Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)
We provide site-specific in situ monitoring coupled with predictive modeling, to provide an early warning system to advise health officials and resource managers on how to best focus their efforts to protect health and environment.
Harmful algal blooms, or HABs, occur when populations of algae grow out of control in bodies of water, as a response to certain conditions such as high water temperature or excess nutrients. HABs can pose risks to human health and the environment; people can get sick by eating shellfish or fish exposed to a HAB, or can have respiratory problems if they breathe contaminated air near the bloom. Non-human animals are also susceptible to the effects of HABs, which have been linked to shellfish toxicity, fish kills, and deaths of birds and other wildlife. These health risks can have a significant economic impact through the closure of fishing areas and beaches used for recreation, as well as the requirements for specialized treatment of potable water systems.
It would be cost prohibitive to monitor every potential HAB site and prepare for a myriad of contingencies. Instead, targeting site-specific in situ monitoring coupled with predictive modeling, provides an early warning system to advise health officials and resource managers on how to best focus their efforts to protect health and environment.
CSS Innovations and Contributions: Together with NOAA, CSS has helped to develop a comprehensive approach to conduct research; build tools to identify and detect HABs species, toxins, and levels of toxins; and create workflows for analyzing data on HABs and other environmental issues.
Our comprehensive support for NOAA includes:
- developing algorithms to process, classify, and validate remotely-sensed multi-spectral data
- conducting time-series analyses of oceanographic variables
- developing software applications and satellite image products
- developing protocols to validate satellite sensors
- processing satellite and in situ HABs data
- preparing environmental assessments and impact statements
- education and outreach
- managing scientific instruments
- designing field sampling
- data integration and analysis
CSS’ innovations and contributions include:
Analytical Support for the Drinking Water Emergency in Flint, Michigan
Helping 100,000 Residents Affected by Elevated Lead Levels in Local Water Supply Lead contamination found in the drinking water in Flint, Michigan had a catastrophic impact on the community and its residents. CSS supported EPA’s response to the crisis by providing mobile and fixed analytical laboratory services and data review. Over a nine-month period, our…
Ecologically Sound Offshore Wind Development
CSS helps set the standards for suitability modeling for offshore wind development, and assists in meeting regulatory standards for environmental resource protection.
Supporting EPA’s Emergency Response Efforts following Hurricane Harvey
CSS staff served as lead technical advisors on a multi-agency environmental response team after Hurricane Harvey.
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