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NOAA “Science to Management” Project Trains Stakeholders in Coral Reef Forensics

NCCOS supported researchers led a May 2015 training event wherein local community members learned to use coral reef “forensics” on reef plants and animals. This activity identified and provided early warning of coral reef stress, death and decay causes. The event, hosted by the citizen conservation group Maui Nui Marine Resource Council on the Hawaiian […]

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NOAA, partners predict an average ‘dead zone’ for Gulf of Mexico

Outlook incorporates multiple hypoxia models for first time Scientists are expecting that this year’s Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone, also called the “dead zone,” will be approximately 5,483 square miles or about the size of Connecticut–the same as it has averaged over the last several years. The dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico affects […]

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Association of Marine Lab Conference Features Caribbean Ciguatera Research

To raise awareness about a resurgence of Ciguatera Fish Poisoning (CFP) in the Caribbean and the current state of ciguatera research, NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) led a special session on ciguatera at the Association of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean 37th Scientific Conference in Willemstad, Curaçao, during the week of May […]

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New Indicator for Gulf of Mexico Toxic Alga Shows Promise

NCCOS-sponsored scientists have discovered a simple indicator to predict one type of harmful algal species bloom or outbreak. The first potentially reliable biological indicator for forecasting a harmful algal bloom of the toxic dinoflagellate species Dinophysis ovum in the Gulf of Mexico is the presence of a primary food source, a small ciliate protozoan. The […]

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Oceanic Continental Margin Dead Zones Emerge as Threats to Coastal Waters

Declines in oxygen levels of coastal waters have accelerated in recent decades creating “dead zones” not only in more publicized nearshore areas but in open ocean offshore regions of the continental shelves and slopes. Once treated as separate phenomena and distinct fields of study, scientists now see offshore and coastal hypoxia as interconnected, resulting in […]

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Sensor Provides Early Warning of Toxic Algal Bloom in Offshore Waters of Monterey Bay

NCCOS-developed domoic acid sensors on board two Environmental Sample Processors (ESPs) deployed in Monterey Bay, California have provided early warning of a toxic Pseudo-nitzschia algal bloom. Only a week into the deployment that began in early May, particulate domoic acid levels exceeded 30 micrograms per liter of seawater, which was consistent with the ESPs also detecting very high concentrations […]

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Model Allows Scallop Industry to Plan for Impacts of Climate Change

NCCOS-sponsored researchers have developed a user-friendly computer program to help manage the U.S. commercial Atlantic sea scallop fishery, which is threatened by progressively higher temperatures and ocean acidification. The Integrated Assessment Model (IAM) concurrently simulates ocean conditions related to temperature and ocean acidification, sea scallop population dynamics, and economic impacts on the scallop fishery. In the […]

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Harmful Algal Cyst Mapping in Washington Shows 10-fold Increase since 2013

An unprecedented bloom of the harmful alga Alexandrium occurred during Fall 2014 in Quilcene Bay, Hood Canal, Puget Sound, WA; the outbreak contaminated shellfish with potent biotoxins that can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning. The area of the bloom was historically biotoxin free, but at the peak of the event, the Washington State Department of Health detected toxin […]

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