PI: Dr. Sherry Larkin, Florida Sea Grant

Recap: A NOAA Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) liaison is working to improve end-user decision making through coordination, integration, and transference of HAB forecasting knowledge and tools generated by NOAA.

Relevance: Harmful algal blooms (HABs) have been reported to occur in the surface waters of all 50 U.S. states and are increasing globally. HABs occur when photosynthetic algae that live in fresh, brackish or marine waters grow out of control (i.e., “bloom”) and have adverse effects on people or ecosystems. These HABs can result in significant socioeconomic impacts due to shellfish closures, wild or farmed fish mortalities, human health impacts, lost coastal recreation and tourism, reduced waterfront property values, and consumers who avoid consuming seafood. Early detection can mitigate some of the harmful effects of HABs, thus reducing associated socioeconomic impacts.

Response:  The nationally-funded NOAA HAB Liaison project created a partnership position between Sea Grant and the federal agency NOAA. The NOAA HAB Liaison is developing collaborations with partners and stakeholders across the national Sea Grant network to support planning, research and technological solutions to address HAB issues, ensure coastal communities have access to and use sound science, data, tools, and the training to be effective in planning and decision-making relative to HABs.

The overall project is being managed through both an advisory committee and points of contact that together will help develop a new HAB Community of Practice (CoP). Ultimately, CoP members will learn about and be trained on tools and products of the federal partners and they will subsequently share these tools with their community partners.

Supplemental Information: Project Implementation Plan

Sea Grant Week Presentation: NOAA HAB Update

About The NOAA HAB Liaison

Betty Staugler
Housed within Florida Sea Grant, Staugler forges and enhances partnerships by providing expertise, research, and extension services that leverage partners’ work to efficiently meet the needs of coastal and Great Lakes communities threatened by harmful algal blooms (HAB). This includes seeking new ways to extend NOAA HAB products and services, while also informing NCCOS, CoastWatch, and IOOS on Sea Grant stakeholder needs and research priorities.

Year 1





Creative Works
(Publications, presenations, etc.)




(Publications, grants)




FL-HABON Steering


(201 individial contacts + 703 presentation attendees)



  • Dr. Rick Stumpf, NCCOS
  • Dr. Veronica Lance, NOAA CoastWatch
  • Elizabeth Rohring, Sea Grant

Participating Program Directors (AC):

  • Dr. Sherry Larkin, Florida Sea Grant
  • Dr. Fredrika Moser, Maryland Sea Grant
  • Dr. LaDon Swan, Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant
  • Dr. Rebecca Shuford, New York Sea Grant
  • Dr. Chris Winslow, Ohio Sea Grant
  • Dr. Pamela Plotkin, Texas Sea Grant
  • Dr. Russell Callender, Washington Sea Grant
  • Dr. Julie Lively, Louisiana Sea Grant
  • Dr. Tom Johengen, Michigan Sea Grant

Participating Programs (AC):

  • Dr. Ana Sirviente, Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS)
  • Dr. Barb Kirkpatrick, Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS)
  • Dr. Gerhard Kuska, Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System (MARACOOS)
  • Dr. Jan Newton, Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS)
  • Dr. Clarissa Anderson, Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS)
  • Laura Korman, Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA)

PROJECT LEAD: Florida Sea Grant

PROJECT PARTNERS: National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), NOAA CoastWatch, Integrated Ocean Observing Systems (IOOS)