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Enhanced Monitoring Saved Puget Sound Net Pen Salmon Threatened by Extreme Harmful Algal Bloom

In June, the straits, bays and islands of Puget Sound experienced some of the most extensive harmful algal blooms (HABs) in recent memory, including at least five potential toxin producers. Blooms of Heterosigma akashiwo, which causes massive fish kills, were widespread and threatened the salmon net pen mariculture industry. Enhanced HAB monitoring in the area led […]

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Congress Reauthorizes National Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Legislation

On June 17, 2014, Congress passed a reauthorization of the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act (HABHRCA)—legislation last reauthorized in 2004. HABHRCA is critical for protecting the public from these environmental events, as well as furthering NOAA’s goals to maintain healthy oceans and build resilient coastal communities and economies. In a roll call […]

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Webinar Highlights Citizen Science to Kick-off EPA’s 2014 HAB Awareness Campaign

NCCOS’s Steve Morton and staff from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation recently led an EPA webinar on harmful algal blooms (HABs) that explored volunteer monitoring opportunities open to the public. Four hundred and twenty participants from academia, industry, and government learned more about NOAA’s Phytoplankton Monitoring Network, which uses volunteers to monitor for […]

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High-tech Armada Links Toxic Algal Blooms and Nutrients from Sewage off Southern California

Last month, NCCOS-funded scientists deployed two Environmental Sample Processors, two research vessels, five autonomous underwater vehicles, and five drifters in the ocean around San Pedro Bay, off Southern California, seeking signs of harmful algal blooms (HABs). Not long after deployment, this high-tech armada detected a large phytoplankton bloom that included the diatom Pseudo-nitzschia and its […]

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Gulf of Maine Red Tide Forecast Suggests Modest Bloom: Robotic Sensors Deployed to Confirm and Improve Future Predictions

A team of NOAA and academic researchers led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has issued a seasonal red tide forecast for the Gulf of Maine as part of a pilot program that expands NOAA harmful algal bloom (HAB) forecasting to this region. The forecast suggests a modest bloom for the upcoming 2014 season. […]

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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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New Pathogen and HAB Detection Device Designed with Volunteers in Mind

NCCOS-funded researchers at the University of Maine have developed a new, hand-held device for pathogen detection. The portable, easy-to-use, and inexpensive design of this sensor meets key use needs of volunteer and government public health, water, and shellfish monitoring personnel. Researchers plan to give these instruments to Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) harmful algal […]

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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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