Oregon Health Authority Warns Of Algae During Eclipse

Aug 16, 2017
Sheila Sund / Flickr


You might think water filters or boiling methods will keep you safe from blue-green algae. But Rebecca Hillwig with the Oregon Health Authority says that’s not true.

Seth Book

Last winter was the first time toxic algae in the ocean forced Oregon to close its Dungeness crab fishery. Scientists are just beginning to understand what triggers these conditions.


The west coast is seeing the largest bloom of toxic algae in more than a decade.

It's led to the closure of some commercial crab and shellfisheries in Washington, Oregon and California. 

Wildlife managers spotted a sea lion in Longview, Washington that was arching its back, and then having seizures. They had to euthanize it.

The cause?

Pseudo-nitzchia. It’s a type of algae that releases a neurotoxin. If people eat shellfish or crabs contaminated with it, they can also suffer seizures, short term memory loss and even death.

OSU Researcher Says Toxic Algae Have A Competitive Edge

Oct 25, 2013

A scientist at Oregon State University has proposed that freshwater algae blooms around the world may be growing more toxic. His analysis was published today in the journal Science.

Katie Campbell

Every year, during the warmer months, blooms of algae dot Northwestern waters. Some of that algae can release toxins, which poison shellfish and the people who might eat those shellfish. In recent years, toxic algal blooms have been more potent and lasted longer. That has scientists trying to understand how our warming climate could be contributing to the problem.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Nothing spoils a summer swim in your favorite lake like an algae bloom. These become more common as the weather warms up. Earlier this week, aquatic biologists treated a lake near Seattle with a new product to prevent toxic blooms.

Photo by Ashley Ahearn / EarthFix

Algae biofuels just got a boost. A small biotech company in Seattle announced Wednesday that they’ve secured enough funding to expand their research on how to cultivate blue-green algae to make fuel. Ashley Ahearn reports for EarthFix.

Photo by Ashley Ahearn / Northwest News Network

All this warm weather is making for a lot of shiny happy people in Western Washington. Turns out the algae in the waters of Puget Sound are feeling the same way. Ashley Ahearn reports that algal blooms are making one scientist take note.