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Past Phytoplankton Weekly Updates

Phytoplankton blooms occur when environmental conditions are conducive to the exponential growth of phytoplankton (microscopic plants that float in the upper, sunlit layers of water). They are a common phenomenon in the ocean and are part of every summer in our thriving Kachemak Bay. While most phytoplankton species are harmless, some species - known as harmful algae - carry toxins that can result in severe health effects and potential fatalities to humans and marine life. Notably, the toxins produced by harmful algae can accumulate in shellfish, which can then lead to shellfish poisoning.

The main goal of the Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring Program is to look for groups of phytoplankton that are known to carry toxins that can result in shellfish poisoning to humans and marine mammals. As an added benefit, monitoring phytoplankton provides valuable baseline information on the bloom cycles in Kachemak Bay. Phytoplankton samples are collected by trained community monitors at numerous locations throughout Kachemak Bay. These volunteers are trained in identification and sampling techniques, and provide a valuable service to the community. Samples are then processed and analyzed by KBNERR, and results are compiled in weekly reports. These weekly phytoplankton updates are distributed from KBNERR to state managers, private and public organizations, oyster farmers, local harvesters, tribal organizations, and our community monitors.

Below, you will find a compilation of past weekly phytoplankton updates produced by KBNERR. Reports for the current year of monitoring efforts can be found on the KBNERR Monitoring page.

Data and Resources

Release Date
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Area
POLYGON ((-150.91918945313 59.795107566022, -151.03399671614 59.797042047189, -151.15484632552 59.747263449895, -151.32513441145 59.691866798559, -151.50640882552 59.647483400904, -151.58880628645 59.644707487063, -151.75360120833 59.675229910666, -151.8305055052 59.714036467055, -151.87197882682 59.771194078514, -151.84176642448 59.434880855094, -151.69894415885 59.471175171459, -151.64675910026 59.486518734052, -151.53689581901 59.471175171459, -151.45449835807 59.538077769057, -151.37484747916 59.56174064214, -151.30068976432 59.579824565828, -151.27322394401 59.597898774009, -151.2018128112 59.607627016977, -151.19631964713 59.643735846018, -151.13589484245 59.675645916628, -151.10018927604 59.713066834238, -151.00405890495 59.782254476485))
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Location
Kachemak Bay
Temporal Coverage
Friday, April 17, 2020 - 00:00
English (United States)
Rosie Masui
Contact Name
Rosie Masui
Contact Email
Public Access Level