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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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Puget Sound Harmful Algal Blooms Linked to Seasonal Patterns and Survival Probability

In order to predict blooms and prevent undue economic loss of commercial shellfish in Puget Sound, NCCOS has sponsored research investigating the seasonal patterns and mechanisms of bloom formation of Alexandrium, a dinoflagellate that contaminates shellfish and causes paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) in humans. The study shows Alexandrium survives and spreads in Puget Sound in response to […]

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Hypoxia Special Session Lead by NCCOS at 2015 Aquatic Sciences Meeting

Leading a special session on advances in hypoxia modelling, scientists from NCCOS contributed to the global mission of the 2015 Aquatic Sciences (ASLO) Meeting in Grenada, Spain which focused on global and regional patterns of aquatic systems. The hypoxia special session highlighted diverse modeling approaches to a variety of issues from the development of hypoxia […]

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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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