New Research to Improve Management of Harmful Algal Blooms in Puget Sound
NOAA has awarded $543,336 for two competitive grants to better understand and manage outbreaks of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) that threaten public health and fisheries in Puget Sound. The grants cover the first year of multi-year projects, anticipated to cost almost $1.5 million over the next three years.
New Forecast to Alert Area Officials to Toxic Alga
The goal of one project is to develop a forecasting ability to identify which areas of Puget Sound are at risk of experiencing blooms of the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella, which produces potent neurotoxins that accumulate in shellfish. Paralytic shellfish poisoning, a potentially fatal illness contracted by humans when they consume shellfish contaminated by the toxins, frequently forces harvesting closures of productive shellfisheries in Puget Sound.
Similar to an annual hurricane season prediction, this forecast will provide seasonal predictions of the severity and location of toxic blooms