Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms


Toxic Karenia brevis stains the water off South Padre Island, Texas, a rusty red. We fundresearch to understand the biology of harmful algae species and how they interact with their environment (Credit: Chase Fountain, Texas Parks & Wildlife).

Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB) funds research to understand the causes and impacts of harmful algal blooms (HABs) and their toxins, which is fundamental to successful management and mitigation. It was authorized by the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Control Act (HABHRCA) in 1998 and reauthorized in 2004 and 2014.

ECOHAB is a national, competitive research funding program with two broad goals:

  1. Develop information and tools, predictive models and forecasts, and prevention strategies; and
  2. Learn how toxins are transferred across and up the food chain, including biosynthesis and metabolism of toxins, and assess the impacts of toxins on higher trophic levels.

Research results guide management of coastal resources to reduce HAB development, impacts, and future threats and will feed into other HAB programs for development of tools to improve HAB management and response.

Federal Funding Opportunity announcements for ECOHAB, as well as NCCOS's other national competitive HAB programs MERHAB and PCMHAB), will be published on

For more information contact Quay Dortch, the ECOHAB Coordinator, at Maggie Broadwater or 843-580-6279.