In November 2008 the United States Department of Commerce informed the State of New Hampshire that $1 million in federal funds was available to the state in response to a 2008 commercial fishery failure from the effects of Paralytic Shellfish Poison (PSP), more commonly known as “red tide,” in the Gulf of Maine. PSP events involve a bloom of marine algae that produces a potent neurotoxin which can render ocean and estuarine shellfish dangerous for human consumption. The resulting shellfish harvesting closures and consumption advisories can have significant social and economic impacts. The 2008 red tide bloom was particular severe, causing significant economic impacts to the Gulf of Maine shellfish industry. The Department of Commerce advised that disaster relief funds should be used for projects that would assess the economic and social effects of the commercial fishery failure, restore the fishery, prevent a similar failure in the future, and/or expand state and regional capacity to monitor and respond to future outbreaks in order to lessen economic impacts. Collaboration with Maine and Massachusetts on regional projects was encouraged.
In February 2009 the Department of Environmental Services, in collaboration with several state agencies and the University of New Hampshire, submitted a multi-project proposal to utilize the funds to the Department of Commerce, National Marine Fisheries Service, which approved the proposal in May 2009. Several of the approved projects involved collaboration with the states of Maine and Massachusetts, which also received Red Tide Disaster Relief funding. Click on the project titles below to view a summary of each project, as well as links to project reports and work products.
- Regional Cyst Bed Mapping Collaboration
- Regional Optimization of Cyst Bed Mapping Surveys
- Continued Buoy Support For Harmful Algal Bloom Forecasting New Hampshire
- Regional Quantitative Phytoplankton Monitoring Network
- Regional Advancement of Emerging Methods To Detect PSP Toxin
- Regional Application of An Alternative HPLC Lab Method To Detect PSP Toxin
- Regional Testing of Lobster Tomalley for PSP Toxin
- Diversifying Shellfish Aquaculture in Coastal New Hampshire
- Regional Outreach to Mitigate Economic Impacts of Red Tide Closures
The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services served as the lead agency and grantee, under federal grant number NA09NMF4520026. The grant award period was April 1, 2009 to June 30, 2013.
The purpose of this website is to communicate to interested parties how the disaster relief funds were used, and to provide access to project reports and data products so that the results of the work can be more effectively utilized throughout the region by state and federal resource and industry managers, industry members, and the research community.
Questions regarding the New Hampshire Red Tide Disaster Relief award should be directed to:
- Chris Nash, Shellfish Program Manager
NH Department of Environmental Services