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Home > BART > Latest Bay Conditions


 
BAY ASSESSMENT & RESPONSE TEAM - BART

Bay Line: 222-8888
(June - October)

Bay Water Quality Report

BART Weekly Report: 8/2/14-8/8/14
Surface water temperatures warmed only slightly this week (72-77° F). There were no elevated chlorophyll levels this week throughout the Bay (<20 µg/L). As of 8/3/14, dissolved oxygen levels decreased throughout the Upper Bay. Hypoxia is still being observed from the Seekonk River to north of Prudence Island, including Greenwich Bay and Mount Hope Bay (<3 mg/L). The most severe low oxygen is in the Seekonk River and western Greenwich Bay (<1 mg/L). The low oxygen conditions in the Seekonk River and western Greenwich Bay persist intermittently throughout the whole water column (6-20+ hours per day). These conditions have the potential for fish kills, as documented in the Seekonk this week.

On 8/6/14, officials from RIDEM and Save the Bay reported a moderate fish kill of adult menhaden in the Seekonk River, near Bucklin State Pier in Pawtucket (200-250 dead and dying fish). Officials have linked this fish kill to low oxygen conditions observed at the site and at a nearby water quality monitoring station. This on-going hypoxic event and fish kill will be monitored closely through another upper bay-wide spatial survey scheduled for next week.

BART Weekly Report: 7/26/14-8/1/14
Overall, the Bay is well mixed. Surface water temperatures cooled slightly this week (72-76° F). As of 7/29/14, chlorophyll levels have declined all over the Bay (<20 µg/L). As of 7/29, only intermittent hypoxic conditions are being documented in Greenwich Bay and in the Providence River (>3 mg/L). Another spatial survey will be conducted next week to further examine water quality conditions throughout upper Narragansett Bay.

BART Weekly Report: 7/19/14-7/25/14
Surface water temperatures are about the same on average again this week (72-77° F). As of 7/18/14, elevated chlorophyll levels are being documented from the Providence River to Quonset Point, including embayments (Greenwich Bay and Mount Hope Bay) (15-50 µg/L). The spatial survey conducted this week showed minimal low oxygen. Hypoxic conditions were observed in the Providence River, Greenwich Bay, and the ship channel in Mount Hope Bay (>3 mg/L). These events will be monitored closely.

BART Weekly Report: 7/12/14-7/18/14
There was a large rain event from 7/14/14-7/16/14 delivering several inches of rain throughout the Narragansett Bay watershed. As of 7/17/14, waters remain well mixed from north of Prudence Island southward. This is expected to change in the coming week, as the storm water runoff makes its way to the Bay. The Providence River, Mt. Hope Bay, and Greenwich Bay are already showing signs of the runoff through large salinity differences between the surface and bottom waters. Surface water temperatures are about the same this week (70-77° F). The Providence River, Mt. Hope Bay. Mt. View area, and Greenwich Bay are showing slightly elevated chlorophyll levels since the storm (<30 µg/L). Another spatial survey will be conducted next week to further examine the effects of this week's storm event on water quality throughout Upper Narragansett Bay.

Large numbers of comb jellies (ctenophore) and larval porcelain crabs (Polyonyx gibbesi) have been observed in the lower Providence River to Conimicut Point. Banded rudderfish were also observed north of Prudence Island.

BART Weekly Report: 7/4/14-7/11/14
Overall, waters are well mixed throughout the Bay. Surface water temperatures continue to increase this week to 70-77° F. The Providence River continue to report slightly elevated chlorophyll levels (<30 µg/L). A spatial survey was conducted this week by Brown University, Save the Bay, and URI's Graduate School of Oceanography. The survey revealed only low oxygen levels in western Greenwich Bay, including Greenwich and Apponaug Coves. Conditions in these areas were at critical levels (<3 mg/L) with the coves reporting the lowest readings of <2 mg/L. All other parameters throughout the Bay are recording normal conditions for this time of year.

BART Weekly Report: 6/28/14-7/3/14
Surface water temperatures continue to increase this week to 70-74° F. Overall, waters are well mixed throughout the Bay. The Providence River is reporting slightly elevated chlorophyll levels (<30 µg/L). Oxygen levels in Greenwich Bay and the Providence River remain above critical levels on average (>3 mg/L). All other parameters throughout the Bay are recording normal conditions for this time of year.

BART Weekly Report: 6/21/14-6/27/14
Surface water temperatures continue to increase this week to 68-73° F. Western Greenwich Bay and the Providence River are reporting slightly elevated chlorophyll levels (<30 µg/L). Oxygen levels in Greenwich Bay and the Providence River have declined this week, but presently remain above critical levels on average (>3 mg/L). All other parameters throughout the Bay are recording normal conditions for this time of year.

BART Weekly Report: 6/14/14-6/20/14
Surface water temperatures continue to increase this week to 65-68° F. As of 6/19/14, the bloom in western Greenwich Bay started to subside, reporting only slightly elevated chlorophyll levels (<30 µg/L). Oxygen levels in Greenwich Bay have declined this week, but presently remain above critical levels on average (>3 mg/L). All other parameters throughout the Bay are recording normal conditions for this time of year.

BART Weekly Report: 6/7/14-6/13/14
Surface water temperatures have increased this week to 63-65° F. The Providence River and Greenwich Bay stations reported elevated chlorophyll levels (>25 µg/L) throughout the week. From 6/5/14- 6/13/14, the Greenwich Bay station (F5), an area closed to shellfishing, reported a bloom with high concentrations of Dinophysis acuminata and Heterosigma akashiwo (>3000 cells per mL). Heterosigma akashiwo is known to be a red tide species. The bloom appeared to be contained to the marina. A large number of moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) continue to be observed throughout Greenwich Bay. These conditions will be monitored closely. All other parameters throughout the Bay are recording normal conditions for this time of year.

BART Weekly Report: 5/31/14-6/6/14
Surface water temperatures have increased this week to 60-62° F. All parameters are within normal ranges for this time of year.

BART Weekly Report: 5/24/14-5/30/14
All stations were deployed as of 5/22/14 for the 2014 season. Surface water temperatures are about 55-59° F. Temperatures are slightly cooler compared to last year at this time. All parameters are with in normal ranges for this time of year. Large numbers of jellyfish (mostly, Aurelia aurita, moon jelly) have been observed throughout the bay.

BART Weekly Report: 9/21/13-9/27/13
Water temperatures continued to cool this week throughout the Bay (64-67° F). All critical stations are reporting normal conditions for this time of year. Oxygen levels are above 3 mg/L at all stations.

BART Weekly Report: 9/14/13-9/20/13
Water temperatures continued to cool this week throughout the Bay (65-69° F). All critical stations are reporting normal oxygen levels (>3 mg/L). Chlorophyll levels are presently not elevated (5-25 µg/L). Water clarity is about 2 meters throughout the Upper and Mid-Bay areas. All of these conditions are typical of this time of year.

BART Weekly Report: 9/7/13-9/13/13
Water temperatures cooled this week throughout the Bay (68-72° F). As of 9/7/13, the Providence River and western Greenwich Bay were recording normal oxygen levels (>3 mg/L). Chlorophyll levels are no longer elevated at most stations this week (5-25 µg/L).

BART Weekly Report: 8/31/13-9/6/13
Water temperatures are about the same this week throughout the Bay (72-75° F). The Providence River and western Greenwich Bay stations are still reporting intermittent low oxygen to persistent low oxygen, respectively (<3 mg/L). As of 9/5/13, chlorophyll levels are elevated at most stations (5-45 µg/L). These events will be monitored closely.

Other observations this week include swarms of larval procellanid crabs in the surface waters from Mount Hope Bay to the mid-bay area of Narragansett Bay, and large numbers of ctenophores (comb jellies) in the lower bay.

BART Weekly Report: 8/24/13-8/30/13
Water temperatures have cooled slightly this week throughout the Bay (72-75° F). As of 8/27/13, the Providence River and western Greenwich Bay stations are reporting intermittent low oxygen to persistent low oxygen, respectively (<3 mg/L). Based on a spatial survey conducted this week, the Seekonk River and the coves in Greenwich Bay are showing the worst conditions with oxygen levels (<2 mg/L). Chlorophyll levels are only elevated in the Seekonk River area at this time (20-45 µg/L). These events will be monitored closely.

BART Weekly Report: 8/17/13-8/23/13
Water temperatures have stayed about the same this week throughout the Bay (75-77° F). As of 8/18/13, oxygen levels have improved at the western Greenwich Bay and Providence River stations (>3 mg/L). Chlorophyll levels are not elevated at this time (<20 µg/L).

BART Weekly Report: 8/10/13-8/16/13
Water temperatures have stayed about the same this week throughout the Bay (75-77° F). As of 8/13/13, western Greenwich Bay and the Providence River stations have been reporting intermittent low oxygen (<3 mg/L). Chlorophyll levels are not elevated at this time (<20 µg/L). This event will be monitored closely.

BART Weekly Report: 8/3/13-8/9/13
Water temperatures cooled slightly this week throughout the Bay (75-78° F). As of 8/4/13, all bay stations are reporting normal oxygen conditions for this time of year (>3 mg/L). Chlorophyll levels are not elevated at this time (<20 µg/L).

BART Weekly Report: 7/27/13-8/2/13
Water temperatures have stayed about the same this week throughout the Bay (76-81° F). A spatial survey conducted this week observed low oxygen in the coves and western portion of Greenwich Bay (<2 mg/L). The Seekonk and Providence Rivers are also documenting intermittent low oxygen (<3 mg/L). These areas will continue to be monitored closely.

BART Weekly Report: 7/20/13-7/26/13
Water temperatures began to stabilize and even decline in some areas of the Bay with the cool front that came through this week (76-80° F). On 7/22/13, the bay waters started to become well mixed caused by tidal mixing and increased winds. As a result, the widespread low oxygen event that began on 6/30/13 has dissipated. Oxygen levels have recovered at most stations (>3 mg/L). Greenwich Bay is still experiencing some intermittent low oxygen (2-3mg/L). Chlorophyll levels declined at most stations returning to normal conditions for this time of year (5-20 µg/L).

BART Weekly Report: 7/13/13-7/19/13
With the heat wave this week, surface water temperatures continue to rise throughout the Bay (74-82° F). Chlorophyll levels remain elevated at all Upper Bay stations (10-40 µg/L). The widespread low oxygen event that began on 6/30/13 persists. A spatial survey conducted this week documented the extent of this event. The sections of the Bay affected by this hypoxic event are the Providence River and the Upper Bay, Upper East and West Passage to the Quonset Point area, including Greenwich Bay and Mount Hope Bay (<3 mg/L). Anoxic conditions in the bottom waters and cove areas of Greenwich Bay continue to be reported (<1 mg/L). These events will continue to be monitored closely.

BART Weekly Report: 7/6/13-7/12/13
Surface water temperatures have continued to warm this week about 2 degrees throughout the Bay (73-80° F). Mount Hope Bay reported several readings over 80 degrees from 7/6/13-7/8/13. As of 7/7/13, chlorophyll levels have increased at all Upper Bay stations, including stations in the Providence and Palmer Rivers (10-40 µg/L). The widespread low oxygen event that began on 6/30/13 continued this week. The sections of the Bay affected by this hypoxic event are the Providence River, Upper Bay, Upper East and West Passage to the Quonset Point area, including Greenwich Bay and Mount Hope Bay (<3 mg/L). Anoxic conditions persist in the bottom waters of Greenwich Bay (<1 mg/L). These events will continue to be monitored closely.

BART Weekly Report: 6/29/13-7/5/13
Surface water temperatures have continued to warm this week throughout the Bay (71-77° F). As of 6/30/13, a widespread low oxygen event has been occurring throughout the Providence River, Upper Bay, Greenwich Bay and Mount Hope Bay (<3 mg/L). A spatial survey conducted mid-week reported near anoxic (no oxygen) conditions in the bottom waters and coves of Greenwich Bay (<1 mg/L). This event will continue to be monitored closely.

BART Weekly Report: 6/22/13-6/28/13
Surface water temperatures have continued to warm this week throughout the Bay (68- 72° F). Salinity levels have recovered to normal conditions for this time of year. Mount Hope Bay is reporting normal conditions for dissolved oxygen, as of 6/26/13. Intermittent low oxygen persists in Greenwich Bay this week (<3 mg/L). Greenwich Bay is documenting elevated chlorophyll levels (20-50 µg/L). Large numbers of jellyfish (primarily moon jellyfish) are also being reported from Greenwich Bay. These events will continue to be monitored.

BART Weekly Report: 6/15/13-6/21/13
Surface water temperatures have increased this week throughout the Bay (66-70° F). Surface salinity levels in the upper Bay remain lower than normal (15-25 ppt). Chlorophyll levels are elevated at most locations (5-40 µg/L). Dissolved oxygen levels have declined or stayed the same for most stations. Greenwich Bay and Mount Hope Bay continue to report critical DO levels (<2.9 mg/L). These events will be closely monitored.

BART Weekly Report: 6/8/13-6/14/13
Surface water temperatures have stayed about the same this week throughout the Bay (65-68° F). With all the rain this week (2+ inches), surface salinity levels in the upper Bay are lower than normal (10-25 ppt). Chlorophyll levels have begun to decline as of 6/9/13, but still remain elevated at most locations (5-20 µg/L). Dissolved oxygen levels have also declined this week for most stations. As of 6/12/13, areas in Greenwich Bay and Mount Hope Bay are reporting critical DO levels (<2.9 mg/L). These events will be closely monitored.

BART Weekly Report: 6/1/13-6/7/13
Surface water temperatures have increased this week throughout the Bay (64-68° F). Chlorophyll levels are elevated at most stations (5-25 µg/L) as of 6/3/13. All other water quality conditions are normal for this time of year.

Fixed-Site Monitoring Stations and Data.

Live Chinese Mitten Crabs (Eriocheir sinensis) have been caught in crab pots in Chesapeake Bay (2005-2007) and Delaware Bay (May 2007) and most recently, the Hudson River in New York near the Tappan Zee bridge (June 2007). These are the first confirmed reports for the eastern United States.

The Chinese Mitten Crab (Mitten Crab Alert Brochure) is native to East Asia, and is a potential invasive that could have negative ecological impacts. The crab is listed as Injurious Wildlife under the Federal Lacey Act, which makes it illegal in the United States to import, export, or conduct interstate commerce of Mitten Crabs without a permit.

The Chinese Mitten Crab occurs in both freshwater and salt water. It is catadromous, migrating from freshwater rivers and tributaries to reproduce in salt water. Young crabs spend two to five years in freshwater tributaries and can extend miles upstream of bays and estuaries. Mature male and female crabs migrate downstream to mate and spawn in saltwater estuaries. Chinese Mitten Crabs burrow into banks and levees along estuaries and are able to leave the water to walk around obstacles while migrating.

Please Report any New Sightings.

To determine the status, abundance, and distribution of this species along the eastern U.S., a Mitten Crab Network has been established for the East Coast. Please help by reporting any mitten crabs directly to to your state resource contacts (see pdf link) and/or to the Network.

Identification characteristics:
  • Only crab in fresh waters of North America
  • Claws equal in size with white tips and hair
  • If you find a crab without hair on the claws, it is NOT likely to be a Mitten Crab
  • Carapace up to 4 inches wide; light brown to olive green in color
  • No swimming legs. This crab has eight sharp-tipped walking legs
If you catch a mitten crab:
  • Do not throw it back alive!
  • Freeze the animal, keep it on ice, or preserve it in rubbing alcohol as a last resort
  • Note the precise location and date where the animal was found
  • Please take a close up photo of the animal. Photos can be emailed to SERCMittenCrab@si.edu for preliminary identification. Include your contact information with the photo.
  • If you cannot take a photo contact the Mitten Crab Hotline (443-482-2222)
Rhode Island contacts for sightings of the crab:

Kevin R. Cute, Marine Resources Specialist
Coastal Resources Management Council
Stedman Government Center
4808 Tower Hill Road
Wakefield, Rhode Island 02879
Phone: 401-783-3370
Fax: 401-783-3767
Email: kcute@crmc.ri.gov

Chris Deacutis, Chief Scientist
Narragansett Bay Estuary Program
URI Bay Campus 02882
Phone: 401-874-6217
Fax: 401-874-6869
Email: deacutis@gso.uri.edu

David Gregg, Executive Director
RI Natural History Survey
PO Box 1858
Kingston, Rhode Island 02881
Phone: 401-874-5800
Fax: 401-874-5868
Email: dgregg@rinhs.org

Bay Line and BART are administered by:

The Office of the Director
RI DEM Headquarters
The Foundry, 4th Floor
235 Promenade Street
Providence, RI 02908-5767
Phone: 222-2771

For General Information 222-6800 • After Hours Emergencies 222-3070 • Disclaimer
rev. 8/8/14