On January 17-18, 2023, the CRRC and NOAA’s DPP co-sponsored a virtual workshop titled “Great Lakes Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Communication Preparedness Workshop”. This workshop was a focused discussion on HAB preparedness and response capabilities across the federal government and state agencies. The specific objectives for this workshop were: 1) Ensure effective coordination and communication across local, state, and federal governments, and other relevant entities; 2) Compile and review existing plans, policies and procedures about effectively communicating HAB threats, including benthic and nuisance blooms, across relevant agencies; 3) Determine the points of contact (POC’s) responsible for HAB event preparedness and response; 4) Create a process(es) for sharing information among relevant entities that ultimately reaches stakeholders and the public in a unified message; and 5) Understand lessons learned from case studies (e.g., Lake Erie) and their relevance to emerging HAB locations (e.g., Lake Superior); and apply them to current and emerging threats. The two-day workshop included presentations from Federal, state, and non-governmental organization representatives discussing the following: participant demographics; lessons learned for past HABs events; risk and crisis communication strategies; social science communication research; surveys on preferred communication methods; existing HABs plans, policies, and procedures.

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