CeNCOOS Newsletter- September 2015

photo of mussels

Large, Persistent Algal Bloom Triggers Health Advisories

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued a health advisory to include Humboldt, Del Norte, Monterey, Santa Cruz, and Santa Barbara counties.  They advise consumers not to eat recreationally harvested bivalve shellfish (mussels and clams) or the viscera of scallops from Humboldt or Del Norte counties. Dangerous levels of domoic acid have been detected in mussel and razor clam samples and may be present in the other species that have not yet been tested. This toxin, also known as Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP), can cause illness or death in humans.

This advisory extends the one made by CDPH officials in June, warning consumers not to eat recreationally harvested mussels and clams, commercially or recreationally caught anchovy and sardines, or recreationally caught crab taken from Monterey, Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara counties (this advisory remain in effect).

CDPH is continuing to collect a variety of molluscan bivalve shellfish, fin fish, and crab samples from these areas to monitor the level of domoic acid. This warning does not apply to commercially sold clams, mussels, scallops or oysters from approved sources. State law permits only state-certified commercial shellfish harvesters or dealers to sell these products. Shellfish sold by certified harvesters and dealers are subject to frequent mandatory testing to monitor for toxins.  You can find the full CDPH advisories on their biotoxin monitoring page.

These advisories follow an unusually large bloom of Pseudo-nitzschia (the algae that produces domoic acid) on the West Coast of the U.S and Canada that has persisted since May of this year.  Blooms are common this time of year, but the 2015 event is the first where cells and toxin were detected nearly simultaneously from Santa Barbara to Alaska.

CeNCOOS supports the monitoring of potentially toxic algal species at three sites and the analysis of collected samples from the broader region.  These activities directly contribute to the CDPH's biotoxin monitoring program.  You can find out more about CeNCOOS's work in this area on our Algal Blooms page, which also includes information on our joint project with UCSC researchers to forecast harmful algal blooms and their associated toxins.  In addition to being viewable on our website, the experiment algal bloom forecasts are now available in the CeNCOOS data portal.

View Model in Our Portal 
 

2015 Call for Nominations

 CeNCOOS will be holding the annual election for its Governing Council (GC) in mid-September 2015. We are actively soliciting nominations for five (5) vacant seats and encourage you to consider nominating yourself or a colleague for a position on the Council. Nominees must be affiliated with a signatory member of CeNCOOS (see Members list).  Please refer to Article III of the CeNCOOS Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for more information on the GC and its responsibilities.  Nominations must be submitted by September 14th.
 
If you would like more information please see our official announcement.

NYT Video Features OA Monitoring Partnership

 
The New York Times, as part of the "California Matters" series, posted a video exploring our science-industry partnership to monitor ocean acidification and water quality in Tomales Bay.  The video follows host Mark Bitmann as he visits with Tessa Hill (UC Davis) and Hog Island Oyster Company co-owner Terry Sawyer to discuss ocean observing assets deployed at the oyster farm.  These instruments are being used to track water conditions that are important to both research science and the shellfish companies in the area.

CeNCOOS has been working with Tessa and Terry on a project to test cutting-edge ocean acidification monitoring sensors since 2013.  You can find the streaming data from these sensors (and Tessa's other sensors at the farm) on the IPACOA website and in the CeNCOOS data portal.

Data via IPACOA    Data via CeNCOOS Data Portal

 

Observing Systems Assist with Refugio Spill Response

On May 19, 2015 a pipeline burst and spilled approximately 101,000 to 140,000 gallons of oil, with an estimated 21,000 gallons reaching the ocean near Refugio State Beach in Santa Barbara.  As state and federal emergency responders worked to track the oil plume and muster cleanup efforts, they relied on data from California ocean observing systems.  Ocean models and surface current measurements jointly supported by CeNCOOS and SCCOOS, SCCOOS operated ocean gliders, and incident specific support from SCCOOS scientists were integral to response efforts.  More information on the continuing cleanup, and the work of OOSes in relation to it, can be found at the Spill Information Center, the SCCOOS website, and our news article from the week of the spill.


Trinidad Glider Data Accessible through CeNCOOS Website

Data from the jointly funded CeNCOOS and NANOOS glider line off Trinidad Head is now available through the CeNCOOS website and the IOOS Glider DAC.   These measurements fill an important gap in oceanographic observations between Newport, OR, and Monterey Bay, CA; an area that has been identified in many California Current plans as a key sampling location.
 
This effort is supported jointly by CeNCOOS, NANOOS and NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC). Operations are carried out by Oregon State University's Dr. Jack Barth, Dr. Kipp Shrearman, Anatoli Erofeev and Steve Pierce in collaboration with Dr. Eric Bjorkstedt of SWFSC/HSU.
 
Glider measurements of subsurface temperature, salinity, oxygen, chlorophyll and backscatter complement monthly NOAA SWFSC shipboard CTD and zooplankton measurements along the Trinidad Head line.  This effort provides much needed subsurface data for assimilation into ocean models which will directly improve forecasts of ocean conditions.  More information on the project are available on the Trinidad Head glider page.

 

Other Announcements

  • CeNCOOS will be presenting a poster at this year’s EPOC conference in Tahoe.  Come by and chat with our Director David Anderson if you’re at the conference.
  • This year’s annual WSN meeting will be held on November 5th-8th at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in Sacramento, CA. More Info: http://www.wsn-online.org/2015meeting/
  • NSF is currently hiring a Program Director for the Ocean Observatory Initiative (OOI).  More information can be found on the NSF website
  • CeNCOOS staff, PIs, and mariculture stakeholders in Humboldt county have been working hard on the development of a "Humboldt Bay Oyster Conditions" product.  We're finalizing the interface and will be releasing it within the next week.  Check back for updates!