Bight ’18 HABs element developing method to track impacts of cyanotoxins in coastal waters

Posted November 2, 2018

The Harmful Algal Blooms element of the Southern California Bight 2018 Regional Monitoring Program has begun working to develop an assessment method for tracking the ecological impacts of freshwater cyanotoxins transported to the coastal zone.

Marine mussels, which can filter waterborne cyanotoxins, were deployed in cages at the terminus of multiple Southern California watersheds in October. Researchers will evaluate how the mussels can be used to monitor cyanotoxins that have entered the coastal zone from upstream areas.

The Bight ’18 HABs element is planning to characterize the regional extent and magnitude of inland cyanobacterial toxins that get washed into the coastal zone during storm events and during dry weather. These toxins have the potential to adversely impact marine life and coastal habitat quality.

During method development, researchers will evaluate best practices for sampling – including sampling frequency – and compare multiple potential laboratory analytical techniques for quantifying toxins. The full study is planned to start in fall 2019.

More news related to: Eutrophication, Harmful Algal Blooms, Regional Monitoring, Southern California Bight Regional Monitoring Program