Meetings of the ORHAB partnership plays an important role in developing and maintaining a collegial spirit among the members. In addition, these meeting provide an opportunity for the partners to quickly inform others of recent findings and to discuss the implications of those findings.
ORHAB meeting, March 16, 2007
Bucket of unprocessed clams
Workers shucking razor clams
Marc Suddleson, manager of the Monitoring and Event Response for Harmful Algal Blooms (MERHAB) program attended a meeting of the Olympic Region Harmful Algal Bloom (ORHAB) project's principal investigators on Thursday, February 07. Marc provided an overview of the national harmful algal bloom (HAB) effort detailing NOAA supported activities in research, monitoring and event response. ORHAB researchers from several coastal Indian tribes, Washington state health and environmental agencies, University of Washington, and Battelle laboratories presented recent accomplishments in the development of new methods to identify, track and monitor impacts of HABs affecting the region. Partners have found that participation in ORHAB has created a number of benefits that were illustrated by managers from Washington State Department of Health and Department of Fish and Wildlife. With access to data and expertise available only through ORHAB partnership, the State has increased it's confidence in predicting shellfish safety in the region while requiring 40% fewer samples to make determinations. Requiring less sample analysis produces cost savings at state laboratories. Additionally, HAB monitoring advances through ORHAB have reduced instances of unnecessary beach closures, improving public confidence in State resource management agencies, providing better protection for public health, and benefiting the economies of struggling Olympic Coast beach communities.