May 5, 2015

There are thousands of lakes in the State of California. A number of these lakes are experiencing “harmful algal blooms” associated with cyanobacteria, or CyanoHABs. These blooms impact drinking water supplies and recreational safety, and have caused the deaths of numerous dogs and other domestic animals, as well as wildlife. Due to the number of lakes in the State, it would be a monumental task to conduct water quality monitoring sufficient to assess threats to animal and human health and to understand status and trends. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has developed remote sensing tools using satellite imagery that can provide a routine, synoptic view to better characterize the seasonality, spatial distribution, and development of these blooms in large lakes. The State Water Resources Control Board’s Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP) is starting a CyanoHAB program that will focus on satellite monitoring. The San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI) has been contracted to conduct the initial downloading and interpretation of images and develop a website and reporting system for distributing cyanobacterial harmful algal bloom (cyanoHAB) information.

The webinar is intended to educate managers and scientists about cyanoHABs in general and in California, the SWAMP CyanoHAB program and the use of NOAA remote sensing tools for evaluating cyanoHABs in California lakes. At the same time, it is a general introductory session that starts off a 2-day workshop that provides a limited number of GIS specialists within the state the skills to work with the geospatial satellite images to assist with lake monitoring and in decision support activities. Due to the limited number of seats in the workshop, it is intended as a train-the-trainer program such that participants will be able to provide instruction to additional users. Additional workshops may be planned for the future.

The webinar will be broadcasted from EPA Region 9. In-person attendance is possible. Please RSVP by sending an email to Thomas Jabusch ([email protected]) and indicate if you are planning to participate in the webinar or attend in person. This will also allow us to keep you updated on upcoming activities. Details for the WebEx and directions are listed below the agenda.


Tuesday, May 5 Webinar

NOAA remote sensing tools and application for evaluating CyanoHABs in California lakes – General Introductory Session (9:40 - 12:10)

  • Thomas Jabusch (SFEI) - Welcome and Introductions - Background, goals of meeting (Presentation PDF, Video)
  • Karen Taberski (San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board) - Cyanotoxins in California and the SWAMP Freshwater HABs Program (Presentation PDFVideo)
  • Richard Stumpf (NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science) - Remote Sensing for Algal Blooms in California Lakes
  • · Discussion

Weds, May 6

GIS Specialist Training: Intro to Data Types, Formats

  • Andrew Meredith (NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science) - Remote Sensing for Algal Blooms in California Lakes: RS Tools Introduction (Presentation PDFVideo)

WebEx Info

Call In Number: +1-415-655-0001; Meeting number: 194 476 893

Associated Staff: 
Programs and Focus Areas: 
Clean Water Program
Environmental Informatics Program