It is a joint project where U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Geological Survey, NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are working together to put up the system.
In certain environment condition algae can multiply very fast creating a toxic bloom which is not only good for the wildlife but also for the humans who ingest shellfish or drink contaminated water.
The system would gather color data from scans of freshwater bodies in the country then it will create a detection system which will protect the citizens from the toxic bloom.
This project cost around $3.6 million. It is believed that this project will save $64 million in loss of recreational water usage, additional water treatment, and decline in waterfront real estate values.
Holly Bamford, deputy NOAA administrator and acting assistant secretary of commerce for conservation and management said, “Observing harmful algae is critical to understanding, managing, and forecasting these blooms, this collaboration will assure that NOAA’s efforts will assist the coastal and inland public health officials and managers across the country to distribute this information to the community in an easily understandable fashion, making them more resilient to environmental events.”
EPA researchers are developing new technologies to help communities to protect from the water quality issues and working with other agencies to improve expertise in technology and science and they are developing a mobile application to help water quality managers to take decisions which can prevent the algal toxic bloom, which is increasing because of climate change.
NASA ocean satellite technologies are being used for the system, they work by detecting the color of upper layer of the ocean. This technology was originally used for the study of algae growth in ocean.