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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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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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NOAA Shepherds Transition of Gulf of Maine Harmful Algal Bloom Model to Operational Forecast System

NOAA and partners are working to transition a harmful algal bloom (HAB) model for Alexandrium  fundyense in the Gulf of Maine (GoM) into a NOAA operational forecast system (OFS), which would help minimize economic losses to a $200-300 million dollar a year shellfish industry in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. A. fundyense is a dinoflagellate phytoplankton that produces […]

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The Craib Corer: Predicting Harmful Algal Blooms by Sampling the Seafloor

Forecasting harmful algal blooms is a complex endeavor involving a wide range of oceanographic disciplines. NCCOS scientists and sponsored researchers count the number of harmful algal bloom (HAB) resting stages or cysts that lie on the bottom of the ocean as one method to estimate the future occurrence of HABs. Scientists use a suite of […]

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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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