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Oysters to the Rescue

Oysters to the Rescue

October 6, 2016

Stonehill College undergraduate Dan Stone measures oxygen in a sediment core taken this past summer from a coastal pond in Falmouth. Stone works for chemist Dan Rogers, who is collaborating with WHOI microbial ecologist Virginia Edgcomb on a project to investigate whether oysters can improve water quality by stimulating bacteria to remove nitrogen from bottom sediments. Too much nitrogen in coastal waters can cause large “blooms” of microscopic marine plants, covering the surface with a dense and sometimes toxic scum. Oysters filter algae out of the water, taking up some of the nitrogen and excreting some as waste that ends up in bottom sediments. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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