The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays invites the public to attend the next Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee meeting Friday, July 26, from 9 a.m. to noon, at the DNREC Lewes Field Facility, 901 Pilottown Road.
STAC meetings are a great opportunity to learn about the local environment, and a chance to ask questions about the latest research being conducted on the Inland Bays. This committee provides objective advice and guidance to the center’s board of directors and other cooperating agencies that have interests in Delaware’s Inland Bays.
At the July 26 meeting, Nayani Vidyarathna, post-doctoral researcher at the University of Delaware, will discuss her studies of the effects of climate change on species that cause harmful algal blooms in the Inland Bays. Harmful algal blooms, or HABs, occur when colonies of microscopic algae grow out of control while producing substances that can be toxic to fish and shellfish, and even people.
The occurrence of HABs in coastal states is a national concern because they affect the health of people, marine ecosystems, and local economies, and these harmful blooms may be on the rise.
“We know that bay waters are likely to become warmer and more acidic in the future as the climate changes,” says Dr. Marianne Walch, the center’s science and restoration coordinator. “The work of Dr. Vidyarathna and her colleagues suggests that this could result in changes in toxin production by these algae and in the food webs they support.”
The STAC will also hear a presentation from Dr. Roman Jesien, science director of the Maryland Coastal Bays Program, about an innovative dam removal project in Bishopville, Md., that has opened over seven miles of the St. Martin’s River system to migratory fish such as river herring and American eels.
A draft agenda and additional information about the committee and past meetings can be found at www.inlandbays.org/stac.