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Rapid Response

Rapid Response
NCCOS's rapid response provides state and local coastal public health and resource managers with ready access to critical data on the types of HAB species and toxins present during a bloom event.

Every year many coastal states experience HABs that produce dangerous levels of natural toxins that force public health officials to close valuable commercial and recreational shellfish harvests and warn people away from popular bathing beaches. Toxic HABs are also a common threat to marine mammals, fish and seabirds, including endangered and threatened species, and often trigger costly rehabilitative actions and an outpouring of public concern.

NCCOS maintains rapid response capabilities that help state and local coastal public health and resource managers have ready access to critical data on the types of HAB species and toxins that are present during a HAB event. The managers can then make informed decisions that mitigate the impacts of HABs on humans, coastal economies, and the environment. These capabilities include the Analytical Response Team and HAB Event Response Program.

NCCOS coordinates the NOAA Analytical Response Team to provide rapid and accurate identification and quantification of marine algal toxins in suspected harmful algal blooms, marine animal mortality events, and human poisonings. The team is comprised of early event listeners, event assessors, and a team leader responsible of designing an event-specific solution. Responses are guided by the unique expertise and experience of the team rather than a pre-designed response.

Our identification and analytical capability provides support for management agencies that can then make timely and informed decisions impacting stakeholders involved in coastal wildlife, human health, and commerce.