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.
Has the water in your swimming hole gone green with gunk? Chances are that you're witnessing a harmful algal bloom, which is a serious problem throughout the US and the world. Our new Algal Doom series explores what algal blooms are, why they're bad and what they're caused by (hint: conventional ag and CAFOs are just two of the causes).
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.
As Algal Doom spreads with the rise of harmful algal blooms (HABs), everyone is casting a wary eye toward "colorful" changes in their local waters. This installment of our Algal Doom series maps algal bloom hot spots across the United States.
Harmful algal blooms don't just wreak havoc by causing oxygen-starved dead zones, but they have the potential to be toxic to humans, land animals, aquatic animals, fish and shellfish. This installment of our Algal Doom series looks at the life cycle of an algal bloom, the "colors" of a few common algae types and their harmful effects.
Algal blooms occur naturally, but human development has knocked the natural nutrient cycling out of balance and made them harmful. This installment of our Algal Doom series looks at some of the major pollution sources, like fertilizer runoff from farm fields, animal agriculture manure lagoons and wastewater treatment plants.
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.
Algae can be pesky. We've talked previously about algal blooms causing dead zones and poisoning drinking water. Unfortunately, climate change and nutrient runoff are making algal blooms even worse.
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?
Recently, GRACE Program Director Kyle Rabin interviewed Dr. Chris Gobler of Stony Brook University. They discussed threats to Long Island's drinking water supply, harmful algal blooms like brown tide and how a local shellfisherman's personal story inspired Chris's path as a scientist and professor.
California's Central Valley and New York's Suffolk County have the shared problem of nitrate contaminated drinking water as shown in two separate studies. The question is, how long can this pollution be tolerated?