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Follow EPA’s Ocean Research Vessel Tweet its Way up the New England Coast

Release Date: 07/30/2009
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. - July 30, 2009) – Are you getting bored with the dreary weather New England is experiencing this summer? Are the kids suffering from cabin fever? Maybe you’re looking for a cool activity to keep youngsters interested in learning during the summer break?

EPA is launching several great ways kids can learn about life aboard an ocean research ship, its scientific capabilities and the work being done by scientists to protect New England’s coastal waters.

Beginning today and continuing for a week, you can follow scientists from EPA’s New England office onboard EPA’s Ocean Survey Vessel, the
Bold. From July 30 to August 6, EPA staff will post information onto a daily web-based logbook for kids of all ages. We also will provide frequent updates via Twitter. Logging in to our new web site, you can follow all of this and more. Plus, kids (anyone, really) will have the chance to participate in a live, real-time conversation with EPA scientists on the Bold.

As the
Bold works in New England waters, special focus will be on Massachusetts Bay, southern Maine and Penobscot Bay, and will be including areas where rivers discharge into bays and the ocean, and major sewer outfalls.

EPA’s New England office is working to collect over 200 water samples from Boston Harbor to Penobscot Bay in midcoast Maine to monitor the presence and trends of coastal nutrients. This survey is the beginning of a multiyear trend monitoring program that will provide the data vital to understanding the health of northern New England's coastline. The presence of nutrients in the ocean is both natural and man made, but in either case, an overburden can have serious implications for the health of the marine environment.

By sampling approximately 50 stations along the coast, EPA can provide the data necessary to develop coastal nutrient criteria, and determine if a nutrient gradient can be established from the observed trends in the presence of nutrients from land sources such as sewerage outfalls. The nutrients we will track include total nitrogen, total phosphorus, and chlorophyll-a. Part of this survey will also be assisting in the development of estuarine nutrient criteria for the state of Maine.

Daily blogging and "live tweeting" will take place as long as internet signals off the coast will allow. So join us online and learn first-hand if any surprises surface!

Follow EPA:

-
Main web page to follow the Bold (www.epa.gov/ne/boldkids)

- Follow the
Captain’s scientific log (www.epa.gov/ne/boldkids/captainslog.html)

- Follow our
tweets from the Bold (http://twitter.com/epalive)

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