July 23, 2015

Kilmer Praises Administration Grant to Help Investigate Washington state’s Harmful Algal Bloom

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA) praised an announcement that Washington state received a grant to investigate a toxic algal bloom off the coast. This summer, one of the biggest algal blooms ever has damaged the coastal economies of Washington, Oregon, and California. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) awarded the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems a $75,000 grant to analyze and monitor the toxic algae.

In addition, a $13,000 investment will go to researchers and state and tribal managers who are collecting samples of the toxins for study and analysis. Earlier this year the bloom forced Washington state beaches to shut down razor clamming. Commercial shellfish harvests and Dungeness crab fisheries in the state have also been impacted.

“This grant will help our scientists and researchers get to the bottom of this blight,” said Kilmer. “For months a toxic stew has hurt the bottom lines of our shellfish growers and tribal fisheries as it threatens their harvests. Businesses and towns that rely on open and accessible beaches for visitors want to see this resolved too. With this investment we can use the most advanced science and data to understand how this happened and be ready to tackle future blooms.” 

The Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems is made up of more than 40 entities that come from industry groups, state agencies, local governments, tribes, and educational institutions. The network observes and collects data on patterns that impact the Pacific Ocean.