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Harmful Algal Bloom Workshop Focuses on Alaskan Coastal Communities

Published on: 04/19/2023
Region(s) of Study: U.S. States and Territories / Alaska

Attendees at the 2023 Alaska HAB Workshop.

Climatic changes in Arctic Alaska are resulting in more harmful algal blooms (HABs) for the region, signaling a potential growing threat to human and ecosystem health. Over the last decade, several research groups have discovered large accumulations of the resting stages of HAB species on or near the seafloor, laying dormant in unfavorably cool Arctic waters. The dormant cysts are a ticking time bomb set to go off as waters warm, creating favorable conditions for large toxic algal blooms to form. Stressor Detection and Impacts Division scientists Tim Wynne, Tod Leighfield and Steve Kibler joined nearly 60 partners, collaborators and stakeholders across Alaska at the 2023 HAB Workshop. Information was shared about HAB impacts on food security and health risks to subsistence harvesters at Alaskan coastal communities. Discussion topics included HAB monitoring methods, resources support funding, HAB communication approaches, and potential products for HAB forecasting. The workshop was held held March 26-29, 2023 in Anchorage, Alaska. Contacts: Steve Kibler and  Tim Wynne (HAB Forecasting).

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