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RAPDALERT- Rapid Analysis of Pseudo-nitzschia and Domoic Acid: Locating Events in Near-Real Time

Author(s): Caron, David A.; Burton A. Jones; Gaurav S. Sukhatme; Deborah Estrin; Peter Miller; Diane Stoecker; Stephen Weisberg

NCCOS Center: CSCOR

Name of Publisher: University of Southern California

Place of Publication: Los Angeles, CA

Publication Type: Abstract

Date of Publication: 2005

Reference Information: 1 p.

Keywords: Pseudo-nitzschia; domoic acid; rapid analysis; remote sensing; monitoring; MERHAB; HABs; qPCR

Abstract: This project, supported by the NCCOS Monitoring and Event Response for Harmful Algal Blooms program (MERHAB), focused on the development and implementation of a fine-scale sensing and sampling program in coastal waters of southern California to study toxic blooms of microalgae. The project incorporated innovative in situ networked sensors, cutting-edge identification of toxic algae (specifically Pseudo-nitzschia), quantification of the algal neurotoxins (e.g., domoic acid), and state-of-the-art remote sensing. Some specific accomplishments included: 1) Statewide CA Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring and Alert Project (HABMAP) workshops: Two regional workshops for HABs in California Coastal Waters were completed jointly organized by RAPDALERT and other NCCOS HAB projects, NOAA, and SCCWRP. 2) King Harbor (Redondo Beach) and Marina Del Rey harbor sensor networks partnership: RAPDALERT used the NSF Center for Embedded Network Sensing small-scale sensor network within the highly urbanized harbors of Santa Monica Bay along with the privately funded Marina Del Rey harbor sensor network incorporating the information streaming from the sensor networks into the larger data stream coming from the RAPDALERT sensor network and other collaborative programs. 3) West Basin Municipal Water District (WBMWD) and Long Beach Water Department: RAPDALERT investigators collaborated with WBMWD to investigate the potential impact of HABs on seawater desalination operations anticipated within the Southern California region. 4) RAPDALERT conducted monitoring studies of pilot desalination operations with Long Beach Water Department providing a degree of early warning to RAPDALERT of the presence of HABs as well to the desalination plants. One component was the deployment of two large monitoring buoys off the coasts of the cities of Redondo Beach and El Segundo both within Santa Monica Bay. The information streaming from the buoys was incorporated into the larger data stream coming from RAPDALERT and other collaborative programs. 5) Monitoring of HABs in waters off Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton: RAPDALERT investigators performed phytoplankton taxonomic analysis, chlorophyll concentration analyses and phytoplankton toxin analyses (domoic acid, saxitoxins) in conjunction with ECORP Consulting, Inc. as part of the Camp Pendleton Nearshore Biological Baseline Assessment improving overall monitoring coverage within the SAB region. 6) Collaborated with bird and marine mammal regional rescue centers that deal with strandings and illness during toxic HAB outbreaks. 7) Enacted a Regional Oceanic Modeling System (ROMS) for HABs: RAPDALERT investigators initiated an informal regional working group in the greater Los Angeles region to formulate and test models to predict HAB formation and fates. RAPALERT provided much of the biological data for enhancing the mostly physical ROMS. 8) Provided PN information to CA Dept. of Health Services for use in the DHS Biotoxin Monthly publication.

Availability: Available from NCCOS Publications Explorer and from the authors.

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