You are here: Home / News /

News and Features by Region Washington Archives - News and Features

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 […]

Continue reading

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 […]

Continue reading

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 […]

Continue reading

Scientists, Partners and the Public Prioritize Marine Resources of Washington’s Olympic Coast

In preparation for future management and research investments, scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries are collecting information from regional stakeholders and members of the public regarding Washington’s Olympic Coast.  Objectives are to assess the social value of coastal and marine resources, and to determine regional […]

Continue reading

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 […]

Continue reading

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 […]

Continue reading

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 […]

Continue reading

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 […]

Continue reading