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West Coast Harmful Algal Bloom Draws Attention of Congress

An ongoing toxic algal bloom off the U.S. West Coast was first detected in California in May 2015 and soon stretched to Alaska. Formed by the harmful algae Psuedo-nitzschia, this unusually long-lasting bloom is the largest bloom in the past 15 years. Record-setting concentrations of domoic acid, the neurotoxin produced by the bloom, have shut […]

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NCCOS Supports Algal Toxin Testing in El Salvador

The Marine Toxin Laboratory at the University of El Salvador (LABTOX-UES), supported by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is undergoing the national accreditation process for the analysis of saxitoxin, a marine toxin generated by some harmful algae blooms that builds up in shellfish. Consumption of contaminated shellfish can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). The […]

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Scientists Assess Impacts of Bioluminescent Algae on Chesapeake Bay Fisheries

Around mid-August, a bloom of the dinoflagellate Alexandrium monilatum appeared in lower Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries. It is unclear whether the bloom originated there or was carried there by currents. Since it first appeared in the York River and at the oceanfront off Sandbridge Beach, the bloom has been observed miles into lower […]

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West Coast Harmful Algal Bloom Explained

An unprecedented West Coast harmful algal bloom (HAB) continues, hurting Pacific Coast marine wildlife and causing economic losses to commercial shell fishers from Alaska to California. NCCOS sponsored scientists are participating in the event response and providing information to the public. Recently, NCCOS sponsored scientist Dr. Vera Trainer of NOAA Fisheries joined Washington and Oregon […]

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NCCOS Aids West Coast Partners Responding to Extensive Harmful Algal Bloom

The National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) is providing $88,000 in emergency funds to aid Washington State to respond to an unprecedented West Coast harmful algal bloom (HAB) event. The funding supports collection and analysis of samples for the toxic algal bloom species Pseudo-nitzschia and domoic acid – the neurotoxin it produces - from beaches and offshore of […]

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Expanding Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring in Western Lake Erie

The NCCOS Phytoplankton Monitoring Network, established to monitor phytoplankton and harmful algal blooms (HABs), is partnering with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to expand into the Western Basin of Lake Erie.  Monitoring stations were selected with input from NOAA’s Ecological Forecasting Services to provide strategic sites to support the NCCOS Lake Erie Experimental Forecast. Recently, the […]

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Investigating Diamondback Terrapin Die-Offs in New York

From late April into May 2015 hundreds of diamondback terrapin turtles (Malaclemys terrapin)  began dying and washing up on beaches in the western part of Long Island, New York. Simultaneously an on-going Alexandrium fundyense bloom occurred. Alexandrium produces a potent neurotoxin, saxitoxin, which is the cause of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). The terrapin tissues were […]

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NCCOS Methods Transferred to Algal Toxin Testing Laboratory in Oman

NCCOS researcher Tod Leighfield trained three scientists with Oman’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in standard sample preparation and toxin detection methods as part of an International Atomic Energy Agency–funded project to establish a harmful algal bloom testing laboratory in the Arabian Gulf region. The training included assistance with set up of the laboratory and instruction on […]

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