NASA: US Government Develops Tool to Detect Toxic Algal Blooms


Four government organizations are combining resources to tackle a threat to U.S. freshwater: toxic algal blooms. These harmful algal blooms cost the U.S. $64 million annually to combat.

NASA is working alongside the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to transform satellite data used to monitor ocean biology into valuable information to monitor detrimental freshwater algal blooms.

The new project, using ocean color satellite data, will formulate an “early warning indicator” for toxic algal blooms in freshwater systems and aid public health advisories, NASA reported.
”Observations from space-based instruments are an ideal way to tackle this type of public health hazard because of their global coverage and ability to provide detailed information on material in the water, including algal blooms” said Paula Bontempi of the Earth Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C..