Phytoplankton Monitoring Network
NCCOS runs the Phytoplankton
Monitoring Network (PMN) to link volunteers who monitor for marine phytoplankton
and HABs in cooperation with professional
scientists. We build a more informed public while expanding the reach and resolution
of HAB monitoring. Over 200
PMN volunteers sample 140+ sites in 17 states and the US Virgin Islands. Since the program began
in 2001, volunteers have reported more than 120 algal blooms and seven toxic events.
We use the data collected by PMN
volunteers to better understand species composition and distribution in coastal
waters, and to identify areas for further research and monitoring.
PMN information has been used to validate
HAB forecasts and nowcasts in Florida and Alabama. Through this program,
we have alerted managers to previously undetected toxins in commercial shellfish
beds, and the potential for human Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning and domoic acid toxicity in marine animals.
For more information, view our PMN brochure and visit the program website
for more information.