MELBOURNE, FLA.–Florida Tech has been granted $166,000 by the State of Florida to install and operate an array of moorings in the coastal waters between
Sebastian Inlet and the southern Oculina Bank.
The Oculina Bank is a Habitat of Particular Concern (HAPC) that runs north-south along Florida’s east coast from Daytona Beach to Palm Beach, situated in
about 250 feet of water. The HAPC, a critical area for fisheries recruitment and habitat, is a deep cold-water coral reef.
Florida Tech physical oceanographers will place on the sea bottom three acoustic Doppler current profilers to measure the ocean’s current velocity from the
seafloor to the surface. The scientists will feed the data into computer models to map and predict the currents off the Central East Florida Shelf.
Coastal zone managers and biological oceanographers will examine the ocean current information to understand and ultimately forecast events such as harmful
algal blooms, also known as red tides.
On the team, led by George A. Maul, Ph.D., are doctoral student Aurelie Moulin, and faculty from the Department of Marine and Environmental Systems, Gary
Zarillo, Ph.D., Kevin Johnson, Ph.D., and Steven Jachec, Ph.D.