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Upwelling Controls HAB Movement toward Pacific NW Coast

Models developed by NCCOS-sponsored researchers will predict the transport of harmful algal blooms (HABs) to coastal beaches or offshore from two locations off of Washington and Oregon, based on the influence of the Columbia River Plume and seasonal upwelling (displacement of surface water by cool, nutrient rich, deep water). A recent study determined that upwelling plays […]

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Primary Cause of Dead Zones is Biological on Pacific Northwest Continental Shelves

Coastal waters of the northern portion of the California Current System experience a seasonal decline in oxygen concentrations and increasing hypoxia (dead zones) over the summer upwelling season resulting in negative impacts to many organisms. NCCOS-sponsored research modelling determined that plankton respiration was the leading influence on seasonal and interannual fluctuations in oxygen concentration and hypoxia in the […]

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NOAA and Partners Demonstrate Value of HAB Early Warning in Oregon

Early Warning of Oregon HAB Events In July 2010, NOAA and Oregon partners forecasted rising algae cell and toxin levels nearshore, providing state officials advance warning of a coast-wide harmful algal bloom (HAB) event and prompting proactive shellfish testing. The prediction was verified when further testing revealed that levels of the HAB toxin domoic acid […]

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Origins of Harmful Alga Scourge in Pacific Northwest Confirmed

Researchers have identified the oceanographic causes and routes for the harmful alga Pseudo-nitzschia in offshore waters of the Pacific Northwest. The team’s validated model shows that toxic Pseudo-nitzschia cells arrive at the coast, not from a single source (as previously thought), but from two sources, one north and one south of Washington’s beaches. The northern source […]

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NCCOS HAB Partner Honored by White House

On June 25, NCCOS HAB Program partner Dr. Julia K. Parrish was honored as a Champion of Change by the White House.  Dr. Parrish is the founder and executive director of the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST), a group that organizes coastal residents to monitor beach-cast seabird carcasses in California, Oregon, Washington and […]

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West Coast Harmful Algal Bloom Observing System Design Paper Published

A recently published research paper describes the minimum requirements for an effective harmful algal bloom (HAB) observing system for the U.S. west coast to mitigate HAB impacts.  HAB observing systems provide early warning and forecasting of HAB events to guide decisions to close shellfish harvesting to protect human health, avoid mortality of protected species, and encourage aquaculture […]

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Extreme Weather: A Mixed Bag for Dead Zones | WRI Insights

This post was co-authored with Bob Diaz, a WRI partner and professor at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. This year’s extreme weather events—a warm winter, even warmer summer, and a drought that covered nearly two-thirds of the continental United States—has certainly caused its fair share of damages. But despite the crop failures, water shortages, […]

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Research Paper Documents History, Impacts of West Coast Harmful Algae Species

A recent research paper presents the state-of-knowledge on harmful algae along the west coast of North America. Along the Pacific coast of North America, from Alaska to Mexico, harmful algal blooms (HABs) are responsible for losses to natural resources and coastal economies, and have sickened and killed humans and animals for decades. Recent reports indicate […]

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