California HABMAP in the CeNCOOS Region

Satellite image of algal bloom
Satellite image of algal bloom
Credit: Raphe Kudela
A satellite image displaying chlorophyll fluorescence as an indication of phytoplankton biomass. Areas of high fluorescence (yellow to red) mark areas where red tide symptoms were observed (11/14/2007).
Photo of algal bloom
Satellite image of algal bloom
Image by Dave Jessup (CDFG).
Foam associated with the red tide event in Monterey Bay (11/11/2007).


California Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring and Alert Program (HABMAP) is an effort initiated by National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), California Ocean Science Trust (CA OST), and the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP) to develop a state-wide Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) alert network system for researchers and end user committees.

'The Regional Workshop on HABs in California Coastal Waters' was held April 2-3, 2008 in Costa Mesa, CA to kickoff HABMAP discussions (pdf report). Participants in the workshop agreed that the development of an integrated statewide HAB alert network would be of value to both researchers and end user committees. This effort is now referred to as HABMAP.

The leading agency for HABMAP is SCCWRP (Steve Weisberg;

The Role of CeNCOOS

August 18, 2008 - CeNCOOS HABMAP Meeting

The California Ocean Protection Council would like to see HABMAP connect with the two ocean observing systems in California: Southern California (SCCOOS) and Central and Northern (CeNCOOS). In response, CeNCOOS held a workshop on August 18, 2008 at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute to discuss potential contributions and collaborations from this region (view notes).

The meeting page includes links to download meeting notes and presentations.



In the CeNCOOS region we will utilize HAB information from 6 regional pier stations:
  - San Luis Obispo/Morro Bay (Mark Moline/CalPOLY)
  - Monterey Wharf (Jason Smith/ACT)
  - Santa Cruz Wharf (Raphe Kudela/UCSC)
  - Bodega Bay (John Largier/UC Davis)
  - Tiburon William (Cochlan/SFSU/RTC)
  - Humboldt Bay (Frank Shaughnessy/HSU)


CeNCOOS region stations sample the same parameters as pier stations in the SCCOOS region including:
  1) Specimens for HAB taxonomy
    1. Pseudo-nitzschia spp.
    2. Alexandrium sp.
    3. Cochlodinium spp.
    4. Lingulodinium polyedra
    5. Prorocentrum spp.
    6. Dinophysis spp.
    7. Heterosigma spp.
    8. Akashiwo sanguineum
    9. Phaeocytis sp.
  2) DA concentrations in plankton sections
  3) Primary inorganic nutrients: nitrate, nitrite, phosphate, silicate
  4) Extracted chlorophyll concentration in plankton sections
  5) Temperature, salinity

Future Monitoring Work

ADDITIONALLY we plan to add sensors at CeNCOOS region piers to sample:
  1) Urea
  2) pH
  3) Dissolved Oxgen

The Fall 2010 CeNCOOS proposal to NOAA asks for the funds necessary to expand and automate these pier stations to sample HABs.


Further information:

CeNCOOS Algal Blooms Page - more info, videos, classroom materials, links to relevant organizations and more

View the UCSC Phytoplankton Identification Guide

View the UCSC Santa Cruz and Monterey Wharf Plankton Weekly sampling blog here

For more information contact CeNCOOS (


Second HABS workshop held at SCCWRP on July 22, 2010 More Details