State and Federal Agencies Meet to Improve HAB Surveillance
NOAA and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently co-sponsored a workshop on harmful algal blooms (HABs) to discuss future monitoring of HAB-related illnesses and outbreaks and to discuss with state representatives how NOAA’s remote sensing capabilities can support HAB surveillance. Attendees provided updates on HAB activities in each state and discussed the CDC’s National Outbreak Reporting System, along with modifications being made to the system for HAB illness and event reporting. Researchers from NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science then provided an overview of remote sensing products that have proven useful for monitoring these toxic cyanobacterial blooms and discussed state-specific needs for remote sensing products. Thirty-five participants, representing twelve state health departments, U.S. Geological Survery, CDC, NOAA, and EPA, attended the meeting in Atlanta, Ga., on March 19 and 20.