Harmful Algal Blooms
Nice sunny days, warm water, and increased nutrients are the perfect recipe for algae to grow. Some algae growth is important to a healthy ecosystem. Many animals eat algae and most species of algae are not dangerous. When algae grow too much or too rapidly, it is called an algal bloom. However, some species of algae are toxic to humans, animals, and the environment. When these algae bloom, it is referred to as a harmful algal bloom (HAB). HABs occur in both fresh and coastal waters and range in colors from green, to red, to purple. Climate change and increased lawn and agricultural runoﬀ into waters have created ideal conditions for HABs, and HABs are occurring more and more often in more places than ever before.