SCCWRP hosts kickoff meeting to develop statewide algae assessment program

Posted January 29, 2016

SCCWRP hosted a day-long kickoff meeting with state, federal and local agencies in January to begin developing a statewide freshwater bioassessment program that uses algae as the indicator of waterbody condition.

The January 15 meeting marked an important opportunity to update the Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program’s existing statewide algae plan, broaden partnerships to include other programs that use (or are considering using) algal indicators, and prioritize technical work and tool development over the next several years.

Meeting attendees focused on how to build capacity for bioassessments using algal assemblage composition and structure (e.g., an index of stream condition), biomass (e.g., ash-free dry mass or chlorophyll-a) and/or eutrophic condition.

Priorities that emerged from the meeting included the need to build taxonomic capacity in the short term, transition tools to molecular approaches over the long term, and establish standard approaches, quality assurance measures, and data pipelines.

The statewide algae freshwater bioassessment program will build on the state’s existing California Stream Condition Index, which uses benthic macroinvertebrates such as aquatic insects to assess stream health.

More news related to: Bioassessment, Indices of Biotic Integrity