SoundToxins – an early warning program for harmful algal blooms in Puget Sound


SoundToxins is a diverse partnership of shellfish farmers, fish farmers, environmental learning centers, volunteers, local health jurisdictions, colleges, and Native American tribes that was conceived and initiated by the Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC), and is now codirected by Washington Sea Grant (WSG). SoundToxins has grown from four partners in 2006 to 28 partners in 2017, some of whom monitor multiple sites in Puget Sound.


Volunteers collect salt water samples using a plankton net. They measure water temperature and salinity, ID phytoplankton, and preserve samples for further analysis. It’s part of a Sound-wide study of harmful algal blooms (HABs). Data is entered into an online database accessible by state health officials for real-time public safety appraisal.
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