New Jersey Algae Biodiversity Project - Save Our Water!
Invasive species are choking our waters. Help save our NJ waters for drinking and recreation by saving the native species and preserving biodiversity!
Algae are essential components of healthy freshwater environments such as lakes, rivers and reservoirs since they produce oxygen and are the basis of foodwebs. With current trends of global climate change and eutrophication, some algae are unable to handle water quality changes and are likely to become extinct. Additionally, invasive algae might outcompete and wipe out native algal species and lead to a loss of biodiversity and decline in the algae gene bank. This poses a risk to animals and humans alike since many freshwater organisms rely on these algae to survive. This project aims to preserve algae biodiversity by creating and maintaining a freshwater algae seed bank. This seed bank will serve as a storage chamber for native algae that can be used to restore algae communities in the future. Your gift will provide the critical support required to purchase this equipment to preserve New Jersey waters for drinking and recreation.
Globally, toxin-producing cyanobacteria are taking over freshwater environments leading to incidents of Harmful Algal Blooms. Ingestion of or contact with these cyanobacteria have been documented to produce mild symptoms such as headaches, diarrhea, and fever or severe symptoms such as kidney damage and liver inflammation. The toxins produced by cyanobacteria can accumulate inside the aquatic animals, in turn, and harm humans who eat them.
In recent years, cyanobacterial blooms have been gaining public attention in New Jersey due to beach closures in waters. In 2017, there were 22 confirmed cyanobacterial blooms reported by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The proposed algae seed bank will enable the restoration of native algae populations and help defend the freshwater ecosystems against invasive cyanobacteria and Harmful Algal Blooms. It will be housed at Montclair State University and managed by expert scientists in this field.
Please make a gift now to help preserve our water supply for drinking and recreation, essential for our healthful way of life in New Jersey. Your donation at any level is a step toward a healthier freshwater environment now and for generations to come.