National Harmful Algal Bloom Observing Network
Welcome to the National HAB Observing Network! The National HAB Observing Network (NHABON) aims to effectively and efficiently integrate local, state, regional, and federal HAB observing capabilities and deliver products operationally. For more information, view the group’s foundational documents: Framework for the National HAB Observing Network Workshop Report, and the Implementation Strategy for a National Harmful Algal Bloom Observing Network.
What we do
The National HAB Observing Network (NHABON) Community of Practice includes a broad spectrum of HAB observing experts, system operators, manufacturers, data managers, stakeholders, and others from around the country involved in or considering being involved in developing, operating, maintaining, or using data from US HAB observing systems. The Committee is guided by a Terms of Reference.
Steering Committee Members 2022-2023
- Clarissa Anderson, SCCOOS, Scripps, Co-chair Ex Officio Members
- Mike Brosnahan, WHOI – Quay Dortch, NOAA NCCOS, Co-chair
- Barb Kirkpatrick, GCOOS – Greg Doucette, NOAA NCCOS
- Ana Sirviente, GLOS – Tiffany Vance, NOAA IOOS
- Misty Peacock, NW Indian College – Marc Suddleson, NOAA NCCOS
- Thomas Farrugia, AHAB/AOOS – Vera Trainer, NOAA NMFS
- Beckye Stanton, Cal/EPA – Shelly Tomlinson, NOAA NCCOS
- Matt Garrett, FL FWRI
- Raphe Kudela, UCSC
For more information contact Josie Quintrell at firstname.lastname@example.org or Masha Edmondson email@example.com.
Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS)
The Pilot Project supports the growing Alaska Harmful Algal Bloom Network (AHAB) to improve HAB monitoring and event response across Alaska, especially in the U.S. Arctic, which is emerging as a high-risk area for HAB-related events. Funds support a full-time HAB coordinator who has grown the AHAB network, provides integrated data management and visualization, and increases outreach and access to information. The project fosters collaboration between state, federal, and academic partners to coordinate a statewide observation network. Funds are also being used to deploy domoic acid field tests and develop the molecular testing capacity to provide data for existing HAB species. Finally, AOOS is increasing and geographically expanding community sampling of HAB species and toxins in Alaska. The project is working to address climate impacts, subsistence needs and impacts, public health, and safety.
Caribbean Coastal Ocean Observing System (CARICOOS)
Weekly monitoring program in 10 stations along the ecotone from outer keys/reefs to nearshore mangrove areas in La Parguera Marine Reserve to measure the sargassum input (loading) rate and biological impacts. Additional efforts are underway to implement and validate a forecast system coupling high-resolution satellite imagery with CARICOOS FVCOM, WRF and SWAN (high resolution hydrodynamic, weather and wave models respectively) and HFR surface current observations to yield a probabilistic estimate of Sargassum arrival time and loading level.
Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System (CeNCOOS) and Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS)
Nearly every year, California experiences fishery closures and health advisory from biotoxins produced by HABs. The Imaging FlowCytobot (IFCB) is revolutionizing the detection of harmful algal cells. The IFCB uses a robotic microscope and machine learning to capture and process images automatically. Congressional funding has enabled growth of California’s observing network to include maintenance and operation of 11 IFCBs. These instruments identify HAB species in real-time at critical land-based and offshore locations throughout California. Information is integrated into weekly HAB assessments that monitor and notify decision makers of potentially toxic blooms. Data will eventually support automated water quality alerts and may serve as a model for other regions addressing HABs around the country. By expanding existing cross-regional collaboration, the pilot project supports a more powerful system than either of the individual California observing systems alone.
Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS)
Florida’s “red tide” or Karenia brevis produces toxins that can cause human respiratory illness or accumulate in shellfish and cause Neurotoxic Shellfish Poisoning. Congress appropriated $1 million in FY 21 for GCOOS to further development of a HAB warning system. The funds are supporting deployment of two new Imaging Flow Cytobots (IFCBs) in addition to a data portal that will aggregate all IFCB data from the Gulf of Mexico. Funds also support a network of over 40 HABscopes, an innovative, affordable tool that allows citizen scientists to rapidly detect Karenia brevis. HABScope and IFCB data feed into the respiratory forecast for improved coverage of impacts from toxic aerosols (GCOOS HAB Forecast). Throughout 2021, the HABscope project provided critical sampling for the extended Karenia bloom off Naples, FL. In 2022, over 50 new instruments will be produced, and the network will expand into the Florida panhandle. The HABscope continues to generate interest from Florida stakeholders, including the shellfish industry and the state’s Division of Aquaculture. This project compliments other efforts in the Gulf, greatly expands data collection and analysis, and improves operational forecasts. The funds also support a volunteer coordinator to recruit, retain, and train a network of volunteers, purchase supplies for the HABscopes, and retain an image recognition software site.
Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS)
HABs continue to be a major concern for the Great Lakes. NOAA labs, research institutions, state agencies, water quality managers, and citizen scientists operate a variety of platforms to detect and monitor HABs. GLOS links these efforts through an integrated data access portal. The pilot project expands GLOS’ critical role as a central source of HAB data. Congressional funds have built upon existing activities to identify critical stakeholders and grow the network to observe each of the Great Lakes with several environmental sample processors (ESPs). Instruments provide 3-dimensional, real time observations to understand harmful blooms in space and time. GLOS assimilates toxin measurements into NOAA’s advanced HAB forecasting model (HAB tracker) to improve accuracy of forecasts for bloom location, size, and toxicity with a 5-day lead time. In 2022, GLOS will deploy several new instruments into Green Bay. Testing of an autonomous surface vehicle is currently underway and will integrate into the network in the coming months. GLOS will also test a holographic imaging system to monitor cyanoHABs in Western Lake Erie during the 2022 summer season.
Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS)
The Pacific Northwest (PNW) Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB) Bulletin is a forecasting tool based on field observations, modeling output from data collected in HAB hotspots, from coastal moorings, and along beaches. Information provided to state and tribal managers in both Washington and Oregon helps facilitate their decisions to open and close the shellfisheries, including implementing delayed openings, selective harvests at “safe” beaches, and increasing harvest limits. The Bulletin has already helped to protect the health of tens of thousands of harvesters and consumers in the region, and allows coastal managers to better protect marine mammal health by assessing the HAB risk. In addition to the Bulletin, Pilot project funds are being used for a combination of salary support, offshore sampling, enhanced beach sampling by tribes, and analyses for the popular SOUNDToxins program (deemed “essential” by the Washington State Health Department). The LiveOcean modeling system makes short-term forecasts predicting when Pseusdo-nitzscia HABs will reach Washington beaches.
Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS)
NERACOOS is partnering with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to strengthen HAB detection in the Northeast. Project funds will be used to purchase an autonomous surface vehicle outfitted with an Imaging Flow Cytobot to detect harmful blooms remotely. These instruments will help fill gaps in monitoring capabilities for areas with significant HAB risk.
Pacific Islands Coastal Ocean Observing System (PACIOOS)
This pilot project will help to establish partnerships between ongoing research and monitoring efforts in other regions (e.g., the Caribbean) with the needs and issues faced by communities in the USAPI. The coordinator would also be responsible for fostering connections with colleagues at other IOOS regional associations where they are facing similar challenges in terms of the complexity of stakeholders, geographic scope, and data-limited monitoring programs (e.g., AOOS in Alaska). In addition to building connections within and outside of the USAPI through a series of virtual working group meetings, the coordinator will travel to meet with partners in the Gulf Coast (Dauphin Island Lab), East Coast NOAA NCCOS Beaufort Lab), Caribbean (CARICOOS in Puerto Rico), and Alaska (AOOS in Anchorage) to develop collaborations and projects in a more targeted manner.
Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA)
SECOORA is working with regional experts to inform their new Strategic Harmful Algal Bloom Plan, which will be used to guide HAB monitoring and observing investments in the region. This plan will leverage existing tools including satellite imagery to forecast Sargassum and data collection from buoys and moorings in the Gulf of Mexico. SECOORA plans to work with neighboring regional associations to leverage existing efforts and collaborate to expand HAB observational capabilities.
Pilot Webinar: Implementation Strategy for a National Harmful Algal Bloom Observing Network – Sept 2021 (Recording)
Dr. Steve Thur, Director of NCCOS, NOAA
Carl Gouldman, Director of U.S. IOOS Office, NOAA
Dr. Greg Doucette, Research Oceanographer, NCCOS, NOAA
Emerging Data Science Tools for Managers and Scientists – Dec 2021 (Recording)
Rob Bochenek, Axiom Data Science
Dr. Mike Brosnahan, Assistant Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, developer HABHUB
Bob Currier, HABScope, Texas A&M, GCOOS
NHABON Community of Practice: Making Community Science Work – Mar 2022 (Recording)
Steve Morton, NCCOS, NOAA
George Bullerjahn, BGSU
Teri King, WASG
Chris Whitehead, SEATOR, Sitka Tribe of Alaska
Monitoring HABs for Aquaculture – June 2022 (Recording)
Bill Dewey, Director of Public Affairs, Taylor Shellfish Farms
Meredith White, Head of Research & Development Interim Director of Hatchery Operations, Mook Sea Farms
Remote Sensing, Observing & Forecast Using Drones, Hyperspectral Sensors & Satellites – Sept 2022 (Recording)
Shelly Tomlinson, Research Oceanographer, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, NOAA
Dr. Andrea VanderWoude, Physical Scientist – Remote Sensing Researcher, NOAA/OAR, Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory
Operating Imaging FlowCytobots- Jan 2023 (Recording)
Dr. Mike Brosnahan, Assistant Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, developer HABHUB
Dr. Kate Hubbard, Research Scientist, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Dr. Clarissa Anderson, Executive Director, Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System