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News and Features by Region California Archives - News and Features

Sensitivity of California Current Species to Ocean Acidification

A new study estimated the sensitivity of different groups of marine species to ocean acidification (OA) within the California Current ecosystem. Species groups were designated based on having similar functions in the ecosystem (i.e. urchins, oysters, phytoplankton, zooplankton), and the OA sensitivity for each group was determined based on previous studies. Most functional groups of species (26 of 34) responded negatively to […]

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Outlook for Impact of HABs on 2016 Crab Season in California

On August 11, 2016  Dr. Raphael Kudela, with the University of California Santa Cruz, testified on “Harmful Algal Blooms and Domoic Acid: Latest Forecast and a Look Ahead to the Upcoming Season” to the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture of the California Legislature. Kudela discussed the massive west coast-wide 2015 toxic Pseudo-nitzchia bloom, drawing a strong link between […]

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Predicting Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia with West Coast Stakeholders

The California Current System (CCS) is among the most biologically productive regions of the world’s oceans, but upwelling of coastal waters creates vulnerability to ocean acidification and hypoxia (OAH), which scientists observed in recent decades. A project funded through the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program and NCCOS in collaboration with the California Ocean Protection Council is […]

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Producing a new Reference Material for Paralytic Shellfish Toxin Monitoring

Saxitoxins, produced by species of harmful algal blooms (HABs), cause paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) when contaminated seafood is consumed. For nearly 50 years the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has provided a saxitoxin dihydrochloride standard to state shellfish laboratories and others who monitor seafood safety, and has distributed it as a National Institutes of Standards […]

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New Areas and Species of Cordell Bank and Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuaries Characterized in Report

In a hallmark collaboration between scientists from National Marine Sanctuaries, NCCOS, USGS, and California Academy of Sciences, the characterization of seafloor habitats in newly expanded areas of two West Coast sanctuaries is now available online. Remotely operated vehicle (ROV) surveys were conducted in September 2014 in the Cordell Banks National Marine Sanctuary (CBNMS) and the Greater […]

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Offshore Sewage Release in Southern California Brings Unexpected Result

A scheduled sewage release off Los Angeles provided a unique opportunity to study before and after impacts of massive nutrient injection into coastal waters. Researchers hypothesized large, potentially harmful algal blooms (HABs), would result from the discharge. The sewage release was extensively studied by NCCOS scientists, sponsored researchers, and partner agencies, and the results were not […]

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Robotic Environmental Sample Processor Conserves Samples for HAB Species Identification

Sponsored researchers with the NCCOS ECOHAB project looking at regional harmful algal bloom “hotspots” off coastal California are testing the feasibility of using a robotic water quality and toxin detection device, the Environmental Sample Processor or ESP, to collect the glass cells (silicon frustules) of the diatom Pseudo-nitzschia for species identification and assessing geographic distribution. Certain species […]

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California Ocean Protection Council Briefed on Harmful Algal Bloom Impacts

At a recent meeting of the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC), a panel of researchers and managers briefed the council on the Summer 2015 West Coast harmful algal bloom (HAB) event and other troubling changing ocean conditions. The presentation highlighted the value of past and current NCCOS competitive HAB programs. These program investments in modeling, monitoring, observing and […]

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