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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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NCCOS Hosts Visiting Scientists

Collaboration to Identify Ecologically Important Areas in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary NCCOS Biogeography Branch staff are working with visiting scholar Daniel Mateos-Molina, on methods to identify ecologically important areas in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Daniel is a Marie Curie fellow in a project funded by the European Commission for Monitoring Mediterranean Marine […]

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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 […]

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Measuring Parasites and Disease in U.S. Oysters and Mussels

NOAA today released its first-ever long term report of the national distribution of parasites and disease in mussels and oysters, concluding that there was no general threat to oyster and mussel population in the nation’s coastal waters at the time of the study, despite some locations along the Gulf of Mexico and West Coast with […]

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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 […]

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NCCOS Works to Track and Eliminate Freshwater Algal Toxins

A new study has documented the fate of microcystins—the most common of the freshwater blue-green algae toxins—and the challenges for monitoring them. The study is part of a larger NCCOS-sponsored project whose goal is to identify bacteria capable of degrading microcystins and to develop an affordable and efficient water filtration system to house such microorganisms. Microcystins inhibit and […]

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Alaskan Tribal Communities Trained for Testing Paralytic Shellfish Toxins

Last October, two cases of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) were confirmed  after butter clams containing PSP toxins were harvested for personal consumption from a beach near Sitka, Alaska. Elevated PSP levels have prompted the state to close most southeast Alaska commercial shellfishery areas. However, recreational and subsistence shellfishers in the region remain at risk to […]

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NCCOS Shares Toxin Detection Technology with Central and South America

Regulatory scientists from Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama and Venezuela completed two weeks of formal training for toxin detection using methodologies developed by NCCOS. The course of study focused on rapid detection of toxins responsible for paralytic shellfish poison (PSP) and ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) at the Centro de […]

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