EPA Highlights HAB Modeling in Puget Sound

On February 12th, EPA’s Office of Science and Technology (OST) held a webinar featuring a presentation by Stephanie Moore from NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research entitled, “Modeling Habitat for Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in Puget Sound: Present-day and Future Climate Pathways and Transport Patterns.”  The presentation focused on a study that models the presence and generation of Alexandrium toxic algal cysts in sediment samples taken from a variety of locations in Puget Sound. The study highlights the correlations between cyst abundance, toxins in shellfish, and warming climate change trends, as factors in the increasing frequency and locations of toxic Alexandrium blooms in Puget Sound since the 1950’s.  While the main focus of this study is on shellfish poisoning, and not drinking water, the study shows a useful example of how warming climates increase the likelihood of HAB occurrences in the future.  For more information about this project, visit NOAA’s web site.