210692 Communicating NOAA's Harmful Algal Bloom Forecasts to State Managers and the Public

Monday, November 9, 2009: 3:24 PM

Michelle Tomlinson , Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment/NCCOS, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Silver Spring, MD
Richard P. Stumpf, PhD , Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment NOAA, National Ocean Service, Silver Spring, MD
NOAA has developed the Harmful Algal Bloom Operational Forecasting System (HAB-OFS) to alert managers and the general public of the likelihood of impacts due to the toxic algal species, Karenia brevis, on Florida's Gulf coast. Detailed information regarding bloom development, location and extent as well as forecasts of intensification, extent, transport and impacts are provided to registered users with natural resource management responsibilities. The existing system has been in place for over 4 years. In that time, over 400 bulletins have been released as an e-mailed PDF to managers, in response to events stretching along 1000 km. This product has shown a weekly utilization rate of 90%, by over 190 resource managers representing more than 50 organizations.

In addition, a public conditions report is provided on the HAB-OFS website, to alert beachgoers of the presence of a harmful algal bloom and likelihood of public health impacts at the coast over the next 3-4 days. Information regarding the likelihood of respiratory impacts, associated with the release of brevetoxin and subsequent transport to the coast is provided. The public condition report is available on a public website at: http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/hab/ . In addition, the information is also provided on Florida's Red Tide Health Hotline.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the information to be disseminated to management officials and the general public regarding harmful algal blooms and their impacts.

Keywords: Communication, Environment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been an employee with NOAA for 10 years now, working in areas such as Harmful Algal Bloom data management followed by the research and development of HAB forecasting and remote sensing detection of blooms. I have published, and been a co-author on numerous paper regarding bloom detection and forecasting of Karenia brevis in Florida and more recently, toxic cyanobacteria in the Great Lakes. Two recent papers related to this topic are: Tomlinson et al. 2009. An evaluation of remote sensing techniques for enhanced detection of the toxic dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis. Remote Sensing of ENvironment, 113: 598-609; Stumpf et al. 2009. Skill assessment of an operational algal bloom forecast system. Journal of Marine Systems, 76:151-161. In addition, I received a M.S in Oceanography at Old Dominion University.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.