NOAA Announces $18.9 Million in Funding for Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Research Projects and Monitoring Activities in US Coastal and Great Lakes Waters.
HABs can produce toxins or cause other harmful effects that can harm ecosystems, disrupt our supply of seafood, affect economies, and threaten human health. US fresh and marine waters are increasingly affected by HABs, with blooms reported in every state. They cost the US economy millions of dollars each year, and the costs of a single major HAB event can reach tens of millions of dollars.
Investments in these projects represent a coordinated effort between NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) and the U.S. Office of the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) within NOAA’s National Ocean Service. to improve our nation’s ability to observe, monitor, forecast, and manage blooms. NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Program (OAP), under NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, has also partnered with NCCOS to advance understanding of interactions between acidification and HABs in coastal waters. and the Great Lakes.
NCCOS has allocated $16.1 million to fund harmful algal bloom research in fiscal year 2022, including $3.3 million for six new research awards, $10.4 million for 23 continuing awards, and $2.4 million for two community-led spending projects. Four of the new competitive research awards are funded in partnership with NOAA’s OAP. The funded projects will determine the interactions between HABs and ocean acidification; establish a harmful algal bloom control technology incubator in the US; enhance toxin detection and improve forecasts; and investigate the social and economic impacts of harmful algae.
“Harmful algal blooms and ocean acidification are two issues affecting coastal resources and we need to understand how they interact,” said David Kidwell, director of NOAA’s NCCOS Competitive Research Program. “In addition to better detection methods, we want to continue developing technologies to control HABs and improve and improve our forecasting and monitoring capabilities. These grants will help with those goals.”
A complete list of NOAA’s new NCCOS grant awards is available online.
The US Office of IOOS has allocated $2.8 million in fiscal year 2022 for pilot projects for the nascent National Harmful Algal Bloom Observing Network and a related Ocean Technology Transition project. Those funds will be distributed among the 11 IOOS regional associations for three new and eight ongoing projects to enhance the nation’s ability to monitor and detect harmful algal blooms.
The new IOOS HAB projects will focus on expanding and improving HAB observation and testing capabilities; community coordination and provision of services for stakeholders; improve and optimize HAB forecasts; test new technologies for HAB detection; and fund the continued operation and maintenance of the HAB test bed and existing infrastructure.
“We will continue to improve our network’s ability to monitor and detect these blooms using our experience across regions,” said Carl Gouldman, director of the U.S. IOOS Office. “We want to go even further and provide complete detection and end-to-end HAB monitoring. These efforts provide support for critical decision-making across the country using the best available data.”
You can find a full list of the new IOOS grants online.
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