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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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NCCOS Prepares Toxin Sensor for Gulf of Maine Red Tide Forecasting

An NCCOS technical expert completed critical calibrations of the paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxin sensor for an Environmental Sample Processor (ESP) platform stationed at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Laboratory for Ocean Sensors and Observing Systems (LOSOS). Beginning in early May, this ESP will perform autonomous, near real-time monitoring of toxins associated with cells of the red […]

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NCCOS Leads Efforts to Prioritize Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Bloom Research

In 2014 access to drinking water in Toledo, Ohio was shut down due to cyanobacterial harmful algal bloom (HAB) toxins from Lake Erie. The National Science Foundation and NOAA responded with a workshop,“Global Solutions to Regional Problems: Collecting Global Expertise to Address the Problem of Harmful Algal Blooms,” at Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH, April 13-14, […]

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New Partnerships in the Florida Keys Strengthen Early Warnings of Harmful Algal Blooms

A grant from the Ocean Reef Conservation Association (ORCA) to the Marine Resources Development Foundation enabled expansion of NOAA’s Phytoplankton Monitoring Network (PMN) monitoring sites in the Florida Keys. The Marine Resources Development Foundation has been an active volunteer group with PMN since 2012. With this ORCA grant and technical guidance from PMN, the Marine Resources […]

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