Harmful Algal Blooms in Water

Harmful Algal Blooms in Water

Harmful Algal Blooms in water bring significant impacts to coastal communities. They can close beaches, make people and their dogs sick and close fisheries, which can cripple local economies.

Harmful Algal Blooms [HABs] in Water Have Wide Ranging Impacts

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) occur when water is overloaded with nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus that are necessary for plant growth but become pollution in excess. Algal blooms occur naturally, but human development has knocked the natural nutrient cycling out of balance and made them harmful. Primary sources of nutrients include: wastewater treatment plant discharges; septic system leaks; fertilizer runoff from residential lawns; fertilizer runoff from farm fields; and runoff or leaks from animal agriculture manure lagoons.

The impacts from HABs range from something as limited as a beach closing for a short time to fishery closings for entire seasons to toxic, low-oxygen waters that kill aquatic organisms and can leave people sick or dead. Outbreaks can cause significant damage to local economies.

Through our articles, infographics and news briefs, you can learn more about HAB impacts as well as a breakdown of their causes, what types are normally seen and where they’re generally found.

The Algal Doom Series

Articles and Infographics

What are HABs?

What causes HABs?

What kind of damage can HABs do?

Where do HABs occur?

News Briefs About HABs