A nontoxic bloom of algae was confirmed in Raritan Bay Monday, and the water may look brown as a result. A state aircraft’s remote sensor detected elevated levels of chlorophyll in Raritan Bay, which is typically associated with algal blooms, according to the Department of Environmental Protection’s njbeaches.org website…
Chlorophyll, a green pigment present in algae and plants, absorbs light energy and plays a vital role in photosynthesis, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The DEP Bureau of Marine Water Monitoring collected five samples in the Raritan Bay area and found that the bloom was dominated by two nontoxic species of algae, according to the DEP website. Algae cell levels ranged from 2,200 to 3,300 cells per milliliter.
One of the species will cause “a brown water discoloration,” but it is not linked to the “brown tide,” the website says.
The brown tide algae — Aureococcus anophageffrens — has plagued Barnegat and other bays over the years.
The Bureau of Marine Water Monitoring will continue to monitor coastal waters with surveillance flights, according to the DEP website.
Photo caption: Crabs and sea nettles swim amid eelgrass and dead algae off Seaweed Point in Brick in a 2011 file photo.
View original article at: Why is the water brown in Raritan Bay?