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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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Algae Monitoring Protects Oregon Recreational Shellfish Gatherers–For Now

On July 6th, the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) announced the closure of recreational mussel harvesting for over 120 miles of Oregon Coast from Tillamook Head south to Heceta Head due to elevated levels of paralytic shellfish toxins (PST).  The closure includes mussels found on the […]

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Destructive hitchhikers: Tsunami debris hauls invasive species across Pacific to US shores – The Washington Post

When a floating dock the size of a boxcar washed up on a sandy beach in Oregon, beachcombers got excited because it was the largest piece of debris from last year’s tsunami in Japan to show up on the West Coast. But scientists worried it represented a whole new way for invasive species of seaweed, […]

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Research Promotes Method to Slow the Spread of Encrusting Invasive Species

Dredging channels and cleaning boat hulls or fishing gear in or near established Didemnum colonies can create fragments of these invasive organisms that survive in the water column up to four weeks, disperse long distances, and even reproduce before resettling, possibly in new areas, according to NOAA research. The article suggests that cleaning equipment on land and reducing bottom disturbance […]

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New Test Identifies Low Level Toxin Exposure to Protect Human Health

A NCCOS Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB)-funded study at the University of Washington and the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service laboratory in Seattle has developed a unique and convenient way to detect very low levels of exposure to the harmful algal toxin domoic acid in laboratory zebrafish and in wild California Sea lions. […]

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NOAA and Partner Scientists Discover Way to Detect Low-level Exposure to Seafood Toxin in marine animals

NOAA scientists and their colleagues have discovered a biological marker in the blood of laboratory zebrafish and marine mammals that shows when they have been repeatedly exposed to low levels of domoic acid, which is potentially toxic at high levels. While little is known about how low-level exposure to domoic acid affects marine animals or […]

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