Toxic HABs of many different species represent a direct risk of injury or death to humans, but even algal blooms that are not directly toxic can cause significant damage by leading to hypoxia/anoxia in the water column, shading critical submerged aquatic vegetation, and degrading ecosystem function.
Harmful algal blooms (HABs) represent a significant problem for the Blue Economy, adversely affecting drinking water, commercial fisheries, water recreation, and tourism costing hundreds of millions of dollars in management and mitigation efforts. As the global climate continues to warm, the number and severity of HABs is expected to increase, along with their incumbent deleterious health and economic effects.
Early detection of HABs is crucial in mitigating their effects. To date, there has been little characterization of water ways and the current make up of the water at any given point in time to assess conditions before, during, and following a HAB due to previous costs and complexity.