Toward a Red Tide Warning System

A five-year grant is headed to scientists researching harmful algal bloom “hot spots”—aka “Red Tide”— in southern and central California.

In addition to investigating methods that could provide early warning detection of toxic blooms, the $4million project will boost the capabilities of California management agencies to safeguard living resources, public health and economies.

The study was funded through a national competition of the Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB), a program run by the National  Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s National Ocean Service/National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science.

According to a statement from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), research will be carried out at the University of California Santa Cruz, the University of Southern California, Moss Landing Marine Laboratory, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, University of California Los Angeles, and NOAA’s Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research.

Some species of red tides produce a toxin that when eaten can lead to potentially fatal human illness. The toxins can also cause illness and death in marine mammals and birds. To find out more about the hazards of algal blooms, visit the NOAA National Ocean Service Harmful Algal Blooms website:

Read Aquarium Director Vicki Wawerchak’s The Truth About Red Tides.