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Disaster Preparedness Program Co-Hosts Harmful Algal Bloom Preparedness and Response Workshop

MAY 7, 2021 — On April 27-29, NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration’s Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) and the University of New Hampshire’s Coastal Response Research Center (CRRC) co-hosted a virtual workshop and table top exercise on harmful algal bloom (HAB) preparedness and response capabilities and responsibilities across the federal government and state agencies. 

Discolored water near the beach.
Harmful Algal Bloom event off the coast of Texas. Image credit: NOAA

Over 115 participants attended the workshop, which provided a focused discussion to help enhance preparedness and coordination across the Interagency Working Group on Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act (IWG –HABHRCA) members and its partners. Workshop attendees now have a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities of HAB response agencies; the science and tools that help drive decision-making; and the importance of inter-agency coordination.

View the workshop agenda here

On the third day of the workshop, April 29, a group of invitees participated in a 3 hour tabletop exercise called “Fresh and Salty: The Story of a HAB”. The hypothetical scenario outlined a cyanoHAB event created from excess freshwater as a result of a major hurricane that impacted the Galveston, Texas, area. The exercise was broken into two modules in an effort to focus the discussion. Module 1 looked at the initial event in the freshwater environment and Module 2 focused more on the HAB moving from freshwater into the Gulf of Mexico marine environment. In coordination with CRRC, the exercise After-Action Report will be included in the post-exercise workshop summary and available for review in the coming months. 

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Last updated Friday, March 24, 2023 2:53pm PDT