February 22, 2022 – Ames, IA – The Iowa Water Center recently received a second round of funding from the North Central Region Water Network to co-lead the delivery of research-based harmful algal bloom information to Extension professionals across the Midwest. The Algal Bloom Action Team, a collective of Water Resource Research Institutes and Extension representatives throughout the Corn Belt region, will receive $10,000 to fund outreach and engagement activities.
“We have identified gaps between scientific discovery related to harmful algal blooms and actionable information Extension Professionals can provide to individuals and businesses at a local scale,” said Hanna Bates, Assistant Director of the Iowa Water Center, and co-Lead of the Algal Bloom Action Team. “This group seeks to address this gap.”
Lake managers, livestock producers, and even household pet owners must be aware of harmful algal blooms in natural environments. The Algal Bloom Action Team identifies science-based information and disseminates the data through a range of communication formats. Products from the Algal Bloom Action Team include webinars, fact sheets, and an annual symposium with program tracks centered around different industries confronted by harmful algal blooms. Many of the products consist of standardized messaging, which can be easily incorporated into curricula or outreach provided at no cost by the team.
“We seek to address the fact that harmful algal blooms are not just a Great Lakes issue, but a water resource problem faced by any state with major lake and river systems,” said Amy Weckle, Assistant Director of the Illinois Water Resources Center, and co-Lead of the Algal Bloom Action Team. “Harmful algal blooms pose a significant threat to public health in terms of water utilities and water recreation.”
The Algal Bloom Action Team formed in 2018 with support from the North Central Region Network. Further information and access to fact sheets, FAQs, and presentation recordings can be found here: https://northcentralwater.org/habs/
The Iowa Water Center: The Iowa Water Center is a federally funded organization, part of the National Institutes for Water Resources. Located on the Iowa State University campus, it is one of 54 institutes located throughout the United States and U.S territories. The purpose of the Iowa Water Center is to identify water-related research needs, provide outreach and education opportunities, and disseminate information about Iowa’s water resources to the public to form better policies and everyday practices.
Information contact: Hanna Bates, Iowa Water Center, firstname.lastname@example.org