It All Starts with Science

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Upcoming Events at EPA

By Michaela Burns

Fall is just around the corner and so are these upcoming events at EPA!

13th Annual U.S. EPA Drinking Water Workshop
Tuesday, August 23rd at 8:30 a.m.-Thursday, August 25th at 12 p.m.

EPA, in cooperation with the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators, is hosting its annual drinking water workshop to support the efforts of state and local officials to assist small systems. The 13th annual workshop will provide in-depth training and information on various solutions and strategies for handling small system problems and compliance challenges.  Register now to attend.

hands putting together a light bulb puzzleAdverse Outcome Pathway Knowledge Base
Thursday, August 25th at 11 a.m. ET

EPA and its partners at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s are launching a project to develop the “Adverse Outcome Pathway Knowledge Base” (AOP-KB).  The AOP-KB is a combination of individually developed platforms, synchronized and orchestrated in a way that gives users the possibility to capture, review, browse, and comment on adverse outcome pathways shared by the stakeholder community. Attend this event remotely or in person at EPA’s Research Triangle Park.

Removal of Multiple Contaminants: Biological Treatment and Combined Ion Exchange
micro picture of bacteriaTuesday, August 30th at 2:00 p.m. ET

In this month’s small systems webinar, Dr. Treavor Boyer from Arizona State University will give a presentation on combined ion exchange to remove dissolved organic carbon and hardness in drinking water. Nicholas Dugan from EPA’s Water Supply and Water Resources Division will then discuss capabilities of biological treatment for drinking water. Register now!

Bonus— A certificate will be offered for this webinar.

RETIGO Training Webinar
screenshots of the RETIGO tool showing mapsWednesday, August 31st at 1:00 p.m. ET

Curious about EPA’s Real-Time Geospatial Data Viewer, commonly known as RETIGO? Attend this webinar to learn the basics of this interactive tool that allows users to upload field data they have collected while in motion (walking, biking, or on a vehicle) and explore it visually by plotting the data on a map and/or graph to observe air quality trends.  Register for the webinar.

Systems View of Nutrient Management-Nutrient Modeling
Wednesday, August 31st at 2:00 p.m. ET

a stream in the woodsCheck out this month’s Safe and Sustainable Water Resources research program webinar! Dr. Richard Ready of Montana State University will give a presentation on how agricultural best management practices aimed at reducing nutrient and sediment loads play an important role in restoring ecosystem function in the Chesapeake Bay. Register now!

 

For more events head on over to the EPA research event page.

 About the Author: Michaela Burns is an Oak Ridge Associated Universities contractor and writer for the science communication team in EPA’s Office of Research and Development.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action.

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From Grasslands to Forests, Nitrogen Impacts all Ecosystems

By Ashley Mayrianne Jones

Can there be too much of a good thing?

That’s the case with nitrogen, an essential element for plant growth that, in overabundance, can also be potentially damaging. Nitrogen moves from the air to the land, soil, and water via a process called nitrogen deposition. Atmospheric nitrogen deposition has increased ten-fold or more since pre-industrial levels due to increased emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, fertilizer use, and other human activities.

Blue Ridge Mountains at the Roan Highlands State Park in North CarolinaOnce nitrogen is emitted into the atmosphere, it can travel vast distances and deposit in the environment, making it a national as well as local problem. Elevated nitrogen deposition can increase leaf biomass in the canopy, shading ground-dwelling plants from the sun. Additionally, physical and chemical reactions that occur when nitrogen compounds are deposited can lead to more acidic soils. Both effects restrict plant growth and increase competition for limited resources, resulting in a loss of local biodiversity.

To date, most U.S. biodiversity studies on the effects of nitrogen deposition had been focused on individual sites, where fertilizer was applied and small plots were monitored through time. It was unknown whether the resulting reductions in plant biodiversity at these small scales translated to meaningful changes at the landscape level. A series of recent studies had indicated that across the European continent, many ecosystems were experiencing reductions in plant biodiversity due to nitrogen deposition. However, it remained unclear whether the same held true in the U.S., which historically, has experienced lower atmospheric deposition levels.

That’s why EPA researcher Chris Clark and a team of scientists from EPA, U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Forest Service, the University of Colorado, and multiple other universities are exploring the effects of nitrogen deposition on herbaceous plants (those with non-woody stems such as grass) in a first-of-its-kind study focused on multiple ecosystems across the nation. The new research expands the focus to not only grasslands, but into habitats that have not received much attention, including the forest understory.

The study, recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, assesses how nitrogen deposition affects herbaceous plants at over 15,000 forest, woodland, shrubland, and grassland sites throughout the United States. The research addresses how physical, chemical, and climatic factors such as soil acidity, temperature, and precipitation can affect an area’s vulnerability to nitrogen deposition.

Nearly a quarter of the sites were vulnerable to nitrogen deposition-induced species loss, and those with acidic soils tended to be more vulnerable. At extremely low levels of nitrogen deposition, the number of individual plant species tended to increase. However, above a certain threshold level, or “critical load,” diversity began to decline.

The study indicated that on average, forests can tolerate slightly higher levels of nitrogen deposition than other ecosystems before showing a negative impact on biodiversity. The reasons for this are unclear, but scientists hypothesize part of the reason is that forest species living under the canopy are already adapted to low-light conditions and are less susceptible to shading effects caused by increased nitrogen. Both grasslands and forests, however, were quite vulnerable to nitrogen deposition, with critical loads in the range of current deposition levels.

Moving forward, EPA scientists and their partners will attempt to determine which individual plant species are most at risk, and which native and invasive species may increase with elevated nitrogen deposition.

Examining multiple ecosystems across the country gives us more information about how different locations may respond to the effects of nitrogen deposition and will help set monitoring and conservation priorities that protect plant biodiversity.

Learn more about EPA’s Air, Climate, and Energy Research.

About the Author: Ashley Mayrianne Jones is a student contractor and writer working with the science communication team in EPA’s Office of Research and Development.

Citation: Biological Sciences – Ecology: Samuel M. Simkin, Edith B. Allen, William D. Bowman, Christopher M. Clark, Jayne Belnap, Matthew L. Brooks, Brian S. Cade, Scott L. Collins, Linda H. Geiser, Frank S. Gilliam, Sarah E. Jovan, Linda H. Pardo, Bethany K. Schulz, Carly J. Stevens, Katharine N. Suding, Heather L. Throop, and Donald M. Waller. Conditional vulnerability of plant diversity to atmospheric nitrogen deposition across the United States. PNAS 2016 113 (15) 4086-4091; published ahead of print March 28, 2016, doi:10.1073/pnas.1515241113

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action.

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This Week in EPA Science

By Kacey FitzpatrickResearch Recap graphic identifier

Need an excuse to hang out inside? Here’s something to read while you stay out of the heat. Check out the latest in EPA science.

Foxes and Ecosystem Services at Western Ecology Division
Late this spring, a self-operated wildlife camera captured several photos of adult gray foxes carrying food items from surrounding wild lands onto the grounds of EPA’s Western Ecology Division Laboratory in Corvallis, Oregon. Find out what they were up to in the blog Foxes and Ecosystem Services at Western Ecology Division.

Investing in our Children’s Futures
To protect children from environmental threats and help them live healthier lives, EPA and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences created the Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Centers (Children’s Centers). Read about the five new Children’s Center grants in the blog Investing in our Children’s Futures.

The Northeast Cyanobacteria Monitoring Program
As cyanobacteria bloom incidence continues to increase, EPA strives to create and improve methods for bloom prediction, monitoring, and management. The Northeast Cyanobacteria Monitoring Program will help generate region-wide data on bloom frequencies, cyanobacteria concentrations, and spatial distribution through three coordinated projects. To learn more about the program read the blog The Northeast Cyanobacteria Monitoring Program: One Program, Three Opportunities for You To Get Involved!

If you do decide to head outside, don’t forget the sunscreen! Here’s a little lesson in sunscreen chemistry.

Suncreen and Sun Safety: Just One Piece of the Story
It’s not surprising that sunscreens are detected in pool water (after all, some is bound to wash off when we take a dip), but certain sunscreens have also been widely detected in our ecosystems and in our wastewater. So how is our sunscreen ending up in our environment and what are the impacts? Find out in the blog Suncreen and Sun Safety: Just One Piece of the Story.

And coming up next week:

Let’s Talk About Wildfire Smoke and Health
Monday, August 22nd at 1:30 p.m. EDT
There are over 20 wildfires currently burning in the United States. Join us for a twitter chat with EPA research cardiologist Dr. Wayne Cascio and health effects scientist Susan Stone, along with experts from the U.S. Forest Service and the Centers for Disease Control, to discuss wildfire smoke and health.

To join the twitter chat and ask questions, please use ‪#‎WildfireSmoke and follow @EPAAir. Get more details in the blog Let’s Talk About Wildfire Smoke and Health.

About the Author: Kacey Fitzpatrick is a writer working with the science communication team in EPA’s Office of Research and Development. She is a regular contributor to It All Starts with Science and the founding writer of “The Research Recap.”

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action.

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Foxes and Ecosystem Services at Western Ecology Division

By Randy Comeleo

Late this spring, a self-operated wildlife camera captured several photos of adult gray foxes carrying food items from surrounding wild lands onto the grounds of EPA’s Western Ecology Division (WED) Laboratory in Corvallis, Oregon.

A self-operated wildlife camera captures a recent photo of an adult gray fox returning to EPA Western Ecology Division with a camas pocket gopher.

A self-operated wildlife camera captures a recent photo of an adult gray fox returning to EPA Western Ecology Division with a camas pocket gopher.

Within a few weeks, photos from the camera revealed why the adults were carrying, and not consuming, their prey.  The pair had denned in a quiet corner of our campus and were delivering food to six pups!

A self-operated wildlife camera captures a photo of nursing gray fox pups at the EPA Western Ecology Division.

A self-operated wildlife camera captures a photo of nursing gray fox pups at the EPA Western Ecology Division.

The gray fox is a mesocarnivore – a mid-sized carnivore in which 50-70% of the diet is the flesh of another animal.  Mesocarnivores are often more numerous when residing in close proximity to humans where their foraging activities can provide an important ecosystem service: keeping the level of property damage by rodents to an acceptable level.

We have been thrilled to observe these usually secretive small canids carrying food for their pups, basking in the sun, and even climbing trees!  Gray foxes have adaptations such as short, powerful legs and strong hooked claws which enable them to climb trees and avoid larger predators like coyotes.

Four gray fox pups enjoy the early morning sun at the EPA Western Ecology Division (photo by Bonnie Smith).

Four gray fox pups enjoy the early morning sun at the EPA Western Ecology Division (photo by Bonnie Smith).

The pups are now learning to hunt with their parents and will forage on their own in several weeks.  The family will likely remain together until autumn, when the youngsters reach sexual maturity and head-out on their own.

About the Author: Randy Comeleo is an Ecologist for EPA’s Western Ecology Division research lab. He works primarily with the Air, Climate, and Energy research program as a Geographic Information System Analyst.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action.

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Investing in our Children’s Futures

By Jim Johnson 

One of the greatest threats to children today comes from the environment. Exposure to pesticides, pollution, and heavy metals while in the womb or during early periods of development can cause serious and lifelong health concerns. To protect children from environmental threats and help them live healthier lives, EPA and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) created the Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Centers (Children’s Centers). Teams of multidisciplinary experts at Children’s Centers across the country are looking at how children’s health is impacted by environmental and chemical exposures, epigenetics, non-chemical stressors and other factors with a focus on translating this research into practical information for public use.

Silhouette of children playing outside This year, EPA and NIEHS are awarding five new Children’s Center grants. Research supported under these awards includes the interplay of air pollution, particulate matter and obesity on asthma among inner city children; prenatal and early childhood pollutant exposure and adverse birth outcomes; air pollution, polycylic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and adolescent cognitive, emotional, behavioral health outcomes; cumulative environmental exposures and increased risk for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia; and the effects of environmental contaminants on the microbiome and neurodevelopment.  Each of the newly funded Children’s Centers is receiving between 1.25-1.5 million dollars per year for up to four years.

There are many obstacles to protecting children’s environmental health. Understanding the complexity of these challenges is just one way that EPA and its partners are reducing harmful environmental exposure and making the world a safer place for children and our communities.

About the Author: Dr. James H. Johnson Jr. is the Director of EPA’s National Center for Environmental Research.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action.

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The Northeast Cyanobacteria Monitoring Program: One Program, Three Opportunities for You To Get Involved!

By Sara Ernst

If you ever have noticed a waterbody wigreen water on the edge of a laketh a layer of green scum coating its surface or a slick green film resembling a paint spill, you likely have witnessed a cyanobacteria bloom. Cyanobacteria, sometimes referred to as blue-green algae, are tiny organisms found naturally in aquatic ecosystems and numerous other environments. Typically, these organisms are harmless and go unnoticed; however, under certain conditions, cyanobacteria can form a dense mat or bloom on the surface of the water that may produce harmful toxins. These blooms and associated toxins pose a significant threat to humans, animals, and the ecosystem. They can cause illnesses, skin irritations, or worse and can threaten drinking water supplies and recreational opportunities. As cyanobacteria bloom incidence continues to increase, EPA strives to create and improve methods for bloom prediction, monitoring, and management.

The Northeast Cyanobacteria Monitoring Program, covering the states of Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, will help generate region-wide data on bloom frequencies, cyanobacteria concentrations, and spatial distribution through three coordinated projects: bloomWatch, cyanoScope, and Cyanomonitoring. Each project relies on the general public, citizen scientists, and trained water professionals to locate potential blooms and report applicable information, so we can improve cyanobacteria monitoring and learn more about harmful blooms in the Northeast.

The amount of time, equipment, and training needed to participate varies for each project. The simplest reporting tool to use is bloomWatch, a smartphone app that enables participants to help track cyanobacteria blooms by taking and submitting photos. All you need to do is download the app and you’re in business! bloomWatch teaches you what to look for, provides on-screen instructions on how to take good photos of blooms, and prompts you to answer some questions about the sighting. After submitting the photos and sighting details through the app, you can also send a bloom report to your state’s environmental agency.

The cyanoScope project helps scientists and water resource managers learn more about where and when blooms occur and what types of cyanobacteria are present across the region. With the appropriate gear and training, cyanoScope participants collect water samples of possible blooms, view the samples under a microscope, take photos of cyanobacteria, and upload the photos and sighting details to the cyanoScope project on iNaturalist.org. The cyanoScope community then helps to identify the cyanobacteria present.

The Cyanomonitoring project builds on bloomWatch and cyanoScope; it is the most involved project, and therefore contributes the most detailed information. In this project, professionals and trained citizen scientists use specific gear to monitor cyanobacteria concentrations in lakes and ponds to help determine where, when, and why cyanobacteria are blooming in those areas. Participants also assist in tracking regional trends resulting from climate and land use changes and assess waterbody and human health vulnerability to toxic cyanobacteria.

By participating in any of the three projects, you can contribute valuable data that will help scientists learn more about cyanobacteria blooms and how best to monitor them in the future. Interested in getting involved? Visit http://cyanos.org/ for more information on the Northeast Cyanobacteria Monitoring Program and each of the coordinated projects!

 

About the Author: Sara Ernst is an Oak Ridge Associated Universities contractor who works as the Science Communications Specialist in the Atlantic Ecology Division of EPA’s Office of Research and Development.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action.

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Suncreen and Sun Safety: Just One Piece of the Story

By Susanna Blair

Blue towel and sunscreen lotion near the poolIt’s the end of summer, and you know what that means: it is hot and sunny! (And if you’re in DC like me, it also feels like a swamp.) Going to the pool is one of my favorite things to do to help beat the heat, and because UV radiation is a known carcinogen, I make sure to bring the items CDC recommends for sun protection:  protective clothing, a hat, sunglasses, and loads of sunscreen.

But where does all of that sunscreen go? It’s not surprising that sunscreens are detected in pool water (after all, some is bound to wash off when we take a dip), but certain sunscreens have also been widely detected in our ecosystems and in our wastewater. So how is our sunscreen ending up in our environment and what are the impacts?

Well, EPA researchers are working to better understand this issue, specifically investigating sunscreens that contain engineered nanomaterials and how they might change when exposed to the chemicals in pool water. But before I delve into that, let’s talk a bit about sunscreen chemistry and nanomaterials….

The best protection from UV radiation is a physical block, such as titanium dioxide, which is a common ingredient in sunscreen. This type of physical sunblock is often in the form of engineered nanomaterials , which are materials with dimensions between 1 and 100 nanometers engineered with unique properties for specific uses.  (To put a nanomaterial’s size into perspective, just take a look at the hair on your head – a single strand is between 80,000-100,000 nanometers thick.)

Many sunscreens contain titanium dioxide (TiO2) because it absorbs UV radiation, preventing it from damaging our skin. But titanium dioxide decomposes into other molecules when in the presence of water and UV radiation. This is important because one of the new molecules produced is called a singlet oxygen reactive oxygen species. These reactive oxygen species have been shown to cause extensive cell damage and even cell death in plants and animals. To shield skin from reactive oxygen species, titanium dioxide engineered nanomaterials are often coated with other materials such as aluminum hydroxide (Al(OH)3).

EPA researchers are testing to see whether swimming pool water degrades the aluminum hydroxide coating, and if the extent of this degradation is enough to allow the production of potentially harmful reactive oxygen species. In this study, the coated titanium dioxide engineered nanomaterials were exposed to pool water for time intervals ranging from 45 minutes to 14 days, followed by imaging using an electron microscope.  Results show that after 3 days, pool water caused the aluminum hydroxide coating to degrade, which can reduce the coating’s protective properties and increase the potential toxicity.  To be clear, even with degraded coating, the toxicity measured from the coated titanium dioxide, was significantly less than the uncoated material. So in the short-term – in the amount of time one might wear sunscreen before bathing and washing it off — these sunscreens still provide life-saving protection against UV radiation. However, the sunscreen chemicals will remain in the environment considerably longer, and continue to degrade as they are exposed to other things.

This study provides evidence that when released into the environment, nanomaterials undergo physical and/or chemical transformations – an important consideration when measuring the impact of these materials on public health and the environment. EPA researchers continue to do work to better understand the life cycle of engineered nanomaterials and the potential transformation of these products when they are no longer working to protect our skin.

 

About the author: Susanna Blair is a physical scientist in the Chemical Safety for Sustainability Research Program in the Office of Research in Development. Her primary role is to translate and disseminate EPA’s chemical safety research.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action.

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This Week in EPA Science

By Kacey Fitzpatrickresearch_recap_250

Check out some of EPA’s gold-medal-worthy research that we’re highlighting this week.

Algal Blooms
Are you wondering why that water is green? It’s algae! EPA’s Wayne Cascio and Elizabeth Hilborn explain the environmental conditions that drive algal blooms and their health effects in the blog Why is the Beach Green?

EPA and the Chickasaw Nation
Last week in Ada, Oklahoma, EPA’s Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Center hosted the 50th Anniversary dedication of the Center. A highlight of the celebration included the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between EPA’s groundwater remediation and ecosystem restoration scientists and the Chickasaw Nation, a federally recognized American Indian Tribal Nation located in Oklahoma. Learn more about the research agreement in the blog EPA and the Chickasaw Nation: Working Together to Ensure Long-Term Sustainability and Quality of our Water.

Collaborating with Local Communities to Measure Air Pollution
Managing air pollution is a big job, but it can be made easier when the whole community gets involved. We call it “citizen science” — where people without a background in research can use scientific tools to address problems in their environment. To support this fast-growing field, EPA’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program is funding six grants to evaluate how effective low-cost, portable air sensors are when used in communities. Read more about the grants in the blog Collaborating with Local Communities to Measure Air Pollution.

Scientists vs. Rockstars
Meet EPA Physical Scientist Dr. Rebecca Dodder! Dr. Dodder recently received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers for her innovative approach to evaluating current and emerging environmental challenges and opportunities related to energy production and use in the United States. As part of the recognition, Dr. Dodder was invited to visit the White House and hear from President Obama. Read about the experience in her blog Scientists vs. Rockstars.

Want to meet more of our researchers?
Meet EPA Chemical and Environmental Engineer Endalkachew Sahle-Demessie! Dr. Sahle-Demessie works on various projects, including nanomaterials and water resources, in EPA’s National Risk Management Research Laboratory.

Meet EPA Research Ecologist Ken Fritz! Dr. Fritz works in EPA’s National Exposure Research Laboratory where he investigates stream ecosystems, including ones that are dry at times.  He works to supply the research that will inform policy and decisions that affect aquatic ecosystems.

And check out more of our researchers at work.

About the Author: Kacey Fitzpatrick is a writer working with the science communication team in EPA’s Office of Research and Development. She is a regular contributor to It All Starts with Science and the founding writer of “The Research Recap.”

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action.

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Why is the Beach Green?

By Wayne Cascio, MD and Elizabeth Hilborn, DVM

On July 28th a headline in The Salt Lake Tribune announced welcome news to Utah Lake’s neighboring communities and recreational visitors: “Utah Lake reopens as algal threat subsides.”  Algal threat? How can those little green cells called algae we grew in high school biology class be threatening?  ‘Algae’ is actually a term for a broad group of different kinds of microscopic organisms that can live in the water; many produce their own energy by photosynthesis. Algae play a key role in supporting the food chain and they are present in most marine and fresh surface waters.  So, how can a good thing like algae be a hazard?  Simply put, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.

Harmful algal bloom in shore of lake

An algal bloom turned this lake green. Photo Credit: Diana L.

When growing conditions are just right, algae can form massive blooms, fouling surface water, depleting oxygen, and out-competing other organisms in the water.  The blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, that fouled Utah Lake can produce toxins that if present in high enough concentrations can cause adverse health effects among people and animals.  Toxic blue-green algal blooms have impacted drinking water and recreational beaches, so they are a concern for officials who are tasked with protecting public health. Algal blooms can also have adverse economic impacts on communities by increasing the cost of drinking water treatment, and by affecting home prices, tourism, and industries that depend on clean water.

Nutrient pollution is a key driver of blue-green algae blooms. The nutrients come from fertilizer use and animal manure, nitrogen oxides produced by fossil fuel emissions, soil erosion, storm water runoff, leaking septic tanks, waste water, and some industrial sources.  When combined with nutrient pollution, other environmental conditions that support blooms include drought, increased water temperature and low lake and river levels. These environmental conditions may increase in frequency as a result of our changing climate.

While scientists have learned a great deal about harmful algal blooms, there is still much more that we need to learn to help communities protect themselves from the harmful effects of these blooms.  EPA is conducting research to better understand the reasons why these blooms occur, to better predict when and where they might occur, and to define environmentally acceptable levels of nutrients, algal cells, and toxins that are protective of the health of people and the environment.

EPA researchers will continue to do the science needed to understand the health and environmental hazards of algal blooms and to work with other agencies and local officials to better predict when and where blooms will occur.  Yet the best solution is to limit the occurrence of algal blooms. We can protect our water by limiting fertilizer applications, by managing storm and waste water runoff, and by preserving our land’s health and fertility by preventing soil erosion. If we are careful stewards of our land and water, we can continue to enjoy bountiful harvests from our fertile soils and also maintain safe drinking water, healthy fisheries, and inviting recreational waters.  Individuals and communities can play a role in monitoring waterways for algal blooms, and also be aware of the sources of fertilizers, waste, and nutrients that may flow into their local waters.

For more information:

Harmful Algal Blooms – https://www.epa.gov/nutrientpollution/harmful-algal-blooms

CyanoHABs – https://www.epa.gov/nutrient-policy-data/cyanohabs

States with Freshwater HABs Monitoring Programs – https://www.epa.gov/nutrient-policy-data/states-freshwater-habs-monitoring-programs

Harmful Algal Blooms: Tiny plants with a toxic punch- http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/hazards/hab/

Harmful Algal Blooms Observing System – http://habsos.noaa.gov

Harmful Algal Bloom Operational Forecast System – https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/hab/

Research References:

Brooks BW, Lazorchak JM, Howard MD, Johnson MV, Morton SL, Perkins DA, Reavie ED, Scott GI, Smith SA, Steevens JA. Are harmful algal blooms becoming the greatest inland water quality threat to public health and aquatic ecosystems? Environ Toxicol Chem. 2016 Jan;35(1):6-13.

Hilborn ED, Beasley VR. One health and cyanobacteria in freshwater systems: animal illnesses and deaths are sentinel events for human health risks. Toxins (Basel). 2015 Apr 20;7(4):1374-95.

About the authors: Wayne Cascio, MD, FACC is the Director of the Environmental Public Health Division in the  National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development at the US EPA.  Dr. Cascio leads research to better understand the relationship between human health and wellbeing and the environment.

Elizabeth Hilborn, RN, DVM, MPH, DACVPM, is an epidemiology researcher in the Environmental Public Health Division, NHEERL, ORD and an internationally recognized researcher in the field of harmful algal blooms.

 

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action.

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