Harmful Algal Blooms

Algal blooms, or "red tides," are caused by aggregations of tiny marine plants, some of which contain reddish pigment. Algae are normal components of all aquatic environments, but can produce what is known as a “harmful algal bloom” or “HAB” when they bloom in significant numbers, lead to oxygen depletion, or generate toxic byproducts. HABs can harm marine organisms and some also impact human health.

Select from the choices below to learn more about HABs and HAB research at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.