STATE URGES REPORTING OF HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS by Will Holbert Apr 25, 2018 Water News The Interagency Working Group on Harmful Algal Bloom Related Illnesses is highlighting resources for land and water resource managers to report harmful algal blooms (HABs), which they report are on the rise. A letter released by the working group earlier in April called attention to the upcoming HAB season and released contact information for reporting incidents. Water resource managers play a key role in warning the public about the dangers associated with local HABs in inland waters. These incidents have led to an increase in the public’s concern regarding potential health impacts to humans and animals, particularly dogs. According to the letter, in 2017, state and local agencies posted 141 public health alerts at water bodies throughout California. Reported HAB-related incidents last year included 25 domestic animal deaths, numerous fish and wildlife incidents, and 8 human incidents. Most blooms occur in spring to fall, but can begin earlier or continue year-round in some locations. The following options are available to report HAB occurrences and HAB-related human and animal illnesses (suspected or confirmed) to a centralized database. Reports will alert state officials of the need for assistance and will expedite state efforts to track the frequency, distribution and impacts of HABs in California. Report a HAB: Online: Freshwater Bloom Incident Form By Telephone: 1 (844) 729-6466 (toll free) By Email: CyanoHAB.Reports@waterboards.ca.gov More information on HABs is available at: http://www.mywaterquality.ca.gov/habs/index.html.