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Scientists Discover ‘Hot Spot’ for Toxic Harmful Algal Blooms Off Washington Coast

A new study funded by NOAA and the National Science Foundation reveals that a part of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which separates Washington state from Canada’s British Columbia, is a potential “hot spot” for toxic harmful algal blooms affecting the Washington and British Columbia coasts. Understanding where and how these blooms originate and move is critical for accurate forecasts that could provide early warning to protect human and ecosystem health, according to NOAA scientists.

Scientists concluded that under certain conditions, toxic algal cells from this offshore “initiation site” break off and are transported to nearshore areas, where they can trigger blooms that can ultimately force the closure of Washington state shellfish beds on beaches.

via Scientists Discover ‘Hot Spot’ for Toxic Harmful Algal Blooms Off Washington Coast.

Related NCCOS Center(s):
Shorter web link for sharing: http://coastalscience.noaa.gov/news/?p=7605

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