Teri King, Marine Water Quality Specialist
The SoundToxins partnership was conceived and initiated by the Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC-NOAA) and is now directed by WSG. SoundToxin’s roster of partner
s organizations has grown from four in 2006 to 35 in 2020, with some partners monitoring 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, which minimizes the risk to human health and reduces economic losses to community stakeholders, such as Puget Sound fisheries and shellfish growers. SoundToxins is a robust science project involving more than a hundred trained community, tribal, industry, and agency volunteers 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: