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Monitoring for harmful algal blooms (HAB) occurs at 8 piers along the California coastline:
A map of current observations is available for the region here.
The HAB groups of greatest concern to California are Pseudo-nitzschia and Alexandrium, since some species can produce potent algal toxins that can be transferred through the food web to higher organisms such as marine mammals and humans.
Water samples and net tows are collected once per week to monitor for HAB species, and naturally occurring algal toxins, as well as water temperature, salinity, and nutrients.
The goals of this program are to collect comparable data at five regional stations, provide timely updates on HAB events, and aid in understanding the timing, extent, and impact of these events on humans as well as the ecosystem.