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NCCOS Expands Monitoring of More Lakes, Coastal Bays and Estuaries for HABs

Published on: 07/20/2021
Primary Contact(s): michelle.tomlinson@noaa.gov

With harmful algal blooms (HABs) occurring in the nation’s lakes, bays and sounds, NCCOS is expanding HAB monitoring and forecasting to these smaller water bodies which can be resolved by current satellite imagery.

In Louisiana, cyanobacterial blooms can occur in Lake Pontchartrain and nearby Mississippi Sound. Potential cyanobacterial blooms can also occur in other coastal Louisiana lakes and bays. In response, NCCOS has recently expanded and updated its HAB monitoring satellite page for the Lake Pontchartrain area to support the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.

Satellite images of Tampa Bay, FL on 07/13/2021, one of the new locations highlighted by NCCOS for HAB monitoring. Credit NOAA NCCOS.

In Virginia, in cooperation with NOAA/NESDIS’s CoastWatch program, higher resolution products from the Sentinel 2 satellites are being used to monitor smaller water bodies in Lake Anna, Lake Gaston and Smith Mountain Lake to support the Virginia Department of Health. See: https://coastwatch.noaa.gov/cw_html/NCCOS.html

In Florida, the NCCOS HAB Monitoring website for SW Florida now includes a page on the Tampa Bay area in response to the state’s concerns about HABs resulting from controlled wastewater releases from the Piney Point abandoned phosphate processing wastewater ponds.

Here is a list of current NCCOS HAB monitoring and forecasting geographic areas.

Albemarle Sound / Pamlico Sound

Lake Erie

Charlotte Harbor / SW Florida

Lake Okeechobee

Chesapeake Bay

Lake Pontchartrain / MS Sound

Green Bay / Lake Winnebago

Pacific Northwest

Gulf of Maine

Saginaw Bay

Gulf of Mexico

Tampa Bay

Virginia Lakes

Future pilot studies are being considered for Puget Sound and other locations.

Cyanobacteria algal blooms from satellite in Lake Pontchartrain and nearby lakes, LA, 06/15/2021, This is one of the new locations highlighted by NCCOS for HAB monitoring. Credit NOAA NCCOS

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