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News and Features by Region Maine Archives - News and Features

NCCOS Helps New England Respond to Unprecedented Harmful Algal Bloom

For the first time in New England’s coastal waters, shellfish have exceeded the regulatory limit for domoic acid—a potent neurotoxin produced by the diatom Pseudo-nitzschia. Domoic acid accumulates in shellfish that feed on Pseudo-nitzschia, and can lead to amnesic shellfish poisoning in people who consume tainted shellfish. The NCCOS Harmful Algal Bloom Event Response Program […]

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NOAA Provides Harmful Algae Identification Training

Effective monitoring and management of harmful algal blooms (HABs) relies on accurate and timely identification of the species involved. Phytoplankton responsible for HABs varies dramatically in size, shape, pigmentation, toxins, habitat, life history, and ecology. Until recently only Europe offered comprehensive HAB identification training, but NCCOS now provides taxonomic training for a new generation of […]

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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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Gulf of Maine Red Tide Monitoring Season Begins for NOS

Harmful algal bloom monitoring is underway in the Gulf of Maine, with near real-time early warning of potential toxic blooms being provided by three Environmental Sample Processors (ESPs). The ESPs operate like laboratories in a can, sampling cells and toxins produced by Alexandrium fundyense, the red tide alga. Data from the ESPs are used by […]

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2015 Harmful Algae Cyst Cruise: Student Blog

By Eric Gulledge, Ph.D. candidate at Jackson State University I am a NOAA-Environmental Cooperative Science Center fellow and currently enrolled in the Environmental Science Ph.D. program at Jackson State University. The NOAA-ECSC strives to train and develop student’s skills related to interdisciplinary science in support of coastal management. In keeping with NOAA’s mission, NOAA-ECSC afforded […]

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NCCOS Sponsors 20 New Research Projects

NCCOS awarded nearly $4.5 million in new research grants while maintaining sponsorship of 42 continuing projects during 2015 for a total of $8.2 million in funding for innovative research. All of the endeavors address significant and complex coastal issues. The projects were selected using a rigorous, competitive, and peer-review process. The cutting-edge research will provide critical […]

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NCCOS Prepares Toxin Sensor for Gulf of Maine Red Tide Forecasting

An NCCOS technical expert completed critical calibrations of the paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxin sensor for an Environmental Sample Processor (ESP) platform stationed at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Laboratory for Ocean Sensors and Observing Systems (LOSOS). Beginning in early May, this ESP will perform autonomous, near real-time monitoring of toxins associated with cells of the red […]

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NOAA Shepherds Transition of Gulf of Maine Harmful Algal Bloom Model to Operational Forecast System

NOAA and partners are working to transition a harmful algal bloom (HAB) model for Alexandrium  fundyense in the Gulf of Maine (GoM) into a NOAA operational forecast system (OFS), which would help minimize economic losses to a $200-300 million dollar a year shellfish industry in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. A. fundyense is a dinoflagellate phytoplankton that produces […]

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