Bight ’18 HABs study preparing to track freshwater cyanotoxins in coastal zone

Posted May 1, 2019

The Southern California Bight 2018 Regional Monitoring Program’s Harmful Algal Blooms element has tentatively greenlighted a study that will explore whether freshwater cyanotoxins are being transported in the coastal zone.

Mussels will be deployed in cages in about two dozen coastal estuaries across Southern California this summer, according to the study plan tentatively approved in May. Then, researchers will measure levels of a cyanotoxin known as microcystin in mussel tissue.

The Bight ’18 HABs element completed a pilot study in December showing that such a study would be feasible in both wet and dry weather.

Microcystins, which are produced by freshwater cyanobacteria, have the potential to adversely impact marine life and coastal habitat quality. Researchers are concerned they are being transported via waterways to the coastal zone.

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