SEVERAL TOPICS SURROUNDING HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS ON THE US WEST COAST

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2023-04-27

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Harmful Algal Blooms are not new to the West Coast region, but changing ocean conditions are increasing the frequency of Harmful Algal Bloom events. This Masters Project is split into three separate projects, each examining a topic surrounding Harmful Algal Blooms on the West Coast. The first project examines the two policy options for receiving disaster assistance to mitigate the impacts of Harmful Algal Blooms. Communities impacted by a Harmful Algal Bloom may request NOAA for one of two disaster determinations: 1) a Fishery Disaster determination or 2) a Harmful Algal Bloom or Hypoxia Event of National Significance (HHENS) determination. I conducted a policy analysis that maps the criteria used in NOAA’s determinations to the “Attributes” in the 4Cs Human Well-being Framework. Fishery Disaster determinations are mainly concerned with the economic impacts of a Harmful Algal Bloom on the commercial fishery. HHENS determinations, a relatively new policy option, considers a wider range of impacts on commercial, recreational, and subsistence communities. The second project examines two resilience strategies that utilize disaster assistance to mitigate Harmful Algal Bloom impacts: 1) Direct Assistance to impacted fishers and processors and 2) Investment in Infrastructure and Knowledge Production. I wrote a Strategy Narrative describing strategy outcomes based on the first project’s policy review and scientific literature surrounding the 2015 HAB event. The first strategy narrative describes how Direct Assistance increases financial security and decreases the financial-related stress of impacted fishers. The second strategy describes how Investment in Infrastructure and Knowledge Production increases the knowledge and technological capacity of the fishing community. The third project is an independent project that uses ArcGIS Pro and Python to identify Algal Bloom hotspots off California between 2005 and 2020 and where Domoic Acid Events are frequently occurring in the same period. Results showed that algal productivity is generally higher in Northern and Central CA with a major hotspot near the Monterey-Santa Cruz County border. Fishing dependencies of CA Counties are also calculated from NOAA’s CSVI to identify communities “vulnerable” to Harmful Algal Blooms.

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Cha, Curtis (2023). SEVERAL TOPICS SURROUNDING HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS ON THE US WEST COAST. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/27156.


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