Laura Rogers-Bennett of the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and colleagues recently announced the discovery of the organism behind an algal bloom event that wiped out thousands of red abalone on the Sonoma Coast in 2011. Laura, a CeNCOOS Governing Council member, identified the culprit as Gonyaulax spinifera and credited the finding to a new form of genetic testing combined with ocean observing data.
Algal blooms are composed of one or more species of phytoplankton. Some blooms are 'red tides', appearing brown to red in color, and some of these can be harmful to people or wildlife depending on the species forming the bloom. Other blooms are not visible but can still cause health problems. Learn more about algal blooms and algal bloom monitoring activities on the pages listed below.