Last updated: 21 August 2014

April 21-23, 2009, St. Petersburg, FL

The report can be downloaded as a PDF. Note: all exhibits are PDF files.

REPORT OF PROCEEDINGS

The Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System Regional Association (GCOOS-RA) and the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) held the second of three workshops toward development of a Harmful Algal Bloom Integrated Observing System (HABIOS) in St. Petersburg, FL, on April 21-23, 2009. Participants, listed below, were from diverse stakeholder sectors.

Participants

Name Affiliation Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
1. Jeanne Allen EPA Gulf of Mexico Program
2. Porfirio Alvarez SEMARNAT, Mexico
3. Ruhul Amin City University of New York
4. Sibel Bargu Louisiana State University  
5. Birgit Bolton Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
6. Patrick Bradley Teledyne  
7. Bill Burnett NOAA National Data Buoy Center    
8. Meridith Byrd Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
9. Jen Cannizzaro University of South Florida  
10. Scott Cross NOAA National Coastal Data Development Center  
11. Carol Dorsey Alabama Department of Public Health
12. David English University of South Florida
13. Janice Fleischher FLASH Resolutions
14. Cindy Heil Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
15. David Heil Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
16. Jorge Herrera CINVESTAV, Mexico
17. Matt Howard Texas A&M University, GCOOS-RA
18. Ann Jochens Texas A&M University, GCOOS-RA
19. Barb Kirkpatrick Mote Marine Laboratory
20. Gary Kirkpatrick Mote Marine Laboratory
21. Charles Kovach Florida Department of Environmental Protection  
22. Jan Landsburg Fish & Wildlife Research Institute, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission
23. Jason M. Lenes University of South Florida  
24. Alan Lewitus NOAA Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research  
25. Vince Lovko University of Southern Mississippi
26. Nancy Rabalais Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium
27. Bradley Randall Mississippi Department of Marine Resources
28. Andrew Reich Florida Department of Health
29. Geoff Sinclair Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium
30. Inia Soto University of South Florida    
31. Karen Steidinger Florida Institute of Oceanography, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission
32. Marc Suddleson NOAA MERHAB Program
33. Shelly Tomlinson NOAA Center for Coastal Monitoring & Assessment
34. John J. Walsh University of South Florida    
35. Bob Weisberg University of South Florida  
36. Steve Wolfe Florida Department of Environmental Protection
37. Lianyuan Zheng University of South Florida    

 


Meeting Objectives:

  • Bring all participants up to date on work since the November 2007 HABIOS Workshop.
  • Identify current Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) observing system components through:
    • Summary of the November 2007 Workshop Report, and
    • Reports from each of the regions of the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Identify the user groups.
  • Identify the specific data and product needs for the various user groups.
  • Define the gaps in prediction, detection, tracking and monitoring, and forecasting of HABs.
  • Identify the optimal observing system for meeting user requirements.
  • Identify high and low priority user needs to help establish the sequence for the final system implementation.
  • Identify steps toward the final workshop (3rd) and development and implementation of an Implementation Plan.

The following documents were contained in the participants’ folders:

  1. Speakers Bios: Exhibit A
  2. GCOOS Overview sheet: Exhibit B
  3. HABIOS Plan I, July 12, 2008: Summary Document: Exhibit C to be referred to as needed and in conjunction with Dr. Jochens’ opening comments.
  4. HAB Update Templates: To be referred to along with the specific report exhibits which are listed with each speaker.
    1. Alabama: Exhibit D
    2. Florida: Exhibit E
    3. Louisiana: Exhibit F
    4. Mississippi: Exhibit G
    5. Texas: Exhibit H
    6. Yucatan, Mexico: Exhibit I
  5. Draft Tables 1 and 2 from Workshop Proceedings, Technologies and Methodologies for the Detection of Harmful Algae and Their Toxins, 2008, Alliance for Coastal Technologies: Exhibit J

DAY ONE: Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Co-Chair, Nancy Rabalais, Executive Director and Professor, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON), was unable to attend the first half day, so Ann Jochens, Regional Coordinator, Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) Regional Association, and Research Scientist, Oceanography, Texas A&M University provided the brief overview of Harmful Algal Blooms, with emphasis on "Harmful". Depending on the species and environmental conditions, HAB events have a variety of harmful impacts, including human and animal illness or death, as well as ecosystem effects such as noxious algal blooms, hypoxia (low oxygen), water discoloration, toxins and bad taste or smell to humans or animals. The occurrence of HAB events is increasing globally. Reasons include increases in coastal eutrophication, shipping (e.g., ballast water and invasive species effects), and aquaculture, as well as global changes in climate. (Exhibit K)

Agenda Review, Logistics of the Day

The meeting Facilitator, Janice Fleischer, FLASH Resolutions, reviewed the following documents that were included in each participant’s packet:

Ms. Fleischer reminded the participants to review her notes and asked that anyone noticing inaccurate statements to notify her as soon as possible.

Workshop Goals

Co-chair, Steve Wolfe, Program Administrator, GOMA Water Quality Team Coordinator, Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas, Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) made a presentation that described the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) and its interest in HABIOS. He reviewed the specific goals of this workshop. (Exhibit P) GOMA is a partnership of the five U.S. Gulf states – Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas–with the goal to increase regional collaboration to enhance the ecological and economic health of the Gulf of Mexico. Six priority issues are regionally significant and can be effectively addressed through increased collaboration at local, state, and federal levels. Water Quality is one of the priority issues, and HABs is one of the four focus areas within that priority issue.

Mr. Wolfe noted the following workshop goals:

  1. Identify user groups for HABs data and information.
  2. Identify data and information needs for each user group in four focus areas:
    1. prediction of bloom initiation,
    2. detection of bloom existence,
    3. tracking or monitoring of bloom, and
    4. forecasting bloom movement and effects.
  3. Identify gaps in existing HAB data and products in these four focus areas.
  4. Establish the sequence in which we should try to address the user needs.
  5. Provide input to the next step which is the development of an Implementation Plan.

Participants made the following comments and observations to Mr. Wolfe’s presentation:

  1. Representatives from all user groups are not at this workshop, but this is unavoidable. The Florida budget has decreased funding for HAB observations; thus, the level of participation is less than supportive of new initiatives.
    1. This is not a short-term exercise. When GOMA identifies HABs as a priority, it influences funding appropriations for the future. This workshop will provide information needed for the GOMA HAB actions.
    2. The purpose for what we are trying to do here is to bring together all the agencies/states and explore how they can collaborate, create linkages and come up with workable Implementation Plan.
    3. If we continue our work here, the ultimate Implementation Plan is more likely to be supported.
  2. Legislation is being pushed toward regionalization of funds, which is why this Gulf of Mexico regional partnership is so important.
  3. Regional alignments have a feedback effect that leverages resources.
  4. The Gulf Alliance was formed to influence funding on a national level.
    1. The second and fourth most populous states are involved.
    2. We must have a solid, well thought out plan for HAB observations so they can act on it in Washington.

Background and Review of Current Draft HABIOS Plan

Dr. Jochens introduced the GCOOS-RA, defined the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS), and described GCOOS-RA interest in the Harmful Algal Bloom Integrated Observing System (HABIOS) Plan. She also provided background on the Plan and its current iteration.(Exhibit Q)

Overview of IOOS and GCOOS: The U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) is the U.S. part of the international Global Ocean Observing System. The coastal component includes the GCOOS-RA, whose goal is to establish a sustained ocean observing system by sharing and integrating data sets and products from a variety of sources for the good of many, diverse users, including the public. One priority issue is HABs.

Overview of the HABIOS Plan: The current iteration of the HABIOS Plan resulted from the November 2007 workshop with an emphasis on water quality. (Exhibit C) The goal of the Plan is to establish a sustained system for observing HABs that will facilitate and enhance efforts to monitor, manage, and reduce detrimental effects of harmful algal blooms on human health and living marine resources and to mitigate impacts of HABs on coastal communities. The overarching goal of the HABIOS is to provide information in substance and at rates required by decision makers and the public to manage and mitigate environmental and public health impacts of HABs. One challenge for the development of the HABIOS is to identify ways to get the message of the need for the HABIOS to the appropriate funders, agencies and legislatures to monitor he estuarine and coastal ecosystems’ health with regard to HABs.

The purpose of this workshop is to determine the requirements for observations and products of the end users, e.g., fromspecific human health warnings to ecosystem assessments. We will determine who the users are and what needs they have. Using information developed here and from the November 2007 Workshop on the existing system components, we will identify the gaps and how they might be filled. The original HABIOS document is a Strategic Plan and is subject to modification. This workshop will provide a gap analysis to be used to develop the HABIOS Implementation Plan, a goal of a third workshop.

Comments and Observations of Participants following Dr. Jochens’ presentation:

  1. The vision of this workshop and the next one (work will be done before the next workshop) is to develop a truly sustainable Implementation Plan with its associated costs.
  2. GCOOS is not one system. It is made up of separate agencies, institutions, individuals, and entities that provide and use coastal ocean data or products. It is the HABIOS vision that, by combining efforts and identifying users and needs, the elements of the Implementation Plan will be viewed as a credible entity necessary to fund.
  3. The HABIOS will be one piece of the observing system, GCOOS. The GCOOS is a leveraged system, where many contribute to the whole. The structure and framework for the HABIOS are needed to identify how existing assets can be leveraged and what specific funding is needed to fill gaps to make the HABIOS functional.
  4. We need to keep in mind what users need data, what kind of data they need, and for what purposes.The end users are making decisions about HAB occurrence, effects, and mitigation efforts.
  5. Florida encompasses two IOOS systems, the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA) on the east and west Florida coasts and the GCOOS-RA on the west. Both are working to meet mutual challenges and to make the two systems transparent to the users.
  6. Is there any financial commitment yet from IOOS on HABIOS?
    1. IOOS is comprised of approximately 17 federal agencies, not just one, with the Interagency Working Group for Ocean Observing (IWGOO) as the intergovernmental body working to develop the IOOS. Funding could theoretically come from any of the participating agencies. So one task is to identify elements of the HABIOS that might be supported by these agencies.
    2. NOAA IOOS has put some funds into regional observing systems, but so far they have not directly provided observing resources in the Gulf of Mexico.
    3. NOAA IOOS is providing funding through the GCOOS-RA for the HABs workshops and in a Data Portal that may have use to the HABIOS.

Discussion continued on the lack of current funding for IOOS or the RAs. However, it was noted that the development of a HABIOS Implementation Plan that is fully vetted and ready for funding is an opportunity that the participants of this workshop should realized.

UPDATES: U.S. GULF STATES AND MEXICO

State Reports Steve Wolfe, Moderator

Florida

Cindy Heil, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, Harmful Algal Bloom Program, Fish & Wildlife Research Institute, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. (Exhibit R; see also Exhibit E)

Dr. Heil reported on Florida’s FWC/FWRI HAB monitoring program, which consists of a network of sampling by the FWRI staff and volunteers. The water, shellfish, and, as needed, other animals are monitored and data are distributed. The program has three main components: issuance of weekly HABs reports; investigation of HABs events and mortality; and research studies of HABs, their causation, new detection technologies, and new methods for control and mitigation of HABs. In 2009-2010 the state budget for HABs was cut by $2.5-3M, requiring reductions in the projects.

Dr. Heil also reported on the FWC/FWRI aquatic health program that monitors and responds to disease and mortality events in aquatic organisms. The program includes a statewide network to collect samples, diagnose causes of mortality and disease, and disseminate timely information to the public.

Comments and observations following Dr. Heil’s presentation:

  1. How do you decide where to take samples?
    1. Some locations are regularly established stations.
    2. Volunteer groups that take regular samples.
    3. Combination of efforts/variety of components.
  2. How long does it take to get the results of a water sample?
    1. Between 24 and 48 hours.
  3. What’s happening with the red tide prediction/model?
    1. We are losing the satellite project in the current budget.
  4. We will be asked to do the same work with less money. Is anyone going to follow what the effect of this will be?
    1. It is a good idea to show the effects of the cutbacks.
  5. The negative impacts to public health may be the impetus for funding; beach forecasts, shellfish monitoring.
  6. Development of the algorithm for using the satellite data as a red tide indicator is a real need.
  7. If you lose funds and support in a tight budget year, you may never get it back; so try to maintain a program at the current level.

Alabama

Carol Dorsey, Supervisor, Environmental Branch of the Mobile Division Laboratory, Alabama Department of Public Health. (Exhibit S; see also Exhibit D)

Ms. Dorsey reported that the key word in Alabama is "partnership" with states and other entities monitoring for and responding to HABs events. The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) plays a central role in the sampling, analysis, data distribution and archival, and management. As with Florida, reductions in funding are hampering efforts. Laboratories are taking on more work with less staff and funding, a situation which if continued ultimately will compromise HAB monitoring and response programs. Recently there have been blooms of several types of HABs. For some species, the ADPH is finding positive correlations with nutrient concentrations. Reduced funding makes this more difficult to track.

Comments and Observations following Ms. Dorsey’s presentation:

  1. What would the concerns of the "person on the street" be?
    1. Vacation home owners call ADPH for reliable and understandable information on whether HABs events are likely near their homes. ADPH also is working to provide reliable predictions.
    2. ADPH reports to callers about whether eating shellfish is safe based on results of monitoring of the shellfish beds.
  2. The hospitality industry needs to be educated so they are not afraid to be honest about answering questions.
  3. Are bloom organisms getting smaller in size?
    1. This might be an interesting point to look at, particularly as nutrients in the water increase.

There is growth in the human population and construction in coastal regions that will lead to additional non-pervious substrate runoff and enhancement of nutrient loads. This additional nutrient loading will impact algal blooms and HABs and may change HABs dynamics.

Mississippi

Bradley Randall, Biological Program Coordinator, Shellfish Bureau, MS Department of Marine Resources delivered this presentation. (Exhibit T; see also Exhibit G)

Mr. Randall reported that the Mississippi HAB monitoring program includes routine sampling by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (DMR) and a volunteer Phytoplankton Monitoring Network (PMN). The DMR collects water samples and makes observations of water discoloration. Quarterly, oyster samples are takenat 13 stations. The volunteers in the PMN sample sites every one to two weeks, perform preliminary identifications, preserve species that are highly abundant, and provide the data online. There are presently 5 sites. Mississippi is not currently supporting much HABs research. Efforts are needed to provide more public education, better coordination of research and state management activities, and increased communication between the Gulf States.

Comments and observations following Mr. Randall’s presentation:

  1. Are there large tourism areas? Yes, in association with casinos; but in general tourists do not visit Mississippi shoreline beaches.
  2. DNR receives many communications from fisherman.
  3. There are academic collaborations to identify HAB blooms.
  4. MS has no state HAB coordinator; Carol Dorsey in Alabama helps them quite a bit.

Louisiana

Sibel Bargu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences, Louisiana State University (Exhibit U; see also Exhibit F)

After giving an overview of the HAB species of concern to Louisiana, Dr. Bargu reported that HAB research in Louisiana is done mainly by LUMCON and Dr. Bargu’s lab at Louisiana State University. LUMCON activities include phytoplankton compositions, development of a web-based taxonomic guide to phytoplankton, and an environmental monitoring system, which is part of the GCOOS. Dr. Bargu’s research is focused on understanding the causation of major blooms, growth factors, and toxins. Dr. Geoff Sinclair, LUMCON, is beginning research on Karenia and benthic habitats for resting stages. The Oyster Sentinel project, based at the University of New Orleans, disseminates information on the condition of oysters. The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals does not routinely monitor for HABs, but will seek advice from LUMCON if they detect harmful species. An issue is the lack of strong coordinationbetween state agencies and universities (e.g., data are gathered, but are not being used). A major gap is lack of continuous funding for monitoring.

Comments and observations following Dr. Bargu’s presentation:

  1. Why don’t you get ASP cases from domoic acid in diaoms (Pseudo-nitzchia spp.)? (ASP = Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning)
    1. There is not a direct link to human food resources. Occurrence over oyster beds has not yet been linked to human illness.
    2. Concentrations in fishes, such as menhaden, may be manifested in bottlenose dolphin strandings or pelican deaths.
    3. This disease will kill both animals and people.
  2. Is there anything along the coastline that will lead to a bloom?
    1. Blooms off Florida and Texas seem to begin off shore and then move inshore. This needs further study.
  3. Where are the university monitoring stations and what data do they put out?
    1. LSU and LUMCON, throgh the NOAA Multiple Stress project and the Northern Gulf Institute, have 5 monitoring stations in the Barataria Basin and several in Breton Sound.
      1. Data are in real time.
      2. Data are provided in response to emergency requests
      3. Data are used to help with education and identification
      4. They look at dissolved and particulate mater in the water when they are sampling.
    2. LUMCON provides annual data to the international HAB monitoring system of ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Seas – North Atlantic).
    3. Rabalais and Bargu are investigating the toxins produced by cyanobacteria in the eutrophied portions of the Barataria estuary system, accumulation of food webs, and implications for human health.

Texas

Meridith Byrd, HAB Response Coordinator, Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW). (Exhibit V; see also Exhibit H)

Ms. Byrd used a HAB event during the Fulton Oysterfest in March 2008 to describe the HABs activities of Texas. Although Texas does not have year-round HAB monitoring, there is an extensive phytoplankton monitoring network, and NOAA provides satellite imagery. A unique instrument, the Imaging FlowCytobot, had been deployed in the Port Aransas Channel by Texas A&M University as part of the monitoring for the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve. This instrument detected a bloom of Dinophysis – the first such bloom detected in Texas. Rapid notification of the bloom was given to the TPW that then notified the Texas health agencies. By the time of the festival, the bloom had become the worst Texas HAB event with ten bays ultimately closed to shellfish harvesting following sampling across larger geographic areas. Because of the early detection and dissemination of public information, no one became ill. Although this particular incident was unique in the fortuitous observations by the FlowCytobot, it does point to the benefits possible if a comprehensive, routine monitoring system is in place for HABs and their toxins. [Note: The Imaging FlowCytobot is an automated underwater microscope that detects, photographs, and counts plankton, including HAB species, and then relays the information back to shore in near real-time; it is trained to differentiate between species.]

Ms. Byrd reported that Texas currently is having a big problem with the freshwater species Prymnesium parvum (golden algae), which may be spreading due to drought conditions.

Comments and observations following Ms. Byrd’s presentation:

  1. There was a brief discussion of freshwater golden algae blooms that are occurring in golf course ponds and in Europe, Texas, and South Carolina.
  2. Any sign of Dinophysis this year?
    1. Not like last year.
  3. How frequently do you see Alexandrium blooms?
    1. Usually only one a year and they haven’t caused major ill effects.
  4. Texas has no routine monitoring, but responds to sightings.

Mexico

Jorge Herrera, Ph.D., Profesor Titular, CINVESTAV-IPN, Unidad Mérida and Porfirio Alvarez Torres, Ph.D., Director for Regional Integration, SEMARNAT-MEXICO. (Exhibits W and X; see also Exhibit I)

Dr. Alvarez reported that HABs have been seen primarily as a health issue not an environmental issue in Mexico. However, HABs are included as one of the problems to be addressed by the Gulf of Mexico Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) program funded through the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). Mexico is leading the project through the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT). Two U.S. agencies, NOAA and EPA, are partnering on the project. Three pilot projects are planned: (1) Natural Habitat and Ecosystem Conservation of Coastal and Marine Zones of the Gulf of Mexico: Wetlands, Mangroves, Sea Grass Beds and Sand Dunes; (2) Restoring Depleted Shrimp Stocks through Ecosystem Based Management Practices in the Gulf of Mexico Large Marine Ecosystem Pilot; and (3) Joint Assessment and Monitoring of Coastal Conditions in the Gulf of Mexico Pilot. One demonstration site has been selected: Laguna de Terminos Campeche.

The Gulf of Mexio LME project team intends to collaborate with the U.S. to share data and information. To that end, in addition to working with the NOAA and EPA partners, the project team will seek agreements with GOMA and GCOOS for collaboration and cooperation. Additionally, they seek collaboration so the work in the Laguna de Terminos Campeche might be transferrable to other habitats in the Gulf of Mexico.

Dr. Herrera described a new project of the Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional (CINVESTAV-IPN) in Yucatán that uses both a multidisciplinary and ecosystem approach to research HABs. Dr. Herrara reported on the HABs monitoring program. The Yucatán is a karst environment, and therefore susceptible to nutrient-enriched ground water intrusion. Macroalgae and sea grasses are abundant because of the shallow water, and they support fisheries resources and tourism. These activities peak in June through August, simultaneously with the peak in HAB events.

Comments and observations to Drs. Alvarez and Herrera:

  1. Does a hurricane help or hurt?
    1. Initially the hurricane reduces the HAB but the following year the nutrients created due to the hurricane event increase the HAB incidents.
    2. The species are the same.
  2. Mexico presently has one buoy that communicates to shore, but sometimes there are problems and communications become intermittent.
  3. What are the main sources of nutrients?
    1. Non-point sources, including animal husbandry activities, such as hogs, which are a major export to the U.S., soil erosion from cleared forests, over-grazed rangeland, and urban development.
  4. How far out is your definition of near shore or marine?
    1. Near shore: shore to 1-5 m water depth
    2. Marine: deeper than 5 m
  5. Update: three CMAN (Coastal Marine Automated Network) stations are being deployed in Veracruz and will have BreveBusters attached to detect Karenia brevis blooms.

UPDATES: OTHER AREAS

Public Health Perspective–State and Federal

Andy Reich, Coordinator, Aquatic Toxins Program, Florida Department of Health (Exhibit Y)

Mr. Reich emphasized that public health is an important focus during times of budget reductions because if people get sick from a toxic agent, it can command the attention of funding sources. Harmful algal blooms have health impacts on all populations; from the very healthy to the infirm or those with special situations (pregnancy, babies, etc.).

Mr. Reich explained the Harmful Algal Bloom-Related Illness Surveillance System (HABISS). HABISS is a tool provided through the National Center for Environmental Health of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support public health decision-making by centralizing data on human and animal health and on the environmental effects of HABs. All states can get into the system and enter data but the states do not see each other’s data for a variety of reasons. HABISS has human, animal and environmental data all in one place; this is a very important aspect. Currently ten states are funded to take part in this program; however, not all are coastal states. The program is trying to associate human illness with HABs exposure.

Comments and observations following Mr. Reich’s presentation:

  1. Funding is mainly through the Center for Disease Control (CDC); this is important, can you access the stimulus package for health opportunities?
    1. We did not see anything related to what we do in the stimulus package.
    2. However, the CDC is still very interested in what HABIOS is doing.

Animal Health Perspective

Jan Landsberg, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Fish and Wildlife Health, Fish & Wildlife Research Institute, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. (Exhibit Z)

Dr. Landsberg explained that HAB species produce many different toxins, even within a single species. How those toxins work in an animal’s system has important implications for the animal’s health. The toxins can remain in the environment well after the bloom is gone and so can impact a wide variety of species. For examples, post-bloom residual effects of Karenia brevis can lead to manatee deaths months after the bloom, and fish can pick up toxins in benthic reservoirs long after a bloom is over.

Dr. Landsberg explained the complexities of the food web structure and resting stages of dinoflagellates. She showed how there is not always a direct causal line between a given bloom and the death of fish or other animal species. Additionally, some HABs have resting stages so the impacts are spread out in time. She explained why the spatial and temporal aspects of a bloom event and the synergies between HABs and other stressor events need to be evaluated. These are all issues that must be considered in the design of a monitoring program.

Comments and observations following Dr. Landsberg’s presentation:

  1. We are working to coordinate with veterinarians, particularly of marine species.
  2. There are no HABs-related diseases of land animals that are required to be reported.
  3. Pet illnesses related to HABs should be required to be reported. In South Carolina, for example, it was found that some cyanobacteria blooms in freshwater ponds were found to harm domestic pets, as well as humans.

ACT HAB Workshop Summary

Dr. Jochens gave a brief summary of the Workshop on Technologies and Methodologies for the Detection of Harmful Algae and Their Toxins, held by the Alliance for Coastal Technologies (ACT) in 2008. (Exhibit AA). The Report from the ACT workshop was not yet final, so only drafts of Tables 1 and 2 were handed out (Exhibit J). The final report has become available and can be downloaded from http://www.act-us.info/Download/Workshops/2008/USF_HABs/.

HABs of the Gulf of Mexico

Dr. Cindy Heil presented the results of a survey she conducted to examine what HABs appear in which states and their impacts. (Exhibits BB and CC) There are 9 main HAB species in the northern Gulf: Karenia species, Ciguatera species, Pyrodinium bahamense, Dinophysis species, Pseudo-nitzschia species, Karlodinium veneficum, Raphidophytes, Alexandrium monilatum, and Takayama pulchella. Dr. Heil summarized these HABs species, their distributions, and their health effects (see Dr. Herrera’s talk for details on HABs in the southern Gulf, most of which are also found in the northern Gulf).

Comments and observations following Dr. Heil’s presentation:

  1. Trichodesmium may produce toxins; it is commonly called sea sawdust.
    1. Formerly the only information was anecdotal but now toxins are verified.
  2. Trichodesmium blooms are thought to be precursors to Karenia brevis blooms.
  3. Are dolphin strandings in the Gulf of Mexico a result of HABs?
    1. Although the brevitoxins of Karenia brevis and the domoic acid of Pseudonitzschia are documented in the tissues of dolphins, the HAB toxins have not been confirmed to be the cause of the strandings.
  4. The link between nutrients and HABs on the west coast of Florida is not well established.

FOCUS AREAS

Introduction to Focus Areas

Dr. Jochens introduced the next set of speakers and their topics: Prediction, Detection, Tracking and Monitoring, and Forecasting of HABs.

Prediction/Detection, Dr. Cindy Heil (Exhibit DD)

Dr. Heil explained that prediction covers the initiation of the HAB, its movement and transport, and potential impacts. Using the Florida experience as an example, Dr. Heil provided an overview of the data needs of Florida managers and available modeling tools for prediction. She described the USF-FWRI Center for Red Tide Prediction. To provide information on detection, Dr. Heil reviewed the potential new methods for detection of Karenia brevis. She then summarized the needs for detection, including determining the conditions under which each new method correlated well with the standard methods.

Comments following Dr. Heil’s presentation:

  1. Are there commercial services for prediction?
    1. None of which she is aware.

Tracking and Monitoring, Dr. Gary Kirkpatrick (Exhibit EE)

Gary Kirkpatrick, Ph.D., Program Manager, Phytoplankton Ecology Program, Mote Marine Laboratory,reviewedthe available monitoring resources by category (e.g., environmental, biological samples), deployment mode, nontraditional oceanography (e.g., beach conditions reports, public reporting), and HAB monitoring groups. He identified the different needs of stakeholders, such as state managers, fishers, beach goers, and coastal businesses. Dr. Kirkpatrick linked this information to the vision for the HABIOS Plan to establish a sustained observing system with the ultimate goals to reduce and mitigate detrimental impacts of HABs. He concluded with a summary of the many challenges that must be met to achieve this vision.

Comments following Dr. Kirkpatrick’s presentation:

  1. It is very important that we talk about HABs in a multi-disciplinary way.
  2. We need to articulate clearly, as a group, that HABs must be studied correctly; i.e., multi-disciplinary approach.
  3. All information is useful even if it shows no blooms.

Forecasting, Ms. Shelley Tomlinson (Exhibit FF)

Shelly Tomlinson, Oceanographer, NOAA National Ocean Service, described the NOAA operational HAB forecast system, which are available for Florida and Texas, but not other Gulf states. The system provides information on the location, extent, and potential for development or movement of Karenia brevis blooms for coastal resource managers. The need for building strong communications with Mexico on HABs is evidenced by remotely sensed ocean color anomalies in Mexico that correlate in time with HAB-like effects in Florida at times when the Loop Current might have formed a linkage. NOAA’s satellite imagery is not specific for species and is only coastal. Ms. Tomlinson summarized the data and information needed from an observing system by the forecasters and noted that, with regard to models, a cone of uncertainty similar to that used with hurricanes is relevant to HAB bloom predictions. She expressed the view that if this Strategic Plan for dealing with HABs is finalized, it would help with the current HAB collaboration within NOAA that has already been initiated.

Comments and observations following Ms. Tomlinson’s presentation:

  1. When doing predictions, NOAA forecasts out over 2-3 days using wind predictions. The wind predictions should be used for impact predictions as well.
  2. How often does NOAA iterate its forecast? Daily.
  3. HAB forecasting is similar to severe weather forecasting: there are "watches" and "warnings." Warnings are made at the county level, which is where NOAA has 73% success with prediction. For public health purposes, identification of the potential impact sites even to the county level is very helpful.
  4. A grid system with the satellite is useful for predictions:
    1. Subtract the 60-day average, pixel by pixel, from "today’s" image to get changes.
    2. 7% of wind speed is used to correlate the impact.
  5. Current satellite images are 1km resolution.
  6. Sources of observers and reporters of HABs:
    1. In Florida, professional lifeguards are used to report HABs. They are good observers/reporters of HABs, more so than most other volunteers. These professionals work all year. On the west coast, Sarasota and Manatee counties have professional lifeguards that report HABs. The east coast of Florida is fairly well staffed.
    2. In some Florida counties, Parks and Recreation staff or neighborhood residents are used to report HABs.
    3. In Texas, public beaches do not have lifeguards, although private beaches might. No professional lifeguards are currently participating as observers/reporters of HABs.
    4. Other sources for people who can fulfill the role of HAB reporting can be sought, e.g., turtle patrol personnel can be used.
    5. Finding HAB observers to cover the beaches 7 days a week/365 days a year is hard to accomplish.
  7. Ocean color imagery from satellite remote sensing is processed to chlorophyll and used in the forecasts. Water discolorations may or may not indicate a bloom of a harmful algae species.
    1. The MODIS (Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer), which measures electromagnetic energy, is used for ocean color. Only data from the Aqua satellite, which is the MODIS-carrying satellite that passes south to north over the equator in the afternoon, are used.
      1. There are data drop out issues.
      2. Inadequate funding may threaten the uninterrupted continuation of ocean color observations from satellites:
        1. NASA only supports the research satellites.
        2. NOAA supports the operational satellites.
        3. Ocean color is entering the operational mode, but funding is inadequate to keep it functioning.
    2. Remotely sensed ocean color data are useful for identifying anomalies, such as might be caused by HABs, but some research remains for these data to be fully functional for HABs detection.
      1. Spatial scales of biological processes can be smaller than the present 1-km resolution of the satellite. Satellite images currently are better at detecting an anomaly than an actual bloom.
      2. Satellite data from the nearshore shallow waters are less reliable than those from the offshore.
  8. The Gulf of Mexico Aquatic Mortality Response Network (GMNET) has much historical information available, but is now discontinued.
  9. Early warning of possible HAB events, such as occurred with the Texas Fulton Oyster Festival, gives authorities time to confirm the HABs and take action before illness occurs. If there had been no warning and people in Texas had gotten sick during the festival, would we have known about the HAB event?
    1. The lag time between the event and the onset of illness makes such knowledge uncertain.
    2. The HAB-related illness may have been attributed to other illnesses that would have been reported.
    3. Making illnesses from HAB exposures a public-health reportable event may help with identification of HABs-related illnesses.

Identify Users and Affinity Groupings

The Facilitator asked the participants to work individually using Post-It notes. The instructions were to make a list of all potential individual users of the HABIOS. Participants were told to write one "user" per note. Ms. Fleischer, assisted by Dr. Jochens, collected the notes as they were written and placed them on several blank flipchart sheets in no particular order. When all participants seemed to have completed their writing, Ms. Fleischer asked them to come up and read the notes on the board, adding other user group notes to fill any gaps. Additionally, she instructed them to work with their colleagues and rearrange the notes into "affinity" groups of users. The affinity groupings identified were:

  1. Commercial
  2. Education
  3. Marine Operations
  4. Government/Elected Officials
  5. Local Economy
  6. Public Health
  7. Recreation
  8. Scientists/Researchers
  9. Media

 


DAY TWO: Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mr. Wolfe and Ms. Fleitcher amended the agenda for Day Two to reflect the discussions and input from Day One. The revised agenda is shown in Exhibit GG.

General Discussion: Prediction, Detection, Tracking & Monitoring, Forecasting

To begin the day, Ms. Fleischer posed the question to all participants: "What did you not hear in each of the presentations of the four focus areas that you think needs to be brought up?" Taking one focus area at a time, Ms. Fleischer recorded the comments and observations of the participants. The results of that discussion are reflected below:

PREDICTION
(Note: in this context, "prediction" means: predicting where and when a HAB will develop – this is at the species level)

  1. Need prediction in estuaries.
  2. Seasonal forecast is called an outlook by modelers rather than prediction.
  3. We might want to use a "watch" of this term.

DETECTION

  1. Some of the early warning technologies may not have the detection limits we would like to see.
  2. Field deployable methodologies are crucial for detection
  3. Do we need to distinguish between bloom or toxin detection?
  4. Near real-time results are needed.
  5. MERIS (Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer) is part of the European Space Agency’s research satellite, ENVISAT-1. It has higher resolution and different wave lengths than MODIS; these improvements could be very helpful. NASA/ROSES (Research Opportunities for Space and Earth Science) proposals are currently being evaluated.

TRACKING/MONITORING

  1. MERIS is a European satellite with higher resolution and different wave length that could be very helpful.
  2. The SeaWiFS (Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor) satellite mission is coming to the end of its useful lifetime. Replacement with new satellite technology may result in a gap between when the old is no longer useful and the new comes on line, making calibration of the old data with the new difficult if not impossible.
  3. The monitoring program should not be limited to only the sea surface conditions that are measured by satellite.
  4. Surface measurement technology will not show important information that is deep in the waters or on the bottom; 3-dimentional data are needed.

FORECASTING
(Note: in this context, "forecasting" means: where will a HAB go and what will its impact be?)

  1. Modelers also call this "prediction."
  2. Needs to follow a scientific method.
  3. Three-dimensional information is important.
  4. Monitoring data over the entire region in which a bloom may begin is needed to provide the initial conditions for the forecast model.

Presentations on User’s Data and Product Needs

Three "user group" presentations followed the general discussion above. These were "general" and "umbrella" user groups identified during the planning stages of the Workshop. It was felt that a presentation by representatives from those groups on the current state of their data and a summary of their current needs would be very helpful to the participants in setting a foundation for the more detailed work they would be asked to do following these presentations. What follows is a summary of the presentations and comments following the presentations.

Data and product needs: Perspective of a health official

Carol Dorsey, Supervisor, Alabama Dept. of Public Health, Mobile Division Laboratory David Heil, Ph.D., Assistant Director, Division of Aquaculture, FL Dept. of Agriculture and Community Services. (Exhibit HH)

Ms. Dorsey outlined the many responsibilities of a public health official who is dealing with HBs, including adequate communication of risk and consequences without provoking undue alarm. Because most states do not consider HABs illnesses to be reportable diseases, epidemiological data about HABs illnesses are not collected uniformly. Improving the collection of these data, as well as environmental data, is needed to enable the timely postings of HABs advisories.

Dr. Heil discussed the relation of HABs to shellfish harvesting. Using Karenia brevis as an example, he described the legal framework that justifies shellfish harvesting by public health officials and then summarized the Florida molluscan shellfish control program.

Comments and observations:

  1. How are you dealing with shellfish imports?
    1. Importing is difficult; to import live or fresh frozen shellfish the country from which the product was taken must have the same program as that of the U.S.
    2. If it is a cooked product it is not subject to our program regulations.
  2. What do agencies do with the information they get?
    1. Stored at FWC and decisions are made with it.
    2. FWC has a huge database.
  3. There are many non-commercial species that we don’t know as much about because they aren’t seen as important to the public; we should probably get this information to be used for other purposes.
  4. Do you feel you have a sufficient monitoring network to fulfill your work?
    1. We can always use more information; we think we are being over conservative, but we try our best.
  5. There has never been a case of NSP (neurotoxic shellfish poisoning) from a commercial site.
  6. One of GOMA goals is to provide the information to make openings and closings more accurate and in better time.
  7. There are known existing problems and emerging issues, which are existing situations that we have not known were problems in the past.

Data and product needs: Perspective of an environmental manager

Meridith Byrd, HAB Response Coordinator, Texas Parks and Wildlife. (Exhibit II)

Ms. Byrd provided a series of matrices by type of environmental manager: shellfish managers, fisheries managers, wildlife/endangered species managers, resource managers, and environmental regulatory managers, as well as the public. Each matrix presented information on bloom aspects, data or information needs, time or frequency of information, type of forecasting information needed, moderating actions, and length of advance notice required.

Comments and observations:

  1. Texas estimates dead fish, how is that information used?
    1. Regardless of cause, the kills are investigated.
      1. We will seek restitution from the entity that caused the kill.
      2. Used for more than just public health; used to assess fish health.
      3. Look at if it is going to have a longer impact on the fishery.
      4. Also used to answer a lot of the public’s questions.
  2. Impact = number of dead organisms.
  3. Does it follow the standard of the American Fisheries Society guidelines?
    1. Yes
    2. Do they estimate what percentage of kills from HABs comes from human activity?
      1. Yes, they can estimate that from the information they try to gather but not necessarily only from HABs.

Data and product needs: Perspective of a data manager

Scott L. Cross, Ph.D., East Coast Liaison, NOAA/NESDIS/NCDDC at Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research.(Exhibit JJ)

Dr. Cross summarized the history of the Harmful Algal Blooms Observing System (HABSOS) pilot project, which is sponsored by EPA and NOAA. The goal of the HABSOS project is to design for the states a HABs data management and communication system for red tides (K. brevis) using correlations of bloom observations with environmental data. The project has been expanded to include the whole Gulf through collaborations with Mexican state and federal partners. He described the elements of the HABSOS, the national Phytoplankton Monitoring Network, and the South Carolina Environmental Surveillance Network (ESN), and summarized the activities of the NOAA National Coastal Data Development Center (NCDDC) in getting HABs data served in formats needed by a variety of users.

Comments and observations:

  1. With regard to coordination and sharing of data, where are the data? How does your program help that? We need one place to put the data, how do we accomplish this?
    1. The HABSOS website is a regional, web-based data and information dissemination tool (http://habsos.noaa.gov/). It provides a secure data entry tool for registered users. Access to data of other users is available only from users who choose to have their data made publicly available. Maps that indicate presence or absence of Karenia brevis and model output are available for public viewing.
    2. The data are integrated for a number of different applications.
    3. HABSOS is designed to provide agencies with a data management underpinning, not a HAB data repository.
    4. However, HABSOS will maintain the data entered and so could be a data pipeline to a HAB data repository if one is developed.
  2. How do we coordinate this nationally?
    1. From a data management standpoint, interoperability is the key.
  3. We are using money to make interoperability work in too many arenas, how do we consolidate so we can start using the data?
    1. The spending on interoperability is not a poor use of funds.
    2. NOAA is working hard to share between those entities that are getting money to gather data.
    3. We do an excellent job on converging data sets, not diverging. Convergence is a goal of interoperability.
  4. Are there plans to expand the South Carolina ESN system?
    1. We would like to.
  5. How is this site marketed? How are you getting the word out?
    1. Presently it is not being publicized much in U.S.

Clarification of Definitions of User Group

There was discussion concerning whether to revise the user groups from Day One. The workshop attendees agreed to continue with the groupings from Day One. These were: Commercial; Education; Marine Operations; Recreational; Government/Elected Officials; Local Economy; Public Health; Scientists/Researchers; and Media.

Identify the Needs of each User Group: Round Robin

Prior to beginning the identification of user group needs, participants were broken into three break-out groups. Each group was assigned three of the nine user groups listed above. Instructions for the break-out groups were to review the user groups assigned to them and decide if they needed to be further sub-divided. The results of this exercise are are given in Appendix 2. Table 1 gives a summary of the groupings.

Table 1. Categories of User Affinity Groups and Sub-groups

Groups Sub-groups
Commercial C1: Commercial fisheries
C2: Shellfish fisheries
C3: Fishery managers
C4: Aquaculture
Education No sub-groups
Marine Operations MO1: Offshore industries
MO2: Offshore industry workers
MO3: Coast Guard, FEMA
Recreational R1: Ocean going users: In or on the water
R2: Other users
Government/Elected Officials GE1: Resource Managers
GE2: Utilities
GE3: Policy Makers
Local Economy LE1: Business
LE2: Utilities
LE3: Policy Makers
Public Health PH1: Health Policy
PH2: Health Care Providers
PH3: Public Health Education
Scientists/Researchers SR1: Research Scientists
SR2: Operational entities
Media No sub-groups

Participants continued in the three break-out groups. Ann Jochens, Janice Fleischer, and Steve Wolfe assumed the role of break-out group facilitators. Each facilitator was assigned three of the user group areas, and each electronically captured the input of the participants as they moved in a "round robin" format staying with each facilitator for a set amount of time, then moving to the next facilitator. This allowed each break-out group to see all nine of the user groups and give their input. Participants were asked to list the prediction, detection, tracking/monitoring, and forecasting needs of each user group. Appendix 3 gives the results of this exercise. Table 2 gives a summary of the major needs identified by focus area.

Table 2. User Needs for HAB Prediction (P), Detection (D), Tracking/Monitoring (T), and Forecasting (F)

NEED TYPE DESCRIPTION OF NEED P D T F
 
Location Location of bloom in bays, estuaries, coastal waters
Bloom movement and transport    
Bloom boundary changes    
Likelihood of an event at particular locations and times      
Landfall      
Probability of coastal landing and its impacts      
Scale Bloom intensity and severity
Area of bloom effects (including aerosols)      
Spatial extent of the bloom (spatial size and resolution)
Species Type of bloom species in benthic and water column  
Timing Timing of bloom, when bloom occurs
Duration: temporal extent of the bloom
Seasonal or long term time scales for events      
Duration to avoid HAB-affected areas      
Decline/demise/termination of bloom      
Cleansing or clearance rates      
Toxin Toxin type by species
Levels or abundance in water, sediment and/or biota and changes in concentrations    
Whether bloom is toxic; presence of toxicity    
Toxin location      
Toxin in different tissues    
Retention of toxins in ecosystem and residual effects      
Counts Cell counts (expected, historical); Cell concentration by species; benthic and water column
Human Health Impacts Human health impacts (including skin irritation, respiratory irritation or distress)
HAB-associated food-borne illness      
Impacts to health care infrastructure      
What precautions should be taken? Preventative health measures  
Number of workers sickened      
Risk to staff  
Horizontal and vertical spatial extent for human health impacts      
Disaster relief      
Seafood Safety Seafood safety; Harvest outlooks; Impacts to safety    
When fish species become unsafe to eat      
When fish species will become safe to eat      
How HAB affects fishery      
Mortality rates in shellfish      
Economic Impacts Potential economic impacts (including lost work time)  
Diver aesthetics (e.g., benthic community health, visibility, presence of charismatic megafauna)  
Likelihood tourist will get money back for lost vacation      
Aesthetically detectable / Aesthetics; Beach & water aesthetics  
Socioeconomic impacts      
Animal Health Impacts Animal health impacts (including fish and other animal kills)
Alerts & warnings for pets      
Ecosystem Impacts Potential ecosystem/ecological effects
Watch Watches (bloom is likely)    
Likelihood of event at particular times    
Warning Warnings (HAB event is present; give location, size, potential impacts, etc.)  
Historical Patterns HAB history (patterns)      
Spatial and temporal history of HAB by species      
Historic ranges      
What are the likely toxins for the area      
Background HAB information; Historical information on HABs      
Retrospective synthesis
Multi-lingual Information Multi-lingual information (e.g., watches, warnings, forecasts)  
Targeted multi-lingual education for short-timers      
Public-targeted Event Information Visual, interpreted information for lay audience
Information on preventative health measures (wear masks, take antihistamines, etc.)      
Outreach coordinator/Liaison      
Products – How to be informed of event (local news, beach flags, NOAA bulletin, NOAA marine radio, weather channel, smart phone)      
Daily (am/pm) time scales of event exposures      
Advice on un-impacted areas (relevant to divers versus to fishermen)      
Information on unaffected beaches, tourist sites, restaurants, etc.      
Risk communication: safety of food consumption, safety to fish in area      
Public Education on HABs Education on HABs and human health and controllability and how mitigated  
Education on HABs and animal health and controllability and how mitigated  
Educational information relevant to bloom species  
Age-specific curriculum      
Lesson plans/modules      
Capability to log on to a website to see data/picture; Capability to see & query data      
GIS class      
Model Results Output from model of bloom initiation      
Transport model output      
Scientifically defensible models      
Manager Communications Communication with other managers re. potential bloom      
Have medical community report to the data managers of potential HAB health effects being observed/experienced      
Education on new species and their associated public health effects      
Disseminate informaation for and through health provider channels      
Dissemination of illness information      
Dissemination of information to the medical community      
Information that a medical effect is being seen      
Store the information so that the medical community can get the data and make analyses from it      
Calls into poison control about respiratory or food poisoning incidents, skin rashes      
Syndromic surveillance data      
Get what the syndromes are to the medical community      
Special notices for at risk public (forecast for at risk populations)      
Miscellaneous Miscellaneous – Email      
Legal ramifications
Liability
Political or Public "hot" topic      
Data 3-dimensional bloom/toxin configuration  
3-dimensional ecosystem profile  
Physical-chemical-ecological variables in 3-D and real-time  
Salinity      
At risk species and distribution  
Meteorology/climatological data  
Water management activities & Water usage data      
Water, sediment and biota toxin levels and/or cysts      
Fish kill data (#, location)  
Discolored water existence      
River runoff and precipitation and groundwater data (seasonal, other frequency)      
Abnormal marine mammal or bird behavior      
Atmospheric dust data      
Other plankton species data      
Animal stranding data      
Aerial survey      
Satellite data suite (e.g., ocean color, SST, SSH)  
Satellite image and/or animated loop of bloom  
Metadata (who collected, what methods)      
Technology Alternative toxin measures      
Rapid toxin measurements      
Field deployable cell and toxin kits      
In situ real-time detector    
Focused/adaptive monitoring      

Break-out Groups: Identifying the Gaps

The attendees decided that, rather than trying to identify the gaps in needs and performing a preliminary prioritization on this half day of the workshop, Mr. Wolfe would create a strawman document collapsing the needs into five main areas:

  • Information
  • Modeling
  • Observation
  • Products
  • Unassigned

The participants would work on this strawman on Day Three.

The participants went on to the next task of discussing in a plenary setting the considerations to keep in mind when sequencing (putting in a logical order of implementation) the user needs.

Initial Discussion of How Best to Sequence User Needs (Data, Products and Information Needs)

Participant comments and observations:

  1. Break things down sequentially.
  2. What are currently the most important human health aspects?
  3. What is common versus what is rare?
  4. Focus on areas where HABs are commonly located with a high frequency.
  5. See what is already developed in certain areas.
  6. Capitalize on what exists.
  7. Focus on the stakeholders and if there is a particular group that we can help the most or is there a problem group and we meet their need, would it have a positive impact on the observing system?
  8. Engage standards for data management and exchange from the initiation of the program.
  9. Widespread economic impact.
  10. Widespread ecological impact.

 


DAY THREE: Thursday, April 23, 2009

Gaps and Priorities for Data, Products and Information Needs

The day began with a brief overview of the strawman document that Mr. Wolfe created to combine the user needs into five categories for identification of gaps and priorities. The categories were: Information, Modeling, Observation, Products, and Unassigned. The group then assessed whether or not each need was presently being met, identified what was missing, and assigned prioritization. Due to time constraints for detailed discussions on the relative importance of the different needs, the prioritization was limited to identification of highest and lowest priority needs. Of the needs identified, approximately half were ranked as being of highest priority. Appendix 4 reports the results of this exercise. Table 3 summarizes the needs identified as highest priority.

As a result of the discussions, two points were made that apply to all the user needs. First, the needs relative to all HAB species should be considered; most answers here were only for Karenia brevis (Kb). Second, there should to be more uniform data captured Gulfwide.

Table 3. Unranked Highest Priority Needs
(Kb = Karenia brevis)

INFORMATION DISSEMINATION
1.   Communication with other managers regarding potential bloom
2.   Disseminate information for and through health provider channels
3.   Education on human health impacts from HABs, and on their prevention and mitigation
4.   Risk communication: safety of food consumption
5.   Products – How to be informed of event (local news, beach flags, NOAA Bulletin, NOAA marine radio, weather channel, smart phone)
 
OBSERVATIONS
6.   Aesthetically detectable
7.   Animal stranding data
8.   Area of effect (aerosols)
9.   Bloom location; Bloom spatial and temporal extent
10.   Bloom species, benthic and water column; HAB cell counts, benthic and water column
11.   Calls into poison control about respiratory or food poisoning incidents, skin rashes
12.   In situ real-time data on physical, chemical, biological parameters In situ real-time data on physical, chemical, biological parameters
13.   Epidemiology and surveillance
14.   HAB toxin abundance
15.   Meteorology/climatological data
16.   Nutrient conditions of freshwater and groundwater and atmosphere (load term)
17.   River runoff and precipitation and groundwater data (seasonal, other frequency)
18.   Toxin levels in aerosols
 
MODELING
19.   3-D distribution of the bloom or toxin
20.   3-D fields of T, S, velocity, sea surface height, freshwater inflow, winds, heat flux
21.   Coupled 3-D physical biological model
22.   Socioeconomic impacts
23.   Forecast location, scale (boundaries), intensity and duration of bloom
24.   Forecast location, scope, and duration of HAB toxins and residual effects, water column & sediment
25.   Forecast of landfall, moderate accuracy OK
26.   Scientifically defensible models
27.   Vertical and horizontal spatial extent on human health
28.   Watch (a bloom is predicted)
 
PRODUCTS
29.   Aerial survey
30.   Background/HAB information
31.   Bloom duration prediction
32.   Bloom intensity (concentration and toxicity)
33.   Clearance rates; depuration
34.   HAB history (patterns)
35.   Bloom impacts to residents
36.   Information on preventative health measures (wear masks, take antihistamines, etc.)
37.   Information on unaffected beaches, tourist sites, restaurants, etc.
38.   Bloom Initiation model
39.   Lagrangian analyses of HF radar and drifter data
40.   Lagrangian analyses of satellite altimeter data
41.   Model Output – circulation, transport, etc.
42.   Multi-lingual information and forecasts
43.   Special notices for at risk public (forecast for at risk populations)
44.   Syndromic surveillance
45.   Warning – HAB event present (location, size, potential impacts, etc.)

Plenary Discussion of Structure of Integrated Observing System

Participants were invited to comment on their suggestions for structuring an effective HABIOS. Comments and observations follow:

  1. Real time
  2. Accurate
  3. Easy to use
  4. Incorporate pre-existing HABSOS/HABOFS/GMNET/HABISS programs
  5. Incorporate pre-existing observing systems
  6. Stable
  7. Free to user
  8. Easy to find
  9. Accomodating multiple data-gathering platforms
  10. Tailored the products to the users
  11. Secure
  12. Accurate metadata
  13. Subscription service
  14. Use on an iPhone, for those that have them
  15. Automatic event notification
  16. Spatially and temporally inclusive
  17. Support queries
  18. Facilitate communication via electronic methods
  19. Good networking
  20. Vandal resistant
  21. Well funded program
  22. 3D spatially and temporally archived
  23. Automated and largely unattended
  24. Educational applications
  25. Transmitting photos/webcam
  26. Ongoing calibration and validation (possibly automated)
  27. Use both stationary and moving platforms to collect data
  28. Easy to plug into
  29. Modular
  30. Expandable
  31. Economically feasible
  32. Estuarine and freshwater systems included
  33. Quantitative and qualitative data
  34. Assess/facilitate mitigation strategies
  35. Multilingual

What are the Next steps to move into an Implementation Plan

In introducing this next exercise, Ann Jochens made the following comments:

  1. Next workshop would result in a full implementation plan
    1. Specific data
    2. Will want to know the costs of each project
  2. Help identify funders and begin to approach them
  3. Detail will be developed by drafting a Strawman document, which will be sent to a review group and there will be several iterations.
  4. The final document ties the entire picture together.
    1. The document will not be all-inclusive and covering everything you want.
  5. The Plan needs to be iterative and use best management practices (e.g., updated)
  6. Please send any additional ideas you have to Ann Jochens (ajochens@tamu.edu).

Participants’ Comments:

  1. Identify what system and pieces are already developed and could be plugged in and may not have been discussed or are not being used.
  2. For the next phase, it would help to have several goals
    1. HAB impacts

Follow up from this meeting

  • Document drafting and will begin and organization of the next meeting will be drafted.
  • Date of next meeting will be distributed.

Adjourn

 


APPENDIX 1

Day 1: Identify Users and Affinity Groupings

Participants individually listed potential individual users of the HABIOS, one per Post-It note. Notes were placed randomly on blank flipchart sheets. Participants reviewed the collection of notes and filled in any gaps. They then worked together to rearrange the notes into "affinity" groups of users. The initial groupings are shown below. Some groupings were refined further, as indicated in the third column to the right. If no third column exists, no items were eliminated or changed during the refinement and sub-grouping exercise. Note: Because this was a brainstorming session, there were two joke entries; these have been removed.

 

Commercial

USER NUMBER OF POST IT NOTES
Recreational fisherman 14
Commercial fisherman 3
Charter fishing captain 2
Aquaculturists 4
Aquacultural growers 1
Shellfish managers 2
Aquarium operations 1
Oyster producers 1
Stone crab harvester 2
Stone crab fisherman 1
Crab fisherman 1
Shellfish industry 1
Fishery management 1
Shellfish harvester 1
Shrimpers 1

 

Education

USER NUMBER OF POST IT NOTES
School teacher 1
Teachers 2
Public outreach/media 1
Educators/students 1
Schools (including sports teams) 2
People who live on beaches and bays 1
Weathermen 1
Daycare or summer camp operator 1
Websites 1
Educational faculty 1
Homeowners 1

 

Marine Operations

USER NUMBER OF POST IT NOTES
Coast Guard 2
Oil and gas industry 1
Oil and gas platform workers 1
Pirates 1
FEMA 1
Charter captains 2
Coastal buoy hoppers (TENDER) 1
Oil rig worker 2
Dredge worker 1

 

Government/Elected Officials

USER NUMBER OF POST IT NOTES
State resource manager 3
Environmental managers 4
Environmental federal and state office 1
South Florida Water Management District 1
Fisheries fed and state offices 1
Fisheries extension agent 1
Marine resource manager 1
Natural resource manager 1
Coastal manager 1
Marine mammal watchers manager 1
Beach community politician 1
County governments 1
City governments 1
City/county workers 1
State legislators 1
Congress 1
Military 2
County environmental and health departments 2
Desalination plants 1
Desalination plant operators 1

 

Local Economy

USER NUMBER OF POST IT NOTES
Tourists 4
Hotels 8
Lifeguards (Public health) 3
Chamber of Commerce 3
Restaurants 6
Tourist industry & officials 7
Local residents, public 4
Business owners 1
Local and shellfish retailers 1
Shellfish retail and wholesalers 1
Baitfish shops 1
Tour recreational operators 1
Nongovernmental organizations 1
Triathlon organizers 1
Oysterman 1
Boat operations 1
County visitors bureau 1
Festival organizers 1
Aquariums 1
Retirement home operators 1
Airline operators 1
Food & beverage retailers 3
Restaurant patrons of seafood 1
Coastal engineer 1
Business Bureau 1
Developer 1
Travel agencies 1
Casino industry 1
Water transportation agencies 1
Wedding planner 1

 

Public Health

USER NUMBER OF POST IT NOTES
State and county coastal authorities 1
City planners 1
Hospitals 1
Seafood consumers 2
Owners of coastal homes 1
CDC 1
County health worker 3
Funding agencies 1
Respiration therapists 1
Public health managers 7
Agencies involved w/ HABs 1
Child care/day care 1
First responders, 1st aid, fire department 2
Parent of asthmatic child 1
Coastal health agencies 1
Travel agencies 1
Pregnant women 2
Federal health office 1
State health office 1
Water departments 1
Drug store (selling eye drops & allergy meds) 1
Epidemiologists 2
Local person of SE Asian extraction with potential diet differences or special dietary advisories needed 1
Emergency rooms 1
Public health data manager 1
Surveillance nurse 1
Public information office (health) 1
Medical community 1

 

Recreation

USER NUMBER OF POST IT NOTES
Coastal residents 2
Photographers 1
Respiratory-challenged people (smokers, etc.) 1
Tourists 4
Campers 1
Kayakers 3
Shuffleboard clubs 1
Fossil hunters 1
Lifeguards 3
Local swimming teams 1
Joggers 1
Private industry tourist/fisheries 1
Beach goer 8
Tourist services/bureau 1
Beach concessions 1
Boat rental shops 1
Parasailing operators 1
Kayak clubs 1
Beach cleanup managers 1
Golfers 1
Yacht clubs 1
Tourism official 1
Pet owners 1
Aquariums 1
Surfers 1
Kayakers & boaters 1
Vacationers 1
Jet skiers 1
Recreation boaters/fishers 1
Pregnant beachgoers 1
Fashion Models 1
Swimmers 4
Divers 5
Windsurfers/kite surfers 2
Snorkelers 1
Beach combers 1
Boaters 4
Dog beach people 2
Musicians 1
Spearfishing diver 1
Beach volleyball players 1
Recreational fishers 4
General public 2
Sailors – recreational 1
Birdwatchers 3
Tourists, English speaking 2
Tourists, non-English speaking 1

 

Science/Researchers

USER NUMBER OF POST IT NOTES
Other monitoring observing networks 1
Operational forecaster 1
Modelers 4
Scientists & Researchers 20
Students 1
Marine mammal response networks 1

 

Media

USER NUMBER OF POST IT NOTES
News casters 1
Reporters 1

APPENDIX 2

Day 2: Categories of User Groups and Sub-groups

Participants broke out into three (3) groups. Each group was assigned three (3) of the nine user groups: Commercial; Education; Marine Operations; Recreational; Government/Elected Officials; Local Economy; Public Health; Scientists/Researchers; and Media. Each break-out group reviewed the user groups assigned to determine if the user groups needed to be further sub-divided. The results of this exercise are are given here. Table 2 gives a summary of the groupings.

  1. Commercial
    1. C1: Charter fishing captains, fishers, commercial fishers
    2. C2: stone crab fisherman, blue crab fisherman, stone crab harvester, shellfish harvester, shrimpers, oyster producers, shellfish industry, aquaculture
    3. C3: Shellfish managers, fishery manager
    4. C4: Aquaculturists, aquaculture growers, aquarium operators (note: this grouping was eliminated in the next exercise)
  2. Education: (no subgroups) Homeowners, weatherman, people who live on beaches and bays, outreach, websites, daycare or summer camp operators, school teachers, teachers, educator/students, schools, educational faculty
     
  3. Marine Operations
    1. MO1: Oil and gas industry, charter captains, treasure hunters, cruise industry
    2. MO2: Oil and gas platform workers, oil rig worker, dredge worker, coastal buoy tenders
    3. MO3: Coast Guard, FEMA (note: this grouping was eliminated in the next exercise)
  4. Recreational
    1. R1: (Ocean going users): Divers, snorkelers, recreation boaters/fishers, spearfishing, diver, recreational fishers
    2. R2 (Other Users): Lifeguards, local swimming teams, kayakers, beach goers, swimmers, beach combers, boaters, sailors-recreational, surfers, jet skiers, beach concessions, boat rental shops, parasailing operators, kayak clubs, yacht clubs, tourism officials, tourist services/bureau, private industry tourist/fisheries, tourists, tourists-English speaking, tourists-non-English speaking, vacationers, pregnant beachgoers, fashion models, golfers, joggers, campers, shuffleboard clubs, fossil hunters, beach cleanup managers, pet owners, dog beach people, windsurfers, kite surfers, beach volleyball players, photographers, respiratory-challenged people (smokers, etc.), aquariums, birdwatchers, coastal residents, general public
  5. Government/Elected Officials
    1. GE 1: (Resource Managers) State, environmental, marine, natural and coastal resource managers, marine mammal watchers managers, federal and state environmental and fisheries offices, fisheries extension agents, military, county environmental departments
    2. GE 2: (Utilities) Desalination plants, desalination plant operators, South Florida Water Management District
    3. GE 3: (Policy Makers) Beach community politicians, county and city governments, city/county workers, state legislators, Congress
  6. Local Economy
    1. LE 1 (Business): tourism official, tourist industry, county visitors bureau, tour recreational operators, travel agencies, chamber of commerce, business bureau, festival orgs, triathlon org, hotel/motel owners, hotels, hotel managers, restaurants, restaurant owners, business owners, local and shellfish retailers, shellfish retail and wholesale-r, beer retailer, baitfish shops, oystermen, aquariums, food store manager, airline operator, casino industry, wedding planner, developer, boat operations, water transportation agencies, coastal engineers, NGOs
    2. LE 2 (Tourism): tourists, restaurant patrons of seafood, beach users, man in the street, public
    3. LE 3 (Local Residents): restaurant patrons of seafood, oysterman, retirement home operators, beach users, local residents, man in the street, public
  7. Public Health
    1. PH I: (Health Policy) funding agencies, state and county coastal authority, city planners, agencies involved with HABs, coastal health agencies, CDC, federal health office, state health office, water departments, county health worker, public information office, epidemiologists
    2. PH 2: (Health Care Provider) medical community, emergency rooms, hospitals, surveillance nurse, respiration therapists, drugstore, poison control
    3. PH 3: (Public Health Education) childcare/daycare, parent of asthmatic child, pregnant research scientist, pregnant tourist, Non traditional seafood users, sushi consumers, shellfish consumers, travel agencies, owners of coastal homes
  8. Scientists/Researchers
    1. SR 1 (Research Scientist): HAB researcher, Scientists, Researchers, Modelers, Ecology researcher, fisheries scientist, phytoplankton ecologist, oceanographer, students, other monitoring observing networks
    2. SR 2 (Operational entities): Operational forecaster, Marine mammal response network (Note: this is really two separate user groups)
  9. Media: Newscasters, Reporters

APPENDIX 3

Day 2: Identify the Needs of each User Group

Participants continued in the three break-out groups. Ann Jochens, Janice Fleischer, and Steve Wolfe assumed the role of break-out group facilitator. Each facilitator was assigned three of the user group areas; and each facilitator electronically captured the input of the participants as they moved in a "round robin" format staying with each facilitator for a set amount of time, then moving to the next facilitator. This allowed each break-out group to see all nine of the user groups and give their input. Participants were asked to list the prediction, detection, tracking/monitoring, and forecasting needs of each user group. Note: One joke comment was deleted.

COMMERCIAL USERS

Commercial 1: Charter fishing captains, fisherman, commercial fisherman

PREDICTION DETECTION TRACKING FORECASTING
Location of bloom and scale Location of bloom and scale Location of bloom and scale Forecast of duration to avoid HAB-affected areas
Type of bloom Type of bloom Type of bloom Forecast of bloom movement
Bloom intensity Whether toxic Whether toxic Forecast of bloom boundary changes
Human health impacts Bloom intensity Bloom intensity When fish species will become safe to eat
Animal health impacts Human health impacts Human health impacts What precautions should they take
Watches and warnings (related to certainty of prediction of bloom) Animal health impacts Animal health impacts  
HAB history (patterns) When fish species become unsafe to eat    

Commercial 2: Stone crab fisherman, crab fisherman, stone crab harvester, shellfish harvester, shrimpers, oyster producers, shellfish industry, aquaculture

PREDICTION DETECTION TRACKING FORECASTING
Spatial and temporal history of HAB by species Where detected Where bloom goiong Landfall
How HAB effects fishery HAB species & toxin abundance HAB species & toxin abundance Spatial and temporal extent of the bloom
Visual, interpreted information for lay audience Spatial extent of the bloom Spatial extent of the bloom Decline of bloom
Education on HAB & human & animal health and controllability & how mitigated Satellite imagery of bloom Satellite imagery of bloom Cleansing rates
Watch to warnings Toxin in different tissues Visual, interpreted information for lay audience Export of bloom – where going to next?
  Visual, interpreted information for lay audience Mortality rates in shellfish Visual, interpreted information for lay audience
  Education on HAB & human & animal health and controllability & how mitigated   Risk communication: safety of food consumption, safety to fish in area

Commercial 3: Shellfish managers, fishery manager

PREDICTION DETECTION TRACKING FORECASTING
Cell counts Location Location Location
Species Email Email Email
Toxin levels in biota Intensity Intensity Intensity
Watch Toxins (by species) Movement/transport Toxins
Warning Who collected data Focused/adaptive monitoring Movement/transport
HAB history See data 3 dimensional Demise
Location How collected (methods) Toxin in tissue Clearance rates
  Cell concentration by species In situ real time detector Bloom duration
  Spatial size and resolution Spatial size and resolution Retention of toxins in ecosystem
  3 dimensional Toxins in seawater Spatial size and resolution
  Toxin in tissue    
  Alternative toxin measures    
  Field deployable cell and toxin kits    
  In situ real time detector    

 


EDUCATORS

Educators: Homeowners, weatherman, people who live on beaches and bays, outreach, websites, daycare or summer camp operators, school teachers, teachers, educator/students, schools, educational faculty
Note: this group was not broken into the four focus areas, suggestions for needs were:

  1. Age-specific curriculum
  2. Lesson plans/modules
  3. Capability to log on to a website to see data/pictures
  4. Want to see the data/ query
  5. GIS class

 


MARINE OPERATIONS

Marine Operations 1: oil and gas industry, charter captains, treasure hunters, cruise industry

PREDICTION DETECTION TRACKING FORECASTING
History of HABs Warning (bloom exists) Transport (location and scale) Transport (location and scale)
Watch (bloom likely) Location Health effects Health effects
Location Expected impacts from bloom species Fish and other animal kills Bloom termination
Timing Health effects    
  Fish and other animal kills    

Marine Operations 2: oil and gas platform workers, oil rig worker, dredge worker, coastal buoy tenders

PREDICTION DETECTION TRACKING FORECASTING
Watches Warnings Warnings and watches Duration
Location Location Location Location
  Respiratory Irritation Species Vertical and horizontal spatial extent on human health
  Intensity   Number of workers sick or dead by species
  Species   Number of barrels lost

 


RECREATIONAL

Recreational 1: Divers, snorkelers, recreational boaters/fishers, spearfishing,

PREDICTION DETECTION TRACKING FORECASTING
Watch (bloom is likely) Warning (bloom exists) Watch & warning (more info) Bloom location and duration, intensity
Location of bloom Fish kills Fish kills Fish kills
  Health impacts (skin irritation, respiratory distress) Health impacts (skin irritation, respiratory distress) Health impacts (skin irritation, respiratory distress)
  Diver aesthetics (e.g., benthic community health, visibility, presence of charismatic megafauna) Diver aesthetics (e.g., benthic community health, visibility, presence of charismatic megafauna) Diver aesthetics (e.g., benthic community health, visibility, presence of charismatic megafauna)
  3D bloom configuration 3D bloom configuration 3D bloom configuration
      Advising of unimpacted areas (relevant to divers versus to fisherman)

Recreational 2: No focus area breakdown, all said, "See ‘Tourism’.": Local Economy 2

 


GOVERNMENT/ELECTED OFFICIALS

Government/Elected Officials 1 (Resource Managers): State, environmental, marine, natural and coastal resource managers, marine mammal watchers managers, federal and state environmental and fisheries offices, fisheries extension agents, military, county environmental departments

PREDICTION DETECTION TRACKING FORECASTING
HAB history patterns Cell counts Cell counts Cell counts
Whether a fish kill Location Location Location
Output from model of bloom initiation Scale Scale Scale
Location of bloom Presence of Toxin (with type) Presence of Toxin (with type) Presence of Toxin (with type)
Scale of bloom 3D ecosystem profile 3D ecosystem profile 3D ecosystem profile
HAB species At risk species and distribution At risk species and distribution At risk species and distribution
Communication with other managers re. potential bloom Risk to staff Risk to staff Risk to staff
Watch (a bloom is predicted) Warning (a bloom exists) Warning (more info) Forecast location, scope, and duration of HABs and toxins and residual effects
      Socioeconomic impacts

Government/Elected Officials 2 (Utilities): Desalination plants, desalination plant operators, South Florida Water Management District

PREDICTION DETECTION TRACKING FORECASTING
Watch or warning Location Movement Plant-fall (a la Landfall)
Historic ranges of HABs HAB Species & intensity Toxin location & intensity Forecast intensity
What are the likely toxins for the area Satellite image Satellite loop Duration
  Toxins 3-D distribution of the bloom or toxin Bloom termination
  Rapid toxin measurements   3-D distribution of the bloom or toxin
  Salinity data   Human health effects
  3-D distribution of the bloom or toxin    

Government/Elected Officials 3 (Policy Makers): Beach community politicians, county and city governments, city/county workers, state legislators, Congress

PREDICTION DETECTION TRACKING FORECASTING
Location Location Location Probability of coastal landing and its impacts
How bad How bad How bad Socioeconomic impacts
How affect animals and people How affect animals and people How affect animals and people Health impacts humans and animals
Potential ecosystem effects Potential ecosystem effects Potential ecosystem effects Potential ecosystem effects
Impacts to health care infrastructure Legal ramifications Legal ramifications Impacts to health care infrastructure
Potential economic impacts Liability Liability Legal ramifications
Watch Retrospective synthesis Retrospective synthesis Liability
Warning     Retrospective synthesis
Legal ramifications     Disaster relief
Political "hot" topic      
Public "hot" topic      
Retrospective synthesis      

 


LOCAL ECONOMY

LE 1 (Business): tourism official, tourist industry, county visitors bureau, tour recreational operators, travel agencies, chamber of commerce, business bureau, festival orgs, triathlon orgs, hotel/motel owners, hotels, hotel managers, restaurants, restaurant owners, business owners, local and shellfish retailers, shellfish retail and wholesaler, beer retailer, baitfish shops, oystermen, aquariums, food store manager, airline operator, casino industry, wedding planner, developer, boat operations, water transportation agencies, coastal engineers, NGOs

PREDICTION DETECTION TRACKING FORECASTING
Watch (bloom predicted) Warning (bloom exists and where) Watchs & Warning (more info) Duration of bloom event
HAB history Bloom species Fish kills Area of effect (aerosols)
Human health impacts Fish and other animal kills Respiratory irritation Forecast location, scale and intensity of bloom
Seafood safety Presence and amount of toxicity Education info relevant to bloom species Forecast of impacts (respiratory distress, economics, fish kills)
  Respiratory irritation Bloom location Forecast of bloom termination
  HAB-associated food borne illness   Aesthetics
  Aesthetically detectable    

LE 2 (Tourism): tourists, restaurant patrons of seafood, beach users, man in the street, public

PREDICTION DETECTION TRACKING FORECASTING
Likelihood & location of event at particular times Warning – HAB event present (location, size, potential impacts, etc.) Location and severity of event as it progresses Location of event at what time
Potential for human health impact Products – How to be informed of event (local news, beach flags, NOAA Bulletin, NOAA marine radio, Weather Channel, smart phone) Warning – Multi-lingual Duration of event
Potential for food safety issue Alerts & warnings for pets   Human and animal health effects
Seasonal or long-term time scales for events Multi-lingual warnings   Seafood safety impact
Watch Beach & water aesthetics Beach & water aesthetics Daily (am/pm) time scales of event exposures
Multi-lingual information (e.g., watches)     Likelihood you’ll get your money back
Targeted education for short-timers (multi-lingual)     Multi-lingual communication of forecasts
Information on preventative health measures (wear masks, take antihistamines, etc.)     Information on unaffected beaches, tourist sites, restaurants, etc.

LE 3 (Local Residents): restaurant patrons of seafood, oysterman, retirement home operators, beach users, local residents, man in the street, public

PREDICTION DETECTION TRACKING FORECASTING
Watch Location Location Location
Location How bad How bad How bad
How bad Timing/when Timing/when Timing/when
Timing/when Spatial extent Spatial extent Impact
Spatial extent Warning Human health effects Demise/termination
Potential human health effects   Ecosystem impacts Duration
Animal impacts   Movement/transport Intensity
Potential seafood safety issues     Spatial extent
Harvest outlooks     Movement/transport
      Human health effects
      Aesthetics report
      Animal health effects

 


PUBLIC HEALTH

All three subgroups were done together, no separate input for the four focus areas.

PH I: Health Policy: funding agencies, state and county coastal authority, city planners, agencies involved with HABs, coastal health agencies, CDC, federal health office, state health office, water departments, county health worker, public information office, epidemiologists
PH 2: Health Care Provider: medical community, emergency rooms, hospitals, surveillance nurse, respiration therapists, drugstore, poison control
PH 3: Public Health Education: childcare/daycare, parent of asthmatic child, pregnant research scientist, pregnant tourist, Non-traditional seafood users, sushi consumers, shellfish consumers, travel agencies, owners of coastal homes

PREDICTION DETECTION TRACKING FORECASTING
Have medical community report to the data managers of potential HAB health effects being observed/experienced Education on new species and their associated public health effects Syndromic surveillance data Special notices for at-risk public (forecast for at-risk populations)
  Disseminate information for and through health provider channels Get what the syndromes are to the medical community  
  Dissemination of illness information    
  Dissemination of information to the medical community    
  Information that a medical effect is being seen    
  Store the information so that the medical community can get the data and make analysis from it    
  Calls into poison control about respiratory or food poisoning incidents, skin rashes    

 


SCIENCE/RESEARCHERS

SR 1 (Research Scientist): HAB researcher, Scientists, Researchers, Modelers, Ecology researcher, fisheries scientist, phytoplankton ecologist, oceanographer, students, other monitoring observing networks

PREDICTION DETECTION TRACKING FORECASTING
Historical cell counts Human illness
Respiratory irritation
Plankton counts & ids 3-D fields of T, S, velocity, sea surface height, freshwater inflow, winds, heat flux
Physical
Chemical
Ecological
Mortality of animals Movement & mortality of birds and animals Oxygen, CO2, speciated (dissolved and particulate)macro- & micro-nutrients (including silicate & iron)
Water management activities; water usage data Satellite imagery Satellite imagery Satellite imagery-ocean color (various wavelength), SST, altimetry, dust, winds
Fish kill data (#, location) Plankton counts & ids Coupled 3-D physical biological model Species specific phytoplankton (bloom community) – what, when, how much
River runoff and precipitation and groundwater data (seasonal, other frequency) Toxins in biota (food, tissues) Lagrangian analyses of HF radar and drifter data Benthic community (ditto above)
Water, sediment and biota toxin levels and/or cysts Toxins in water, sediment Lagrangian analyses of satellite altimeter data Nutrient conditions of freshwater and groundwater and atmosphere (load term)
Atmospheric dust data In situ real-time data on physical, chemical, biological parameters Epidemiology and surveillance Toxin data in shellfish and fish and other impacted species
Other plankton species data   Seafood product tracking Toxin levels in aerosols
Animal stranding data   Eulerian modeling Risk assessment for animal and human health
Climatological data     Socioeconomic impacts
      Model Output – circulation, transport, etc.

SR 2 (Operational entities): Operational forecaster, Marine mammal response network
(Note: this is really two separate user groups)

PREDICTION DETECTION TRACKING FORECASTING
Species Satellite data suite Satellite data suite Forecast of bloom size and movement, moderate accuracy OK
Counts Toxin presence Transport model output Forecast of severity and landfall, moderate accuracy OK
Physical-chemical variables Species, benthic and water column Toxin type and concentration changes Meteorological forecast
Vertical profile for above Counts, benthic and water column Meteorological data Scientifically defensible models
Meteorology/climatological data Physical-chemical variables, vertically profiled Species, benthic and water column  
Initiation model output Respiratory irritation presence Counts, benthic and water column  
Satellite data (ocean color & temp), sea surface height Fish & critter kills Fish & critter kills  
Above needed real-time Discolored water existence Respiratory irritation presence  
  Bloom spatial extent Aerial survey  
  Abnormal marine mammal or bird behavior Physical-chemical variables, vertically profiled  
  Above needed real-time Bloom spatial extent  
    Above needed real-time  

 


MEDIA

Media: Newscasters, Reporters

PREDICTION DETECTION TRACKING FORECASTING
Watch Warning Warning Spatial extent
Location Location Watch Location
  Spatial extent Location Duration
  Human health impacts Intensity Demise/termination
  Animal health impacts Preventative health measures Economic impacts
  Species Ecological impacts Aesthetics
  Intensity Human health impacts Outreach coordinator/Liaison
  Fish kills Movement/transport Preventative health measures
  Preventative health measures   Movement/transport
  Background/HAB information   Ecological impacts
  Historical information on HABs   Human health impacts

 


APPENDIX 4

Day 2: Prioritization of Needs

  • Information Dissemination
  • Observations
  • Modeling
  • Products
  • Unassigned

Note: Ideas that apply to all focus areas are:
1. need to consider all HABs, most answers are only for Karenia brevis (Kb)
2. need more uniform data captured Gulfwide.

Information Dissemination
NEED Is it available? Is it available everywhere needed?
What is missing/
Where needed?
Highest/Lowest Priority?
1. Advising of unimpacted areas (relevant to divers versus fisherman) Yes, but not proactive, really only beachgoers No, need to consider all HABs, most answers for Kb (Karenia brevis) L
2. Alerts & warnings for pets New FAQ card by not widely disseminated Not everywhere L
3. Capability to log on to a website to see data / pictures Yes No, need more data out there like: other HABs, pictures from real time; ability to see data thru GIS system  
4. Communication with other managers re potential bloom Yes Not fully H
5. Disseminate information for and through health provider channels Partially Partially, need better info through primary care providers, better diagnostics skills re: HAB related illnesses H
6. Education on human health impacts from HABs, prevention and mitigation Partially, scattered everywhere Partially but not easy to find: Emerging science so communication to public more difficult H
7. Education on animal health impacts from HABs, prevention and mitigation Domestic: partially
Wildlife: partially
Domestic: no
Wildlife: no
Both are hard to find when it does exist
More effort going on in wildlife than in domestic
 
8. Education on new species and their associated public health effects Limited, very little No  
9. GIS class – DROPPED      
10. Risk communication: safety of food consumption Yes No, really confusing messages for public and Kb specific. If we want to issue bulletins and remove more rapidly we need more information; greater refinement of risk analysis H
11. Risk communication: safety to go fishing Yes but the message is not going to everyone and not fishers specific No, greater targeting toward fishing communities needed  
12. Products – How to be informed of even (local news, beach flags, NOAA Bulletin, NOAA marine radio, weather channel, smart phone)   Needs to be audience specific; media doesn’t report well on onogoing events, they want new news; there is a high news turnover rate; media training needed; try to incorporate into some regular report; extend to more than Kb H
Observations
NEED Is it available? Is it available everywhere needed?
What is missing/
Where needed?
Highest/Lowest Priority?
13. Abnormal marine mammal or bird behavior Limited and scattered No, uniform data capture is neeeded; people need to know where to report (to whom); look at the ESN that Scott Cross talked about  
14. Aesthetically detectable Yes, partially No, if observed it may be reported, limited and scattered H
15. Alternative toxin indicators and measurements Partial No, existing measures are inadequate; We need more operational methods for measuring toxins and indicators; response appropriate methodology  
16. Animal stranding data Partial No, uniform data capture needed and where to report and enhance how it is communicated and networking; see ESN and GMNET H
17. Area of effect (aerosols) Partially No, need beach conditions reporting system gulf wide; higher resolution H
18. Atmospheric dust data Partially No, all research need to go to operational, maybe add to existing other atmospheric deposition networks  
19. Bloom location; Bloom spatial and temporal extent Partially, and only some species and only regional No, needs improvement in detection, more confidence in location; regional issues; detection at depth is very limited H
20. Bloom species, benthic and water column; HAB cell counts, benthic and water column Partially No, not enough surveys done, limited surveys, great to have a routine monitoring system H
21. Calls into poison control about respiratory or food poisoning incidents, skin rashes Partial No, need public to know that it is available, improve awareness; better utilization by primary care providers needed H
22. In situ real-time data on physical, chemical, biological parameters Partial No, not routine, need more data, need more field measures and equipment detectors; 3 D aspect needed (dimensionality). Near shore aspect H
23. Daily (am/pm) time scales of event exposures No, partially with the lifeguard data but is Kb specific No  
24. Discolored water existence Put with aesthetic    
25. Diver aesthetics (e.g., benthic community health, visibiilty, presence of charismatic megafauna) Put with aesthetic    
26. Epidemiology and surveillance Partially, but incomplete No, need more uniform data captured gulfwide H
27. Fish and other animal kills Combine with animal stranding    
28. HAB toxin abundance Very partial Need to get more data on other toxins involved; most now are Kb toxins in the water and in animals; need rapid field methods H
29. HAB-associated food borne illness Covered in epidemiology    
30. Health impacts humans and animals covered    
31. Meteorology/climatological data Yes No, Mexico and Cuba not covered at all, we need it gulfwide H
32. Nutrient conditions of freshwater and groundwater and atmosphere (load term) Limited and scattered No, uniform data capture important, uncertainty analysis H
33. Presence of Toxin (with type) covered    
34. Physical-chemical variables, vertically profiled covered    
35. Presence and amount of toxicity covered    
36. Rapid toxin measurements covered    
37. Respiratory irritation covered    
38. River runoff and precipitation and groundwater data (seasonal, other frequency) Limited and scattered No, relate to loading, uniform data capture, uncertainty analysis H
39. Satellite loop (sequence of images, movie loop) Partially Yes, but not every satellite product or sensor  
40. Species specific phytoplankton (bloom community) – what, when, how much Covered above, try to combine Relationship of HABs with other community dynamics  
41. Toxin data in shellfish and fish and other impacted species Combine with 18    
42. Toxin levels in aerosols Limited Need rapid field methods for sampling and analysis H
43. Water management activities; water usage data; related to freshwater inflows Combine with 29    
44. Water, sediment and biota toxin levels and/or cysts Combine with toxin measurement    
45. Who collected the data Metadata item; doesn’t belong here    
Modeling
NEED Is it available? Is it available everywhere needed?
What is missing/
Where needed?
Highest/Lowest Priority?
46. 3-D distribution of the bloom or toxin Partially, K. brevis only Need model development, including other species H
47. 3-D ecosystem profile No, but there is some historical information Not complete ecosystem, was on west FL shelf  
48. 3-D fields of T, S, velocity, sea surface height, freshwater inflow, winds, heat flux Partial and declining Much of this is field and model data H
49. Bloom termination No Being worked on, undergoing research for Kb  
50. Climatological data Combine with 31 No, temportal and spatial needs to be filled in  
51. Coupled 3-D physical biological model No, immature Partial in developmental stage, only Kb and eastern Gulf H
52. Bloom demise/termination Covered    
53. Socioeconomic impacts Partial Do more H
54. Ecosystem impacts Partial, minimal Minimal data  
55. Eulerian modeling Covered    
56. Expected impacts from bloom species Partial, Kb specific Still much research needs to be done, sea breeze model needed  
57. Forecast location, scale (boundaries), intensity and duration of bloom Under development, minimal now No, Kb specific, need model development H
58. Forecast location, scope, and duration of HAB toxins and residual effects, water column & sediment No No, research needed H
59. Forecast of landfall, moderate accuracy OK Yes, only east of Mobile Bay for blooms originating in FL Need to improve accuracy and resolution, some tracking done in east coast of US off NC H
60. Plant-fall (a la Landfall) Covered    
61. Potential economic impacts Covered    
62. Potential ecosystem impacts Covered    
63. Potential for human health impact Covered    
64. Retention of toxins in ecosystem No Need more research  
65. Retrospective synthesis (hindcast)   Reproduce previous blooms  
66. Scientifically defensible models Partial Working on it H
67. Vertical and horizontal spatial extent on human health Partial and Kb only Distance from the beach and from the ground needed, aerosols-more research needed H
68. Watch (a bloom is predicted) No Research needed, distant future H
Products
NEED Is it available? Is it available everywhere needed?
What is missing/
Where needed?
Highest/Lowest Priority?
69. Aerial survey Yes No, improve coverage H for Mexico
70. Age specific curriculum Partially Not by species, and only partially L
71. Animal health effects Partially No  
72. At risk species and distribution Partially No, improve coverage  
73. Background/HAB information Partially No, improve coverage H
74. Bloom duration prediction No Distant future H
75. Bloom intensity (concentration and toxicity) Partially Only Kb, this is cell concentration, not Gulfwide H
76. Clearance rates; depuration No More research needed H
77. Educational info relevant to bloom species Partially Not all species, not all geographical locations, hard to find, no central location and not in all languages, not all linked  
78. HAB history (patterns) Partially Only in Kb, may not be possible for many HABs, would data mining help? H
79. Harvest outlooks (how good will the harvest be) No Needed for economic analysis and ecological assessment, forecasting needs predictive HAB model, distant future  
80. Bloom impacts to residents Yes, but only Kb and geographically restricted now No, need spatial scale, too low resolution H
81. Impacts to health care infrastructure Partially More research needed, not known for all species  
82. Information on preventative health measures (wear masks, take antihistamines, etc.) Partially but Kb specific Current ongoing research for Kb H
83. Information on unaffected beaches, tourist sites, restaurants, etc. Partial and scattered Increase coverage, it is currently Kb specific H
84. Bloom initiation model No only hindcast exists First we need an initiation model input, Kb specific now, needed for other HABs H
85. Lagrangian analyses of HF radar and drifter data Not routinely everywhere, is done on eastern Gulf Expand coverage and more routine needed and make available, needs stable funding H
86. Lagrangian analyses of satellite altimeter data Not routinely See above comment to 66 H
87. Model Output-circulation, transport, etc. same as 67 same as 66 and 67 H
88. Multi-lingual information and forecasts (e.g., watches) Partial, hotline in Florida Needed in Spanish and other priority languages H
89. Outreach coordinator/Liaison Partial, based on agency Coordinate the coordinators, identify who is out there  
90. Preventative health measures Covered    
91. Satellite imagery of bloom Covered Refine and improve, this is Kb specific and regionally specific, surface bloom limited  
92. Seafood product tracking Partial Not all HAB and shellfish and fish species, emphasis on commercial  
93. Seafood safety Covered    
94. Special notices for at-risk public (forecast for at-risk populations) Partial Generally Kb specific, some for Ciguatera H
95. Store the information so that the medical community can get the data and make analysis from it Data is there but not specifically for medical community    
96. Syndromic surveillance Partial and improving Patchy H
97. Targeted education for short-timers-visitors and tourists (multi-lingual) Not specifically but the info is partially out there At hotels, beaches, etc., patchy  
98. Visual, interpreted information for lay audience Partially Not available everywhere, some Kb products  
99. Warning – HAB event present (location, size, potential impacts, etc.) Yes No, not all species, pretty much web based so if not internet connection you are uninformed H