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SoundToxins Monitoring for Harmful Algal Blooms

Teri King, Marine Water Quality Specialist

SoundToxins

The SoundToxins partnership was conceived and initiated by the Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC-NOAA) but is now co-directed by WSG. SoundToxin’s roster of partners has grown from four in 2006 to 23, some of which monitor more than one site along Puget Sound. The SoundToxins program aims to provide sufficient warning of harmful algal bloom (HAB) events to enable early or selective harvesting of seafood to minimize risk to human health and reduce economic losses to community stakeholders such as Puget Sound fisheries. SoundToxins is a robust citizen science project involving hundreds of community members that regularly document unusual bloom events and new species entering the Salish Sea. WSG specialists provide volunteer coordination, training and communication services for SoundToxins.

To ensure volunteers have current information to help with monitoring, the SoundToxins Manual was revised in 2016. While much of the material is highly technical, this manual also can help educate lay readers about HABs.

Early warning of HABs and adaptive monitoring

SoundToxins is assisting the State Department of Health by providing early warning of harmful algal bloom events with phytoplankton monitoring. The SoundToxins partnership, through its weekly monitoring of phytoplankton at sites around Puget Sound, enables state officials to target shellfish monitoring at those sites with the greatest risk of HAB toxicity.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or receiving additional information, please contact Teri King at guatemal@uw.edu.


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