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Scientific Assessment of Marine Harmful Algal Blooms

Author(s): Lopez, C.B.; Q. Dortch; E.B. Jewett; D. Garrison


Name of Publisher: Interagency Working Group on Harmful Algal Blooms, Hypoxia, and Human Health of the Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology. Office of Science and Technology Policy

Place of Publication: Washington, DC

Publication Type: NOAA Special Reports

Date of Publication: 2008

Reference Information: 62 pp.

Keywords: HABHRCA; HABs, IWG-4H; Scientific Assessment; Marine

Abstract: This report, "Scientific Assessment of Marine Harmful Algal Blooms" assesses the problem of harmful algal blooms (HABs) in our Nation’s coastal ocean and estuarine waters and describes recent advances made by Federal agencies to improve scientific understanding of HABs and our ability to manage them. In December 2004, Congress reauthorized the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act (HABHRCA) by passing the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Amendments Act of 2004 (HABHRCA 2004). The reauthorization of HABHRCA acknowledged that HABs are one of the most scientifically complex and economically damaging issues challenging our ability to safeguard the health of our Nation’s aquatic and marine ecosystems. The Administration further recognized the importance of HABs as a high priority national issue by specifically calling for the implementation of HABHRCA in the President’s U.S. Ocean Action Plan. This report is the last of four reports required by HABHRCA 2004 to address various aspects of HABs in U.S. waters. It was prepared by the Interagency Working Group on Harmful Algal Blooms, Hypoxia, and Human Health, which was chartered through the Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology of the National Science and Technology Council and the Interagency Committee on Ocean Science and Resource Management Integration. This report highlights a number of research advances relevant to the HAB-related priorities identified in Charting the Course for Ocean Science in the United States for the Next Decade: An Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy, recently released by the Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology. The assessment draws from direct contributions of Federal agencies as well as previous reporting efforts that involved numerous experts and stakeholders from Federal, state, and local governments, and academia, industry, and non-governmental organizations. As the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy points out, our Nation’s coastal ocean, estuaries, and inland waters are vital to our quality of life, our culture, and the economy. This report is an effort to assess the problem of HABs, specifically in our coastal ocean and estuarine waters, and to highlight research advances over the last decade. Activities highlighted here have improved our ability to minimize human health, economic, and environmental impacts from marine HABs.

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