enters Research Fleet to Test Ballast Water Treatment Technologies

Baltimore, Md. (September 27, 2011) – A unique 155’ barge, or Mobile Test Platform, was dedicated into the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science research fleet. This unique barge will be used to test ballast water treatment technologies that would be employed to reduce the risk of introducing invasive species through the maritime shipping industry.  The dedication ceremony was led by Congressman Cummings (Maryland’s 7th District) and included leadership from the US Maritime Administration, Maryland Port Authority, and UMCES.  

Chesapeake Oyster Population Less Than One Percent of Historic Levels - Overfishing, disease, and habitat loss have led to continued declines in Maryland’s portion of the Bay

Solomons, Md. (August 31, 2011) – According to recent research, published in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series (Vol. 436), the oyster population in the upper Chesapeake Bay has been estimated to be 0.3% of population levels of early 1800s due to overfishing, disease, and habitat loss.

Blue Crab Research May Help Chesapeake Bay Watermen Improve Soft Shell Harvest

A research effort designed to prevent the introduction of viruses to blue crabs in a research hatchery could end up helping Chesapeake Bay watermen improve their bottom line by reducing the number of soft shell crabs perishing before reaching the market. The findings, published in the journal Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, shows that the transmission of a crab-specific virus in diseased and dying crabs likely occurs after the pre-molt (or ‘peeler’) crabs are removed from the wild and placed in soft-shell production facilities.

UMCES Scientists Lead Call for Moratorium on Mountaintop Mining Permits

Based on a comprehensive analysis of the latest scientific findings and new data, UMCES researchers Dr. Margaret Palmer and Dr. Keith Eshleman are leading a group of leading environmental scientists calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S Army Corps of Engineers to stay all new mountaintop mining permits.

UMCES joins national #GivingTuesday movement

CAMBRIDGE, MD (November 25, 2014)—The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) joins #GivingTuesday and #MarylandGivesMore to celebrate a new tradition of generosity during the holiday season. On December 2—the Tuesday after Thanksgiving—#GivingTuesday harnesses the power of social media to create a national moment around the holidays dedicated to giving.

Giving Tuesday

Giving Thanks for our Environment


Nutrients that Feed Red Tide in Gulf of Mexico “Under the Microscope” in Major Study

The “food” sources that support Florida red tides are more diverse and complex than previously realized, according to five years’ worth of research on red tide and nutrients published recently as an entire special edition of the scientific journal Harmful Algae. Study partners documented 12 sources of nutrients in southwest Florida waters—including some never before associated with K. brevis. Results supported the consensus that blooms start 10-40 miles offshore, away from the direct influence of land-based nutrient pollution, but once moved inshore blooms can use both human-contributed and natural nutrients for growth.

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