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Origins of Harmful Alga Scourge in Pacific Northwest Confirmed

Researchers have identified the oceanographic causes and routes for the harmful alga Pseudo-nitzschia in offshore waters of the Pacific Northwest. The team’s validated model shows that toxic Pseudo-nitzschia cells arrive at the coast, not from a single source (as previously thought), but from two sources, one north and one south of Washington’s beaches. The northern source […]

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Underwater Robots Detect Toxic Algae off Southern California

Two autonomous underwater robots deployed in San Pedro Bay off southern California have detected the diatom Pseudo-nitzschia and its potent neurotoxin domoic acid. This may signal the initiation of a harmful algal bloom along the coast that could impact a variety of wildlife and fishery resources. The robots, known as Environmental Sample Processors, are essentially underwater, molecular […]

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Galveston Bay Closed to Oyster Harvesting After Scientists Detect Toxic Algal Bloom

The Texas Department of State Health Services is temporarily closing all of the Galveston Bay system to the harvesting of oysters, clams, and mussels because of elevated levels of an alga that can produce a toxin in some shellfish. NCCOS-funded scientists at Texas A&M University detected the harmful algal bloom and notified the state agency, […]

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Identifying Origin and Mechanism of Texas Red Tide

A study funded by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science has tentatively identified the source and control mechanism of red tides (Karenia brevis) along the Texas coast. The research, led by Texas A&M University, incorporates a suite of linked models (e.g., biological–physical), combined with data from drifting sensors, satellites, and an automated underwater microscope […]

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South Florida Field Radiometry to Support Cyanobacteria Bloom Detection in Lake Okeechobee

NCCOS staff recently trained several employees of the South Florida Water Management District on the collection of field radiometry for cyanobacteria algorithm development. Radiometry is the measurement of optical radiant energy. As a result of nutrient inputs to Lake Okeechobee, blooms of Anabaena, Microcystis, and other cyanobacteria commonly occur, discoloring the water, producing noxious odors, and making […]

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Supporting Virginia Sea Grant Aquaculture Work

At the Virginia Sea Grant’s Annual Symposium held in Richmond, Va. on Jan. 23, researchers from NCCOS, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, and private industry developed strategies to find and forecast harmful algal blooms to support Virginia’s growing shellfish aquaculture industry. Participants representing research, industry, and government also discussed strategies that would allow Virginia […]

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Decaying Harmful Algal Blooms Still Dangerous: New Model Predicts Toxicity to Humans

Declining (terminating) harmful algal blooms continue to pose health hazards. When some harmful algal blooms die and disappear, their toxicity continues to affect the air above the bloom-infested waters. Some dinoflagellates produce toxins—such as the brevetoxins from the Florida red tide (Karenia brevis)—that are readily aerosolized when nearshore blooms die and release their toxins into […]

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NCCOS Research in Today’s Rapidly Changing Global Environment

Two national science conferences recently highlighted NCCOS research: The theme at the 7th Symposium on Harmful Algae in the United States (Oct. 27–31, 2013; Sarasota, FL) was harmful algal blooms (HABs) in a changing world, especially a more acidic one. NCCOS HAB scientists and sponsored researchers  organized, advised,  chaired sessions, and presented some 13 oral […]

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