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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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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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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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What Powers Florida Red Tides?

The results of a long-term research project, sponsored by NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, focused on the Gulf of Mexico red tide are featured in a special issue of the scientific journal Harmful Algae. History records blooms of the harmful Florida red tide (caused by the microalgal dinoflagellate Karenia brevis) occurring centuries before Florida’s mid-late […]

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How Climate Change Could Impact Harmful Algal Blooms

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are projected to increase as sea surface temperatures rise and ocean acidification continues according to Dr. Alan Lewitus, of NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science. His findings were shared during a symposium at George Mason University in October which covered such topics as climate change and extreme weather effects on […]

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NCCOS Leads International Effort to Reduce Ciguatera Fish Poisoning

To reduce incidence of Ciguatera Fish Poisoning (CFP) and increase safety of seafood consumption around the world, scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) are leading international efforts to develop a global strategy to improve Ciguatera Fish Poisoning (CFP) monitoring and prediction. The strategy, endorsed by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, was one of […]

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Automated Sensor Provides Texas with Early Warning of Red Tide

Last week, an NCCOS-funded sensor installed on a Port Aransas pier alerted Texas agencies to rising concentrations of Karenia brevis, the marine dinoflagellate that causes red tides. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Texas Department of State Health Services, and other interested managers received a two-week early warning that a red tide bloom was […]

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Tenacity of Brown Tides Linked to Genetic Flexibility

The genetic flexibility of Aureococcus anophagefferens, the harmful alga responsible for “brown tides” off Long Island, allows it to thrive in conditions other algae cannot tolerate. NCCOS-sponsored scientists assessed this alga’s response to environmental stressors, such as low nutrients and low light, by looking at pieces of its RNA, which tell Aureococcus which proteins to […]

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