The OC460 coastal survey consisted of a series of transects spanning from just south of Boston to one near Bar Harbor (see map). Surface live counts revealed low Alexandrium abundance south and west of Penobscot Bay, with cell concentrations at or below the limit of detection in that area. From Penobscot Bay to the east, cell concentrations are patchy, but higher overall—with values ranging from zero to 578 cells per liter.
We are presently steaming toward home, but will take the opportunity to occupy a pump station near Minots Light on the Boston line. Given the observation of low levels of toxicity present in Massachusetts Bay earlier this season, and the low concentrations of cells in the water column, it will be of interest to determine the degree to which toxins are present in the grazer community. Microscopic examination of the live count samples revealed abundant tintinnids in that region.
Depending on time constraints, we may also be able to occupy a few more stations in Cape Cod Bay before entering the canal at 0500 Monday. ETA at WHOI is 0900.
-on behalf of the OC460 science party