Proposed sessions may change based on abstracts received.
Physiology and Physiological Ecology
Environmental conditions influence the physiological state of HAB species, affecting their competitiveness in natural assemblages of phytoplankton, susceptibility to grazers and parasites, and their production of toxins. Studies of HAB physiology, from genes and gene function through community interactions, will be addressed in this session. Presentations may focus on cultured HAB species or natural communities of freshwater, brackish or marine ecosystems.
Fisheries and Foodwebs
This session will address the effects of HABs on the surrounding environment with foci at the population, community, and ecosystem levels. Abstracts can focus on ecologically or commercially relevant species, inter-species interactions, and/or community dynamics impacted by HABs, and can include laboratory or mesocosm experiments, natural system studies, and/or investigations within aquaculture systems. Presentations focused on the foodweb transfer and/or metabolism of HAB-associated compounds will also be included in this session.
Phycotoxin Standards and Certified Reference Materials: Needs and Sources*
Accurate measurements of phycotoxins depend on the availability of quality analytical standards to calibrate analytical procedures. The current availability of phycotoxin standards is limited compared to the number of individual compounds that have been identified, hindering the ability of scientists to perform research, toxicity testing, water and food safety measurements, etc. To begin to address issues related to availability of standards, we have coordinated this interactive session, which is intended for everyone who has an interest in phycotoxin standards, ranging from scientists to analytical vendors. The purpose of the session is to open a dialogue regarding phycotoxin standard issues such as: 1. sources of currently-availably phycotoxin standards; 2. user experience with existing standards, including quality, purity, and quantities available; 3. gaps in phycotoxin standards, including related issues such as difficulty isolating compounds or challenging chemical syntheses; and 4. prioritization of the most critical standards needs. After the session, a written summary will be prepared and shared with all attendees and interested stakeholders, including the federal agencies that have been working together to define standards needs related to harmful algal bloom toxins and their impacts. The summary may help to define the scope for a future workshop to address these issues in more detail.
Monitoring, Mitigation, and Management of HABS
HAB monitoring in fresh, brackish and marine waters as well as work relating to HAB management and HAB response strategies that assist resource and public health risk management will be presented in this session. Programs describing research or management practices relating to understanding HABs in freshwater, brackish and marine environments with the intent of prevention or controlling impacts will also be the focus of this session.
Human & Natural Drivers for Watershed & Coastal HABs
This session will focus on environmental drivers of HABs in fresh and coastal waters. Potential topics include human-derived and/or natural alterations (e.g., temperature, salinity, pH, nutrients) to a system that promotes HABs, biogeochemical cycling of nutrients, temporal and/or regional comparison of drivers, and documented or proposed interventions that could better our understanding and/or guide management of these events.
Special Session: HABs and Drinking Water
Harmful algal blooms and cyanotoxins can threaten public health through drinking water exposures. Conventional drinking water treatment can generally remove intact cyanobacterial cells and low levels of cyanotoxins from source waters. However, water systems may face challenges in providing drinking water during a severe bloom event when there are high levels of cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins in source waters. Drinking water systems can manage threats to public health from HABs and cyanotoxins through prevention, mitigation, monitoring, treatment, and public communication. This session will focus on aspects of each of these components.
Harmful algal blooms and cyanotoxins can challenge drinking water systems working to provide safe drinking water to the public. Systems impacted by blooms have occurred across the United States ranging from causing taste and odor issues to Do Not Drink Orders. This talk will provide a general overview of impacts to drinking water systems.
Ohio EPA drinking water systems have been challenged by harmful algal blooms and cyanotoxins. Monitoring strategies and tools utilized by Ohio EPA will be discussed as well as fate of microcystins followed by a brief discussion on Ohio EPA’s collaboration with University researchers to fill data gaps.
A review of mitigation practices for drinking water facilities will be presented, including those used historically as well as currently implemented in the region. Classical chemical treatments as well as the use of ultrasound will be discussed with an open discussion of other practices that could be employed but may induce other issues for plant operations.
Source water protection refers to voluntary actions taken by a community to help prevent contamination of sources of drinking water. Preventing or limiting the drivers of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs), such as nutrient pollution or altered hydrology, by implementing management practices at the source of pollution may be an important component of an integrated source water HAB management strategy. This session will suggest several perspectives communities may wish to consider as they develop HAB strategies.
Strategies for communicating the risk of cyanotoxins in drinking water will be presented. Additionally, a brief overview of U.S. EPA’s recently released tool, “Drinking Water Cyanotoxin Risk Communication Toolbox”, will be provided.