The Harmful Cyanobacteria Blooms (HCBs) training reviews key information found in the ITRC Guidance Document, Strategies for Preventing and Managing Harmful Cyanobacterial Blooms.
Cyanobacteria are microscopic, photosynthetic organisms that occur naturally in all aquatic systems but most often in freshwater systems. Under certain conditions, cyanobacteria can multiply and become very abundant, discoloring the water throughout a water body or accumulating at the surface. These occurrences are known as blooms. Cyanobacteria may produce potent toxins (cyanotoxins) that pose a threat to human health. They can also harm wildlife and domestic animals, aquatic ecosystems, and local economies by disrupting drinking water systems and source waters, recreational uses, commercial and recreational fishing, and property values. It is likely that continued population growth, land use change, increases in nutrient inputs to our waterways, and the warming climate will favor proliferation of these problematic species. Providing a range of practical approaches to minimize these blooms and their likely societal and wildlife effects is critical to our future vitality, health, and economic prosperity.