The 12th U.S. Symposium on Harmful Algae will be held on Oct. 27-Nov. 1, 2024 at Holiday Inn Portland by the Bay in Portland, Maine.

Logo by Hannah Bonner, Utah Department of Environmental Quality

The theme, ONE BLOOM, seeks to identify and highlight commonalities across diverse study systems and disciplines within Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) research. Sessions and discussions will foster a unified understanding that integrates perspectives and approaches in HAB science, and equips researchers, managers, and policymakers with the knowledge needed to address this pressing environmental challenge.

The symposium is open to all registrants. Attendees include national representatives and researchers from academia; state, federal, tribal, and municipal governments; the private sector; and watershed organizations.

Symposium Program

Pre-Conference Workshops (click on a workshop to expand)

Workshop A – Development of a Regional Poison Control Center and Medical Toxicology Guideline for Harmful Algal Bloom Sample Collection and Testing Pathways: A Pilot Study

Sunday, October 27 | 10:30-11:30am | $15

Brett Johnson, UMass Chan School of Medicine, UMass Medical Center

Reports of human poisoning from harmful algal blooms (HABs) in the US are infrequent compared to other foodborne illnesses. This is likely due to successful state-level surveillance programs and underreporting by healthcare providers (HCPs) who often do not recognize toxin-mediated poisoning syndromes. The US experience with HAB health events typically follows regional patterns, correlating to algal species endemic to specific areas, with some cases linked to interstate seafood commerce. HCPs must be vigilant in diagnosing and treating potential poisoning after seafood consumption, despite the lack of readily available confirmatory testing, which requires assistance from local public health departments and historically relies on testing food matrices. Current treatment practices are largely based on case reports, and there is no consensus on human specimen analysis.

This workshop aims to engage key stakeholders in developing effective response and management strategies for HAB-related illnesses. Collaborative discussions will guide the creation of region-specific guidelines for poison control centers and medical toxicology programs on sample collection and testing based on available medical evidence.

Workshop B – Data to Information: A Look at the HABs Data Housed in the Water Quality Portal and Served Through How’s My Waterway

Sunday, October 27 | 10:30-11:30am | $15

Adam Griggs, US EPA

Join us for a comprehensive workshop on the Water Quality Portal (WQP), the premier source for discrete water-quality data in the United States and beyond. The WQP integrates publicly available data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and over 1,500 state, federal, Tribal, and local agencies. This collaborative service compiles extensive physical, chemical, and biological water-quality data. The workshop will feature a demonstration of an innovative application designed to explore harmful algal blooms (HABs) data within the WQP. Participants will learn how to access and utilize over 3 million Chlorophyll records, as well as hundreds of thousands of algal taxa counts and toxin samples. The session will also cover how to effectively use the data from the WQP and How’s My Waterway to support water quality monitoring and research. This workshop is ideal for environmental professionals, researchers, and anyone interested in leveraging comprehensive water-quality data for better resource management and public health protection.

Workshop C – Demonstrating a Novel Molecular Toolbox for Rapid, Sensitive Detection of Toxic Pseudo-nitzschia Species

Sunday, October 27 | 1:00-3:00pm | $30

Matthew Harke, Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute, Inc (GMGI); Kate Hubbard, FWC-FWRI; Pete Countway, Bigelow; Shelly Wanamaker, GMGI; Taylor Gibson, GMGI; Sydney Greenlee, Bigelow; Yida Gao, FWC-FWRI; Robin Sleith, Bigelow; Alex DeSmidt, FWC-FWRI; Camden Conte, FWC-FWRI; Julie Koester, FWC-FWRI

The pennate diatom Pseudo-nitzschia produces the neurotoxin domoic acid (DA) which can impact both humans and marine wildlife when consumed. Over 50 species have been identified globally, and DA production varies both across and within species with myriad potential triggers now recognized. DA is an emergent threat in the Gulf of Maine (GOM) and Gulf of Mexico (GOMx) and has led to shellfish harvest closures over the last decade, with each region associated with distinct Pseudo-nitzschia species. Monitoring programs typically enumerate cells using light microscopy, however toxic and non-toxic Pseudo-nitzschia spp. often coexist and cannot be discriminated without electron microscopy and/or genetic methods. Given that Pseudo-nitzschia blooms are observed in these areas with emergent DA issues, and that DA levels can change rapidly, there is a clear need for rapid detection and quantification of toxic Pseudo-nitzschia species. In this workshop, as part of an ongoing MERHAB funded project, we invite you to join us as we demonstrate several novel portable molecular methods for rapid detection of toxic Pseudo-nitzschia species appropriate for diverse end-users, including state managers.

Workshop D – Track, Identify, Predict: An Introduction to 3 Complementary HAB Monitoring Systems

Sunday, October 27 | 1:00-4:00pm | $30

Savannah Judge, Yokogawa Fluid Imaging Technologies, Inc.; Chris Lee, AquaRealTime; Greg Ford, Phytoxigene

Freshwater cyanobacteria and some marine dinoflagellates and diatoms have the potential to produce harmful toxins that cause adverse health effects in humans and animals. Monitoring is essential for effective natural resource management and public safety. However, many monitoring approaches exist from total biomass, to organism identification, to toxin testing. This workshop will demystify this matrix by offering practical skills in three early-detection HAB systems that provide different yet complementary information: an online multi-parameter measuring & reporting system (AlgaeTracker), an automated flow-imaging microscope (FlowCam), and a quantitative PCR assay (CyanoDTec/DinoDTec). The workshop will begin with an overview of each technology, followed by hands-on demonstrations. Attention will be given to how these technologies are utilized in freshwater versus marine environments.

Special Sessions

Meet the Funders: A Quick Tour of Federal Funding Programs for HAB Science and Management

Tuesday, October 29 | 7:00-9:00pm | Free

Sarah Pease, NOAA

Anika Dzierlenga, NIH/NIEHS; Mandy Michalsen, USACE; Whitney King, EPA; Jennifer Graham, USGS; Taylor Armstrong, USHCTI; Sarah Pease, HAB-ER; Maggie Broadwater, ECOHAB; Marc Suddleson, MERHAB; Felix Martinez, PCMHAB; Brittany King, SEAHAB; Tiffany Vance, IOOS; Betty Staugler, Sea Grant

Join NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) Competitive Research Program (CRP) for a two-hour workshop aimed at demystifying federal funding opportunities for harmful algal bloom (HAB) research, response, and management. Participants will learn about various HAB-related federal funding programs and priorities across agencies such as EPA, NIEHS, NOAA, USACE, and USGS. The workshop seeks to provide equitable access to information, making HAB funding more accessible to academic, non-academic, tribal, and community-based researchers, as well as resource management agencies. The workshop will include brief overviews of funding programs, followed by a matchmaker-style event where participants can engage in small group discussions with program managers. This interactive approach will help attendees identify which federal funding programs best fit their needs, align their applications with program priorities, and increase their chances of obtaining funding. This workshop is ideal for early career researchers and resource managers looking to enhance their understanding of the federal funding landscape for HAB research and response activities.

Attendee Registration

Early bird registration is now open through July 19 @ 11:59pm ET. Standard registration will close on Sept. 20 @ 11:59pm ET.

What’s Included in My Registration? (click here to expand)
  • On Monday, we will provide a continental breakfast.
    • Your ticket to the bowling social event will include bowling + shoe rental + catered appetizers.
  • On Tuesday, we will provide both a continental breakfast and an onsite lunch.
    • The poster session will include catered appetizers + cash bar.
  • On Wednesday, we will provide both a continental breakfast and an onsite lunch.
    • The poster session will include catered appetizers + cash bar.
  • On Thursday, we will provide a continental breakfast.
    • Your ticket to the banquet will include a dinner buffet + cash bar.
  • On Friday, we will provide a continental breakfast.
Cancellation Policy: Cancellations made by Sept. 20, 2024 will be refunded less a $15.00 processing fee. Refunds will not be issued for attendee cancellations received after Sept. 20, 2024. 
Exhibitor and sponsorship registration is non-refundable.

Exhibitor & Sponsor Registration

Why should your organization partner with the 12th U.S. Symposium on Harmful Algae?

In one word: visibility! Being an exhibitor or sponsor gives your organization the exciting opportunity to engage and develop a deeper network within the HAB community. With a guarantee to reach national professionals in the HAB field, this conference provides an excellent marketing vehicle to a targeted and attentive audience.

We expect the the symposium to draw approximately 400 attendees, including national representatives and researchers from academia; state, federal, tribal, and municipal governments; the private sector; and watershed organizations.

Registration is now open. Please reach out to Maryann Dugan and Devon Case at for further details.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations made by Sept. 20, 2024 will be refunded less a $15.00 processing fee. Refunds will not be issued for attendee cancellations received after Sept. 20, 2024. 
Exhibitor and sponsorship registration is non-refundable.


  • Logo visibility in symposium program, on conference signage, and displayed on session welcome screens
  • One 6′ display table
  • Full conference registration for one attendee

+ ADD ON: $1,000

  • Receive all of the benefits of Base Sponsorship in addition to your company logo featured on the official symposium lanyard or reusable water bottle.


Rooms are still available! Please follow the instructions below to reserve your room.

For onsite accommodations at Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland, please visit Select “Reserve”, input your travel dates, and select “Group Rate” under “Rate Preference”. Receive the government per diem rate of $198 by using the code ALG for standard room reservations October 27 through November 1, 2024 only. Deluxe rooms are available at a higher rate. For more information, please see the Quick Guide below.

You may also call 1-207-775-2311 or 1-888-465-4329 and reference NEIWPCC ALGAE 2024 and the code ALG to receive this rate.

Explore Portland

To Do
  • Historic Victoria Mansion offers tours and is a beautiful example of 19th-century architecture.
  • Take the Ferry to Peaks Island, and explore this car-free oasis with beautiful beaches and charming shops. You can view more details and the ferry schedule on the Casco Bay Lines website.
  • Catch a minor league hockey game with the Maine Mariners, affiliated with the Boston Bruins. They are playing 10/26, 10/27 and 11/2. You can buy tickets on their website.
  • Visit the historic fort at Fort William State Park (Portland Head Light) and enjoy stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and the worlds most photographed lighthouse.
  • Tour the Portland Art Museum, a collection of Asian, American, Native American & European art that features touring shows & film screenings.
  • Run or Walk Around Back Cove, a scenic 3.6-mile gravel trail that offers a great place for a run or walk with beautiful views of the water.
To Eat
  • The Port Hole offers fresh seafood with stunning harbor views.
  • Becky’s Diner is classic American diner known for its delicious breakfast and friendly service.
  • Duckfat is a popular spot serves up gourmet sandwiches and fries made with duck fat.
  • Pai Men Miyake offers a variety of authentic Japanese ramen dishes.
  • The Black Cow features a modern take on American cuisine in an upscale ambiance.
  • CBG, short for “Congress Bar & Grill,” offers a wide selection of craft beers and a menu of delicious bites.
  • Mainely Noods specializes in all things noodles and Asian-inspired dishes.
  • Boda offers a taste of Korean cuisine with a focus on BBQ.
  • Taco Escobarr, a local favorite, showcases delicious and creative tacos.
  • Pizzaiolo offers Neapolitan-style pizzas made with fresh, local ingredients.
  • The Highroller Lobster Co. serves up fresh Maine lobster rolls and other seafood dishes.
  • Portland Lobster Company is another great option for enjoying fresh Maine lobster.
To Drink
  • Rosies is a lively bar that offers a great selection of cocktails and a fun atmosphere.
  • Novare Res Bier Cafe is a large beer garden that features a variety of craft beers and outdoor and indoor seating.
  • Arcadia is a barcade that offers a relaxed atmosphere, a good selection of beers on tap, and arcade games.
  • Goodfire Brewing allows patrons to sample some of Maine’s finest craft beers at this brewery.
  • Bellflower Brewing is another great option for trying local craft beers.
  • Maps is a gastropub that offers a delicious selection of food and drinks. Search “Maps Portland Maine” on your phone for directions.
  • Rising Tide is a brewery that offers a variety of unique and flavorful beers.

Travel Supplements

Travel supplements will be offered to graduate students, postdocs, and resource managers through support from the National Office on Harmful Algal Blooms. Please check our website for updates when this opportunity will be released.

Meet the Scientific Steering Committee

  • Maryann Dugan, NEIWPCC
  • Devon Case, NEIWPCC
  • Holly Bowers, Moss Landing Marine Labs
  • Dail Laughinghouse, University of Florida / IFAS
  • Don Anderson, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • Keith Bouma-Gregson, U.S. Geological Survey
  • Michael Brosnahan, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • Jonathan Deeds, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Jennifer Graham, U.S. Geological Survey
  • Matthew Gribble, Emory University
  • Hans Paerl, UNC-CH Institute of Marine Sciences
  • Michael Paul, US EPA
  • Valerie Paul, Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce
  • Misty Peacock, Salish Sea Research Center
  • Sarah Pease, NOAA/NCCOS
  • Ellen Preece, Robertson-Bryan, Inc.
  • Heather Raymond, Ohio State University
  • Mindy Richlen, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • Jayme Smith, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project Biogeochemistry Department
  • Morgan Steffen, James Madison University
  • Marc Suddleson, NOAA/NCCOS


For general questions or information about the 12th U.S. Symposium on Harmful Algae, please contact Maryann Dugan and Devon Case at

Conference Archives

To view select information from the 11th U.S. Symposium on Harmful Algae agenda, visit the Conference Proceedings page.

COVID-19 Policy

NEIWPCC is committed to providing an event environment that keeps all participants as safe as possible and promotes the well-being of our community. We encourage attendees to take CDC recommendations and their individual circumstances into account when making a decision about preventative actions. By voluntarily choosing to attend NEIWPCC events, participants assume all risks associated with exposure to COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.

Attendees should NOT participate in NEIWPCC events if they display symptoms of any respiratory virus, or if they have been symptomatic within the last 24 hours. Attendees who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last five (5) days must be symptom- and fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medications) and wear a mask.