On April 27 - 28, 2021, CRRC and DPP co-sponsored a virtual workshop entitled “Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Preparedness & Response.” The workshop focused on HAB preparedness and response capabilities and responsibilities across the Federal Interagency Working Group on Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act (IWG – HABHRCA) members and select state agencies. Workshop participants represented academia, Federal, state, and local agencies. The two-day workshop included plenary presentations from Federal, state, and non-government agency representatives outlining: their roles and responsibilities; risk and crisis communication strategies; tools for early detection, measurement quantification, and mitigation; and public health and wildlife impacts. Following the workshop, CRRC and DPP conducted a half-day virtual tabletop exercise on April 29, 2021, entitled “Fresh and Salty: The Story of a HAB.” The exercise focused on understanding the resources, expertise, capabilities, roles, and responsibilities of IWG-HABHRCA Federal agencies and select state agencies related to a HAB event. Additionally, the exercise facilitated discussions on current plans, policies, and procedures in-place to effectively manage a cross-agency, coordinated response. The exercise allowed for different agency representatives to share their agencies’ resources, expertise, capabilities, roles, and responsibilities. The overall goal of this workshop and subsequent tabletop exercise was to provide a focused discussion to enhance preparedness across the IWG – HABHRCA members and its partners.

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