Wednesday July 19, 2023

Oregon Business

Last year, there were  there were 267 reported incidents of toxic or harmful algae blooms globally, including two in Oregon.

In 2015, unseasonably warm water on the West Coast cost the Dungeness crab fisheries $48.3 million in lost revenue in the Pacific Northwest.

Harmful algal and bacterial blooms (HABBs) are toxic to humans and animals, and can lead to sickness in pets and humans. Last summer saw a harmful algae bloom in the Willamette River between Cathedral Park and Willamette Cove, leading the Oregon Health Authority to issue a recreational use health advisory. This summer, hundreds of dead or sick dolphins and sea lions washed up on the California coast as a result of a harmful algae bloom.

The global economy pays a high price during such events — HABBs in rivers, lakes and estuaries are estimated to cost more than $82 million in lost revenue each year in the United States, according to data from the National Ocean Service — and the problem may be worsening with rising temperatures. A 2021 research paper by the University of Delaware also linked rising global temperatures to increasing severity of HABBs. Other research has suggested damage from harmful algae blooms are more closely attributed to increased monitoring and human presence around the toxic blooms’ areas.

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