Event Title

Development of a Harmful Algal Bloom Risk Index for Puget Sound

Presentation Abstract

The increased frequency, duration and geographic extent of toxic Alexandrium blooms in Puget Sound presents new challenges of how to best allocate resources available for toxin monitoring of shellfish in order to protect human health. Monitoring plans are typically based on shellfish toxicity patterns from the previous 2-5 years of data; however, the increasing trend in Alexandrium blooms means that managers are chasing a moving target. With projected future changes in global and regional climate, the risk of toxic Alexandrium blooms is expected to increase. Through funding from NOAA’s Coastal and Ocean Climate Applications Program, we have initiated a two year study to develop a harmful algal bloom (HAB) risk index that will provide an additional decision support tool to the Washington State Department of Health (WDOH) and local health jurisdictions for allocating paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) monitoring resources in the Sound. The HAB risk index is being developed from existing modeling capabilities as well as historic observations of PSP toxin levels in shellfish by the WDOH. Future climate and streamflow projections, produced by the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group, will drive the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s high-resolution, 3-D Puget Sound Hydrodynamic and Transport Model (PS-HTM) and serve as a base for the modeling framework. Temperature and salinity output from this model will provide input to an Alexandrium growth rate model developed by the Puget Sound Alexandrium Harmful Algal Bloom (PS-AHAB) program. Output from the PS-HTM and Alexandrium growth models will be calculated for spatially-explicit biotoxin closure zones and correlated to historic PSP levels in shellfish. These relationships will be used to develop the HAB risk index. Changes in the index from the present-day to the future will inform allocation resource decisions needed to monitor PSP in shellfish at the local, county, and state level. Preliminary results of the HAB risk index development will be presented at the conference.

Session Title

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) and marine pathogens in a changing world

Conference Track

Climate Change and Ocean Acidification

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2016 : Vancouver, B.C.)

Document Type

Event

Location

2016SSEC

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

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Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Development of a Harmful Algal Bloom Risk Index for Puget Sound

2016SSEC

The increased frequency, duration and geographic extent of toxic Alexandrium blooms in Puget Sound presents new challenges of how to best allocate resources available for toxin monitoring of shellfish in order to protect human health. Monitoring plans are typically based on shellfish toxicity patterns from the previous 2-5 years of data; however, the increasing trend in Alexandrium blooms means that managers are chasing a moving target. With projected future changes in global and regional climate, the risk of toxic Alexandrium blooms is expected to increase. Through funding from NOAA’s Coastal and Ocean Climate Applications Program, we have initiated a two year study to develop a harmful algal bloom (HAB) risk index that will provide an additional decision support tool to the Washington State Department of Health (WDOH) and local health jurisdictions for allocating paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) monitoring resources in the Sound. The HAB risk index is being developed from existing modeling capabilities as well as historic observations of PSP toxin levels in shellfish by the WDOH. Future climate and streamflow projections, produced by the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group, will drive the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s high-resolution, 3-D Puget Sound Hydrodynamic and Transport Model (PS-HTM) and serve as a base for the modeling framework. Temperature and salinity output from this model will provide input to an Alexandrium growth rate model developed by the Puget Sound Alexandrium Harmful Algal Bloom (PS-AHAB) program. Output from the PS-HTM and Alexandrium growth models will be calculated for spatially-explicit biotoxin closure zones and correlated to historic PSP levels in shellfish. These relationships will be used to develop the HAB risk index. Changes in the index from the present-day to the future will inform allocation resource decisions needed to monitor PSP in shellfish at the local, county, and state level. Preliminary results of the HAB risk index development will be presented at the conference.