Each year, researchers from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science spring into action when potentially harmful algal blooms peak in lower Chesapeake Bay, typically between July and September. Their goal? To record as many aspects of the blooms as possible—including their onset, duration, distribution, density, species composition, and toxicity. At the same time, they measure water temperature and other parameters in search of correlations to help understand the environmental factors that control bloom formation and intensity. Their ultimate goal is help citizens, businesses, and government better plan for and manage bloom impacts.
Click below to track their investigation of this year's bloom, or to view recaps from the last few bloom seasons.