For the new microplastics study, please read this article. See below for additional information about the harmful algal blooms viewer.
By May 1, 2017, in time for harmful algal bloom season, a new feature will appear on California's Harmful Algal Bloom portal (http://www.mywaterquality.ca.gov/habs/) that displays satellite imagery designed to detect emerging and historical blooms. Using data and algorithms provided by NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, the San Francisco Estuary Institute developed a new tool under the guidance of California's Bio-accumulation Oversight Group. The map interface uses satellite data to display estimated concentrations of cyanobacteria in large water bodies to better understand potential risks to public health. Data is displayed in map form to show the spatial extent of blooms and is also viewable in long and short timelines to show how concentrations vary over time. Additionally, field data can simultaneously be displayed from the California Environmental Data Exchange Network to provide users a combination of information sources to better understand the status and trends of cyanobacteria blooms and the potential risks to public health.
The new tool offers water body managers and the public the opportunity to review and compare remote imagery and discrete water sample sources of information in an exploratory interface. As the satellite imagery improves over time, the data quality will likely also increase, as will the tool's value for decision-making.