Background and History of the Laboratory
MERL was established in 1976 with funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In recent years, funding sources have diversified to include other federal and private agencies. The facility serves as a support laboratory and operations center for large experimental ecosystems. Fourteen cylindrical enclosures, 1.8 m in diameter and 5.5 m in depth, are arranged along an access deck outside and adjacent to the building. The facility has laboratories for biology, radio-tracer studies, and nutrient chemistry.
Over the last two decades numerous experiments have been conducted at MERL. Long-term experiments, often of a duration greater than one year, have been conducted to observe ecosystems under the influence of hydrocarbon, enhanced nutrients, different nutrient ratios, sewage sludge and effluent, polluted sediments, salinity gradients and stratification. Many short-term experiments have been conducted to observe the behavior of several individual hydrocarbons, trace metals and animal species, such as larval fish.
For more information, contact:
Dr. Candace A. Oviatt, Professor of Oceanography
MERL Room 4, Box 9, 11 Aquarium Road, Narragansett, RI
Page Updated: July 9, 2015
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