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Federal Agencies Host HABs and Hypoxia Webinar to Engage Stakeholders in Action Strategy and Research Plan Development

On March 26th, the Federal Interagency Working Group (IWG) that has been tasked with implementing the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2014 (HABHRCA) held a National HABs and Hypoxia webinar.  The IWG includes representatives from NOAA, EPA, USDA, CDC, and other relevant agencies.  The purpose of the webinar was to get input from stakeholders on their needs associated with handling HAB and hypoxia events, as well as an Action Strategy and Research Plan for managing future occurrences.  Questions and comments during the webinar included the need for:

  • Assistance with communicating risk from HABs and cyanotoxins to the public;
  • More modeling tools and trend indicators for both predicting toxic blooms and species impacts (e.g., shellfish in the Puget Sound);
  • Examples of best practices and a compendium of technologies for detecting blooms, monitoring for nutrients and cyaonotoxins, and treating source waters;
  • Strategies to reduce nutrients and sediment that contribute to HABs; and
  • Analytical methods and health effects data being developed by EPA.

To send comments and questions on this effort, please email IWG-HABHRCA@noaa.gov or Caitlin Gould of NOAA at Caitlin.Gould@noaa.gov.  For more information, visit NOAA’s web site.  Also, stay tuned for a forthcoming Federal Register Notice with additional information about this effort and additional future webinars.