Archive for the ‘Red Tide’ Category

Cyanobacterial neurotoxin BMAA and brain pathology in stranded dolphins
David A. Davis, Kiyo Mondo, Erica Stern,Ama K. Annor, Susan J. Murch, Thomas M. Coyne, Deborah C. Mash Published: March 20, 2019


Dolphin stranding events occur frequently in Florida and Massachusetts. Dolphins are an excellent sentinel species for toxin exposures in the marine environment. In this report we examine whether cyanobacterial neurotoxin, β-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA), is present in stranded dolphins. BMAA has been shown to bioaccumulate in the marine food web, including in the muscles and fins of sharks. Dietary exposure to BMAA is associated with the occurrence of neurofibrillary tangles and β-amyloid plaques in nonhuman primates. The findings of protein-bound BMAA in brain tissues from patients with Alzheimer’s disease has advanced the hypothesis that BMAA may be linked to dementia. (more…)

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Algal Blooms are the result of man made pollution of organic nitrogen

Submitted as a Public Service by the editors and moderators of APP Advocate Precautionary Principle

For more information visit the APP Blog https://appprecautionaryprinciple.wordpress.com/about/
To combat the algal blooms near shore in Florida we must first admit the scientific proven fact. The fact is that algal blooms are the result of land based activities (man made pollution of organic nitrogen) from sewage spills septic tanks leaks and and overuse of organic nitrogen from manure on lawns.  All of this we can abate if we have the will. (more…)

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What we can learn from Eutrophication and occurrences of harmful algal blooms in the Seto Inland Sea, Japan. Reduce urea nutrient pollution


The Seto Inland Sea is the largest enclosed coastal sea in Japan and is also a major fishing ground includ- ing aquacultures of fish, bivalves and seaweeds. The incidents of red tides dramatically increased in frequency and scale in the Seto Inland Sea along with serious eutrophication in the 1960s and 1970s. The maximum incident of 299 was recorded in 1976, but the incident has since shown a clear decreasing trend, reaching about 100 per year in the late 1980s by virtue of regulation by law, and this level has been maintained thereafter with the level of nutrients supporting red tide occurrences. The “Law Concerning Special Measures for Conservation of the Environment of the Seto Inland Sea” was legislated in 1973 and industrial loading was decreased to half the level of 1972. (more…)

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The reality is that authorities who deny the involvement of land-based activities and algae blooms are conveniently ignoring the science, which is peer reviewed and published, that instructs us on what is feeding red tide near shore.

With evidence that blooms of Synechococcus  green slime algae  can be enhanced due to anthropogenic nutrients, the poten­tial importance of this particulate nutrient source for sustaining red tide blooms in situ is large and may help to resolve the current uncertainty as to how K. brevis blooms are maintained.

 Organic urea nitrogen run off  appears to be the cause of exacerbation of Red Tide near shore by Red Ride feeding  and using the green slime algae as energy and is this upon  which the Red Tide feeds and sustains  itself.

If we reduce organic urea nitrogen pollution from septic tanks from sewage spills and from inappropriate lawn applications too close to the water- we may be able to reduce the duration of Red Tide blooms near shore


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During the past 30 years, scientists have observed hypoxic zones in various water bodies around the world.  Excessive nutrient enrichment (eutrophicaton) helps promote overgrowth of opportunistic bacteria, cyanobacteria and algae and surface waters.  After these organisms grow, die and fall to the bottom of a water body, the bacteria decompose, which can lead to depletion of dissolved oxygen in areas of the water body. This oxygen depletion, which is known as hypoxia, occurs when dissolved oxygen concentrations fall below two milligrams per liter in shallow coastal and estuarine systems. (more…)

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Research published  on urea nitrogen proved that urea nitrogen run off was a contributing factor to algal blooms. The research resulted in Sarasota County fertilizer ordinances limiting summer use of urea nitrogen as well as other implemented means to reduce non point source pollution. Such reduction efforts have significantly improved  water quality in Sarasota bay and other neighboring water bodies.

In 2005 and 2008, Ed Rosenthal founder of APP, received a Gulf Guardian Award from a program administered by the USEPA. Now the scientific evidence that reduction of pollution = reduced run off is the solution. And no Red Tide locally to speak of since the fertilizer ordinance became law in 2008

This well meaning effort  based on education and innovative product development – was and remains simply the right thing to do to improve fertilizer products and uses of products that can reduce impact and run off into the environment

Waterbody Improved- Nutrient loading from both point and nonpoint sources led the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to add Roberts Bay to Florida’s 1998 Clean Water Act (CWA) section 303(d) list of impaired waters for exceedances of the historical minimum chlorophyll-a value threshold.

Project partners implemented numerous nonpoint source pollution management strategies, including installing nutrient-separating baffle boxes and promoting the “Florida-Friendly Landscaping” (FFL) education program. Chlorophyll-a levels dropped as a result, prompting Florida DEP to remove Roberts Bay from the state’s impaired waters list (for nutrient impairment) in 2010



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This paper was developed under the Global Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (GEOHAB) core research project on HABs and Eutrophication and the GEOHAB regional focus on HABs in Asia. GEOHAB is supported by the International Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO and by the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR), which are, in turn, supported by multiple agencies, including NSF and NOAA of the USA. This paper represents the views of the authors and is not made on behalf of IOC, SCOR or any of the sponsors. This is contribution number xxxx of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.

By Glibert, PM, Azanza, R, Burford, M, Furuya, K, Abal, E, Al-Azri, A, Al-Yamani, F, Andersen, P, Anderson, DM, Beardall, J, Berg, GM, Brand, L, Bronk, D, Brookes, J, Burkholder, J-AM, Cembella, A, Cochlan, WP, Collier, JL, Collos, Y, Diaz, D, Doblin, M, Drennen, T, Dyhrman, S, Fukuyo, Y, Furnas, M, Galloway, J, Gran¿�li, E, Ha, DV, Hallegraeff, G, Harrison, J, Harrison, PJ, Heil, CA, Heimann, Kirsten, Howarth, R, Jauzein, C, Kana, AA, Kana, TM, Kim, H, Kudela, R, Legrand, C, Mallin, M, Mulholland, M, Murray, S, ONeil, Judith, Pitcher, G, Qi, Y, Rabalais, N, Raine, R, Seitzinger, S, Salomon, PS, Solomon, C, Stoecker, DK, Usup, G, Wilson, J, Yin, K, Zhou, M, and Zhu, M (2008) Ocean urea fertilization for carbon credits poses high ecological risks. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 56 (6). pp. 1049-1056.

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The proposed plan for enrichment of the Sulu Sea, Philippines, a region of rich marine biodiversity, with thousands of tonnes of urea in order to stimulate algal blooms and sequester carbon is flawed for multiple reasons. Urea is preferentially used as a nitrogen source by some cyanobacteria and dinoflagellates, many of which are neutrally or positively buoyant. Biological pumps to the deep sea are classically leaky, and the inefficient burial of new biomass makes the estimation of a net loss of carbon from the atmosphere questionable at best. The potential for growth of toxic dinoflagellates is also high, as many grow well on urea and some even increase their toxicity when grown on urea. Many toxic dinoflagellates form cysts which can settle to the sediment and germinate in subsequent years, forming new blooms even without further fertilization. If large-scale blooms do occur, it is likely that they will contribute to hypoxia in the bottom waters upon decomposition. Lastly, urea production requires fossil fuel usage, further limiting the potential for net carbon sequestration. The environmental and economic impacts are potentially great and need to be rigorously assessed. (more…)

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