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Harmful Algal Blooms

Occasionally, marine and estuarine algae grow very fast, accumulating in dense, visible patches near the surface of the water. A small number of species produce potent neurotoxins that can be transferred through the food web where they effect and sometimes kill the higher forms of life such as zooplankton, shellfish, fish, birds, marine mammals and even humans. Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) refer to bloom phenomenon that contain toxins or that cause negative impacts. COAST, in partnership with NOAA's Center for Operational Products and Service (CO-OPS), has developed the Nations first operational HAB detection and forecasting system.

HAB Research

Due to the deleterious effects of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) throughout U.S. coasts and estuaries, it is necessary to provide state management agencies with information regarding the location, extent and forecasted movement of HABs in order to target sampling and make decisions. This project will work directly with regional HAB research and monitoring programs to develop the capability to accurately forecast HABs through algorithm development, identification of new data sources, and data integration. Read More ›

Harmful Algal Bloom Operational Forecasting

The purpose of this program is to develop and support operational forecast systems for the detection and monitoring of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) for the areas of the US most impacted by these events. This program includes the technical support for the current operational program for the eastern Gulf of Mexico, implementation of improvements in that system, conducting a demonstration phase for the western Gulf of Mexico, and designing implementation and transition plans for other regions of the US, including the Gulf of Maine, Lake Erie, central California, and the Pacific Northwest.
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Remote Sensing Field Operations

Satellite sensors can be used to estimate ocean color in order to quantify the amount of living biomass ( e.g. phytoplankton), turbidity, to identify algal blooms and track a variety of “plumes”. The purpose of this project is to implement the field component of the COAST ocean color remote sensing effort in order to assure that products for chlorophyll, turbidity, algal blooms, suspended sediments, etc. are valid and meaningful. Read More ›