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The Craib Corer: Predicting Harmful Algal Blooms by Sampling the Seafloor

Forecasting harmful algal blooms is a complex endeavor involving a wide range of oceanographic disciplines. NCCOS scientists and sponsored researchers count the number of harmful algal bloom (HAB) resting stages or cysts that lie on the bottom of the ocean as one method to estimate the future occurrence of HABs. Scientists use a suite of […]

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Assessing Future Harmful Algal Bloom Risk for Washington State

In Puget Sound, the toxic alga Alexandrium catenella threatens the health of people who eat shellfish contaminated with toxins it produces. An NCCOS Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB) project, Puget Sound Alexandrium Harmful Algal Blooms, annually mapped “seedbeds” of Alexandrium resting stages (cysts) at about 100 locations on the bottom throughout Puget Sound. The project […]

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Common Coastal Seaweeds Release Toxins Harmful to Marine Organisms

A new study has found that compounds excreted by common coastal green seaweeds, or sea lettuce, detrimentally affect other organisms. The green seaweed Ulvaria obscura forms blooms in the intertidal and subtidal zones. During high spring tides, this seaweed strands on the shore and succumbs to drying, high levels of sunlight, and high temperatures. These […]

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Puget Sound Stakeholders See Value in HAB Forecasts

At a June 26 meeting, NCCOS-funded ECOHAB project investigators concluded that climate change could increase the window of opportunity for blooms of the toxic dinoflagellate, Alexandrium catenella to occur. In light of this information, state officials expressed strong interest in seasonal HAB forecasts, while industry and local managers requested daily to weekly forecasts. Although future climate change will […]

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Enhanced Monitoring Saved Puget Sound Net Pen Salmon Threatened by Extreme Harmful Algal Bloom

In June, the straits, bays and islands of Puget Sound experienced some of the most extensive harmful algal blooms (HABs) in recent memory, including at least five potential toxin producers. Blooms of Heterosigma akashiwo, which causes massive fish kills, were widespread and threatened the salmon net pen mariculture industry. Enhanced HAB monitoring in the area led […]

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NCCOS-funded Science in Washington State Seeks to Better Understand Linkages Between HAB Cysts, Shellfish Toxicity, and Threshold for HABs

In March, the Puget Sound Alexandrium Harmful Algal Bloom (PS-AHAB) Project (funded by The National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science‘s Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB) Program) issued the 2013 preliminary Alexandrium cyst map. This is part of PS-AHAB’s “just-in-time” information dissemination program to Puget Sound stakeholders to increase early warning capabilities for HAB events. Highest cyst […]

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