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Scientific Assessment of Freshwater Harmful Algal Blooms

Author(s): Lopez, C.B.; S.B. Jewett; Q. Dortch; B.T. Walton; H.K. Hudnell, H.K.


Name of Publisher: Interagency Working Group on Harmful Algal Blooms,

Place of Publication: Washington, DC

Publication Type: NOAA Special Reports

Date of Publication: 2008

Reference Information:

Extent of Work: 65 pp.

Keywords: HABHRCA; HABs; CyanoHABs; Freshwater; Scientific Assessment; IWG-4H

Abstract: In 2004, Congress reauthorized the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act of 1998 with the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Amendments Act (HABHRCA 2004). The 2004 legislation required the generation of five reports, including this "Scientific Assessment of Freshwater Harmful Algal Blooms." HABHRCA 2004 stipulates that this report 1) examine the causes, consequences, and economic costs of freshwater HABs, 2) establish priorities and guidelines for a research program on freshwater HABs, and 3) make recommendations to improve coordination among Federal agencies with respect to research on HABs in freshwater environments. This report is divided into five chapters: Chapter 1 provides the legislative background and process for developing the report, Chapter 2 describes the problem of freshwater and inland HABs in the United States, Chapter 3 outlines the current Federal efforts in freshwater and inland HAB research and response, Chapter 4 discusses the future research priorities, and Chapter 5 delineates opportunities for coordination to advance research efforts. The document is based, in large part, on the proceedings (Hudnell 2008) of the International Symposium on Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms, a meeting convened by EPA and sponsored by a variety of Federal agencies, to describe current scientific knowledge and identify priorities for future research on CyanoHABs. This report offers a plan for coordinating the important research that is currently ongoing in the United States and for guiding future research directions for Federal programs as well as for state, local, private, and academic institutions in order to maximize advancements. To this end, the Interagency Working Group on Harmful Algal Blooms, Hypoxia, and Human Health (IWG-4H) identifies seven priorities, all of equal weight, for freshwater HAB research and response. These priorities represent research areas where there is the greatest potential for progress in freshwater HAB research. This report does not attempt to assess the relative importance of freshwater HAB research compared to other research areas or other priorities for Federal or state investment.

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