Posted by K.Bylsma 8/08/13 pm

We were just interviewing Sue Murasko, the chemist from our C-IMAGE Weatherbird II cruise ( She is technically employed at another agency, Florida Wildlife Agency, but these cruises are her passion as well). Whenever we are filtering, she loves to run the chlorophyll tests . To her, these represent the true health of the aquatic plant life. While we filter the samples and catch types of chlorophyll onto the filters, she is actually using her lab tools to determine the types of algae that produce .

Sue routinely checked the monitoring device that USGS was using on their surface water samples ( remember that USGS is currently measuring the pH/ salinity of surface water to follow ocean acidification – Bo is tracking acidification throughout the layers of the Gulf)

After she checks for salinity and pH, then she matches that information to what she learns from her fluorometer  while ”thinking out loud” about the data. Now that we’re three years out from the actual 2010 spill, what have we learned from “ this piece of the puzzle?” We know that near the DSH 09, there was more visible change to the waters, a pea-green discoloration, but according to the data, the chlorophyll count is not high, but the discrepancy seems to be with the types of algae blooming. We had just been discussing the “ big picture” and this chemistry piece leads to more questions, further studies.

Remember Kermit the Frog…. ” It’s great being green”- He had nothing on chlorophyll !!

Marine organisms  ( This is a reference sheet for marine organisms that you might find helpful)