Scientists seek diagnostic tool for harmful algal blooms

Harmful algal blooms in rivers and streams are neither well-understood nor easily predicted, and researchers at The Ohio State University are hoping to change that.

With a three-year $681,343 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a team of Ohio State scientists plans to develop a widely applicable system for assessing watershed health and determining when a crisis is looming.

“If we can create a diagnostic tool that can be used in watersheds of all types, it will allow us to better manage and prevent major problems relative to nutrient enrichment and harmful algal blooms,” said Mažeika Sullivan, the study’s leader and director of Ohio State’s Olentangy River Wetland Research Park.