Toxic Algae Bloom Rapidily Taking Over Western States Water Supplies

toxic algae on beaches in China (2014)

cs algae

This is happening very, very fast and will only grow much worse as temperatures continue to soar.

Distribution of HABs throughout the World

Several decades ago relatively few countries appeared to be affected by HABs, but now most coastal countries are threatened, in many cases over large geographic areas and by more than one harmful or toxic species.  Many countries are faced with a bewildering array of toxic or harmful species and impacts, as well as disturbing trends of increasing bloom incidence, larger areas affected, more fisheries resources impacted, and higher economic losses. The causes behind this expansion are debated, with possible explanations ranging from natural mechanisms of species dispersal to a host of human-related phenomena such as pollution, climatic shifts, increased numbers of observers, and transport of algal species via ship ballast water.


Global distribution of PSP toxins recorded as of 2014.  Click to compare to 1972.

Whatever the mechanisms, coastal regions throughout the world are now subject to an unprecedented variety and frequency of HAB events. The global expansion of HAB phenomena is in part a reflection of our ability to better define the boundaries of the problem – the nature and extent of toxic or harmful species and their impacts. However, the fact that part of the expansion is attributable to increased scientific awareness and detection capabilities should not temper our concern. The involvement of human activities in the HAB expansion suggests that policy decisions leading to bloom mitigation are needed at several levels, but sound scientific evidence is needed to justify these actions. Studies of human influences are ongoing in many areas, but are in their early stages of investigation.


Distribution of HABs in the U.S.

Coastal waters of the United States are subject to most of the major HAB poisoning syndromes and impacts. These include paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), neurotoxic shellfish poisoning (NSP), amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP), ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP), brown tides (BT), cyanoHABs and a number of other HAB phenomena such as fish kills, loss of submerged vegetation, shellfish mortalities, and widespread marine mammal mortalities.

ge algae

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2 thoughts on “Toxic Algae Bloom Rapidily Taking Over Western States Water Supplies

  1. Don August 5, 2016 at 5:37 AM Reply

    Mosquito larvae that feeds on algae can also be carried in ballast water along with numerous bacteria and virus that use the algae as a host. This interesting article exemplifies a global problem. This problem is at the very least is increasingly putting the worlds environment and human health at great risk from unmonitored, untreated ballast discharges. Now instead of requireing installation of ballast water equipment American politicians have introduced legislation h.r. 897 to amend the clean water act allowing them to pollute the water with pesticides to protect against mosquitos carrying Zika. This is being done to protect the economic interest of foreign ships that pay foreign tax so international economic globalization is not affected. President Obama has recently been touting in televised speeches that economic globalization should continue create economic dependence in order to improve our economy. (Lol) President Obama has not addressed the ballast water issue in 8 years despite historic ballast water legislation h.r.2830 passing the house 395-7 while he was running for president. This legislation was then killed by Senator Boxer using the guise of state rights, while then senator Obama was running for president and strongly pushing for her re-election bid. Our commander and chief is now relying on a Coast Guard plan they refer to as the “final rule” which primarily depends on the old dilution is the solution to pollution premise using only an unmonitored ocean flush which is supervised by the economic interest of foreign ships. Talk about National Security interest in an age of terrorism!!!


  2. Don August 23, 2016 at 3:55 PM Reply

    Mosquito larvae is carried in ballast water. A thesis written by Elizabeth Kathleen McCraven (University of New Orleans) Electro-Disinfection of Ballast Water, can be found on the web, it states that it is known that mosquito larvae is in ballast water. Her statements on mosquitos and ballast water are written in plain talk that speaks volumes.


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