Volunteer HABs monitoring program under development for California freshwater environments

Posted January 31, 2020

SCCWRP and California’s Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP) have launched an effort to develop a voluntary, citizen science-driven monitoring program to boost statewide capacity for monitoring harmful algal blooms (HABs) in freshwater environments.

At a December workshop, academic scientists, regional water board HABs coordinators, scientific NGO staff and representatives from tribal environmental protection departments conceptualized a framework to facilitate the collection of high-quality, comparable freshwater HABs data for SWAMP’s Freshwater and Estuarine Harmful Algal Bloom Program.

The recommendations are scheduled to be finalized and published this summer.

Volunteer-driven monitoring is envisioned as one element of a three-pronged approach for increasing freshwater HABs monitoring capacity statewide. Researchers also are pursuing development of statewide field surveys and remote sensing approaches.

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