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Alaska to Use NCCOS Designed Phytoplankton Monitoring for Proactive Response to Red Tide Events

Twenty-one cases of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) were confirmed during a spring 2011 red tide event along the coast of Alaska. The number of cases could have easily been much higher. Shellfish farmers and harvesters volunteering as phytoplankton monitors identified the harmful algal species Alexandrium during their bi-weekly plankton net tow and sample analysis. Their […]

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Alaska Toxic Algae Event Endangers Public Health

In Alaska, scientists supported by NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science are monitoring a massive and unusual outbreak of the toxic alga Alexandrium and its related potent toxin that can accumulate in shellfish. When toxic shellfish are consumed they can cause a severe and sometimes deadly human illness called paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). To […]

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Early Warning of Texas HAB Protects Public Health

NCCOS-funded researchers and the NCCOS-sponsored Phytoplankton Monitoring Network (PMN) detected increasing numbers of Dinophysis, a toxic dinoflagellate, in Texas coastal waters, prompting the Department of State Health Services to temporarily close many areas to shellfish harvesting. Dinophysis produces a suite of toxins that accumulate in shellfish and cause severe gastric distress (Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning or […]

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New iPhone App Assists Identification of Harmful Algal Species

A volunteer from the NOAA Phytoplankton Monitoring Network’s Texas Master Naturalist group, in collaboration with National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) scientists, developed an iPhone application to assist marine phytoplankton and harmful algae identification.  This “app” includes images from an NCCOS gallery of common phytoplankton and recordings of a staff scientist’s pronunciation of each […]

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Volunteer Monitoring Network Identification of Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Provides Validation Support to HAB Forecasting to Alert Coastal Managers

On September 6, a multi-species algal bloom of Pseudo-nitzschia was simultaneously observed by satellite imagery and Southeast Phytoplankton Monitoring Network (SEPMN) students of Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, Two centers from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) collaborated to positively identify Pseudo-nitzschia species in samples and use imagery to show the bloom developed […]

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The Science of the NOAA Marine Biotoxins Program’s “ART”

The National Centers for Coastal and Ocean Science (NCCOS) “ART” program has been working out of the Charleston, S.C., based NOAA Marine Biotoxins Program for more than a decade. The ART team, under the supervision of John Ramsdell, uses highly sophisticated instruments and techniques to provide timely analytical support on unusual mortality events and human […]

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South Carolina Phytoplankton Monitoring Network: A Working Example of Coastal Stewardship

Phytoplankton, the tiny, floating plants that live in both freshwater and marine environments, can multiply into dense concentrations or blooms. A number of these species produce toxins that cause a variety of human diseases through inhaling toxins that might be in aerosol form along beaches or in consuming bivalve shellfish or some fish species which […]

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