The Phytoplankton Monitoring Network (PMN) is a part of the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS). The PMN was created as an outreach program to connect volunteers and professional scientists in the monitoring of marine phytoplankton and harmful algal blooms (HABs). NOAA staff train volunteers on sampling techniques and identification methods for marine phytoplankton. There are over 50 genera, including 10 potentially toxin producing genera, of dinoflagellates and diatoms on the volunteers watch list. A qualitative collection of data that includes salinity, temperature, depth, wind speed and direction, phytoplankton counts and abundance ratios obtained from surface tows in the estuarine and marine environments. Purpose: Goals set forth by PMN: to create a comprehensive list of marine phytoplankton and potentially harmful algal species; to monitor and maintain an extended survey area year-round; to isolate areas prone to harmful algal blooms (HABs) for further study by researchers; to identify general trends, such as time and area, where HABs are more likely to occur; to increase public awareness of phytoplankton and HABs through education and outreach; to increase public awareness of research conducted by federal, state, and private researchers; to support communication and interaction between researchers and the public via PMN volunteers.