Kansas scientists provide research and testing for harmful algal blooms
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Lenexa, Kan., Aug 3, 2021) – The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched the CyANWeb app, extending digital platforms beyond its CyAN Android â¢ app. The new web-based tool shows users when harmful algae blooms (HABs) can form in waters where people swim, fish and boating.
Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, are found in many bodies of water. However, when they multiply, they can form potentially toxic HABs, which can increase the costs of treating drinking water for communities and be harmful to people and pets in lakes and recreational waters.
“Making this satellite data available on more platforms will improve our ability to respond to harmful algal blooms,” said Jennifer Orme-Zavaleta, Acting Deputy Administrator of EPA’s Research and Development Office and Science Advisor from the EPA. âThe publication of this update is another step towards ensuring the quality of drinking and recreational water in our country. “
CyANWeb, developed by the Cyanobacteria Assessment Network (CyAN) with input from EPA Region 7 scientists and other Kansas experts, uses satellite data that was previously only available in the CyAN Android â¢ application . This tool alerts water quality managers and community members to specific changes in water color in over 75 water bodies in Region 7 (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska) and 2,000 of the largest lakes and reservoirs in the United States.
CyANWeb Support Research and Testing by Kansas Scientists
This summer, EPA Region 7 will team up with the US Geological Survey (USGS‘s) Kansas Water Science Center to sample Lakes Clinton and Wilson in Kansas to detect HABs detected by CyAN satellites.
This follows work that scientists in EPA Region 7 began in 2019. These experts partnered with federal and state partners to test CyANWeb in its infancy, providing valuable feedback and suggestions for improvement. The project included the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and helped the developers of CyAN create the web application which is now available for public use.
âThe use by the EPA Office of Research and Development of funding for the regional applied research effort was instrumental in establishing the beta testing partnerships that led to the expansion of the CyAN application to web platforms, âsaid Cecilia Tapia, director of laboratory services for EPA Region 7 and Division of Applied Sciences.
âCyANWeb is an important tool for the initial detection of harmful algal blooms in local lakes,â said Laura Webb, EPA Region 7 chemist. âOur lab’s continued support to CyAN through field sampling will provide valuable data that will help refine the regional information presented on the app. “
CyANWeb uses historical and current satellite data to develop daily and weekly images that serve as an early warning system for HABs. These images can help federal, state, tribal and local partners in their efforts to monitor and assess water quality. They can also help lake managers and people swimming, fishing or boating in lakes identify when a HAB may form.
CyANWeb is easy to use and has features that allow users to view comparisons of multiple water bodies over time, as well as mark locations for future reference. Users can access CyANWeb using a desktop computer, tablet, smartphone, and most other internet browsing devices. CyAN Android â¢ is available for download from the Google Play â¢ store for Android â¢ devices.
This web-based tool is the latest EPA effort to emerge from the CyAN partnership with researchers from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the USGS.
Learn more about EPA’s CyANWeb and access the app.
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