Blue Water off of Sandbridge

Strange color in the water causing a stir

Well Sandbridge Blue has taken on a
whole new meaning in the last few days in this area.   So now, not only is Sandbridge Blue a
leading vacation rental firm in the area – evidently it also now describes the water!

It
was reported in the local news, and has been all over the social networks over the past week.  A
strange blue glow appeared in the water just off of Sandbridge beach last week.   Pictures posted
on Facebook and other spots taken at 3 AM made it look like something out of a sci-fi movie.

Algae causing a blue glow in the Ocean

The culprit has been identified as an algae that blooms typically in late August and early September
and the tiny marine organisms known as “Alexandrium monilatum”emits a blue-green light when agitated.  The
glow is said to scare away predators or to attract sea life that would help protect them.

This image from Twitter

Just yesterday it was
reported that a team of graduate students from Old Dominion University were driving the beach collecting
specimens that caused the bioluminescence.   As it turns out the students have been studying this
organism and similar algae from the York  River, to Chesapeake Bay and the oceanfront beaches of
the area.

The glow was even in the waves as they washed up this week

Biologists
indicate that this and other algae spend most of their time dormant in ocean sediment, but when it blooms in
large numbers it can create a red-tide that can result in the death of fish and other marine life.  This
sort of glow is evidently highly unusual and there have been no reported fish kills as a result of this
light show.

This species of species of algae was noted in the York River in 2007.

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