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Volunteers can help monitor health of our waters | Noo-Kayet, Our Village – Kingston Community News

The Mussel Watch Program is a nation-wide water-quality monitoring program run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Since 1986, it has been crucial in helping scientists and the public learn about the presence and extent of toxic contaminants in the nation’s oceans and bays. In Washington, monitoring of Puget Sound is administered by […]

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Fish-Killing Algae Species Evades Predators to Survive and Bloom

A recently published study into how Heterosigma rapidly forms blooms discovered a remarkable behavior: they flee. This fish-killing species of microscopic plant swims away when it senses single-celled predators are feeding on others nearby. In response, they take “shelter” in low salinity water layers which the predators find intolerable. The investigators said they had never seen a plant swim […]

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NOAA announces grants to predict ocean acidification’s effects on commercial fisheries

As scientists continue to research ways in which the oceans are changing – and what these changes mean for fish populations, three new research projects will receive funding to examine the effects of ocean acidification on fisheries, and the coastal economies that depend upon them. Ocean acidification occurs when the ocean absorbs carbon dioxide from […]

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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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New Algal Threat to Puget Shellfish Eaters Draws Event Response Funding

The National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science provided funds so that the state of Washington’s Department of Health, the NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center HAB Program, and the  SoundToxins partnership can analyze diarretic shellfish poisoning (DSP) toxins in shellfish and monitor for Dinophysis, the dinoflagellate that produces the toxins. In 2011 three people became ill with DSP […]

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Toxic Algae Not New to Puget Sound, Favor Rising Temperatures

University and NOAA investigators have found seed-like cysts of the toxic alga Alexandrium at all depths in a sediment core taken from Sequim Bay in Puget Sound. The depths in which they found the seeds indicate Alexandrium dates back to the late 1800’s. Correlations between cyst abundance, sea surface temperature, air temperature, and, for a shorter […]

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Puget Sound Toxic Algae Forecast Moves Closer to Reality

On May 31, investigators funded by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science released the second annual map of Alexandrium catenella cysts in bottom sediments throughout Puget Sound in the state of Washington. They found that the highest cyst concentrations at Bellingham Bay in the north and Quartermaster Harbor in the south, similar to 2011. This year’s cyst abundance in the […]

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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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