From the toxic scum on ponds and lakes to the nuisance blooms that can shut down vital desalination plants providing water to millions, the Cape Cod region — and the world, is increasingly tuned into the problems presented by Harmful Algal Blooms.
The process, known as clay flocculation, involves spraying a mixture of clay particles and seawater onto the red tide algae.
Accounts of harmful algal growths have increased over time. So has monitoring, however, making it difficult to tell whether the rise in observations is simply because there is greater awareness of their occurence or if it truly represents a growing ocean threat.
“We have many parts of the country with huge coastlines like Maine and California and we’re finding it really difficult to monitor for multiple toxins threatening people and ecosystems,” said Don Anderson, a senior scientist at WHOI and a principal investigator at the Woods Hole Center for Oceans and Human Health.