In the US, the threat of seasonal harmful algal blooms (aka HABs) continues to grow. Caused by industrial agriculture and factory farming runoff, wastewater treatment plant discharges, and other human-made sources, HABs can be dangerous to people, pets and wildlife.
With climate change among the issues taking center stage, there is no better time to look at the impact that climate change is having - or will have - on our food. Agriculture and fisheries are highly dependent on the climate, and any changes in climate will have a (sometimes severe) impact on our food.
Dr. Christopher Gobler and his lab at Stony Brook University are performing pioneering research investigating the causes and effects of harmful algal blooms in aquatic ecosystems, including the terrible toxic algae outbreak in Florida this summer.
When it rains it pours...nitrogen pollution into rural waterways especially after periods of drought. A recent study made that link and begs the question: What will happen to water in farm country if this pattern keeps up?
Dungeness crab is off most menus indefinitely as toxic algae contamination delays season openings on the West Coast. The cause of the toxic algae is warm Pacific waters and some wonder if this is another example of harmful climate change impacts.
As we enter fall, we can expect peak foliage, peak pumpkin spice and, sadly, peak harmful algal blooms (HABs) in US waters. What's the deal with toxic algae blooms and why is the problem getting worse?
Like parents reviewing their kids' report cards, politicians pay attention to grades. The Long Island Sound report card "makes it clear that while progress has been made to improve the water quality of the Sound, more must be done to preserve this economic engine and local treasure's waters and coastline," says New York Congressman Steve Israel.
The toxic algae bloom in Lake Erie that forced Toledo, Ohio authorities to cut drinking water to 400,000 people has subsided, but a major cause of pollution - agricultural runoff - has not. The USDA has taken note and is providing funding and technical support to help farmers reduce pollution.
Early on August 2, officials banned consumption of water in Toledo, Ohio after finding high levels of a deadly toxin in the city's supply. (The ban was lifted Monday, August 4.) How does a new Clean Water Act rule fit into the story to help prevent this from happening again?