Harmful Algal Bloom Operational Forecast System in the US | Harmful Algae News
It was October 31, 1987—Halloween Day in the U.S. It seemed to be an otherwise ordinary day, but people on the beaches near Beaufort, North Carolina, were experiencing out of the ordinary respiratory distress. A bloom of “Florida red tide”, the toxic algae Karenia brevis, had unexpectedly appeared in North Carolina coastal waters for the first time on record. It stayed for almost half of a year.
This persistent and unforeseen harmful algal bloom (HAB) was economically disastrous for shellfisheries, seafood, and tourism, costing an estimated $25 million to North Carolina coastal communities (about $47 million today). A need to better monitor, predict, and plan for events like this—integrating all available data from satellites, field monitoring, and ultimately models— was clear.