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Monitoring and Forecasting Cyanobacterial Blooms for Public Health Protection and Response

Objectives

  • Routinely identify Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) for public health impact assessment and for environmental management
  • Provide a mechanism to forecast and anticipate HAB events of significant environmental public health impact
  • Provide the information and appropriate training to the user community
large bloom of Microcystis aeruginosa True color image from August 2009 showing the bloom clearly visible in the western basin of Lake Erie
Taken July 2009 by Diane Straw at West Catawba Island on Lake Erie. The picture shows a dramatically large bloom of Microcystis aeruginosa. Satellite (MODIS) “true color” image from August 2009 show the bloom clearly visible in the western basin of Lake Erie.
Aerial picture of the 2009 bloom taken by Thomas Archer Strong bloom of Microcystis aeruginosa
Aerial picture of the 2009 bloom taken by Thomas Archer Strong bloom of Microcystis aeruginosa

Project Summary

Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms (CyanoHABs) are a global problem affecting public and environmental health. The goal of this project is to develop a capability, referred to as “the Modeling and Forecasting System (M&FS),” to identify, document, and climatologically forecast CyanoHABs in major water bodies to aid environmental and public health managers in planning and response. This capability involves: (1) routinely identifying blooms; (2) forecasting CyanoHAB events; and (3) transferring these results to health and environmental management agencies.

The project will combine environmental, meteorological, and disease surveillance data with color and temperature satellite data. Florida and the Great Lakes are the initial regions of interest, but the modeling and prediction products will be evaluated for their applicability in other areas. Successful implementation of this project will reduce monitoring costs, improve water management practices, and reduce public health impacts of CyanoHABS.

Products & Services

  • Experimental Lake Erie Harmful Algal Bloom Bulletin
  • Lake Erie Bulletin User Handout
  • Publications: Wynne, T. T., Stumpf, R. P., Tomlinson, M. C., Warner, R. A., Tester, P. A., Dyble, J. and Fahnenstiel, G. L. (2008) 'Relating spectral shape to cyanobacterial blooms in the Laurentian Great Lakes', International Journal of Remote Sensing, 29:12, 3665 — 3672
  • Tomlinson, M.C., T.T. Wynne, R.P. Stumpf, J. Dyble, G.L. Fahnenstiel, and P.A. Tester. Using Remote Sensing to aid in the detection and monitoring of Microcystis aeruginosa in western Lake Erie and Saginaw Bay, USA. Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Harmful Algae.International Society for the Study of Harmful Algae and Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, 2008 Copenhagen. pp 397.
Future (if applicable)
  • Operational Lake Erie Harmful Algal Bloom Bulletin

Partners

Relevant Links

http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/hab/

Time Frame

Ongoing project through 2014

For More Information

For general inquiries: cyano@noaa.gov

Team Lead:
1305 East West Highway
SSMC-IV, N/SCI-1 rm 9257
Silver Spring, MD 20910
301-713-3028