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Become a citizen scientist!

Join the SoundToxins volunteer phytoplankton monitoring program and contribute toward early warning of HAB events. Learn more...


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The man with a plan

PSI researcher, Andy Surhbier helps shellfish growers adapt to changing ocean conditions.

Become a Citizen Scientist

Join the SoundToxins volunteer phytoplankton monitoring program and contribute toward early warning of HAB events.

Volunteers gather seawater samples from 24 locations throughout Puget Sound

SoundToxins (, a partnership among shellfish growers, learning centers, tribes, and volunteers, is a monitoring program designed to provide early warning of harmful algal blooms (HABs) in order to minimize both human health risks and economic losses to Puget Sound fisheries. Seawater samples are collected weekly by participants at over twenty different sites throughout Puget Sound and are analyzed for salinity, temperature, nutrients, chlorophyll, V. parahaemolyticus, and phytoplankton species. The program is administered by Washington Sea Grant and NOAA Fisheries. PSI has participated in monitoring programs such as SoundToxins because of the valuable role such programs play in better understanding and predicting HAB events.

PSI continues to participate in the SoundToxins rapid-response program by assisting with volunteer on-site training and support; data entry and quality assurance; and HAB monitoring. Our staff attends annual phytoplankton identification refresher courses and collects seasonal weekly phytoplankton samples and water quality data at several south Puget Sound locations. Staff is also responsible for providing Washington Sea Grant with periodic Sound-wide summary reports for the program’s newsletter and annual workshops.

To learn more about how to join Sound Toxins, contact PSI or the Washington Sea Grant Marine Advisory Services:

Teri King — Sound Toxins Program Coordinator
Washington Sea Grant | 360-432-3054

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Other volunteer monitoring networks:

Olympic Region Harmful Algal Bloom (ORHAB) Network

National Oceanic & Atmopsheric Administration (NOAA) Phytoplankton Monitoring Network (PMN)

California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Marine Biotoxin Program